Friday, May 31, 2013

It's Grim Up North



[ pauses to stare at the blank screen for a moment..... ]

I was - am? - in two minds about this evening's post. Not so much that it's a surprise expose - OMG! Tubby dude in a dress! - but more that I don't really have any burning desire to get anything off my chest. I mean, the week has been good to me - all things considered (half term and all that) - and we're edging ever closer to the warmer rays of summer. There, that's the obligatory weather comment out of the way too. :-)

I 'd like to talk a bit about the recently BBC article on my home town, Nottingham. According to this article, it seems one of the poorer districts of the city, namely The Meadows, is hitting rock bottom. It is, if the media and certain southerners are to be believed, It's Grim Up North. :-)

Really? Well, Nottingham isn't The North, it's the Midlands. Honestly, what do they teach in schools these days? ;-) Mind you, for years, I thought Essex was really the Isle of Dogs, but that's just a weak gag at the expense of breast exposing, orange faced, fluffy haired, over-groomed, barely literate tarts...... and the women are as bad. :-) At least, if your only frame of reference is the cast of TOWIE.

Iffy north/south jibes aside, Nottingham does not have a good press. I like the city and I like the people here. It is a place that can't quite make up its mind over being a city of the north or the south. For anyone who's lived/worked in more northern climes, there is a different attitude - I hasten to add the words 'in general'. Friendlier, or at least chattier. Please note I'm not saying that you can draw a line from the Wash to Bristol and on one side, one half will invite you for tea & biscuits, while the other half will snub you. As I said to Wee Man the other night: 90% of people are okay, 5% really cool and 5% are twits. Neither 'side' is better, just different, I guess.

So, The Meadows - or if you live locally, The Medduz - is an inner city council estate for the most part. If the story is to be believed, it is one of the poorest parts of the UK. Nottingham City Council are saying the figures aren't accurate and have posted a response, which makes for interesting reading. Which one is true? Both? Neither? I can't say. I will say that there are some very deprived areas and from past experience working with the Councils - we have two and I don't know why, but we do - they do try to push resources into those areas. Like most of local governments right now, they're feeling the pinch of the cuts and while I'll not debate such reductions are a good or bad idea, we have them and that's that.  What I will say, is that it can't be easy living that close to the breadline.

In some small way, the Jones Clan is a bit like that. On one hand, a set of relatives are very well off and although there's a bit of grumbling about how the firm - BTW, not the firm as in organised crime, okay? :-) - isn't doing so well, said family chap (Lord Jones?) is still very flush. Compare that to another branch of the Jones Massive (not us I should add), who were for a time struggling to keep food in the cupboards. Christmas for them was rather tricky and although we set a rule of 'no more than a tenner' for presents, we cheated and hid extras in their stockings. Mind you, if you win something or someone else gives you it, you didn't pay, so strictly speaking, it's not against the rules is it? :-)

So where is this wandering post getting to? Really? I've no idea. Maybe I should enjoy what I have right now, which isn't a bad start. Maybe, if things go a little pear shaped, it would be good to remember that there are folk not so far from me, who are not as well off.

Take care,

Friday, May 24, 2013

"slave screams he thinks he knows what he wants"


That's the first week back after a fab holiday. All in all, it could have gone a lot worse, so small mercies eh? It doesn't seem long since we were packing our bags for the big trip, and yet, it's half term for Wee Man and Little Miss already. Another week off? Larks, you've just had a fortnight, you jammy so-and-so's! :-)

I'm pretty sure I won't be taking any time off this week coming. I'm keeping it stashed for the next family holiday, so the Ever Lovely Mrs J (who seems to manage to save her flexi-time up - mainly as she works so very hard) will be covering. Oh, and no doubt Mrs J Senior may be assisting - as grandparents love to do.

It was Chameleons the other night and as way of a change, I just..... well, the T Force just wasn't there. Strange when that happens. I mean, I do like chocolate. There are many times when I'll be working and a little voice will say there's some Galaxy bars in the vending machine downstairs. I'm pretty sure only I can hear it, although I'm hoping it's more a sneaky suggestion, than an indication I'm either a) hearing Voices From Beyond, b) I'm a loon, or c) both of the previous. :-)

Anyhoo, choco-snaffling habit aside, there are times when you can just walk by a sweet shop and think: yeah, all very yummy, but I'm not fussed. So, it goes with being trans. Well, some of the time at least and this was one of them. I mean, Wednesday, I was thinking I could take it or leave it. Sure, I was looking forward to meeting with friends I'd not seen in a while, but the urge, pull, want - name your word - to go in Lynn mode just wasn't there. I packed a bag on the off chance I'd change my mind. Given that I'd only got one outfit in there, that should have really been the indicator that my heart wasn't in it ;-)

I was a little late home on Thursday and by the time I'd got some groceries and sorted the kids out for bed, it would have been too late for a trans grade shave and a shower. Not that I missed it. How odd eh? So, no fabulosity on Thursday night, just drab, but I was happy to meet up with friends and just chat. It was a quiet night, with just under ten of us at the Centre. We had two new folk pop along - Angela & Lisa - and conversation ranged from the usual (trans history / personal situation) to talking about music (how the breadth had changed over the years) and growing up. All good stuff.

It's a bank holiday weekend, so an extra day off. I just hope the weather picks up. We had the fire on again this evening and much as I'm not a fan of hot weather, I'm currently sat in a fleece and a hoody. Brrr! :-)

Oh, before I go, a quick note to say that Chrissy very kindly offered her story on Our Different Journey.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Happiness in Slavery by Nine Inch Nails ]

Friday, May 17, 2013

"Words like violence,
Break the silence,
Come crashing in,
Into my little world"

Hello again dear reader,

To blog, or not to blog? That is the question. Whether tis best to STFU, or to prattle on, ensnaring the zeroes and ones of Google's storage.....

Shall we go with blog then?

Larks, it doesn't seem long since I was last here, bashing away at the keys, hoping that some semblance of wit and order would descend. So, I have, as you may have gathered from the last post and MS Paint epic, been away. Not, 'been away' as in Her Majesty's Pleasure (Ed: for our American readers - in jail!), nor locking away in the funny farm either. Although, Lord knows that can't be far away. :-)

No, holiday it was and a family one at that. Two glorious weeks of lazing around, letting the kids play in the sand/pool/sea, eating far too much (oops) and savouring that moment of switching my mobile to off when I left the office.

People Watching

I could show you a few snaps of the holiday destination, but having sat through a few slideshows - as in, in the 70s, where folk actually had slides, I won't. :-) I guess I could have taken a few shows of the fashion faux pas that occurred while I was away. Not, by me, of course. No, I always dress well*..... STOP THAT LAUGHING AT THE BACK! :-) [ * caution: ironic statement ]

I think the highlights of the fashion parade were the neon elasticuff cropped harem pants (yes, really) and the stripey 70s jump suit. The latter sported by a young mum who had a lovely figure, only to be swamped by the living test card that made your eyes go funny as she walked by.

Then there was the lady of advancing years (only 50 I think), who had had her boobs done. Not in a dodgy way, but they were way to perky to be real. How does that work? When your gran has more gravity defying boobage that her teenage granddaughter  :-) [ No, I didn't stare, this was from a ping from the old trans radar of there is a disturbance in the Force.... ]

Still, what would I know? A tubby bloke in camo shorts and a series of surf t-shirts.... or as I like to call it, the New Dad Wardrobe. :-) Mind you, I did manage a tan this time around and just being able to enjoy the world - without requiring an extra thick coat & hat - has been very nice.


But, tongue in cheek bitchiness aside, it was a wonderful time and although the weather dipped towards the end of the holiday, that didn't detract. The journey there (and back) went well. Indeed, I rather relished the journey between landing and arriving at the little villa. To travel in hope and all that.

With the children amused (and a wary eye provided by the family), I was able to catch up on a bit of reading. Well, re-reading. Since hearing of Mr Banks' sad news about his health, I thought I'd have a go at re-reading some of his (very good) Culture novels. I managed three before running out of time and (legal) downloads. Putting a trans spin on this paragraph.... okay, a little background on the sci-fi series. Firstly, it is set in a society and technological setting that massively ahead of our own (although, that's not doing the setting justice. I strongly urge you to read them if you get chance. It's not about tech, it's about people and history).

Where was I? Oh yes, trans. Yes, many of the Culture people are able to a) live for a very long time and b) change their birth sex if they wish. (Update as per comment). Although an organism that can do that, I wonder if the idea of male/female is accurate anymore. Well, you can imagine that my mind snapped on to that little fact. The effect is mentioned a few times - mostly in passing - rather than dwelling on a person's change per se. Oh and it's not a cosmetic shift either, a person can change and produce/sire children too. Oh and change back (after a time). So, a society that lives for pleasurable pursuits, does not require money, is practically immortal and can shift should they feel like it (oh and no-one cares if you do). I'll have some of that in another life, please :-) Other than sci-fi, I read a few Steampunk novellas - after a work-mate suggested them - and enjoyed those.

Truth be told, I've tried my hand a short stories a few times, but I've not really got anywhere with them. Got anywhere, as in making some money out of them. I guess I've got to keep on trying. Mind you, it's not the money, it's more that I enjoy doing it. A bit like this blog I suppose. Sure, hearing from people is great, but I think I'd carry on typing for myself as much as anyone else. With the Steampunk stuff in my head, I've a few ideas on what I could do. It is a question of making myself sit down and actually writing things.....much in the same way I've had to make myself stop reading Facebook, looking a desktop wallpapers, etc.


In other news, it's Chameleons this coming week, so something to look forward to. Oh, and I've got to go back to work. Still, it pays the bills.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode ]

Friday, May 03, 2013

Gone fishing....

See you in a few weeks!

Take care,