Friday, July 26, 2013

Our cards are dealt, how we play them, therein is the game.


How's things? Y'know, there are times when I struggle to get this blog off the ground. So to speak. I'll skip on work and weather reports for now and move straight.

The summer holidays - for the kids at least - have arrived. Nottinghamshire broke up this week, so Wee Man and Little Miss have been around the in- and out-laws, until the kid camp opens later on. Oh, the joys of working parents eh? :-) Is it the modern disease? The yearly trek to sports centres, science fairs and visits to grandparents, while mum and dad try to balance the holiday entitlement? Maybe it is, but we don't do bad, all things considered.

Talking of good news, the old bank balance seems to be doing better (touch wood!) than usual. I have stopped buying lunch at work, and I think that's making a difference. I've yet to stop my 3pm chocolate break, but a guy's gotta live you know! :-)

Out, but not Out

It was Chameleons yesterday, and as invents conspired with me, off I went. Oddly, there was no bag in tow, nor multiple outfits stashed in the boot. No, with the weather still being a little too warm for me, I decided to pass (Ed: first time ever! :-P ) on getting made up and I went to see friends instead.

In all honesty, I am glad I did. I didn't manage it last week and I found I really missed talking to my friends. Funny, a few years ago and the idea of a long spell of En Homme gave me chills - and not in a good way - yet, here we are and despite looking a bit like a Wookie on surf patrol, I enjoyed chatting and catching up with people. Rebecca also popped in - our self proclaimed Regular Irregular - so it was good to catch up with her too. There was a new girl along for the second time, but in all the confusion, I missed her name. Maybe we'll say hi next time.


Talking of out - see what I did there? :-) - the Government has finally seen sense and now marriage is legal for gay people. Funny, a few years ago and I'd never considered the matter - mainly as the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I didn't do a church wedding - but then, why shouldn't every adult in our society have the choice? At least this is a good start and well done to those who got involved and helped make it happen.


A little while ago, an email arrived in the Chameleons inbox asking for personal stories for a theatre project called All Colours of the Rainbow. Any excuse to rattle off some writing and I'm away. Anyway, you can see the fruits of the collective labours here:

Is that story my story or another's? Yes and no. It's some of me, some from friends and some dramatic license, but to the best of my knowledge it's true. Well, true for an occasional like myself and others, I can only speak for myself and not for everyone.

I am the lie in plain sight. I am the man you kiss goodbye when you go to work. I am the man who teaches your children, who fixes your car, who works in your office, who is part of your family. I am all these people... and I am more.
I am male from the outside. But, inside? I am a mixture.
A mask of masculinity, a twist of femininity learned from afar with curious eyes. A heady brew of confusion. I am trans; someone on the sliding scale of gender. Neither one nor the other, but betwixt and between. Too soft to join the boys, too rough to join the girls. The outsider who hides. 
Away from your gaze, I am different and I am the same. A different name and a different garb dress me up. The same heart beats within, the same mind thinks throughout. Sarah, or Simon: I need to be both. I need to have time to be myself. To be all of myself: sometimes femme, sometimes homme. This may be at home, in a hotel, or out with friends. Trans friends.
Without this balance, my world tips and I am lost. Sipping towards the black waters that numb. Waters that drown. If I cannot breathe.....I cannot be. I have tried, tried to stop, but I cannot. I can no longer stop being trans, as you cannot stop being male, or female. Our cards are dealt, how we play them, therein is the game.
I have battled with guilt, lost and won. Promises made, promises broken. I have cried and I have wept, but I will always walk this path. My only choice was to accept. How I have laughed and how I have smiled when the path I walk echoes to clatter of heels, the brush of a skirt and the whisper of synthetic hair.
Would you know this to look at me? Could you see through the bravado, peek behind the mask? Have I given myself away? Those little tells: skin looked after and eyebrows shaped. The occasional spec of colour on too shapely kept nails. Perhaps you saw me gazing in the shop window, or picking out make-up on my own one day. Maybe...maybe you saw me as her.
Just smile. Say hello. Say you’re okay and that our secret is safe.
You might even like the real me.

Take care,

Friday, July 19, 2013


Hi all,

In all honesty, I wasn't going to post anything tonight, but..... it seems the hot choccy and a handful of cashews seems to have provoked my heat addled brain into some sort of creativity.

Much as I like a bit of warm sun, these last two weeks have been too much. I guess the proportion of my genetics that's set up for bracing Celtic summers, isn't quite coping. Work is too warm and it's times like these I wish we had air-con in the office. At least some of the meeting rooms have it, so I find myself booking extra slots to get on.

Still, on the plus side, the office is warm, but at least the windows open. At a mate's workplace, the windows are sealed shut and the air vent blows hot air in from outside. Oh, and very cold air during the winter. Which genius thought that one up? :-)

Early morning and late evenings seem to be the best time to get around. I really don't know how folk who live in hotter places cope. Maybe they are used to it, and it it merely the Brits who can't cope. :-)

Still, with a little luck, it will cool down as the weeks slip away, and if it cools down a little and stays fine, it should make very good weather for the summer holidays. Yup, both Wee Man and Little Miss will be off for six weeks or so. We've got day camps booked - thank you Work Voucher scheme! - for a fortnight or so, and then it's a mix of the Ever Lovely Mrs J, me and both sets of Granny & Grandad's helping out (bless 'em).

If I was still putting lyrics as titles, I guess I could have gone with Long Hot Summer, by Girls Aloud. Which reminds me, I have - as you've probably noticed - given that a rest for a time. Much as I liked finding a line that meant something, or fitted in with the vibe of the post, I found myself drawing a blank. Maybe I'm just not listening to enough new music? That, or the switch to podcasts in the car, isn't helping. Who knows? :-)

Take care,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Rebel bass!


It's Friday, it's fifteen minutes to ten and I'm on the wrong side of warm. I don't know if it's my vague Celtic ancestry, but I'm not one for hot weather. Sure, a bit of sun is nice and to see the trees and hedgerows all green, is rather nice. Still, only two months or so to go, and things will start to cool down. I'm rather looking forward to that. Sorry, sun worshippers, I'll always be an autumn person. :-)

So, with the obligatory comment about the weather, what shall I prattle on about? Well, I didn't make it to Chameleons this week. I was packed and good to go, yet I decided to hang back to attend Wee Man's school concert. By the time that finished and we made it back home, it was nearly nine at night. Throw in another half an hour travel time and really...? Much as I'd like to have seen everyone, I think it would have been a flying visit. Better luck next time eh?

School music concerts are a tricky thing - both for kids, and parents. Nerves and boredom, but enough about the children. :-) Despite the obligatory chorus from the Satanic Pipes of Discord, or, to use more well known phrase, Recorder Recital, it all went rather well.

The local school noticed that a number of boys just didn't get the whole music performance thing. Or rather, didn't fancy piano, trumpet, Satan Pipe recorder, murdered cat violin, etc. No, they seemed - and I'll include Wee Man in this catch all - in need of something with more oomph. Enter a local chap who plays electric guitar and the drums.

Sure, it's a few bob for the drumming lessons, but I think it's great to hear Wee Man's stories of how much he (and his mates) have enjoyed playing. They don't just work through the book either. The chap in question, asks them to pick out rock & indie tracks that they'd like to learn. He does seem to enthuse them and I think that's a great skill.

The rock section didn't come until the end of the evening, but it was worth waiting for. Not just for the whole "that's my lad up there" schtick, but for other kids too. One pair played an AC/DC number rather well and you could see how much they and the audience were enjoying it. Good times.

Work also threw in a positivity seminar..... and yes, I can hear your collective lips curling from here :-) Much as I dislike psychobabble and sticking-plaster theories to cheering the great unwashed up - or to use the correct term, employees :-) - I think the talk in question was very interesting. Maybe I should branch out, 'cos a lot of it was just common sense, anecdotes from BBC magazine and some CBT without the technical terms. :-) But it was still worth listening to - at least in parts. The idea that you can decide if you want something to upset (or not) and that it is easy to be negative. Both seemed reasonable statements - in general - although no doubt the trick will be in getting yourself to follow those simple rules. Something to work on perhaps?

In other news, it is Sparkle for this weekend and no, I'm not going. To be honest, it doesn't quite fit in with family and finances. Not to mention it is smack back in the middle of the Jones Family Party Circus. I don't know what they put in the water eight to ten months ago, but it ain't right ;-)

So, no. I shall be putting my feet up at home and then sorting out the catering.

Not sure which will be more tiring if I'm honest ;-)

Take care,

Friday, July 05, 2013

Mirror, mirror, on the wall....?


With all things being well, this post will see the light of day - okay, the subdued kiss of evening - sometime Friday night. Yes, the Jones Massive are on the move for a short break. Partly due to school training days, upcoming birthdays and the why-the-hell-not factor. Not to mention the fact that both the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I could both do with a break from filling the boilers of bureaucracy with the paper of pointlessness.... okay, that's enough of that word torture, you get the picture :-)

Earlier in the week, it was Mrs Jones Senior's birthday, seventy years upon with rock, no less. My sister and my dad, (bless 'em) had colluded to plot and plan a surprise birthday party for her. All went very well and the event went better than we had hoped. Lots of the Jones Clan wandered in from afar and a good time was had by all. It was rather moving to see my mum so happy (she does love a party!) and I'll be honest and say I'm sure I had a little bit of grit in my eye at certain points. There was also much fabulousness from the Jones ladies and yet, there was not a hint, a whiff or sign of Pink Fog..... just happy times for all.

In other news, the BBC posted an article asking if we can make ourselves happier? Judging by the research, it seems the Nordic states have it sussed.... whatever 'it' is, they've got it. Maybe if I ask nicely, do you think I could borrow some? Just for a bit mind you. :-)

I'll leave you to peruse the article in your own time and I won't repeat it verbatim. A few points made me laugh (the one at the end, about having kids) and others made me nod in surprise, and sometimes, in agreement.

Going out to dinner, with the nippers (fun, very occasionally, a little fraught, but mostly fun), or the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones (always good, even if the food's not great), peps up the happy count. [ Ed: at this point, you may like to visualise Dracula, skipping merrily through the night, throwing flowers... :-) ]

Close friendships, yes, again. Through time, changes in lifestyle and distance, I no longer see a lot of the friends I made in my twenties. They have their own lives to lead and so it goes. I think it's a few of the friends I've made at Chams, whom I'm closest too. Is it the level of openness, that I have no secrets or front to maintain? They see all of me - emotionally speaking - never physically (eek! :-) ), so does that make us more connected or not? There is a question.

Equality? Other than 'yes, please', I think it does make me happy. I know reading / hearing about discrimination annoys me, so yes, I would like to see a more equal society. Not just for the seemingly selfish reasons of being accepted from a trans PoV, but because it [equality] should be something we all aim for. It's not easy and personal history will colour the situation, but I am hopeful we'll get there.

There was also a comment about self perception of good looks. Now.... and I have to be careful how I saw this, as I don't want to sound like I'm fishing for compliments. :-) I don't look at myself - in Richard or Lynn mode - and think "heeey". Oh, older readers may like to think of the Fonz at this point, although it is optional. ;-)

Where were we?

Oh aye, self delusion. :-)

No, looks. So, no. At no point do I see my image and think I'm good looking. I know there are people who do look at themselves and think that, but that's them, not me. No, the best I hope for is me being content.  I've heard people say that you shouldn't aim for content, because it's the middle of the road, you're not going for gold, etc. And yes, I do think that last comment is so rich in BS, your rose bushes would come on a treat. :-)

I've been desperately unhappy many moons ago; sometimes looking into the reflection and wondering why it didn't match with what was in my head..... but really, it was. After all, a mirror really reflects. You come to it with a heavy heart and that what is shows back. It wasn't the mirror than had a problem, it was me. Now, I come to it with acceptance and hope, so it bounces that back too. If you're lucky, I may even leave with a contented spring in my step.... however I decide to present myself that day.

Stay fabulous,