Friday, June 30, 2017



The other day I was talking with a mate about bikes. While the weather's been in a good mood - not too hot, not too wet, etc - I've been cycling between meetings. I should clarify by saying I cycle between sites. Apparently, it's frowned upon to pop a wheelie as you hit the corridor. It startles some of the sleeping staff. :-)

So, H said that being a fairly keen commuter cyclist, that he's - and to use his own words - a bit of a tool tart. That's not a phrase I'd heard before, and it made me chuckle. My Dad would probably use the words Gadget Monster, but that has different and possibly Godzilla style connotations. :-) Tools, meh. But shoes or the ideal mascara? Now you're talking!

I'll leave you to generate your own alliteration to cover those words. :-)

But, before I sign off, riddle me this: do we all have a thing we like to collect? I know not everyone is defined by material gubbins, but is it the gadget or the experience that we're chasing?

Take care,

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tea power


Do you find that you talk yourself out of doing something? Okay, sometimes this is a good thing (do I really want that second pint at lunch?), but if you're anything like me - and you have my sympathy if you are! :-) - there are times when fortune favours the brave.

So it was yesterday. I had the good fortune to be working at home (Yay! No meetings!) and as I worked through my Do List, I wondered about Thursday night out. The weather was a lot cooler and yet, I wasn't quite in the right mood for it. Indeed, in many ways, I was revving myself up for just going along in Bob Mode. Summer can be - shall we said - a challenge to your average bloke in a dress, as shapewear, slap and a wig do not make the best for cooling down. :-)

Hence, this:

If you're British and faced with a shall I / shan't I dilemma, it's best to make a cup of tea and think it through.

The above was then followed by:

A cup of tea later, and I was painting my toes. I thought that even if I do go in Richard mode, at least I can enjoy having a pretty colour applied. It's not for display, it's for me. I've mentioned this before and as the varnish dried, I finished my tea and moved on to pack a bag.

I think tea is the reason the Brits had an empire. It's only when we switched to coffee and soft drinks that it all went squiffy. ;-) On the plus side, at least we're not invading places anymore. When the ice caps start to go, the tides rise and the planet is less than welcoming; make sure the Brits get extra tea. :-D

So, suitably energised I finished off my report, and before long, Little Miss and the Ever Lovely Mrs J returned home. Skip on a few hours and I was off early to Chameleons.

It was a quite evening, although enjoyable. We had some returning new folk - always good to see - and someone (Dani) visiting for the first time. Sometimes Chams can be quite a hubbub of conversation, so pretty much having a singular group chat (if that makes sense) is a change.

After much laughter, silly stories and occasional forays into more serious topics, it was time to tot up the books, pack up the tables & chairs, before the obligatory photo shoot. This time, Val and I were joined by Diane, Dani and Nicole.

The quieter nights mean there's fewer takings, but Summer is always a lean time for us, but Autumn won't be far away, and the fabulous and faithful will return.

Happy days!


Friday, June 16, 2017



Summer has seemingly kicked in for the fair vale of Nottinghamshire. Hmm, I seem to be mixing dated urban yoof-speak with some hey-nonny-nonny. Y'know, I do hope the latter isn't some weird kink slang. Oh the humanity! :-)

Unavailable fashion choices

As her or him
A few weeks ago I bought a nice summer dress from the Joe Brown's sale. The fit and material are fine. My issue, as per, is to disguise the two hairy tree trunks that I pass off as my legs. Jeggings don't quite work, and the footless white tights I bought (Hello! the 80s called and wanted their fashion back) just about work.

But, what I'd really like is some just about ankle length white leggings. Can I find them? Can I ****. Oh, that's feck, by the way. :-) Cropped, knee length, etc, but no full length. I popped into to check our local outfit and after a quick look about, asked one of the sales staff. "Oh, you know," she said, "You must be the sixth person today to ask for some." Well, I guess there's no demand eh? :-) But, I've seen some on the Debenhams site, so I'm hoping a lunchtime excursion may be doable. Fingers crossed eh?


This week I waved goodbye to my little car. There was nothing wrong with it, well, other than Wee Man is now too tall to fit in the back. I really shouldn't have put those vitamin drops in his shoes. Ah well. :-)

So, there is a now a slightly newer - well, new to me - car on the drive, and, importantly, it does allow all of the Jones Massive to fit in it. Not that that's a regular occurrence, but we leave the Ever Lovely Mrs J's estate car at home for ease of parking. Sometimes I wonder if that estate car is just an oil tanker with wheels. It's rather big!

So, why mention the old car? Well, not to brag on new wheels, but instead to say that I get attached to material goods. Not so much the goods themselves, but the memories that go along with them. Whenever I change my car, and I'll admit that's not very often, I have the same little pang of thinking of the happy events associated with it.

But, on the bright side. They are happy memories. Days out, trips with the family, a jolly for work, the occasional out & about. Much better than being sat at the roadside waiting for the mechanics! :-D

Take care,

Friday, June 09, 2017

Decade: then and now


Sometime last week, I was looking through old family photos. I rather enjoy seeing how the kids have grown up, and also remembering the holidays, trips out, or just general silliness, that, to me at least, go to make up your family history. A shared experience if you will. On a whim, I had a look at my stash of trans photos. Now, I don't like having my photo taken. Or, more accurately, I don't really like my photo being taken when I'm in Richard mode.

Conversely, with the purchase of a digital camera - hey, remember those? :-) - I had the opportunity to take a regular snap of me. If, and I doubt this would see the light of day, I could stitch them together in time-lapse, you could see me change and age. Please, don't have nightmares ;-)

I suppose, like family photos, sometimes I look back at my albums and think about what was going on. They are also, not unlike the snaps my female friends sometimes post on-line. Okay, in motive, rather than comparing myself to a woman. So, yeah, a way to show a look or seek reassurance of the same.

That reassurance thing. When I saw that happen pre-party at a big hotel do with my female friends, that was such an eye opener for me. Previously, I'd thought the outfit doubt and validation was very much a trans thing. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. I can only talk about my feelings and experiences, not yours.

Younger and older
In the above photo - give or take a month or so - the difference is about 10 years between the left and the right. It seems much as I've sorted my photos by year and month - hey, I like a system ;-) - it seems that 2007's photo, did not make it to the blog. I guess that back then,  I was either more paranoid or maybe not as carefree (stoopid?) as I am now.

I think that 2007 was roughly a year after I started going to Chameleons (October 06?). Wee Man was actually small, unlike the giant teenager, he is now (I love him just as much if not more. He's a good lad). My darling Little Miss was soon to be with us so the Ever Lovely Mrs J would have been pregnant then. In terms of history, the left-hand photo shows curtains that are long gone, and likewise, that bedroom is no longer ours either. Outfit wise, I've still got that cardigan and top, and quite probably the necklace too. The wig, not so much, much as I liked it. Funny the things you keep and the things that you let go, eh?

But what of inside? The person within. Well, I had yet to meet - and later beat - the Black Dog, but we've had that story haven't we. Oddly, about a month after the left-hand photo was taken, I had, to quote a film, a moment of clarity. Something clicked in my head - hopefully not brain arthritis :-) - and I found I'd started to feel less, well, freakish. Yeah, stop that laughing at the back. :-) But jokes aside, it was a time when I started to feel okay about being all of me. Sure, I have the occasional wobble and downer, but in the main, nothing like the see-saw guilt trips. I'm sure glad to see the back of those. Self-acceptance was hard to come by, but I didn't get there on my own. It was from the help and care from the good folk at Chameleons and the Ever Lovely Mrs J's patience & kindness.

As to the more recent snap.... I am... content with who I am. Well, mostly. :-) Life is up & down with a lot of middle here-nor-there. How can you have the good, if there's none of the bad or something to strive for? So, yeah, content isn't a bad place to be. It's not settling, or giving up. For me, it's accepting. Learning to accept who you are and much as I may gripe about wanting a little bit more - time, money, holiday,  respect, comments, smoother pins, weight loss, femme features, etc - I think.... I wouldn't want to go back. Sure, I'd be younger, but I feel better now than I did back then. Oh, and I like my hair more now too ;-)

So life is good, all things considered. I guess if I had anything to say to my younger self, it would be to be bold, be honest and keep pushing yourself. You'll not get any satisfaction without risk.

Take care,

Friday, June 02, 2017

Living in a box


How are you all? Me? I'm well rested after a week away from the red tape machines and alpha male yelling. Funny what seven days of late nights, late mornings, regular dog walks and just general chill out time, can do for a person, eh? :-)

The Jones Massive were holed up in a little property in the Lakes. For non-UK readers, the Lakes is in the North West of England, and is both beautiful and mountainous (as much as the UK does mountains).

Our property for the week was a mid-terrace affair, with a room for each of the kids and one for us. It was an updated Victorian property (so an extension at the rear for a kitchen, and the loft space had a bedroom in it). Ignoring the kitchen and loft conversion, it was two rooms per floor and no basement. Oddly, a few of the houses on other streets still had theirs. Personally, I find some charm in a basement room that looks up to the street, but maybe it's novelty. That, or I'm just odd :-)

Funny thing is, it's not a dissimilar design from many houses in Nottingham. It got me thinking what it would be like to live in such a building all of the time. Perhaps the Jones Crew, and particularly myself, are spoiled with our rural retreat. Sure, we don't have a good bus service, gas or fast broadband. But, we do have quiet, space and a big-ish garden.

With space, comes privacy. Take right now for example. I'm sat at my little desk at the back of the house, typing away to complete strangers. Well, some strangers. At the Lakes' holiday home, I would not have had the space to do that. That would really make it a challenge for my own privacy.

Would that drive me being out more, or would I need to come up with alternatives? There's a thought. Still, let's hear it for the good fortune of a space to be me - thought-wise - and room for my all of my trans trappings.

Take care,