Saturday, December 29, 2018

Nearly the end of the year


I hope you've had a good Christmas and maybe you got (or gave!) some cool presents. Have you managed to polish off the remains of the left-overs and the metric tonne of chocolates? I think we may have had our first proper dinner today. Okay, it was homemade pizza, but at least it wasn't turkey sarnies. That was tea ;-)

With this somewhat funny time between Christmas and New Year, I thought I'd take this time to spread a bit of nice news. In previous years I've been running a Happiness Jar, and for those who missed this last time, everytime something good happens, I'd pop a PostIt into the jar and count them up at the end of the year.

This year, I've replaced that with a journal app - always embracing the new here at Jones Towers ;-) - and I've been trying to take note of at least three good things a day. Usually, the app pops a reminder up about 9PM, so I've the time to write something, and it's not quite late enough that my brain has packed up for the night. :-) There's even an option to clip some photos into the entry, so family things or whatnot can easily be included.

Take today, for example, my computer - which I bought in the summer - has died a death. But, the good news from this is that A) the kids' PC downstairs can now have extra RAM and storage (which makes them happy), B) I've cobbled together an old PC that still works (hence this post being a day late), and C) I can still carry on gaming using the XBox I bought for my birthday. So, some loss, but more gains, I think.

Does the above spill over to my t-side? Well, not always, I am aware of certain trigger points (hairstyles, some social occasions, and the sound of shoes), but mostly it's okay. Feel free to mock gently with the line it's okay, except when it isn't. It's fine if you want to :-) But one thing I seem to be more okay with, is not hitting myself over the head with the Passing Stick. No, it's not something from Harry Potter, I'm sure JKR would have had a much more delightful word for it. :-) I'm not saying I pass, I'm really not saying that. What I am saying is I think I'm mostly okay with how I look, and should I see a trans person who looks great - be that in the real world or the less-real on-line space - I am happy for them. There's no room for jealousy or self-doubt. Well, except on fat days, but we all have them right? :-)

All the above aside, I would like to say a few things in terms of thanks:

  • allies and organisations who get in touch to learn more about how to support trans people.
  • my kids who amaze me as they grow and change.
  • my partner(s) in crime in capturing the fashion moments on camera.
  • someone who said "...treasure that photo of you in Leicester. You look so natural."
  • someone who said I cheer her up and make her laugh.
  • the makeup lady who treated me just like any other customer and helped me pick the right item. Not just for me, but for the Ever Lovely Mrs J.
  • the special lady in my life who supports and loves all of who I am.
  • those of you who blog and share with the rest of us trans folk.
  • those of you who read and comment on this little blog of mine.
  • those of you who share in my ups and downs, and share your views.
  • those of you who share my blog (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13)
  • those who draw on their courage to walk into Chameleons for the first time.
  • those who make the effort to organise, sort the funds, get the milk, run discussions, and volunteer.
  • those who post on the Chameleons forum and keep it ticking over.
  • those who welcome new folk to Chameleons.
  • vendors who visit and don't treat as income, but as valued clients.

Bonus points if you spot the go-to pose
I'm not going to name names because not everyone likes that. However, for those of you who've been longtime readers, you may know who I'm talking about. Sssh! Spoilers!! :-)

So, this will be the last post for this year, and I'm going to wish you lots of luck for the future. Let's hope it's a good one.

I'll stand by the snap from the slimming group's poster at the Centre: there are no strangers, only friends you've yet to meet. Perhaps that should be the group's new slogan. Well, subject to copyright. :-)

Take care & thanks for reading,

Friday, December 21, 2018



I finished early today and as I didn't use all of my leave for last year, this Christmas break will be a little longer than usual. Given the occasionally frantic pace of the modern workplace, for me, this extra time away felt a long time coming.

I'm very much looking forward to spending Christmas with my family and being able to cast aside any worries about projects, reports, or the rest of that red-tape guff.

Indeed, the only red tape I'll be bothered about will be of the festive sort. That around the presents for the Ever Lovely Mrs J, Wee Man, and Little Miss. I hope that what they have, they enjoy. I'm often a bit nervous around the worry that I've not quite done enough, or got the right thing, but hey, you can only try your best right?

Nerves aside, I would like to wish you all a good Christmas, and whatever you are up to, I hope you're safe and in good cheer.

Take care,

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Xmas Do


In an effort to not just sit about the office, I do try and get out a bit. Today was one of those lucky days in which I was mostly out & about, walking between appointments, and not spending the day looking at a screen, just moving email around. Apparently, that is classed as work: go figure!

Given how spread out the organisation is, I clocked up just over 8,000 steps, which isn't too shabby for an office bod once you chuck in the early morning walk with the doggos. Of course, maybe I wouldn't have winced on the first few thousand, had I not been stood about chatting, or dancing to 80s pop at Chameleons' Xmas Do.

Yes, it was the party to end the season on and I had a very good time. We all worked together to set out tables, bring party food, look our best, and enjoy the company of each other. Diane was kind enough to take on disco duties, so that was one less thing on the list (thanks Mrs!). Because I'd not had to sort the playlist, what was on was both a blast from the past, and a pleasant surprise as some old favourites came on. Steph seemed to be in charge of the oven (hello Mrs Domesitcated :-) ), and our meeters & greeters worked the floor to make old and new faces alike feel welcome.

It has been quite a mad rush this week, with school plays, parents evenings, and work stuff. So, it felt great to have a night out and let my hair down (or put my hair on? :-) ). I must confess I've still not got the hand of false eyelashes, but despite an emergency repair earlier on, somehow they stayed on.

Other than a quick dance, nibbles, and much laughter. it was great to catch up with folk I'd not seen in a while (Sarah & Nicole: both looking fab). Sometimes it can be difficult to fit a regular visit in, so whenever people make the effort to attend, much as time permits, I - and others - make an effort to see how they are.

Despite the slight twinge in my feet this morning, all has been well. No hangovers (a benefit of not drinking) and not feeling too full either (a benefit of corsets :-) ).

My recently purchased velvet skirt fitted fine, so there was no need for the emergency outfit nor emergency-emergency outfit to be used. Still, better to have and not need, than the other way around. Yes, I'm conscious that the top (a body) is something I've worn a number of years, but this year, I didn't feel like buying another dress. Not only was it the cost, but that given I go to one Xmas party a year, it felt a bit wasteful to splash out on something for just that event. But then, maybe that's my Scottish heritage talking :-)

On a closing note, Val was kind enough to say something very complimentary about the snap from last week, on how natural I looked. That really did add to the happiness meter, so thanks Val.

Take care,

Friday, December 07, 2018



Every once in a while I check the Chameleons' website to make sure all is well. Mostly this is a case of ticking a few update boxes, and the software does the hard work. Dare I say, as someone who works in IT, that this is how it should be. Updates arrive and work on our phones, computers (mostly), and of late, televisions, and quite probably cars.

What's this got to do with being trans? Well, there are times when an update needs a bit of work. It's not a case of tick a box and then all is well. I suppose the equivalent to slipping into your favourite outfit or applying your favourite lippy: it's all very much a gentle stroll.

A few years back...
But, there are updates that take a bit more time. Uploading files, heeding the advice of make sure you have a backup, and, of course, time to sit down and read the instructions. For this, there's a bit of The Fear. What if I mess it up? What if something goes wrong? Who can I call for help?

Those fears could, I think, be easily applied to stepping out of the house dressed or attending a trans social for the first time. Fear, well, sometimes it serves a purpose: sharpens our perception, focused the minds, and - perhaps most importantly - lets us pause to think on what we are doing.

I don't think we should let fear control us and stop us. Yes, maybe listening to those points of concern, ticking some of them off, and ultimately, keep going forward. The big updates to the sites need to be done, and none of us get out of the house by hovering by the front door, feeling unable to get out.

So, feel the fear, take a deep breath, think, and set forth. You might surprise yourself.

Now, let's get these updates done. ;-)

Take care,