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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Summing up (2011)

What an incredible year for me. I have lived the greater part of it as a woman, including great swathes of time when no maleness was required at all, notably the first half of July. I've taken holidays en femme, had whole weekends of fun with girlfriends, worked as a barmaid at Olympia, celebrated an all-female Christmas and enjoyed no end of shopping, eating out, getting pretty in beauty salons, theatre trips, clubbing and socialising as Sue. Complete bliss! I could get used to this. Maybe I have. This is how life is supposed to be for me, I can feel it from the top of my hairdo to the tips of my stilettos.

Will there be a new beginning in 2012? Hardly necessary. I plan the same joyous female existence, only more of it, and with a feeling of satisfaction that life as a woman is the right life for me.

Thank you to all my trans friends for making life so wonderful. Too many to mention individually here, but you all know who you are. Love and joy to all.

And thanks to the many readers who have dropped in on this blog in the last few months. I hope it's been entertaining, an encouragement to live life as one's true self and an illustration of how friends do so much to create our happiness. And maybe it shows that being transgendered can have a positive side.

Sue xxx

Painshill Park, Surrey; August 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

A lovely Christmas

The usual family Christmas was not going to happen this year. I mentioned this in a phone conversation with my friend Dawn a while back and she suggested Christmas together. And so it came to pass (a Christmassy saying, I believe).

I went down to Dawn's on Christmas Eve on a very quiet train and spent the next 48 hours with her. We ate lots and drank lots and slept in and exchanged presents and, frankly, that's what Christmas is all about. Dawn is a superb cook and for Christmas lunch we had venison, slow-cooked with bacon and veg. Beautiful. Plenty of cheese, too (we like cheese!) There was time for lots of photos (well, T-Girls have a symbiotic relationship with their cameras).



Dawn gave me a lovely set of beauty stuff and a rather tasty looking bottle of wine; I gave her some silver earrings which I think looked beautiful on her (see photo), but then she's a good-looking lass herself (see photo again).

Boxing Day saw us do the Sales thing: off to the furniture store to look at the sofas which Dawn was thinking of buying for her living room. We then drove to my house as we'd decided our Christmas would be a shared thing and again ate a large dinner, Italian style in this case, with cold meats, salmon and plenty more cheese. The following day we decided that we really needed some exercise at last and walked in the park and by the river. The squirrels were out in force, and the parakeets (yes, really) were making a racket. It's like a jungle round here!

Sadly, on the 28th, we had to part as I had a family gathering to attend. But all in all it was a lovely and memorable Christmas with a lovely friend. And who could resist four festive days in a frock? Certainly not me.

Thanks and hugs to my pal Dawn for being such a nice companion throughout and for being thoroughly fabulous.

Sue x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

SEASON'S GREETINGS


To all my readers…

I’ve realised I won’t have much time online over the next two weeks as I prepare for my first truly transgender Christmas, so I’m sending you all my love and best wishes, and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas yourselves. This has been one of the most amazing years of my life, thanks to the many people who have given me so much love, support, kindness and friendship. Indeed, I started this blog as a witness to that.

Not only am I looking forward to Christmas, which I am planning to spend with my beautiful friend Dawn, who took the lovely shot below, but also to 2012, which I know will be special as I grow ever more confident in womanhood.

Thank you for reading. May you have a joyous Christmas and New Year season.

Sue xxx


Best wishes for the season from London 
(Covent Garden Christmas Tree 2011)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

First friends

I take an epicurean view of life (if you hadn't yet noticed). I avoid needless pain, am not oppressed by religious or political affiliations, enjoy what's enjoyable and, above all, have friends who make me happy.

Yesterday was an important day: I met up again with some of the very first friends I made when I started going out as a T-Girl: Tiff and Mrs Tiff, two very lovely, humane and generous people; my fabulous friend Ange who is the first T-Girl I ever met (and is something of a T sister to me as we joined Angels on the same day and have so many shared experiences); Gayna Starr, who was really encouraging and something of a role model my early days; and Maddy Watson and Joanne Durkin, two stunning girls who are delightful company.

We also met up with Tina Natalie Scott, a very nice and chatty local girl who is starting to get out and about, and the gorgeous and friendly Tanya Wiliams. All these people are great and I love them to bits for having been so quick to befriend me. It was a shame that I couldn't stay in Milton Keynes and go to Pink Punters, so I missed Bobby and Mrs Bobby whom I meet regularly. Absent friends must also include Emma Walkey, Evie James and Josie Safir - but they were there in spirit.

I just wanted to thank my friends for being so ... well, friendly! I know I wouldn't have got so far in my life as a T-Girl without their love and support.

So, thank you, girls. You mean so very much to me. As do the dozens of other friends I've made in the last couple of years of being out as a T-Girl. I'm having the time of my life simply because of all the encouragement that T-Girls share between them.

Sue x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I should start a restaurant column!

Now, I like my food. And my drink. Yesterday, I had a lot of both! I'm thinking that maybe all this blurb on this blog about where I've been and what I've eaten should go into a blog of its own.

Lunch with Andrea at the usual Bistro 1, Frith St. The quality/value ratio is second to none anywhere. E. Med slant with British and French options.

For dinner, I'd recommend La Petite Auberge, Upper St, Islington. A very good, romantic, French restaurant which I went to with my great friend Joanne. My mushroom, garlic and cheese starter was not bad - and Joanne's duck and foie gras was very good. The rabbit stew was superb and the chocolate mousse was THE VERY BEST have EVER tasted ... and I know my chocolate desserts. The Cotes du Rhone to wash it down with was not at all bad. The staff were suitably attentive, the loos are pleasant, the company was very relaxed and the Londoner and his French girlfriend at the next table were very friendly. A lovely girly night out.

3 course dinner and wine £35 a head. You may need to book. Nearest tubes: Angel (Northern Line) and Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line, Overground).

Sue x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lunching, and other depravities


   Well, what a fun weekend last weekend was. Anna came to stay for two nights and we had planned various outings in London. On Friday we started our day at the South Bank, firstly with a coffee at Vergnano’s by the Royal Festival Hall. They really do make the best coffee in London. However, I was irritated and surprised in such an upmarket establishment, that the woman before me in the ladies, who’d made some general remarks in my direction about there being too many gents cubicles and insufficient ladies cubicles, had peed all over the seat and not flushed either. And they say men are like that! They are nice loos, though, despite certain clients! I wonder if she did it deliberately as an anti-trans statement? I will assume she was just a dirty person.

   We strolled round the German-style Christmas market by the Millennium footbridges which is very pretty and merits a closer look when there’s more time. Then we walked to Soho to eat at Bistro 1 in Frith Street where I had booked a table. Our friends Irene and Helena joined us. The food was good as ever, and great value, and the wine was decent. Anna and I went with Irene to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on the Mall where the exhibition was, I’m sorry to say, the worst of pretentious modern art. Oh, well, at least we had a dose of culture!

   Irene left us and Anna and I went to Covent Garden to look at the market stalls – I get so much of my jewellery there. We also dropped into Charles Fox for makeup. Anna had never been to the Kurt Geiger shop on the corner of Covent Garden piazza and James Street, so we had to go in. She loved the mirrors and I loved the bargain pale grey ankle boots that I just had to buy. We were aiming for Oxford Street but I needed a rest so we stopped at Lick in Greek St for a cup of tea. The gorgeous-looking ice creams would have been tempting on a warmer day. Susan Sometimes texted me and she was, incredibly, at Cambridge Circus just round the corner so she met us there. Café Boheme, which Susan suggested, was quite full so instead we went to the downstairs bar at the Curzon cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue and ended up spending three hours there as it was so enjoyable just nattering and sipping strawberry cider, amaretto, winter warmer cider … perfect! Such a simple and relaxing day, yet we did a lot.

   On Saturday I had to work but we’d decided to go to the Way Out Club in the City of London that evening. Now, this is one of the few London trans clubs and, as I’ve never visited any, this was an Important Event, like I was now going to qualify for my tranny license at last!

   We got there quite early, about 10.45, so got in cheap and got our complimentary cocktail (which is, as Helena had warned, like orange squash with a tiny drop of vodka). Oh, well, never turn down a freebie! The bar staff are pretty efficient there, to be fair. Irene was there and later my great friend Joanne Frost and Michelle Collins joined us. The club isn’t a patch on somewhere like Pink Punters, and the ‘admirers’ really are the scrapings of the barrel. Dear God! What a bunch of ugly, fat, scruffy, sad losers! The Thai and Filipino girls there do, however, put the rest of us to shame for their fabulous looks, and for their charity in talking to the ugly, sad, scruffy, fat losers! (though I suspect most of the ‘admirers’ have to pay for the attention). I quite enjoyed the floor show, Vicky Lee introducing her disabled nephew who made a good ‘sit-down’ comedian, and then two singers, Vicki Vivacious and Vanilla Lush. I thought they were quite good. And had fab legs, of course. It does all have an air of an am dram production, though. Anna and I sat around for a bit looking at outfits, watching spontaneous pole dancing girls and taking photos of each other (hey, we’re T-Girls, what do you expect). I’m glad I went and saw the place, but honestly the tranny clubs in Leeds, Manchester and Milton Keynes are much better.

   On Sunday, Anna and I went our separate ways home. Mid-afternoon, though, I went out again to the Cambridge pub on Cambridge Circus where Joanne had agreed to meet me and Michelle. I had a mulled wine, which was just nice on a cold day. We decided to choose a previously untried Soho restaurant at random and went to Piccolo Diavolo in Old Compton Street. The food was OK, but nothing special. The Italian chardonnay, another random choice, was surprisingly good, though. We finished with a warming Irish coffee in a pub just off Southampton Row.

  All in all, a very sociable and nice weekend.

   Many thanks to Anna, Irene, Helena, Susan, Joanne and Michelle for making it such good fun.

Sue x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Barmaids a go-go

London's annual Erotica exhibition at Olympia is a trade show for adult products and anything of related interest (including toffee vodka, wedding dresses, hairclips, designer furniture, wall insulation, home-made sausages ...). There is something of a party atmosphere there, the focus is on women, and visitors are encouraged to dress in something sexy and attractive. This year the organisers wanted to provide a more obvious focus for the LGBT communities, including a transgender bar. T-Girls across the UK jumped at the chance and, after some considerable organising by the very competent Andrea, 6 shifts over 3 days of 7-9 barmaids each plus a couple of glamorous hostesses had been arranged to assist the delightful supervisor Carol and her 3-4 regular bar staff.


Erotica T-Girl Bar first shift: left to right, Ria and Stella (hostesses), Mandy, Helena, Andrea (organiser), Amanda, Eve, Jackie, Holly (supervisor), and myself Sue.

After initial nerves and a steep learning curve we soon found ourselves competently pulling pints and chatting with the customers. It wasn't that busy on Friday 18th but on Saturday 19th we did a brisk trade before things quietened again on Sunday 20th. Being in the gallery rather than the main floor didn't help our trade but it seems that the customers were happy with our service. It was tiring and we weren't paid, not even expenses or tips, but it is a tribute to all those who volunteered that most worked over and above their scheduled hours. But what T-Girl can resist being seen and admired in cute outfit? (Yes, we had a uniform of white blouse, black skirt and black court shoes; only the accessories were personalised).

For day 1 I chose a black leather wraparound skirt and satin blouse, for day 2 a short satin skirt with underskirts that billowed out and (ooh la la!) revealed my stocking tops. (Incidentally, so few shops sell stockings these days - the tights revolution is near complete! Like most women, I wear tights all the time now anyway and it's only when there's an event like this that you notice the disappearance of stockings). The outfit on day 2 went down so well that I abandoned what I had previously reserved for day 3 and wore it again (yes, I did wash my blouse and change my stockings!). I found I had to wear high heels at the bar as it was so high that I'd have struggled to serve in flats. But, hey, high heels hold few terrors for me, though being on your feet for hours is the tiring bit no matter what you're wearing. A big thanks to my wonderful friend Angela for lending me both skirts.


Standing in the gallery of the magnificent Great Hall at Olympia in my favourite outfit.

Two friends came to stay with me, Holly Johns and Joanne Stevens, and together we had a great weekend. Obviously, we got a chance to see round the show (strutting down the red-carpeted staircase in our glad rags is something that needed doing more than once) and we were compensated by being given tickets to the Winter Ball on Saturday night. We enjoyed travelling there on the suburban train from home in our fancy outfits, me in my pink ballerina dress, pale pink tights and pink shoes! (pink handbag too), Holly in her very slinky revealing dress and Joanne very cute in her short lacy Goth outfit. Maybe pink frills stood out a bit in a club full of people chiefly in uniforms, black latex and suspenders but, hey, conformity in a club of nonconformists is just wrong!

The public were very enthusiastic about drinking at our bar and the compliments were very uplifting. Our best support came from two traders from the next door antiques fair who latched onto us outside and took Holly, Joanne, Stella, and me to an excellent Lebanese restaurant round the corner, Chez Marcelle. They forgot to give us plates but we were so hungry and the food was so good that we didn't notice! It also gave the kids at the next table something to gawp at!

What an extraordinary experience! Although we were all tired and our feet hurt I think we all agreed we'd be up for it next year. Carol, our supervisor, said we were a delight to work with (as was she and her team of regulars). Word is that the event organisers were so pleased with us that we're very likely to be invited again next year, only this time we'll be on the main floor which should boost our sales and profile.

And I think we're all agreed that, although not entirely a serious thing, the T-Girl bar showed that transgendered people are personable, reliable, hard-working, decent, friendly and humane, which was the whole point for many of us. I think a lot of people at the event left better informed about what being trans is like (it's not just about dressing up as some kind of fetish). And the main thing is that we all had fun (and got fat on the sausages being fried up opposite us). It was also a chance to make new friends. And when a team of people who hardly know each other work so well together you know that friendships are going to blossom.

I'd just like to say particular thanks to Joanne who is a sweetie (and helped me with preparing an art show on the Monday), Holly for her strength and inspiration (she went on to go to work as a woman the next week), Stella for being glamorous and entertaining (and chauffeuring us), Helena for being the superstar of the alternative London scene (and for buying me a sweet little cake for my birthday), Andrea for organising us, Carol for supervising us and being lovely and thanks to all the other girls (and boy) there for making it one of the most memorable weekends ever, and the other traders, performers and visitors who were so supportive. 


Me and 'my' girls, Holly and Joanne. You'd buy a drink from these lovely ladies, wouldn't you?


Well, that was my first job as Sue. Maybe it'll help land me a permanent job somewhere!

Sue x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A little holiday


I managed to take a few days out for a quiet little holiday as a woman, staying with another trans friend at her home on the Isle of Wight. It’s the first proper holiday I’ve taken as a woman and it was brilliant.

I’ve only ever spent one day on the island before so it was all fairly unknown to me. Perhaps November is not the best time of year to go but the weather was better than average and there were a couple of lovely sunny, mild days to enjoy the scenery, which is certainly beautiful with its rolling landscape, boats on the tides, thatched houses and glimpses of the sea with ships, forts, cliffs, and the mainland in the distance.

I travelled there by train and ferry with no problems at all and, best of all, was treated with helpfulness and politeness by rail and ferry staff (“thank you, Madam” – and thank you, you nice person). I was also delighted finally be able to squeeze myself (just) into 28”-waist superskinny jeans. My eating regime is working! From the ferry terminal at Ryde my friend drove us home and then we took a grand tour of the island stopping at Brading Down and, after a drive along leafy lanes and through the open and barren landscape of the south coast, the famous Needles at sunset. Wonderful!

 Brading Down, IoW: sea, sun, slopes, superskinny jeans!

A day of girly shopping in Newport was also pleasant. All the shop staff know and love my friend! It’s the sort of local friendliness that’s rarely found in a big city like London. I bought a soft satin blouse that may serve for my barmaid uniform at next week’s Erotica T-Girl bar.

What else? Well, T-girls can hardly resist examining each other’s wardrobes and comparing notes and trying things on. As she and I are pretty much the same size, that was a delight. Her amazing shoe collection puts Imelda Marcos to shame. Especially as, unlike Imelda, these fabulous shoes were all bought with legitimately earned money. I have borrowed two rather fun black skirts for my barmaid uniform, which are better than what I have at home.

We watched the first episode of C4’s new series, My Transsexual Summer, which was pleasing viewing, though I reserve judgment till the end of the series. They certainly seem a nice bunch of guys and gals, and I was glad that the transman contingent pretty much balanced out the transwoman group.

As thanks for her perfect hospitality, I treated my friend to lunch at a beautiful riverside pub, the Folly Inn, overlooking the Medina. The food was really excellent, as was the view of a receding tide with wading birds and boats, all in bright sunlight that shimmered off the water.

I was quite sad to leave the tranquillity and tolerance of the Isle of Wight, but I think I may be returning regularly now. It was a joy to spend four days en femme with no schedule and just relax and be looked after in a calm, quiet location. My batteries have been recharged for the crazy rush to Christmas that London is now gearing up for.

Sue x

Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween at the Magic Theatre

I’d heard much about this occasional event, Magic Theatre, at the Rivoli Ballroom in South East London and thought it worth going to see what it was all about. The Halloween ball is said to be the biggest event of the year so it seemed like it would afford the best taste of the experience.

I met up with three friends, Joanne, Tiff and Mrs Tiff for a bite to eat, at the Victoria pub in Peckham, where the Halloween theme was being taken seriously. We arrived fairly early at the Rivoli Ballroom. I must look up the history of this venue as it is located in the most unlikely part of London, a quiet suburb, not really anywhere. Why it was built there of all places merits investigation (in a nerdy moment sometime). We were wise to get drinks and a table immediately at one of the bars as it became clearer later in the evening that Rivoli bar queuing may well become an Olympic endurance sport. I heard a rumour that there were 700 people there. Although a Halloween themed ball, it was clear that any reasonable – and preferably flamboyant – outfit was acceptable. The very few people who turned up in jeans stood out badly. Everybody is there largely to check out each other’s efforts in the costume department. Now, I thought that my black satin and net dress with long spiderweb gloves and tights was suitably exotic, but I was pretty underdressed compared to most! I think the devilish Klingons win my prize for best outfit, but there were some gorgeous Frankenstein’s brides, a very sexy black cat, Darth Vader, and plenty of devils who were certainly hot! The place is obviously a magnet for T-girls – honestly, those trannies get everywhere!

It was nice to see other friends there, notably Irene, Stella and Mrs Stella, and also to have a brief word with the lovely Jodie Lynn who helped me with ideas on makeup and clothes in my very early days as a T-girl when I was visiting her Boudoir.

A live band, burlesque acts, dance music and an after party at the bar down the road made for a fabulous evening. The ladies’ powder room is attractive (but negotiating the loo with all that gear on is an undertaking!) and the cloakroom is efficient enough. I’d had to work during the day (unexpectedly) which meant that I couldn’t keep going as long as the others, which is annoying. However, my friend Joanne, who is a sweetie, kindly put me up at hers, and in her bed too, and gave me a really nice breakfast. Thanks, honey.

All in all, an event well worth attending. Next time, though, I shall have to wear something seriously flamboyant! This is just too ordinary!


 Sue x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A fun weekend in London


A friend of mine, Tina, came to stay to do a bit of sightseeing in London. So we went off to Westminster, where there are some sights to see, and saw them. More importantly (and you can see where my priorities always are!) we had a cappuccino at Vergnano’s on the South Bank, where the coffee is always perfect, a drink before lunch at Chandos pub off Trafalgar Square and lunch itself in Bistro One in Frith St where the quality/price ratio is the best anywhere. I can’t do anything unless my stomach is full!

We went home to change into posh frocks for the evening, a good plan in the end as I haven’t worn my best dress for a year and it was great to have an opportunity to do so. Tina loved the view from Waterloo Bridge by night, which is spectacular as you can see Westminster one way and the City and Docklands on the other with the South Bank close by. We met Helena and found a decent pub, Nell of Old Drury opposite the Theatre Royal, and were joined there by Joanne. I’d booked Sarastro’s, a very quirky, fun but good quality restaurant, and managed to get us a balcony table. Had a fantastic dinner (I recommend the duck confit; the lamb Anatolian – i.e. lamb shank - seems to be their signature dish and that’s very good, too). The gypsy band played that evening (some nights they have opera, others jazz) and the girls seemed to enjoy it very much.


Sarastro's restaurant. L to R: Tina, Helena, Joanne and me



Afterwards Joanne took us to the Cambridge pub, which was quite full, and we stood at a table chatting to some young, pretty, female Austrian students. I rather wish I was young, pretty and female (I’d be happy to be Austrian too if that was a condition). Oh well! I try to live that dream in as much as I can.

That was Friday. On Sunday a friend, Grace, came over to dress. It was her first time out and she was inevitably nervous (I can’t say I’m free of nerves myself) but we went to catch the tube by quiet back streets, hardly meeting anyone so she could get used to being out as a woman bit by bit. The first tube train was quiet, the second gradually filled up, and I thought that was a good build up. We had time for a coffee (I really do recommend Vergnano’s, this one in the Charing Cross Road!)

Off to the Cambridge for the official Angels Sunday Lunch. Joanne was working behind the bar. Ange met us there and we had a drink downstairs before venturing up the dining room. The food is good there and the portions are gigantic. The shoulder of lamb that Grace had looked especially filling. My roast duck wasn’t bad. Joanne knocked off at 3 for an hour so we just sat chatting while she ate, then we went for a stroll through Chinatown and Covent Garden. The thing about central London is that most people are concerned with their own business and are not interested in group of T-girls wandering about, which is one of the many reasons why I love living here. Grace and I had a drink whilst waiting for the tube to empty a bit before venturing home.

I feel privileged to have been asked by another girl to accompany her on her first trip out into the world. Especially when she is such pleasant company. Grace has written at length about this day in her own blog and her assessment of her feelings are something that all T-girls should read, especially those about to venture out for the first time.

All in all a very nice weekend.

Sue x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hell Bunny dress

Sometime one promises oneself something and it takes for ever to get round to it. But this time I've fufilled a promise, which was to buy a Hell Bunny dress, a style which I love. I suppose it's not happened yet as I've had no reason to buy. But now I've got tickets to the Magic Theatre hallowe'en ball I've had the perfect excuse. I spotted this beautiful item at Camden Lock and I knew I had to have it. It fits perfectly. Mmmm!!! Now for some spider web tights and gloves.

Sue x

Monday, 10 October 2011

That ache

It is often hard to describe feelings and emotions, but I shall try to explain what goes through my head and heart when I see an attractive woman.

The male inclination in me wants to talk to her, maybe ask her out, wonder what she's like to hold, kiss, make love to ... So far, so typically male. But the female side of me is also working furiously and wants to know where she got her clothes, is her makeup working, whether she'd make a good friend ... And then there's the transgender wonderings: what is it like to be her? how I could become like her?

The feelings don't compete, but in a way compliment each other. Yet the ache that these feelings cause, particularly the strong ache that makes me wish to be accepted as a woman like her, can be truly terrible, distressing my mind and searing my chest.

Being transgendered is very bittersweet.

Sue x

Friday, 7 October 2011

So little time!

I haven't posted for nearly two weeks. Have I nothing to say?

Er, no. Rather the opposite. It's just that time seems to be at a premium for everything these days. There's so much that I'd like to do, yet time is something that has to be parcelled out carefully. I've no idea what the solution is, unless it involves higher dimensions, or dumping some interests. Bah!

Sue x

Monday, 26 September 2011

London Angels Sunday lunch


At last, after several weeks without a chance to go out, I managed to have a good day in London with girlfriends

I got up early for a Sunday to put my face on as Lizzie Byrne was coming over to get ready as she is not ‘out’ in her lodgings and needed somewhere to get dressed. I was impressed with the speed at which she got ready - it takes me ages! - so we were able to get out earlier than planned. We took the tube to Leicester Square where we had cappuccinos in Vergnano’s in the Charing Cross Road. It's my favourite cafe simply because of the quality of the coffee. We then went to the Cambridge pub on Cambridge Circus (where the Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue cross). My lovely friend Joanne was behind the bar.

The girls gathered one by one and we moved upstairs to the dining room. The food was good and the plates piled high – I had Sunday roast and veg with enormous quantities of chicken. I also had a warm chocolate brownie and ice cream, which was delicious. We drank merlot and pinot grigio blush, both acceptable. It's a pity that Joanne was working till 3 and so couldn't eat with us.
  

[Left to right: Petra Nikasova, Helena Love, Tanya Faith Williams, Sue Richmond, Joanne Frost, Ange Palmer, Lizzie Byrne.]

After lunch we went shopping in Covent Garden and stopped for a cup of tea at La Roche Cafe in St Martin's Lane. Lizzie, Tanya and I then went for a stroll in St James’s Park which was beautiful in the early autumn sunshine. I'd not met Tanya before today but found her very pleasant company and her dress from Karen Millen was gorgeous. Tanya went for her train and Lizzie and I went to the Chandos pub for a short while to wait for the tube to empty a little before returning to my home. 

I was glad to be able to give Lizzie an opportunity to dress and come out with the girls and I hope I'll be seeing more of her. I have to say for my part, after pretty much six weeks with little femme time, I was delighted to be out and about again. It felt so right, and despite earlier apprehension for many reasons, I almost immediately became very contented and relaxed. I can see another full shopping day is needed very soon - and a notification of another Debenham's sale has just dropped through my letterbox!

Sue x


Sunday, 11 September 2011

My first job!

I've been thinking carefully about getting a part-time job where I will be taken on as a woman. And whilst musing on this matter what should crop up but vacancies for barmaids, hostesses and walkabouts at Erotica 2011 at London's Olympia Exhibition Centre.

OK, so it's not quite along the lines I was considering but it'll be a laugh to work at this event as it strikes me as being a terribly British showcase of adult lifestyle products. Putting concepts like "British" and "adult lifestyle" together rather appeals to my love of incongruity! In fact, I feel working there may be like being an extra on the Benny Hill Show! And who could resist that?

Well, I certainly intend to enjoy my time encouraging visitors to attend the trans bar and make them more aware of trans life. And as my friends Stella, Chrystal and Holly have also been taken on, it'll be a happy, friendly event. I like those!

Sue x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Honorary Babe

For the last few weeks I've been invited to join a group of four attractive women at my local pub for the quiz night. They only know me in my male role as yet. However, last time I joined them we splashed out on a couple of bottles of rosé wine, our team did well and we were happy and pleased at the end of the evening. So they declared me an "honorary babe"!

Now, if I was a man I'd be embarrassed or irritated at the remark. In fact, I am totally delighted. It's a bit like being awarded an honorary degree!

Maybe it won't be long before they accept me as Sue, as much a babe as any cute natal girl.

Sue x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A day out at last

I haven't been out doing my usual kind of shopping and socialising for three weeks, mainly because of work, and I was getting a bit desperate. Fortunately I managed to meet up with my friend Joanne for a relaxed lunch at Boulevard in Wellington St, Covent Garden.

Mixed salad starter, tasty cold trout fillet and perfect potato salad, followed by a very smooth chocolate tart. The white rioja was quite lemony and went very well with the fish. The service was friendly and good and the bill came out at what I call mid-price (about £30). Recommended.

London was relatively quiet - maybe people are leaving their return from holiday till the last minute. We parted company after a bit of browsing in shops and I strolled slowly to the National Gallery which I haven't visited for a while, and never before in girl mode. There's something about 15th century Italian painting that's very calming - everything seems so still, even the scenes of tragedy.

I went home reasonably early and was pleasantly surprised by a man at my local station who asked me, "Do you have a cigarette, love?" I don't smoke so couldn't oblige (just as well as he was pretty scruffy) and that was the end of our conversation, but it seemed somewhat affirming.

Back to work tomorrow, my last full-time week, which I'm glad of. But it was good to get out and about at last.

Sue x

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I love a good wedding

I'm still on a high from last week's wedding which was probably the most enjoyable I've ever attended.

Yes, the setting was fabulous and there were lots of people I know there and there was cake and champagne and happy emotion. And that was all lovely.

But maybe what makes weddings really special is that everyone has scrubbed up well and are all wearing their best clothes. That's uncommon these days, which is something of a pity. There's a lot to be said for comfy leggings and loose tops, but an occasion calls for something altogether more attractive. Wedding guests' lovely dresses and their smart shoes are a joy to see, and a bride in her beautiful gown and perfect hair and flawless makeup on the happiest day of her life is something really special.

Am I superficial? Well, maybe. But all I know is, I love a good wedding.


Sue x

Monday, 29 August 2011

Online peer pressure

This year friends of mine have invited me to join many online sites such as Yahoo Messenger, Flickr, Badoo, Google+, TVChix, Roses... and, of course, a blogging site. Not to mention previous attempts to get me on Bebo, Myspace and various other 'cool' sites. And to get a smart phone, satnav, 10zillion channel digital TV, wifi, GPS ...

How much time is there in life to interact with all these things? Too little for those who have to work, which is why I choose not to have most of them.

But I've had to give in to the inevitable and use my Flickr account properly to put up some pictures, keep an eye on things and keep in touch with friends. There are just so many pictures of me online now that trying to keep control of my image is no longer possible. Don't get me wrong: I'm no diva, and I'm generally someone who likes to share, but I am still a private person and having the world gawping at me is not something I relish that much, especially when 'tranny admirers' and total strangers are free to leave creepy comments.

Still, that is the way of the world in the Twenty-Teens. In a few years' time, privacy will be back in fashion. For now, though, the proverbial Romans are doing this, and we should do as they do.

Sue x


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Removing the mask


I have been covering for staff holiday absence in my employed job, which has meant being out at work for all of the last two weeks, apart from going away for two days for a wedding. It was tiring but also, and more importantly, I felt obliged to spend all that time in public presenting as male because I am known by my male traits in those circles.

Although I have had to do this over a lifetime and wear the mask that keeps me safe from society’s disapproval – or my fear of it – it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to do this. I should be used to presenting as a man by now after so many decades. And indeed I am, but I don’t feel satisfied about having to do it. It’s an obligation, like doing the washing up or paying tax.

I’ve spent much of the last 15 months presenting myself to the world as a woman. By doing so I’ve learnt that I feel far happier, more relaxed and more humane as a woman, as I suspected I would. It’s inadvisable to rip off the male mask and just throw it away because the opposition and obstacles to my living as full-time female are many and would best be tackled one by one. Nevertheless, I know that the mask will gradually fade away, as though it were made of papier maché and was melting away in soft showers of femininity.

Sue x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Why can't I lose weight?

Six years ago I lost two and a half stone in six months and dropped from a size 18 to a size 12. I've kept the weight off since, which is a good achievement I'm proud of. But I'm still at the top end of what would be a healthy weight for me. A few pounds over and, strictly speaking, I'm overweight (according to standard health guidelines). I'd like to look slimmer anyway. Size 10 would be ideal.

So why can I not lose one more stone? I've been trying for two years now and I just stick at the same weight. Despite still following Slimming World. Why the plateau? I just don't know exactly. I've lost some kind of slimming mojo and generally spoil my efforts by eating just that little bit too much of what's fattening. How to get the willpower back?

Sue x





Monday, 15 August 2011

Girl, Interrupted

I'm having to spend the next fortnight in male mode, largely for work reasons. That's OK, but somehow it's not entirely satisfying, especially when I have presented predominantly as female for the last few weeks, including the first half of July when my male side made no appearance at all.

It's clear that my female side is what I prefer. From an early age I wanted to be treated a girl, but you soon learn that you can't get what you want in life just when you want it. Maybe now I can indeed get what I want, but I suppose I've also learned that caution, pragmatism and steadiness generally prevent serious upsets. So let's be a bloke for a bit and, as well as appreciating my femme side more when I get back to it, it'll help me decide important things such as whether I'd rather work as a woman in future.

Negative things can often have positive outcomes.

Sue x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Everybody's doing it

Well, everyone has a blog these days, so everyone says. So I can't be left out, can I?

So here's my own weblog of items relating to me, my life and my thoughts on being transgendered. It's seems opportune to start a blog after several weeks out and about all over the UK as my feminine self, and on the day I send the contents of my proposed little website to my web designer.

A little bit about me? Well, I'm transgendered, with both male and female characteristics, and at the moment I live as both man, woman and something in between, though not all at the same time! The ratio is hard to establish. I like female best even though officially I was born male. Why? I don't know for sure. But Nature, as I like to say, has been around a long time and presumably should know what it's doing by now. I spend much of my time somewhere between the two sexes.

Some will quibble about my choice of terminology. Too bad. I am who I am though that's hard to define, and nit-picking rarely clarifies.

Bear with me while I get used to this business of blogging.

Sue x