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Saturday, 31 March 2012

These frocks don't pay for themselves, you know!

I've been busy. I've been delighted to have won new work contracts. But they've been keeping me very occupied these last two weeks, and will do so for at least two weeks more (then things might calm down a little). So I've been online far less than of late.

Still, it brings the money in, which is useful as going out doesn't come cheap, nor does keeping up with fashion.

More adventures soon, when I find some time for them.

How does one become a kept woman these days?

Sue x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Nottingham invaded again


I went to the Nottingham Invasion in January (see below) which turned out to be very good night out. So much so that I felt it was worth repeating. Unfortunately, because of unexpected work stuff which delayed me, I left London late and got stung for higher train fares, which was very annoying (and painful in the purse). However, I was pleased to be able to help out all sorts of visitors to London with directions and help in using ticket machines. Although that caused me to miss one train I was actually chuffed that nobody seemed to be put off asking a TGirl for help – I guess I’m more confident these days and try to look my best. Being addressed as “Madam”, “Miss”, “Darling”, “this lady” makes me happy.

I stayed at the New Gables hotel again, which is very good value, comfortable and friendly, and was where my friends were staying. I didn’t get there till 6.15 but at least all I had to do was change from my well-worn leggings into my new dress, lace tights and 5½ inch stilettos (killer heels had been agreed on beforehand). I hardly ever wear a dress – I’m more of a co-ordinates girl – whereas most of my friends come to these events in pretty ones so it was time to blend in! Besides, it was Em’s birthday the day before so party frocks seemed appropriate.

Met up with Tiff, Mrs Tiff, Emma and Maddy all in their lovely posh frocks, Gayna in a smart blouse and skirt, and Joanne who had her fabulously best goth outfit yet, and we took a taxi to the New Foresters pub. Nice to catch up, albeit briefly, with Samantha and her partner Vicky, and with Sophie whom I hadn’t seen since Sparkle, as well as Tanya T and Marcia whom I’d met last time. I was glad to meet Lynn Jones for the first time as her comments on Facebook always crack me up and was introduced to Rachel Katie Sparkle. Spoke briefly to other girls, Emma, Jenny, well-endowed Alexia, but it’s had to remember all names.

Me with beautiful birthday girl Em, and lovely friend Tiff.


Now you can’t hang around a pub all evening (can you?) so the Invasion was duly marched off to Oceana which does an entry deal for us girls. Truthfully, I don’t quite know what to make of this place. The gloopy carpet, the smell of decay, the malcoordinated noise and the violent dancefloor lighting strike me as being the ideal location for students of modern history to spend an evening: not only do they have fun with their mates but they get an appreciation of a night assault at Ypres with its slimy horrors underfoot, the stench of death, the deafening noise and the contorted bodies jerking in the flashes, like a whole battalion of fancy dress fusiliers caught on barbed wire. The girl going round offering you a shot doesn’t exactly contradict the image. Still, on the plus side, the ladies loos are nice as club loos go (but please put the seat down, girls), we get in cheap, we’re accepted by the staff (and at least some of the punters there) and you can have a bit of a giggle, especially as there’s a rivalry between the local hard men and the TGirls as to who can score highest on the punching machine. I suspect the hard men feel threatened by the TGirls – but let’s show that we’re ready to dish it out if necessary! An hour or so of Oceana is OK.

On to NG1 which has a pleasant bar area with competent staff, a wide range of drinks and comfortable seating where the music is merely background and you can hold a conversation. We were latched onto by a total whackpot who threw himself onto us “divas” in such an unselfconscious manner that I cannot help but record his presence. He tried out our shoes, preened and strutted (because that’s what we do, apparently), asked Mrs Tiff if she was a transvestite, declared his boyfriend had just walked out on him (we were surprised) but despite being insanely inconsolable he managed to fiddle with someone else in the gents before the evening was out. He said he was a mental health nurse. Evidently one who likes to take his work home with him. What a pest!

Fewer good photos from this event, sadly, but this is one of the odder ones. Gayna, Tiff, me, Maddy, Emma at NG1 bar. Photo taken by Joanne who wanted an interesting angle. Now, I've heard many excuses for being drunk ...


Now, sensible girls take coats and flats with them so they don’t have to stagger up and down the freezing streets in nothing but their frocks and stilettos. And they get a lot of stick for it from diehard trannies. But they have the last laugh as their friends stagger back to the pub with painful feet and goose pimples. Ha ha ha!

We fell in to the New Foresters again for chips, which are good and cheap there, and were entertained by the antics of a couple of drunk and menacing admirers. Quite a night for weirdo watching! And people say TGirls are strange! I'm also told the girls behind the bar dress just in knickers and fascinators because that's their outfit for the cabaret turn at the pub. Sure, but a missing skirt puts me off ordering a burger bun!

Anyway, it was good to catch up with friends. Sadly, I thought it best to leave the next day rather than trying to make a weekend of it. I missed breakfast as it takes me ages to put my face on, but that just goes with the territory. Despite the excesses I managed to fit into my skinny jeans for the journey home. (Actually, it being Nottingham and St Patrick’s Day I should’ve worn green tights to blend in!) Here’s a mystery, though. I took a case and a bag to Nottingham, but came back with everything fitting in just the case. Weird! But hey, weird is what we like. 

Thanks to fabulous Sam and lovely Maddy for organising, Maria and Debbie for being welcoming, inspiring Em for being sweet and still young, Tiff, Mrs Tiff, Gayna and Joanne for being brilliant friends and all the other girls who make it a good evening, and to staff at the New Gables, New Foresters, Oceana and NG1 for being welcoming. 

Sue x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Stocktaking


I made a slightly jokey entry about juggling recently. In fact, I’ve really been stocktaking. Or rather, business planning. I’m not going to bore anyone with the details but I’m not quite going to hit my targets for this financial year so it’s time to get more serious about work stuff.

I took voluntary redundancy four years ago and have been gradually setting myself up as a freelancer in my field. The dramatic physical and psychological changes that came over me a couple of years ago, however, rather set me back and meant I needed to take a bit of time out from my plans to try to cope with the increased femininity. I have always known I was trans, from when I was teeny-tiny, but this state has been greatly enhanced recently, as often seems to happen to those in middle age. By sheer fortune, thanks to the generous redundancy package that came a little before this, as well as being unattached, I was able to direct my attention to coping with the need to be out and about as a woman without having to struggle so much with money, work or relationship matters. That was luck. It explains why I have spent so much time experimenting with living as a woman. I’m pretty sure I could now happily operate as a woman all the time if I so chose. However, although quite frightened at times by the ferocity of the changes that have come about, I am feeling rather more settled and actually looking forward to getting stuck into some work and earning more money. After all, we all have to earn a living, keep a roof over our heads, eat and keep healthy, and being male or female is really neither here nor there where life’s necessities are concerned.

It may seem a bit odd but, although I’ve had a ball these last 18 months and rarely been happier, I actually do want to get back into a routine of regular work and the satisfaction and dignity that go with it. It means I’ll be targeting my social outings more effectively, rather than just going out as and when. Don’t worry, though, I have no plans to become a workaholic and am looking forward to seeing friends both this weekend and next.

Sue x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ooh, you are awful!


I’m trying to win a work contract. But sometimes you just have to let work worries drop and do what you really need to do, so on Friday at midday I decided enough was enough and got smartened up to go out.

I went to Oxford Street armed with a load of vouchers from various stores and although tempted by a few items I decided not to buy anything on this occasion. I do make mental notes about stuff that I’d like to check out again in future, though.

In the evening I joined Joanne at the Melanie Italian restaurant we discovered a month ago and we had an enormous, long, slow, tasty dinner (the best kind). They bake their own bread and make their own pasta, and you could tell. Their bruschetta is the best ever. I am definitely taking the girls there in two weeks’ time for one of my Sunday lunches. There’s a particularly sweet young Italian waitress there that we really like (but we like all the staff). And Joanne likes the food so much she burst into the kitchen after and kissed all the chefs. “È terribile!” exclaimed our open-mouthed waitress in Italian, which means, “She’s awful!”. We giggled about this after as it was very much the tone of Mandy, a loved comic creation of Dick Emery’s (“ooh, you are awful!”, which became very much his catchphrase, see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkLRZzukcJc). Tsk! I’m showing my age!

Then we went round the corner to the Curzon Soho to see A Dangerous Method about Jung, Freud and Spielrein, which I thought much better than reviews had led me to expect. Keira Knightley was a more than competent performer and the two male leads were good despite less than favourable reviews and, indeed, negative comments from other audience members. I found the whole thing fascinating and rather atmospheric.

So, coming up, I will go to Nottingham again next weekend for the increasingly popular Invasion. The following weekend two lovely friends happen both to be visiting London so Saturday night out will be followed by Sunday lunch. Things to look forward to amid the serious stuff.

Sue x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Juggling

... or is it plate-spinning? When you try to fit the possible meetings with your girlfriends round the rest of life/work/etc. This month I've been invited to the usual run of T events: Leeds First Friday, Pink Punters, Nottingham Invasion, Wayout Club ... oh, and the next lunch in London I've agreed to host, not to mention seeing friends locally. I can't get to see everyone unless I attend all the venues. But clearly I have to be selective. You've no idea, dear readers, how much pencilling in and crossing out my diary is subjected to!

Sympathy, anyone?

Bah! Didn't think so.

But it goes to show that there is a big transgender community out there and that there are more and more opportunities to meet. Glad to be a part of it at last. Until two years ago I was pretty much in the closet. Now the closet is where I keep my party gear. What a joyous change to my life! But this now creates my current juggling problem.

Still no sympathy?

Bah! Well sod you, then, I'm off to party!

Sue x