Wednesday, 31 December 2014

That was 2014

Each year I do an end-of-year roundup here. The trouble is, this year is only really a half-year because the eczema that has afflicted my face curtailed all female presentation after July. It has been very hard, weird and quite distressing, after 4 years of presenting mainly as female, to go back to essentially full-time male. I think I should be OK to put on makeup again soon but I would prefer to be fully clear of it rather than trying to risk a start that’s too early. A friend of mine yesterday likened it to a sports injury: you feel you’re probably OK enough to go back to playing but end up making things worse if you aren’t yet 100% healed. So I’ve decided to adopt Stella’s portrait photo of me as my avatar for 2015 – you can actually see the scarring here, but I hope I still look pretty.

Nottingham: Revolution
As for 2014 itself, the first half of the year it was the regular round of meals out with my girlfriends – Brick Lane, the West End, and other parts of London. I

London: Kinkao in Brick Lane
London: Salieri in the Strand
Brighton: La Capannina

Manchester: Canal St
London: Islington

also had time away in Brighton, Manchester (twice) and Nottingham, always with lots of girls around.

But those trips I made to see Tgirlfriends after my enforced change showed me that I have made some genuine friends as they all insisted – despite my protests – on presenting as male in sympathy with me. Thank you.

I am bothered by the disappearance of some friends. Often TGirls you have got to know just vanish – they get fed up with the scene, or they hope to cure themselves of their transness by finding masculine distractions, or they remarry and the new wife doesn’t know (a mistake in my view). I’m wondering about the time that I can’t help feeling was wasted in trying to get to know these disappearing acts. Of course, people have their motives and it wouldn’t be right to discourage them from doing what’s best for them, but a quick word of goodbye and even explanation never goes amiss.

I’m not sure what 2015 will bring but as far as this blog goes I will definitely be doing proper reviews of places in London that TGirls can eat and drink at and feel comfortable. I have promised this for years but I am now ready to do this!

Sue x

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Just to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas holiday. Whatever you are doing, I hope it is a good time for you.

I will be spending time with a couple of Tgirlfriends over the next week even though, sadly, I am still not ready to apply makeup to my face and present as female in public. That being the case, I haven't been able to take my annual Christmas photo so here's one from 2009, taken just a few weeks before I went out in public for the very first time. I feel equally confined now so it seems a suitable picture to use this year.

My very best wishes to you.

Sue x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Nottingham: the only place to invade!

Sometimes I leave a report of where I’ve been until some time after it has happened, for periods when news is slow. And now that the weather’s wet and grey I feel it’s time to think back to June when I went on the Nottingham Invasion again.

This was my fourth visit to this monthly event. The most popular posts on this blog are those which relate to my previous trips to join the Invasion so if you want to read up more about the fun to be had there, here are the links:

This time I’d reached Nottingham by train from Manchester where I’d spent a couple of days catching up with friends in Canal Street – see here ). The journey between the two cities was not one I’d ever done before, and it’s rather an attractive one as the railway cuts through the Pennines.

In Nottingham I stayed in the Welbeck Hotel just off the city centre, a decent place and very good value, I thought. Mind you, anywhere is good value compared to London! So I got myself nicely dressed and made up for the evening with a floral summery dress and a leather jacket for when it got chillier and I went to join Gina, Emma and Ange in Prezzo for dinner. It’s an Italian and the food was pretty good. It was good to catch up with the girls as it had been a while since I had last seen them.

We sauntered off to the New Foresters pub where, being summer, it was now nice to stand out in the yard at the back (it’s always been wintry on previous visits). It was good to say hi to old friends like Tania Thomas, Rachael Spire and Rachel Katie Showdown and meet some new girls, Pippa Jo and her wife, Nikki Evans whom so far I had only met online, Alison and Rachel Kay. I did miss Vanessa Hardwick whom I’ve been trying to meet for a while. That’s because the Invasion doesn’t stick to one location but is nomadic and who you chat to depends where you end up.

With Rachael and Rachel in Revolution. Photo by Gina.

So after the New Foresters we went to Revolution, not a venue I’d visited before. Mixed boys and girls there but large and a bit too noisy so we didn’t stay long and went to a new place a couple of doors along, the Rum House to try some of their cocktails, which were quite potent. Well, as they should be! I preferred this place but the downstairs bar where we sat and chatted closed at midnight so we headed to the venue we always end up in, which is NG1. This used to be a gay club but now seems not to bother emphasising the LGBT aspect, which I guess is the best way for things to go. The bar area is still comfortable, attractive and well-stocked and a good place for a chat, the dance floor at the back is fun. 

As I said, the Invasion tends to disperse over the bars, pubs and clubs of the city centre and girls end up texting frantically to see where everyone else has got to. You know, I’m not quite as young as makeup makes me look and, frankly, after four venues and dinner I felt it was time to call it a night.

I do recommend this event on the third Friday of every month. Compared to the small area and noisy venues frequented by Leeds First Friday, Girls’ Big Night Out at the single venue Pink Punters on the second Friday of every month, and the ghetto at Manchester's Canal Street, this is so much more like a normal night out on the town, which is what living a trans life is for me, i.e. just going to regular venues with the rest of the public.

I finished my summer holiday by leaving the hotel the next day and spending a few days with some of my best friends who live in the city.

Thanks to all you super girls in Nottingham for making a girl from so far away so welcome. I hope to get back to Nottingham and the Invasion again next year.

Sue x