Sunday, 28 June 2015

Andro week

I’ve been taking a week largely away from work just to relax and do things I don’t get to do so much these days. And I’m spending it in androgynous clothing – women’s trousers, tshirts and plimsolls, which hasn’t caused any comments from passers by, although a till assistant in Marks & Spencer did take my payment for a pack of pop sox and offer me a money-off voucher for the menswear department with the comment “if it interests you as well”. By the way, I have such tiny feet (UK size 5½, European size 38) that I’ve often had no choice but to buy women’s shoes anyway, though obviously not with high heels if I’ve been presenting in male mode!

So this week I’ve started walking the Capital Ring, a route around London that links so many unknown places via canal footpaths, parks and open spaces. Who would have guessed that so much quiet open space exists within a few hundred yards of motorways, railways, flight paths, industry and endless housing? I’ve also been visiting art exhibitions in the local area and in central London and spending some time cooking. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered or made so far.

Beautiful wildflower meadow at Syon Park, still the estate of the Dukes of Northumberland

The Great Conservatory at Syon Park (1827) which was to inspire the Palm House at Kew and the Crystal Palace

The Duke of Northumberland's cat!

The Grand Union Canal from Birmingham meets the River Brent at Osterley

Millennium Maze at Hanwell, planted with 2000 yew trees. It took ages to get to the middle (only cheats go straight through the gate)! There's a really nice little zoo next to it. Both are free to go in.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Wharncliffe Viaduct (1838) that carries the Great Western Railway across the Brent Valley. You don't appreciate the massive size of it until you are underneath it.

Bitterns' Field, a beautiful, wild, quiet hay meadow ... that was made on an old Ealing Council refuse tip.

Piano in the woods, Twickenham. This will be here in the open for anyone to play till January. I'm not sure what state it will be in by then but, according to the label, seasonal changes in timbre are part of the act!
Old next to new, City of London

Authentic home made pesto sauce for spaghetti: basil, pine nuts, garlic, pecorino cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum.

More interesting discoveries as the summer goes on.

My waxing is booked for the 7th and Sparkle is on the 10-12th. I’ve been sorting out my wardrobe as my problem skin may let me do only one day of Sparkle, so I intend to make it fabulous.

Sue x


  1. Very interesting...thanks for sharing!


  2. Size 5.5? Jealous? Me? Never? I really hope you have a fantastic day at Sparkle. I went a couple of years ago - should really go again. :o) x

    1. Also, I was thinking about your post last night and what you select that looks andro? I went through a phase of thinking about dressing like that and find that most clothes are ok, but struggled to find blouses that didn't just look feminine really. Just would be interested. :o) x

    2. Hi Rhiannon. Firstly, I think Sparkle is a great way to meet other trans people in a safe and fun environment. I've made many friends there.

      As for 'andro mode', I find that women's Tshirts and jeans are not only fairly gender neutral (especially now that men are into skinny jeans and even girls' jeans anyway) but ideal to wear. I also have shorts and shirts that are actually women's styles, and many types of shoe (sportier styles particularly) and socks have no especial gender connotations. Looser styles of trousers can be pretty androgynous, eg combat pants. I know they are women's clothes and that makes me feel feminine, but the public doesn't especially notice. It's hiding in plain sight, as it were. Sue x

  3. Great photos, Sue, and I love the parts about nature in the middle of the city. Thanks for sharing those.

    Size 5 feet? Ack! You lucky mare! :-)

    1. Thanks, honey. London is beautiful and calm if you know where to look. Hope I can show you some nice places next time you visit.

      Size 5 is a nightmare, more like, if you are needing men's sizes, that is. It's either an embarrassing trip to the boys' department, or a courage-straining request that staff bring you a suitable shoe in the women's department. I feel a blog post coming on!

      Sue x

    2. Sounds like a plan... Pam? :-)

      Oh, the perils of the shoe department. I'm lucky in that I'm mostly a 9. A 9 in blokes shoes, but an 8 in New Look, but not from Dotty P's. Cobblers! :-)

  4. Thanks for sharing the pesto ... lucky I've eaten already! I really enjoyed your pictures, London has changed so much since I lived there but I did have a view recently across to Syon from Kew (another missed opportunity to meet, but I was on 'hospital driver' duty!)

    I like 'andro' sometimes, especially if I'm feeling butch! It's curiously liberating.

    I'll be thinking of you at Sparkle and hope that even if it's just the one day you have, you knock 'em dead!


    1. Thanks, Nikki. I hope we meet one day. Come to Sparkle - I'm sure you'd love it. Sue x