Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Foreign climes

It's been unseasonably warm in Europe this past week or two and here in Milan it almost feels like spring. Apart from there being no leaves on the trees or flowers coming up.

It was a pleasant journey here by train, stopping off in Paris for a night. It's very hard to take photos from the train of the beautiful mountain scenery as the double glazing and bright lights create severe reflections.

Over the weekend, though, I took a plane to Berlin to stay with one of my friends there. It was a quiet time when I had a chance to look at some of the fantastic treasures in the archaological museums in the city centre, stroll in the Tiergarten (the central park), ride the trams, see how reconstruction of the palace is coming on. I've posted many pictures of Berlin over the years but here are some new views.

The Altes Museum on Museum Island, full of superb Greek and Roman antiquities

Tiergarten in winter

Frederick the Great in Unter den Linden, the main thoroughfare

The royal palace is nearly rebuilt. The crane is for the underground line that they have been digging for ever! Berlin has had no end of building sites since German Unification in the early 1990s. There's a lot of building and rebuilding still to do. Ironically the palace was not so badly damaged by wartime bombing despite being in the very centre of the city but was pulled down by the communists as a symbol of imperialist repression. East Germany then built its parliament building on the site but that was torn down, allegedly because of asbestos, but really because it was a symbol of communist repression.

More obvious signs of war. Missing statue and shrapnel damage.

These pieces of Berlin Wall are left as a memorial. Having been brought up in the Cold War era, these still have the power to make me shudder. So why do today's moron tourists stick their chewing gum and write their names all over them?

It was also the chance to eat out a lot (always a favourite activity of mine). There's cuisine of all nations to choose from and I ate Vietnamese and Indian as well as German. But the one that stood out was the German tapas restaurant, mini dishes of German classics. Here's currywurst and chips, fried chicken and chutney, Berlin meatballs and mini onions. Odd but fun.

There were fabulous views of the snowclad Harz Mountains, Black Forest and Swiss Alps from the plane, the Upper Rhine Valley, Lake Lucerne and Lake Lugano, and the blue line of the Vosges in France were all very clear and beautiful.

Back in Milan now.

Sue x

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Some gems

The last two posts about politics and loss were not very positive so this time I'm pleased to report some better news. In the light of my being unable to find my box of feminine goodies, I bought myself a necklace and earrings that I think will suit my eyes and style.

I'm also pleased to report that two trans friends who write books, Roz White and Helena Love, have been receiving royalties for their output. Shows that enough books are being sold that are related to the trans community in one way or another.

On the subject of literature, I'm also pleased to see that a children's book I mentioned in a previous post, "Julian is a Mermaid" by Jessica Love (no relation to Helena) is evidently selling very well.

I'm in the process of packing my bags to go back to Italy for a few months. I actually need to be there for administrative reasons but it means that I can avoid the fallout in the UK if Brexit results in chaos next month. Good luck to the folks at home. I also hope to spend a weekend in Berlin with a gay friend before my British passport becomes a liability. Sadly, for reasons already explained, none of my travels will involve femme time. Although a lot of my clothes are, in fact, women's items, and this always makes me feel connected to my female side and to the trans world.

I'm looking forward to spring arriving whilst I'm away.

Sue x

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Lost essentials

Last year when I moved house I had an accident right whilst I was actually doing the removals. Most of my things are in a self-storage depot but one box I specially set aside. It contained my most stylish wigs, my boobs, my makeup and two bottles of my favourite perfume.

I've been back to the depot three times and I cannot find the box. Obviously when staggering around with my leg all swollen and trying to direct the removal men I happened to lose sight of that box. I'm sure it wasn't left in the house or in the van so I can only assume that one of the men used it when stacking furniture and it's somehow ended up at the bottom or back of the storage unit.

But it means my most essential feminine items are unavailable and I cannot present as female. Obviously, it's all replaceable and I have already found a good hair shop and there is Mac and other makeup shops near my new base in Britain, but I still feel upset that the most feminising things I have should have disappeared and that I haven't been able to venture out as my female self.

Things really don't seem to be going right recently.

Sue x