Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A tour of Great Britain

Well, the title's perhaps an exaggeration, but I certainly visited the three constituent countries of GB recently.

When in England I am based in Chester, where the spring has been mixed weatherwise, but there were some nice walks to be had along the River Dee.

Chester Cathedral Green in spring

I also went to Wales with a friend, visiting the elegant seaside resort of Llandudno, the attractive town of Llangollen and the soaring Pontcyscyllte Aqueduct that is alarmingly free of much protection if you boat or even walk across it, something I have always wanted to see.


The wilder side of the Rover Dee at Llangollen

The astounding Pontcyscyllte Acqueduct, 336 yards (307 m) long and 126 feet (38 m) above the valley floor. There's a railing for pedestrians on the path, but no protection for people on boats!

Later I went to Scotland, a country I have visited only twice before.

As my final destination was a long way from Chester, I decided to break my journey in Edinburgh. This was an opportunity to test my legpower following my accident last autumn which left me on crutches. My leg is still a little sore and swollen but I'm told exercise is the best remedy. So I climbed the Scott Monument in Princes Street and later the taller Nelson Monument on Calton Hill. Fine views from both.

Edinburgh Castle

Finally I took a train I have never been on before that trundles right through the scenic Grampians - sometimes pretty, sometimes bleak - and leaves you at Inverness.

And at Inverness I was met by my wonderful friend Roz who has been living full-time as female for two years now and looks lovely. We went to her home in Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth, famous for its navy days but now devoted to repairing oil rigs.

The Cromarty Firth and its oil rigs

We had so much to catch up on and it was delightful to spend a long weekend with her. The hormones, electrolysis, voice thereapy and other treatments work wonders for a TGirl's hair, complexion and confidence and Roz was looking and sounding amazing. It really makes me feel that despite the setbacks I have had this is the route I would still like to go down if I can (I doubt I'd ever have surgery, though).

Anyway, we enjoyed days out in Inverness and Invergordon and the surrounding area of the Highlands and East Coast. There were lots of lambs, snow on the mountains, gorse in flower (such a tough shrub but with such delicate yellow flowers) and some welcome sunshine.

As there seems to be a delay on the Brexit omnishambles I might return to the UK in July. There's a friend's wedding and other events. I do like a wedding!

Sue x

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Me time

I've spent the last week in Britain. Partly to catch up with certain friends but mainly to have a little bit of time to dress and apply makeup. Living abroad with family has many benefits but being my full trans self is not one of them.

Although most of my everyday clothes are now female, I dress androgynously, which is not hard as so many items these days, from shoes to trousers to tops, are unisex. But now I am in my den in Chester I can wear dresses and paint my nails. I love painting my nails and I got in party mood with this glittery red! One thing I can do in stealth mode, though, is grow my nails and I am pleased to have them long.

Chester is a great place for shopping, with all your standard high street chains plus many quirky independent retailers. I've just bought some comfortable women's trousers and two pairs of shoes, includng a comfortable pair of black patent ballet flats. As I am only a shoe size 5 1/2 (38) I am delighted to have found them in the girl's department! This saves me VAT and makes me feel that my small size, which is a liability when having to act male, comes into its own when I am able to be my female self.

Photos of travels in a later post.

Sue x