Friday, October 21, 2016

Charging the batteries


These last few days have been a bit of a blur. That rushed loop of wake, eat, school run, work, sarnie, work, commute, tea, breath, Netflix and bed. In other times I'd have found that routine stifling, almost a treadmill. Yet, this month, it's been a familiar comfort. Perhaps, I am drifting, but I tell myself that the want of excitement, distraction or fun is not regular. They're the occasional peaks and without the mundane, or even the lows, there can be no peaks.

With Autumn's golden colours across the trees, I had a pleasant walk and a talk with Andrea. We don't work too far apart, so meeting up for a tea and a stroll is one of life's little pleasures. Maybe every second month or so, but with all that goes on a Chams, often I find you don't get to catch up with everyone. This time, however, its very different and that slower pace - of conversation and exercise - is something I love.

I remember Rebecca - in her own words, an irregular regular at Chams - saying that she found socialising with MTF friends in bloke mode refreshing. I was intrigued and she added that she felt there was less pretence. People aren't trying to 'femme up' - my words, not hers - but nor are they 'bloking up'. People just are. No need for the Machismo Mask or Faux Femaling, after all, you know who everyone is, so just let go. That, when possible, is I think very liberating.

So maybe, if there's additional wisdom in Rebecca's comment - and far be it from me to disrespect another's wisdom emitting ability :-) - perhaps that there is more than one way to top the trans* batteries up. Sure, there's dressing (obviously), personal grooming, but can we add unfiltered social interaction to the list? If so, maybe less pretending to be 'him' all the time might help?


Not got in in Spades
Talking of walking, makes me think of first steps. See what I did there? :-) So a number of years ago, I started this blog and I remember sitting in a part of the house that's no longer here. We used to have a little dining room at the back, but that's merged into the kitchen to make a much more family friendly place. I think there's a lot to be said about a big old kitchen-diner with seats for all. A spot for family memories: not just homework, but pet projects, art, Lego, Warhammer, painting, games and of course, the all important mealtime.

But when I think of that first post, I think back to the old room. The light from the window behind me and my hand paused over the submit button.


Submit the content or submit to my Fate?

Not that the latter has been unkind to me in the long swing of things.

Another year on and the trans* highlights have been giving a talk about being trans, replacing the group's website, another year being free of the proverbial Black Dog (I hear his howls, but he doesn't stay) and the continued awesomeness of the Ever Lovely Mrs J. So far the kids have kept their paws out of my auxiliary wardrobe, although as we give them time alone - my, they've grown up  - I do wonder if it'll happen.

But then, as I look back to that submit button, if it's going to happen, it will. I could pack everything away, hide all that I have in some secret, out-of-the-way stash. What mental or spiritual costs are their to always hiding, always watching your back? I'm no expert, I just walk this path of mine, but I'd wager that the time spent hiding and worrying, is time not spent living.

Take care,

Friday, October 14, 2016

The right type of funk

Hi folks,

After the last week posts of grumbling and negativity, it feels rather good to be able to post something altogether more joyous.

Oh, to be lost in the freedom of dance, with good* music and friends. To feel the rhythm and sway, strutt or swing as whimsy takes you. ( * A highly subjective term given the variety of peoples' music tastes.... and lack of. ;-) )

I had *such* a good night out at Chameleons. We'd thrown our Autumn party and despite a fairly quiet turnout, all went well. Sadly a few key folk were on holiday, but you can't have it all! But, there was food aplenty, dancing (well, for three of us!) and a quality array of party dresses and Halloween costumes. I think I spotted two witches and one Little Red Riding Hood. Always good to see folk make the effort.

I was slightly late getting there and due to a combination of too much talking, plus faffing about with false eyelashes, I was late getting down. Not that being late seemed to make much difference. Everyone was chatting away and mingling, which is all good.

Possibly some type of
strobe based seizure 
I did manage to find a Happy Birthday card for Fyona as it was her *cough*cough*cough*-ith. I did have a slight panic as on opening the card to write it, it was one that supposed to take a gift certificate.... which I hadn't bought. Doh! Still, it was well received. I remember getting a card from Sandi & Tracey a few years ago and I hope to pass on the good vibes.

Diane and I cut some rug - flooring, not the wearable type - to some tunes, while Val collected photographic blackmail material. Some is presented to the right for your amusement ;-) Andrea changed the tunes later on to her definition of good. Some more 80s and less 90s by sound of it. To re-use a phrase from the evening about politics and culture: not wrong or right, just different.

On a related note, Little Miss has been to a school disco tonight and enjoyed herself. Hopefully she's got my enthusiasm and the Ever Lovely Mrs J's moves. :-D Thing is, if most of your dancing is in heels and lets face it, stomping around just isn't the done thing; you've got to watch you don't go into the wrong dance mode at the next bloke social event. Still, it was National Coming Out day earlier this week. Something else I'm not ready for... :-)

Flutter, flutter or 'WAKE UP!'?
Clearly reading up on lash application paid off, as the wee buggers stayed on all night, despite... umm... 'glowing' somewhat after dancing. Seems the trick is to look down and bring the false lashes forward to your own. Here's the link if you'd like to hear it from someone who knows what they're doing and Tip 3 certainly helped Old Ham Hands. :-)

As the night wound down, it was time for a quick tidy up and luckily a few folk had remembered to bring boxes to take any unwanted items away. Mmm, iced party rings. So bad, yet so tasty!

After that it was time for some photos and I think I managed to take a few snaps of Diane and Fyona before they headed home. Val and I did our usual turn behind the camera. I had thought about getting the group's photo stand and sheet out, but with time being what it was, I didn't get around to it. I guess there's only so much you can do on a night.

With the evening at a close, Val was kind enough to take the key for next time, as while I'll be on holiday (woo!), I'll miss TrendCo's visit (boo!). Still, there will be other times and with them being in Nottingham, it's not too difficult to pop in and say hi to Nicola & Steph. If you're in the Nottingham area and in need of wig help, please do go and book an appointment with them. They're really friendly and very helpful.

Oh, that reminds me. The repair of old faithful - my brown wig - worked a treat, which is great. I also tried on my auburn wig, after Steph kindly restyled it. I'm wondering if it needs a little more off to shape the fringe, but that's something for another day. I took a snap of it (which I'm not putting on line), as my make-up was more brunette than auburn. Maybe my hair should always be dark... just like my soul ;-)

Working Hours

At Chams we spoke briefly about our French cousins suggesting a shorter working week. There was some grumbling about this and politer comments about cultural differences. It was a surprise to me, back when the Jones Massive went there on holiday, to find shop staff very strict about closing at lunch. I guess it's what you are used to and I can understand why someone would be protective of their lunch. I mean, of late, I've been skipping lunch in order to keep my work hours in line with the it's-not-a-rule-but-I'm-keeping-an-eye-on-you view of 36.5 a week.

Thing is, while working through lunch may seem the make the day go quicker and keep the time sheet in check, it's not great for the waistline, nor the brain. I'm a creative person at heart and my work now thankfully encourages this. The catch is that previously, I'd go for a walk, buy a sarnie and take in the view. This helped keep me fresh and I'm finding it ironic that by being in the office more, I'm actually achieving less. To that end, I'm trying to find gaps between meetings to stretch my legs and get outside a little.

Maybe, it's more about the quality, rather than the quantity? But then, would I feel the same way if I couldn't get through to a call centre doing the same thing? Ah, it's not always black & white is it.

Take care,