Friday, September 29, 2017

Fun raising


Funny how life goes sometimes. A few months ago, I was rather busy at work, rushing to various presentations and finding the day zipping by quickly. At home, things were calm and yet, a few weeks later, matters have swapped around.

Last night we ran a StartUp September event at Chams. This was part bring & buy, to advice session. Along with a few others, I think I was on my feet (in heels) for two, possibly three hours (Maths isn't my strong point. Ask me one on accessorising :-) ). Perhaps I should have gone with the slightly lower posh office style shoes, but hey ho, lessons learned :-)

I'd bought two boxes of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and wigs that I'd *ahem* 'invested in' over the years. I felt rather good at cleaning my closet out of things I liked but didn't wear. Seems that others were kind enough to do the same for themselves, so we had quite a few full tables. We did manage to jury rig a clothesline at one point. Clearly, I should keep a ball of string with me, as it's very handy! :-)

Feeling fab
Towards the end, we had 'price crash' to try and shift as much as we could. I think everyone who'd brought things along didn't want to have to take them back home! That helped a little, and two more of the dresses I'd bought went to Diane and Val for a song. I hope they feel pretty in them. That, IMHO, is the sign of a good outfit: one that makes you feel good about yourself.

All in all, about 2/5ths of the items went, which is good for us. We took in 50 quid on top on the usual subs takings. All of this helps keep the group going and should keep the meeting fees down for a little longer.

I did feel a bit bad about not having brought enough for our trans guys. I had had a good look at home, but there was nothing of mine that would've fit. Too damned tall, I guess.... and that's without heels. :-)

After all the rushing about, I was glad of a sit down and found Val had found stash of ginger biscuits. Result! Seriously, any company that has a compulsory dress code of high heels for staff who'll be on their feet all day: just stop. Or, if you can't manage a full day in fancy shoes, think again :-)

What we didn't sell was boxed up and taken to charity shops today by Muggings here. I'm hoping I'll get a letter from the shop saying how much was raised. Those always bring a smile.

On a personal note, I was very happy with my new dress and I'd managed to get my false lashes on super quick. So quick in fact that I needed a fix it later on. Oops :-\ Still, who knew that wafting a newly glued falsie under the hand dryer makes it the perfect level of stickiness! :-)

Money paid in, old goods to charity, a fine fancy night out with friends; what a great way to ease into the weekend.

Take care,

Friday, September 22, 2017

Today, only the sky is blue


As I drove to work the other day, the radio presenter was waxing lyrical about the new Apple smartphone and it's unlocked using a view of your face. I was perplexed in as much as my old droid phone had this a while back, how well does face recognition work when you've, ahem, two appearances? :-) Also, politicians, usually two-faced; how do they manage? :-)

Sometimes, I wonder about reverse image searching or facial recognition. How hard is it to spot the connection between Richard & Lynn? One's just a fancy outfit, slap and a wig from the other. But at the same time, I think if you worried about everything, you'd not do anything.

Anyhoo, I switched off the news and having been lucky enough to buy a new-to-me car, I can now listen to downloaded radio shows - or podcasts as the hepcats say, Daddio :-) - without A) having to faff about with wires, and B) when Google's in a good mood, it'll listen to my request.

As I drove along, I was struck by the thought that sometimes, things do get better. Sure, there's the occasional pang of trans-based regret, but pushing that aside, I don't do bad, all things considered. Sure, I've not had a raise in many a moon, but I have more choice over my work, and dare I say it, this last two years, I've enjoyed going to work. Okay, as much as having to get out of bed before 10am and put the hours in, but compared to other gigs, this one is just fine thank you.

Likewise with the car situation. My little car might not be the fastest, the most expensive, but it does what I need it to do: take me and Little Miss to school and back on a morning. Then, I pootle through the post-school run traffic down the ring road to work. I might queue a bit on the way back, but the podcasts keep me company, and the stop/start & automatic gears make for a comfy if a sometimes slow ride home. Still, it's a lot better than taking the bus. What a faff that is. :-)

Talking of good fortune, some of you over on Facebook were kind enough to wish me many happy returns. The Jones Massive celebrated with a particularly tasty curry at our local, and as the kids have got bigger (and hungrier), the bill was somewhat higher than expected. Still, it's all good in the long swing of things.

My folks had bought me some booze and a voucher for TopMan. I had a look, but nothing really grabbed me online. But wait, aren't TopMan part of the same group as Dorothy Perkins? Ten minutes later I'd found a pretty nice dress (in the sale too!) and a sheer Kimono top. I tapped the voucher code in and the Shopping Fates smiled.

Skip on a few days, and I even managed a quick try on when I was working from home on Thursday. It seems an age since I've worn such a pretty number and it did my spirits the world of good.

Clearly, I should work from home more often. :-)

Take care,

Friday, September 15, 2017

Found my smile


Last night's visit to Chams was just what I needed. Funny isn't it, how just a few hours as you (or more accurately, all of you) makes so much difference.

Firstly, a note of thanks to those of you who asked after me. Either via PM, email, this ol' blog, or face to face. Secondly, an apology from me over the somewhat darker tone of late.

How can I put this? I had the most excellent holiday with my family. Some travel, a variety of hotels, great food, beautiful scenery, and many days together, rather than at the colouring in department. What's not to like? :-)


I can't put my finger on things exactly, but my guess would be the lack of retreat and being Dad 24/7 had quite an effect on me. I suppose the ability to go away and/or a mental space where I could express all of me - there's that phrase again - was something that a) I'd not considered before, and b) couldn't really do while we were away. Ho hum.

So yeah, things got a bit heavy for a while..... But, that's what happens I guess, and you have to pull the Stiff Upper Lip routine until you can come home and let it go.

But, on to brighter news!

Found my smile
I got to Chams early and despite my inability to tie my own corset, was ready pretty quickly. Well, for me :-) I had, somewhat naughtily, been a little more daring in shaving. I get by, by not clearing my legs, just ankles. This lets me wear leggings, footless tights, or skinny jeans.

Perhaps as a push against those feelings from earlier in the month, I'd gone further. Hence, a slightly more 50s jeans rolled up look which I really liked. Plus, teamed with my new ballet pumps. Yeah, after pretty much stopping looking, I found some in my size and the material I wanted in a local supermarket. Result!

The night itself was busy, with a full contingent of our trans guys. Often it's one chap mucking in with the rest of us, but what felt like the first time, everyone was in. Great to see our community moving forward.

Oh, taking of that, while at the Doctor's earlier in the week, I spotted the Nottingham Self Help guide. Ah, I felt a flutter of pride when I spotted Chameleons in there!

Andrea ran another of her structured talks in the second room, and I hung back to let others attend. Plus, I wanted to catch up with the unusual suspects :-)

Come the end of the night, it was time to remind people of our Start Up event at the next meeting. A sort of bring and buy + advice session. I'm hoping people bring what they can and that they get something out of it. I know I've got two boxes of 14/16 clothes, some wigs, and shoes that'll be up for grabs. I'm seeing if I've anything from my bloke wardrobe to help our trans guys out.

Val was kind enough to be on camera duty, although I broke one of the Ever Lovely Mrs J's fab purple heels. They're now on the side waiting for me to get the sewing kit to them. Luckily, I think it's just a popped stitch on the fake button, but without that, the strap comes off. Not exactly the easiest way to walk in heels :-D

I had a chat with two good people about their fundraising efforts for the group. It's great that folk make this extra effort and want to keep things going. It was really touching and when I drove home later in drab, I thought how lucky I was to have a great group and supportive friends.

Good times.

Friday, September 01, 2017