Monthly Archives: October, 2011

Samhain

Yes, I’ve taken this opportunity to show my Celtic roots, and not call it Halloween lol! And yes, I know strictly its tomorrow, but posting about it on a blog, late tomorrow evening, well it would take away some of the edge.

Sadly I’ve never been in Ireland on this magical night, nor indeed in the US, where Halloween seems to be far more of a great occasion than it ever is over here. I’m sure we might get one or two ‘callers’ tomorrow night, but doubt it will be any great number. As I commented on the last blog, this is a time of change in the year, as winter sets in, and darkness settles in around us so much earlier in the day.

I must admit it, the only time that Samhain has really struck home to me, was the one time that a friend, Sara, included it as the subject matter for a writing contest on one of the forums. I ended up writing a little time travel piece based around the occasion, one of those pieces I’m really proud of. Irony was, it never made the story archive, as the story was not ‘subject matter’ enough to do so, which was a bit of a shame. I cant tell you that subject matter though, just in case I shock some maiden aunt somewhere lol! Nor can I provide you with a link, as both forums its posted on, are member only. If anyone really wants to see it, then ask.

Sorry, no music video tonight, found a rather lengthy samhain blessings one, so I suggest you just take a small chunk and enjoy, not the whole 9 minutes or so. So with my own samhain (or however you name it) blessings for the 31st October

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd4YBCP8wwc&feature=fvst

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An extra hour

Yes, tonight is the night that the clocks go back, signifying the end of summertime, though weather wise I think it might already have been over! Hopefully given my comments of late about lack of sleep, and lousy shift splits, I intend to sleep through my extra hour tonight, I think I need it!

As seems to happen every time of late that we do so, there seems to be all sort of talk about moving our time zone forward one hour, a move I see as the most stupid thing possible. Maybe someone should tell our idiots in government that we are in this time zone for a good reason, it fits in with our longitude, but thats clearly far too sensible for some! They actually tried it back in the 60’s, it didnt work, or last then, and I dont think it would work now. But anyway…

In the ‘old days’ it used to be the case that people rarely left their home area in their whole lives, and I’m feeling a slight deja vu over that. Since the clocks went forward, I’ve left West Yorkshire…4 times! Alright, 2 of those were transatlantic, 1 was Belfast, and the other was all the way to Manchester! A whole 35 minutes by train lol! And given its Trans Pennine Express, that was not a high speed one!

But those 3 longer trips were all good ones, visited 3 wonderful cities, only one new one, but hadnt been to the other 2 (Belfast city centre, that is) for a very long time. Got to meet some really nice people, again some for the first time, but others I’d seen on my previous trip to Belfast (yes, then I went to Stormont ground, but not into town) as well.

Maybe I’m methodical, maybe I’m just too practical, but the 2 big holidays for next year are already settled on, the April one will be booked in the next few days too. The September one will only be a delayed booking because I need to wait for next seasons NFL schedule to sort it out. Is it terrible that I’m already thinking about April 2013 lol?

The video seems apt for tonight, one of this artists lesser songs sales wise, but I do like it. Hopefully, so will you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdQY7BusJNU&ob=av2e

Male and female

Or a slight variation on the theme for the video at least! Just another one of those issues that most dont even think about.

I cant claim to have come up with the idea of this, it actually came up on a Trans related group thread on one of the boards I frequent. We must have all seen them by now, the dreaded online survey thats on so many websites nowadays. Also, at one time I was a member of a survey group, though I dropped out of that a while back now.

Yes, you can guess where this is heading, the traditional question near the end of all these surveys, what gender are you? And the question was, which do you answer with, for pre ops like me at least, your physical one, or the one you live as. Seems to be an interesting split, but what surprised me at least was that seemingly more answered to the physical gender than I would have expected. Me, I was doing these surveys as female long before I officially became a Ms! Even before I went full time female, I was doing that! But others, who I thought far more militant than me, nope!

I look at it this way, from a mental perspective at least, all the answers I give are based on a female thought process, so therefore the results should be seen as such. Also, from a personal perspective, I dont put a great deal of credence on most of these things anyway, I do the survey, does gender really skew the results of a pretty basic survey anyway? Lets face it, these online surveys arent renowned for being on vital issues lol!

Nowadays I cant see why I wouldnt do it as female anyway, as far as I know its only the tax office, and the passport people who dont officially see me as female anyway. And they only require one thing to be removed to change that lol, and I just wish I could get that done!

I dont know if Blur were trying to bring up the whole gender issue with this song, or whether they were just trying to stick 2 fingers up at traditional views? Either way, it seems rather apt for this posting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BUU7ff3ntE&feature=related

Indirectly at least, more about train journeys

Annette Mary Budgett Meakin (1876-1959)

Yes, I fully expect all my readers at this point to be saying, who? And yes, in all honesty, I dont blame anyone in the slightest for that. And until that point a good number of years ago now, when I picked up an anthology on travel on the Trans Siberian Railway, I would have said the same thing.

What she was, was along with her mother, she was the first English woman to travel the full length of the Trans-Sib (for short) on the route as it was then. Many believe they were the first non Russian women to do so, certainly without male company. But thats just the least of her talents, as I will mention later.

The thing is, her section wasnt written as a travel journal, this was wonderful, ;warts and all’ stuff, of a railway in its early existence in the wilds of Siberia, and she told it as it was through her journey. if you can track down any section of ‘Ribbon Of Iron’, you will see what I mean. Just remember this was written around 1900-1901, and attitudes were very different back then. Poor folk were poor, and Miss Meakin doesnt always hide her distaste for their behaviour, as culture was so different back then.

But strictly, thats half the story. What happened was her, and her mother set out for the World Fair in Paris in 1900 (yes, same time as the Olympics), and got caught up in the PR there for this amazing new railway through Czarist Russia, on wonderful trains. Nowadays we”d probably make notes, do some planning, and then maybe book the trip. Annette, nothing of the sort, her and her mother (I assume they had decent wealth) set off for Moscow by train, to travel on this journey to Siberia! Unsurprisingly, the trains when they got to Moscow didnt match up to the claims. But undeterred, off they went! And yes, after a few social mismatches and the like on the way, they reached Vladivostok. Now unlike today, they couldnt just hop on a plane and fly back, no one had even flown at that point! So what do they do, board a ship to Japan, cross the Atlantic, go across Canada, down to New York, and boat back home! The whole trip took about a month and a half!

All very wonderful you might say, but…this wasnt her only trip! She is widely believed to be one of the first women to travel through Turkmenistan (pre WW1) pretty much on her own, and interact with the natives. She also visited the USA in 1906(?), writing up her adventures for more books. By modern standards, her comments about blacks in America are far from flattering, indeed quite racist, but attitudes have changed since then, I suspect her views were the norm back then.

Oh, and she trained as a chemists assistant during WW1 as well, and some reports state that she actually qualified as a nurse too. Yes, details are unfortunately hazy, a hazard of trying to find out information about a less than famous person nearly one hundred years ago! She was also a strong campaigner for female rights as well, though there is no mention of Suffragete involvement.

Sorry, I’d love to tell you more about this amazing woman, but even tracking down more than the years of birth and death have pretty much drawn a blank. The only thing I do know is that she never married! I know at some point she lived near Reading, another period in Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, but no details of how long, or when have come from my searches. Place of birth and death, not a clue!

What I do know, is that at a time when most women were shy, quiet creatures, she wasnt! And I so admire her for that, and what she did in her life. Hopefully now at least a handful more people know of her, and what she did.

The musical choice, purely random I think its fair to say. But its a group I knew as a young child, a group manufactured for TV, an irony nowadays given X Factor and the like. I assume there is a place called Clarksville in the US, but I know no more than that. Were there trains there, are there still trains there?

Enjoy one of the great Monkees songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3_bSfBaPVg

Long distance travel

I guess its fair to assume that when I go on holiday, the last thing I would want to do would be a train journey, given that I put up with the delights of travelling with Trans Pennine Express 5 days a week, but you’d be wrong. Partly because the train companies I travel with while away, tend to be far more efficient lol!

But anyway, that isnt strictly what this is about anyway.

In this country there are what are termed spectacular train journeys. The Settle & Carlisle line, the West Highland Line, and the Mid Wales line to name but 3 (one for each mainland country please note) of those I’ve had the delight of travelling. The Kyle line, The Cambrian Coast line, and alright, I cant think of one spectacular English line active today that I havent done already lol! All fantastic journeys, and if you get the chance…

But compared to the ones I’m going to mention now, all quite short! Back in 2003 I was fortunate enough to get the chance to cross the US, from Seattle to Philadelphia and back, almost coast to coast! I was lucky enough to do it in January, so the scenery, and large amounts of snow over the Rockies and beyond was quite spectacular. Never will I forget Minot, North Dakota, a balmy minus 25F when I left the train on the stopover there, on the way east. About 6 years or so later, I completed the coast to coast thing, when catching a train from Philadelphia to Atlantic City, walking down to the ocean, and knowing I’d finally done it. Sadly nowhere was selling t-shirts to mark the event lol!

An awesome journey, and one I used in a story some years later. I wont include a link, as its adult in nature, and I have no idea who reads this.

Funnily enough there are a few more long distance trains that I’d love to travel, the most obvious one being the Trans Siberian railway of course, surely the most incredible journey in the world? Trans Canada, from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia would also be on my hit list, though that does require a couple of changes of train. I doubt they will ever build a line right across Alaska, but if they do, count me in!

But if you said to me, just one line, which one would it be? None of them actually! Maybe I like the cold, maybe I just like the truly incredible, but there’s a line in Canada that wanders north from Winnipeg, to a place called Churchill, on the Hudson Bay. Yes, that place invaded by polar bears every winter lol! Such a highly populated route that there are only 2 trains a week (3 in summer, I believe?) in each direction, and the journey takes the best part of 2 days to complete! It must be an amazing trip at any time, but especially in winter.

But all those routes (except the Trans Siberian) require a flight to get there. The longest journey strictly by train from here, incredibly now via the Eurotunnel, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam! How long it would take is another matter entirely!

Alright, the most suitable video I could find is by a group you might recognise, as I’ve used them before

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA15Es6Bw2w&feature=fvst

Any spectacular routes I’ve missed?

 

 

Cricket in the USA

Yes, it does exist there, though in a pretty limited way, mainly played by immigrants from the West Indies and South East Asia, not so much the natives. And though they are far from the worst playing nation in the world, they dont have the likes of Ireland, Scotland, Holland and Afghanistan quaking, let alone the 10 big test playing nations lol!

Strangely though, the trick question is, who were the  participants in the first international cricket match? All those who said England and Ireland, or England and the Aussies, wrong! Anyone shrewd enough to say Canada and the USA, correct! So why didnt they become mighty cricketing powers, well, I think the rise of baseball might have played a part!

So why am I posting on such matters today, you’re probably asking? Well I read an article this morning about starting a 20 over premier league in the US in the near future, backed by New Zealand Cricket board. And the comment said it all, why wont it probably work with the American’s, its not baseball! Even more so as presumably the seasons would need to coincide, and lets face it, ask a New Englander, are you going to go and watch a cricket game between players you might not have heard of, or mainly not heard of, or are you going to go and watch the Red Sox? Hmm…

The other main snag, unless you concentrate on one region of the US, is distance. Its OK playing one day here in Taunton (Somerset), the next in Southampton (Hampshire) but playing in New York, or Miami one day, then 2 days later in Seattle or San Francisco, not so easy, is it? And without national outlets, would the game ever attract a national audience, pretty doubtful I guess.

Me, I’d love to see cricket take off in a big way in the US, I would like to think that would force the ICC to open up the game at a higher level far more, and might therefore indirectly aid Ireland too. Trouble is, unless the ‘locals’ can take an interest in the game, as well as Expats, its not likely to happen. And given there will be baseball on at the same time as a cricket season…ah well, I suspect.

be interesting to see the idea come to fruition though. For any interested, the link is

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203914304576630182732328972.html

Hiding something away

Its fair to say nowadays that I’m pretty happy with most of my body, even more so given that no hormones have been involved in this transformation, though I do wonder if hypnosis has somehow activated all those female hormones laying latent within me, and brought about some amazing changes.

So alright, my boobs arent huge, but then again, a number of natural women arent really any bigger than me, though possibly they have more of a full curve than mine do at present, but quite possibly they are getting there. And maybe the waist and hips ratio isnt perfect, but its not bad either! The chin and hairline, well they arent doing badly either. So all in all, seemingly for a good majority of people, if not more, I seem to pass as a woman. Of course the irony is that you only hear when people dont think you pass generally, because otherwise, lets face it, why would you say anything to a woman about looking like a woman?

So it comes down to one thing that annoys me about my body, irony is, I’m generally the only one that sees it! But even so, yes, the penis lurking down there does annoy somewhat! And yes, I would love to be able to hide it from view, if not more.

The one thing you never know with these blogs, is who your readers are. Alright, I have a good idea about some (yes James, that does include you lol), but others, well you dont know who they are, or what their talents are. There may be no doctors, designers, inventors or otherwise, but if you dont ask, you dont find out.

So to the medical readers, the question is, is there some way of raising the penis and balls (surgically or otherwise) so that they either disappear completely from sight, or pretty much do so. All I’m interested in is enough to make going to the toilet possible, and beyond that,…and lets face it, a girl should have labia lips anyway. Complete change would be great, but as I’ve said before, I’ve really not the fight at my age to take on the Leeds NHS again, and that would all take time anyway, and at my age, well, the sooner something changes, the better.

Designers, inventors, whatever you wish to be called, this next bit is for you. Could something be designed to fit over the penis and balls in such a way as to just leave an opening for toilet needs, and nothing more? And by this, I mean something that can be worn pretty much on a permanent basis, not the odd day here or there. I know its covered up, but it would be lovely if when I lowered the pants, I didnt see him there!

And no, not looking for a freebie or anything, though I wouldnt say no, but dont expect it. If the gadget, or ‘surgery’ really worked, then it would be more than worth the cost, simply because its the only thing I need to get done for a pretty remarkable change to a natural woman anyway. Or at least the look of one, as bits would not get removed (presumably?) of course.

So, if the right person reads this, or someone who does, and knows the right person who could, then please let me know. Oh, and if any wealthy benefactor out there wants to buy me a boob job for Christmas lol…not sure I want them huge, just fuller really, but…I cant afford, or justify the cost to myself, thats for sure. They at least are blooming, more important to me is the disappearance of something else, if only from visible sight.

Oh, dont worry, the video is coming, I do wonder how many look at these choices too? Maybe this is a bit cheeky, as I’m not natural, or even post op, but it certainly works for me as my mindset at least

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUBnxqEVKlk

We all have to start somewhere.

And yes, finding out that you’re transexual was definitely a very gradual thing for me, even if in hindsight, its very clear that my early reading material was definitely more for the girl side of me, it has to be said.

Even when I read books like the Famous Five (yes, I used to own all original 21 stories) I felt more affinity to Anne than either of the boys, so maybe that should have told me something? The big love though was pony stories, principally Ruby Ferguson (Jill series) and Monica Edwards (Romney Marsh & Rye area based, principally based around Tamsin Gray and Rissa Birnie) which should have been an even bigger clue lol! And yes, again, I related to the female characters in these stories too.

Musically, equally guilty, I grew up singing the lines of Judith Durham, Karen Carpenter, Agnetha Faltskog, Sally Carr and others, not the songs sung by guys. And alright, I swooned over Donny Osmond too, I dont know to what degree that worried my mother, but I’ll certainly never know now! Donny is definitely safe now anyway, lol!

The one I cant honestly answer, is when I first dressed up as a woman. Technically it was a primary school play, but I mean more in a personal sense than that. I may well have dressed in ‘Mummy’s clothes’ as a child, but I just dont remember it, strangely enough. I think it was probably about 30, I used some of my partners clothes while she was out, and it felt great, though I had no idea why. Nothing sexual, just relaxing in female clothes sort of felt right. But yes, it was over 10 years later, with the internet appearing in my life, that I found out why I had felt so wrong all my life.

From there its blossomed to where I am today, living as a woman full time, and it feels great. Of course I have regrets over the wasted life as a man, but hopefully that will be put right in the next life at least.

Right, I guess everyone is expecting one of those forementioned singers to be the video, with some applicable song. Well actually I briefly considered Jackie Lee, and White Horses, but decided to educate a few instead. Well hopefully some have heard of her already, but…

Just under 11 years ago, a great, and much underrated musical talent was taken from us after a diving incident in Mexico. She did have a number of hits, but much of her music seemed to go under the radar for some strange reason. Her name, Kirsty MacColl. If you havent heard her sing, go hunt her down on You Tube and elsewhere, though you could try my offering first.

This was not her first single,  fame of sorts had already came with one previous big hit. And yes, you guessed it, this was not a hit chartwise! But the more fun, and yes, starting element here is someone who went on to find wider fame as a Young One. Yes, the first known sighting (to me at least) of Ade, or Adrian Edmondson. Hope you enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-QVqcjg3g8&feature=related

At this time of year

It used to be the case that in the ‘bad old days’ before my boobs grew somewhat, that the only time of year I could go out as a ‘buxom lassie’ was when the cold weather set in, and I could secrete it under a large coat. So I used to have one reason at least for looking forward to the colder weather, cant think of many others! Still wasnt practical for work or anything, but if I was just going out into town, or maybe a bit further afield, well I could fill out the figure a bit!

Nowadays thats a bit less critical, I’ve got a bit of curve of my own, even if they arent going to worry Jordan and the like with their size lol! And yes, I’ve been happy to put them ‘on view’ during the summer, on the rare chances that arose, and in Boston where the weather was so much better! But alright, I’m shallow in a sense, I still use my enhancers when I’m at home, just because I like the feel, and weight, oh, and alright, being a buxom lass is quite fun! Snag is now, that if I use them, even under a coat, they are pretty large nowadays, due to natural assistance. 😉

So alright, I still cant use them for work or anything, I need to be consistent in such matters, and being ‘Dolly D-cup’ during the summer might be a bit too much for some tastes! And being a natural B nowadays, I probably am about a D with these in, even if the C cup bras seem to survive the test at present. It would be great to be a big girl all year round, but suspect it might attract the wrong sort of attention at times.

Its just that with the ‘wonderful’ British weather at present, tomorrow provides the first opportunity of the autumn for the more buxom Stevie Lou to hit the road. Thing is, do I really need to, or should do now? It is fun, but should I settle for being me, or having some fun? I expect I will be dull and practical, the more modestly built old lady will hit Meadowhall tomorrow, but at the same time, it is fun to be buxom, so…

Oh, whats that, the video?

Couldnt resist this, even if it isnt strictly the right interpretation of the lyrics lol!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-790dGx-o

Edited to add, I do so love those dresses

Runaway train

Hey, what an opportunity I’m giving you, two sets of comments for the price of one, plus a brilliant and thought provoking video.

Alright, lets get the trivial stuff out the way first, a rant about an incompetent train company called Trans Pennine Express, some poor Brit’s might know them only too well? I’ve made my general feelings known about them before, so I’ll keep this brief. Just to say that its at least 10 days since I got home on time on one of their trains, and still counting. I’d love to say tonights being 9 minutes late was exceptional, but it isnt. Train fares will go up again soon, but service quality certainly wont! Aargh!

Right, now to the serious stuff. It must be, I’m going to discuss the video, and not keep you waiting to guess. Its Runaway Train (blog title gives that away anyway) by Soul Asylum, and at the end you’ll find one of the video versions of the song, there were 3 in the US, plus international ones as well, if anyone wanted to know.

The one thing we will never know, is what made these people runaway in the first place? Principally because even from this version, many are still missing nearly 20 years on, and others are now known to be dead. A terrible fact when you think about it, or at least I hope it is? Abuse, depression, something else, we will surely never know?

Me, the one I’ve suffered with is depression. Really badly at one point a long while back, but thankfully I did recover, though I’ve had a few lesser bouts since then, but nothing St Johns Wort and the like couldnt cure in time. But at one point, no, you dont want to know. In hindsight its not hard to work out what was screwing me up back then, something I’ve put right in the years since then, and thankfully now all niggling concerns seem gone, thanks to hypnosis as much as anything else. So dont worry about me now, I’m fine at long last, just a shame it took me 50 years to get there!

I suppose the other thing that amazes me about these children (and they were teens when they disappeared) is how easy it is to just disappear off the radar like that. Well assuming they arent just dead or something of course, but…And some clearly werent, because they did reappear due to the videos some years later! I suspect life is very hard, and I cant imagine how awful it must be. Even in my lowest points, I never felt like getting on a ‘runaway train’, but I guess it was tempting at times. And lets face it, the suicide rate amongst young transexuals is agonisingly high, as they struggle, and sometimes fail to be able to live with the body given them. Its not hard for me to understand that, but thankfully I’m now past that point.

So, I proudly present the only Soul Asylum song I really know, and only hope that even now, someone might read this and say, I think I know where ….. is, wouldnt that be great?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRtvqT_wMeY