Monthly Archives: November, 2011

They think its all over, it is now!

The holiday that is at least! And dont I know it.

Not only is it back to work tomorrow, its an 8.00am start, which is definitely going to be a culture shock after this week, I dont think I’ve been up one morning before 8, let alone early enough to get to work by then, which actually means getting up before 5 tomorrow morning, so no, I wont be late to bed tonight!

Its actually been a good week, enjoyed the break, and managed some good shopping trips into the bargain. I know, a woman and shopping, shocking news lol! irony is, the week started in Halifax, and ended it there today as well! I actually bought a top for the company christmas dinner earlier this week, but wasnt convinced about it. Luckily the rest of the party headed into a candle shop, I headed into Peacocks opposite. Finally found the sale offers corner, and with Nicole’s help found 2 much better ones. What is it they say about 2 pairs of eyes, and all that?

The more surprising thing this week, I’ve started writing again. Its been quite a while since I went for anything lengthy, but this one seems to be flowing quite nicely at present. The rough version of Chapter 1 has already been sent to my wonderful editor, and Chapter 2 is progressing, but wont get finished tonight. Will it surprise some that its set in the twenties, and might just be inspired by a certain lady of that era. I dont think I will ever get back to writing as much as I used to, but its nice to know I can still ‘ride that bike’ if the mood takes me. Dont expect a link here though, not unless you ask privately, and only then will it be available once edited and posted.

Just in case anyone cant work out who it is, this might give them a clue! The singer is Roisin Murphy, as with a previous singer, I know nothing about her, but she has a nice voice.

I would say think of me about 5 tomorrow morning, but as most will be asleep then…

The etiquettes of travelling by public transport

No, this isnt some deadly dull piece, dont worry, just a touch of my dry, tongue in cheek humour.

I realised today that I dont use any of the so called etiquettes of travelling by public transport, mainly because I’m too polite to do so. But all of these are true events that happened today on 4 trains and 2 buses.

1. Seemingly the most popular, as I saw this so often today, I think it must be the norm.

Take one seat for yourself, take the seat next to it for your handbag, shopping bag, or just about any other item that stops someone else actually sitting on the seat, even if a number of people are standing. Me, I need one seat for myself, and my handbag is quite happy sat on my lap, but…have I got this assumption so wrong? Its not like they actually pay for the second seat or anything like that! Me, on the one train I wasnt going to get a seat on otherwise, not subtle, “Is anyone sat there?” I ask.

Weird thing is, she answers “Yes.” but then removes the handbag and I sit down. I assume its either the done thing to say that, or she was incredibly stupid, because 20 minutes later, when the train arrives in Leeds, no one else has tried to claim the seat. I was glared at by her, but thats like trying to melt Antarctica with me! As I said, she wasnt the only one, but some people arent as ‘domme’ as me, and seemed happy to stand up, just so their poor bags could take the seat instead.

2. Stand in the middle of the aisle, letting no one pass, but not moving yourself into the empty seats, until…

Had this happen on the train coming back tonight, this guy literally shoved his way in front of me on to the train at Leeds, got to the narrow part of the passageway, and stopped. As he showed no signs of being turned into a mannequin by some laser beam, I had no idea why! I asked politely to be let by, but he seemed to have gone mysteriously deaf. Finally, and I do mean finally, when there is only one seat left, he rushes towards it, and takes it, so I’m left standing. I think I worked out why, but not knowing the mysterious way that some men’s brains work, I cant be sure. It seems his travelling companion wasnt as pushy as him, and was behind me. For some strange reason, this froze him to the spot, presumably until he was told to move by this other man? I only worked this out when seats became available at Dewsbury, and I was sat opposite this other guy on the train.

Please, if you cant take a seat without permission, just get out of the way and let someone else take it!

3. Dont take the inside seats, have the 2 of you sit on the outside seats, and guard them with your life.

Two old ladies got on the train together at Leeds, luckily for them, before the idiot who shoved in front of me. No, they cant sit together (for whatever reason?) despite the option to do so. They have to sit on the outside seats together, and take a ‘thou shalt not pass’ attitude to the seats inside them. Irony was, they were still on board when I got off at Huddersfield, but they’d been up and down twice because the people they forced to sit on the inside firstly both got off at Dewsbury, and then their replacements both got off at Huddersfield! They could have sat together, and not moved once, but…!

Funniest one though was not on any of the trains, it was on the bus coming back out of Huddersfield to home tonight.

A  woman got on at my stop with one of those baby buggy things, placed it correctly in the space so that a second one could easily fit in, and went and sat down. Next stop, the other main one in town, another woman with a buggy gets on. Plenty of room to park it, but oh no, she wasnt having that. Hers had to go in sideways according to her logic, and that meant the other buggy had to be moved. First woman wasnt having that, she’d parked it correctly (and indeed had) and it wasnt going anywhere. To say they nearly came to blows over this is no exagerration! Finally the second woman slammed her buggy in (sort of side on), grabbed her baby, and stormed off the bus and sat down. First woman then proceeded to pull her buggy across the bus (blocking half the aisle), and glaring incessantly at her, and both were still in that state of war when I got off 10-15 minutes later.

Clearly I am far too easy going, and non agressive for travel by public transport, I must learn from these fine examples lol!

The choice of song, not really a favourite of mine as such, but so suitable for today.

20 years ago today…

One of the great legends of pop died, Freddie Mercury.

Lets say it wasnt totally unexpected, he’d lived an wild, gay lifestyle at a time when AIDS was prevalent, and in a sense it was inevitable that he paid the highest price, with his life.

I wasnt what you would ever call the biggest Queen fan in the world, but their music was certainly very good at times, and the video art was certainly developed by them, thats for sure. One obvious one takes plenty of kudos (more later), but for some strange reason, Radio Ga-Ga and I Want To Break Free hold extra memories for me. The former because of what the video was built around, the latter because I wanted to look as cute as Roger Taylor in that wig!

But one record changed music as such, primarily because until then, most pop singles had been no longer than about 4 minutes, because of vinyl limitations as much as anything. So out comes a record over 6 minutes long, and it stays at number 1 for quite a while! And repeated that feat after his death.

I’m not sure if Freddie was the first pop star to be openly gay, but he certainly made it known to the public in style. Others then followed, and though even now, some tabloids make a fuss when pop stars come out, most people now just say ‘so what?’ when it happens.

RIP Freddie, we miss you.

The video, well its a song I hinted at earlier, but its not, err, the Queen version. Mind, there is a ‘grand dame’ of entertainment in the video at the end lol!

Looking good, feeling good

I cant believe its been 4 days since I wrote anything here, apologies to all those twiddling their thumbs in the interim, if any have been lol! Had a slight delay with the trains on Monday going to Manchester, but not that much! Also the back is a lot better after a good massage yesterday, I’m pleased to say.

One other thing I was shopping for on Monday was a nice top for the works christmas dinner, 2 weeks tomorrow, if I’ve got the date right? Black and pink the suggested colour scheme this year, fine for us ladies, but I’m not so sure what some of the men will make of it lol! No, I wont be wearing a pink dress, I’m not that much of a rebel that I want to cause a fuss with some, especially if some of the ‘big bosses’ might be there. Some might say I’m too moderate, but anyway…found a nice pink top over there, which will show off my curves (for what they are worth!), and will wear that with my black ladies suit, and leave it at that. But agreed, the top is definitely femme, so not overly moderate about who I am, all the same. I’m not a wild social animal anyway, so will disappear shortly after the meal back to the hotel where I will stay for the night. No, its not because I will be dressed very ‘en femme’ that I wont travel home afterwards, its just more hassle than its worth as public transport will be less than wonderful by that time of night. Theres a nice budget hotel just around the corner where I will be staying, suits me all round as I can get changed easily that way too. And yes, flat shoes, not high heels lol!

I’d love to do make up for the night, but I do it so rarely that I’m probably better off not bothering, especially given my ‘pass rate’ nowadays, its probably not all that needed, but might be fun all the same. So, if anyone in Leeds wants to help on the 8th December…No, wont hold my breath lol!

The other thing that annoys me is my hair. In a sense I’m lucky, I’ve still got a reasonable head of hair, if not perfect, at least I’ve got enough to look decent, if it is a bit thin. Sadly I cant convince the front to get long enough for a Louise Brooks type bob, nor has it really got the thickness for it either.

One thing I’ve contemplated is hair extensions. Not because I want to look like Rapunzel, with hair flowing down my back, but because with a bit more volume on top, I could do more with it style wise. Yes, alright, if I could get it done so I could style it into said bob…

Anyway, decided to be a little devil, what with the company dinner, and us here going out for Christmas day dinner too, and asked someone at work who does it, if she thinks it could be done for me, in such a way as to give me more depth, and she reckons it can be done, so I plan to give it a try. I cant honestly see me doing it for anything other than special occasions, even at her price, compared to the ridiculous sums charged at hairdressers, its not that cheap! But as they say, Christmas comes but once a year, and I dont do much socialising at other times of the year, so….might get eyelashes added too, but dont quote me on that one yet, so watch this space!

Staying blonde, though with ash blonde highlights. You never know, you might get a photo at some point, if I can get one done!

Right, the video. One or two might even spot an irony here, I once wrote a story by this name in a December writing contest on a forum, at least loosely based around the song. You can have the link for the video, not the story though lol! This comes from the good old days when proper Christmas records were released at this time of year, some absolute classics from the 70’s are still out there. The artist, you might have heard of him

I want to go back…

People may have noticed that I might visit the US quite often from my postings, though this year at least, one of my 2 trips to North America was to a lovely city across the border in Canada, namely Toronto.

And yes, in recent times the only travelling I’ve done in Europe has been to Ireland, which is very different to how it used to be. Most of my holidays (once I ‘graduated’ to foreign shores, around the mid to late 80’s) used to be in Europe, though not often the touristy destinations. Eastern Europe seems to crop up a fair bit, after the wall came down at least.

I’ve mentioned the Country, and its capital city before, its where I first heard Aqua, whether you regard that as a good, or bad thing, is your call, not mine. But what I found in Tallinn was a beautiful city that hooked into my soul completely. So much so that I contemplated going out there to work at one point, but it came to nothing in the end, possibly to a good degree because the language is such a nightmare to learn. And yes, even nowadays. you do need to know the local language to some degree at least lol!

I do want to go back and see Tallinn some time, I suspect its changed greatly since my first visit in 1997, and not necessarily for the best, as budget airlines have made it a popular destination for stag/hen parties, not really my scene! I certainly would love to see the islands like Saaremaa, where I suspect the style of life would suit me more as well. But getting to do so always seems to get delayed, and it almost certainly wont be until at least 2013 now, well not unless I win the lottery or something at least! Not that I know how trans-friendly the country is, but I dont think that would stop me going back anyway!

Why does it appeal so much? I cant really give a full answer, mainly because I dont know the real reason myself, it certainly wouldnt be for the warm winters, thats for sure! The people back then seemed so friendly, the country had a good vibe for me, so all in all…Irony is, there are probably a good number of Estonians working over here nowadays! I keep saying I want to go back, and maybe some day relatively soon, I actually will, though it wont be next year as plans stand, thats for sure.

The video, an absolute cheat, oh shock horror. You’ll recognise the song if you’ve read my previous postings, or indeed know me at all, as you will know I adore the original of this. Managed to find this Estonian cover version, not literal, but pretty close, well as much as my exceedingly basic Estonian stands up to the test nowadays. I dont think it will make the dent on the charts here that the ‘song I heard in Tallinn’ did, but I certainly find it pleasant enough, and hope you do too.

Not that I know much else about Juri Homenja, but you never know where a category link here might lead?

At this time of year…

thoughts might turn towards what should be a religious festival in just over a months time, but I suspect that for many, the more immediate priority is buying all those Christmas presents for various people! I do hope that on the big day, thoughts do turn to the more important anniversary celebrated on the 25th December, even as if history seems to suggest, its highly unlikely Jesus Christ was actually born on that day, and equally certainly not in the year 1, either BC, or AD lol!

Why now, simple, I’m on holiday next week, and thats when I plan to do the little bit of Christmas shopping that I need to do. No, I’m not saying what I will be buying as I know at least one recipient who reads this, and there may be more!

The habit I’ve got into, is to go over to Manchester and do my shopping. Why, well there is one person who its easer to buy for from there, though I suspect a trip to York could probably yield the same product. The rest is so generic that I could almost buy it anywhere. So why Manchester?

Part of its convenience, the city centre is nicely set out, theres a good shopping centre there, and its not too far to either railway station, a critical ingredient for me. Also, its partly the fact that its a trip in a different direction to the one I make each day to work lol! And alright, it gives me a chance to go shopping on my own, and just stroll round, even if I dont actually tend to buy much in the end!

Thankfully for me at least, Christmas shopping isnt a major challenge. No family, just a few special friends to buy for, so its not that painful an experience. Of course, it does mean I dont get many presents either, but that I can happily live with, not a big one for fuss in the first place. Thats not to say that if anyone reading this wants to request a present list that I wont send you one lol! Just tell me the budget, I’m sure I can suggest something lol! So if the wealthy owner of a football team is reading this (rolls over laughing at the thought!), I can think of something more in your bracket as well! 😉 But no, I wont be holding my breath for offers lol!

Given this is a posting about Christmas, I’ll haul out a Christmas video (or two, my gift to you), but given that its still (just about) Armistice week, I’ll make them ones that relate to both. Both come from that glorious era when we had proper Christmas records.

The first is by an artist some might not know, especially non UK readers, and I know I have some. Jona Lewie didnt have many hits, either as this persona, or his previous one, Terry Dactyl. But this super song, with suitably cynical lyrics given this time just seems so apt.

The other artist, I hope everyone knows, an absolute pop legend! This song reflects on one of those events that was supposed to have happened on Christmas Day 1914, I have no verification as to the absolute truth, but anyway…

PS, these certainly wont be the last Christmas music videos over the next month or so!

The times, they are a changing.

But no, you arent getting the Bob Dylan video, hopefully that might fool one or two peoples expectations lol!

Its funny, I was reading a piece somewhere this morning in a Trans Related Group, comparing life for us now, even as opposed to 5 years ago, and the general impression I got is how much things have improved since then. Dont get me wrong, its not yet perfect, but a big improvement on how it used to be at least.

Mind, given how I seem to fall under the radar anyway, maybe I’m not the best person to comment on this. Again, yesterday, I was sat next to a woman on a train who clearly thought I was, and always had been female. Well, unless men are now able to bear children, and no one told me lol! Alright, I still get the very odd ‘Sir’, but they are pretty rare nowadays, and it shows how things have changed for me, it annoys me more nowadays than it ever used to!

However, long before all this enlightenment and the like, things did used to be different, and indeed many Trans people have been badly beaten, or indeed killed by idiots, just because of who they are. I suspect there might still be instances of this, but seem far fewer now, to me at least.

But it does seem, that going back long before recent times, there was one place that was so trans person friendly, that it stood out like a sore thumb for us, Brighton.

Brighton is still the only place I know where I’ve seen toilets marked ‘Ladies and T-Girls’ on the same door! There may be others in clubs (especially fetish ones I suspect?) but in Brighton this was widely prevalent nearly 10 years ago, let alone now. If only everywhere was so enlightened, as I’ve commented on in an earlier blog. I dont even remember seeing that in San Francisco, but maybe I just missed them?

I know, personally I think we should be able to use the Ladies regardless, but anyway…

Maybe one day we can even have true equality with correctly gendered people in all issues, but suspect that might take a little longer yet. Equally someday, the wonderful NHS might make the whole transgendering, and surgery issue so much easier, but again, I wont hold my breath.

Oh alright, the part I suspect only come here for, the music video.  This has a tenuous link to Brighton, as Den Hegarty (bass vocalist) on this has lived most of his life in Brighton, and even more, was actually born in Ireland! I loved the doo-wop stuff of this era, and this might not be the last Darts song you ever see here!

Going back?

I suppose if you’ve lived in, or around one area all your life, then this probably wont mean much, but if you’ve lived in a few areas of the country as I have, then…

I lived in, or around Yeovil for nearly 17 years, arriving early in ’83, and leaving there late in ’99, working in one place in town, all that time. ironically, I work for the same company again now, though the shop has moved in the meanwhile, but not far! From there I moved to Newbury for a couple of years or so, before various events meant I had to move on again, which I’d rather not talk about, as they are of a personal nature.

I know Yeovil has changed a lot since then, had contact with a couple of people in that area, and they tell me I wouldnt recognise parts of it. Newbury, havent really got much idea, but I suspect its changed a bit too.

The silly thing is, I sort of have a strange hankering to visit these places again, but I’m just not sure its a wise thing to do after so long. Not only will the places have changed, the people will have done so too, and I’m unlikely to meet anyone I knew back then, and even if I did, they probably wouldnt recognise me for obvious reasons lol! I sort of initially discovered what was ‘wrong’ with me when I moved to Newbury, but was still trying to deny it, in public at least at that point. Yeovil only ever knew me as a guy in all honesty, though neither place ever saw the female me, its fair to say.

So, is it just a silly idea to want to go back after so long, or is it something I should do, if only so I can toss away a few ghosts of that time? As you might gather, I definitely have mixed thoughts over the idea.

Right, musings over, I suspect some are only waiting for the video option anyway lol! This is one from my teen years, the first group I ever saw in concert, in Chatham, though this lineup isnt the one I saw, there had been 2 changes by then. Always wanted to be Eve Graham, 30 years or so later, I found out why! Hope you enjoy, as always…

Good luck ladies, make us proud!

Quick word of warning, anyone expecting impartiality, and a lack of bias in this posting should probably go elsewhere now! The rest of you, pull on something green, and settle down for a quick read.

I’m sure if cricket is mentioned to most, then they think of men playing cricket, not women. Wrong, Irish women play as well, have had a pretty good summer, winning their division in the English county championship, and all that.

But this isnt about what happened during the summer, though it was pretty good all the same. Today, according to that wonderful Cricket Ireland website, the Ireland ladies cricket team left these shores, for the World Cup qualifiers starting next week in Bangladesh. 4 teams out of the 10 will qualify for the WC in 2013, so it isnt going to be easy, but all the same, I know they will do all us fans proud! Oh, and I know a couple of famous names of Irish male cricket (Jeremy Bray and Trent Johnston) will help to keep them in hand too.

A couple of the players have a famous surname in Irish cricket, that being Joyce, hopefully one or two might have heard of some chap named Ed, who is quite a handy batsman so I’m told! 😉 Still to see him live, as he had more important matters in hand when I was over in Belfast for the Namibia games, becoming a father! Belated congrats to him, should he by some miracle see this!

Quite the remarkable thing though, is the age of 2 of the players, and so talented at such a young age. Kim Garth is I believe still 16, Elena Tice incredibly is only 13, but both are totally deservedly in the squad. So yes, Ireland doesnt only produce fine young cricket men, but ladies as well! 🙂

Yes, I try to follow (of sorts) all Irish international cricket, as this posting shows. The men will get their time in the spotlight in the spring when they have a qualifying tournament for the 20 over World Cup later that year, I promise them that, again if any of them see this. Highly unlikely, but…

The video is not new, if anyone has anything relating to the current squad, I’d love a link, but in the meanwhile…this was posted last year, so I suspect many of the players are the same anyway.

Have a safe trip to Bangladesh, have a wonderful, and hopefully successful time while you are there. Sadly I can only be with you in spirit at this time. Make us even more proud of you all, you know you can do it!

A funny thing happened last night

Anyone who is a Facebook friend may have seen the brief version of this already, but that certainly didnt include the video, so…it might be worth looking again lol, well, at the video at least. I promise you one thing, it wont be the last Queen song this month, due to an anniversary later in the month.

Yes, some of us have to work on Sunday’s, and if James says a word about that, well I’ll get him back at some point next year! 😉 No, you arent going to get a full description of the day, as all the entertainment occured within 200 yards of home, on the way back in the evening.

Use your own image, you’ll have to, as far as I know there’s no CCTV down our street, and even then, you wouldnt get the sound on the film anyway. Having got off the bus near the corner, and walked through the alleyway, I started up my road towards a warm and welcoming house. Oh, and Sunday dinner (albeit a late one), but thats beside the point.

Coming in the opposite direction down the road are two boys in their teens, heading somewhere, I’ve no idea where. Me, no make up, hair a bit windblown, and definitely a bit weary from the day.

We pass each other. The beauty about teenagers is that maybe they lack for diplomatic skills we learn as adults. To quote

First boy : “Now thats what I call a she-man.”

Second boy : “What do you mean?”

First boy : “The fact that she’s so butch that she could almost be a man.”

I just smiled, and laughed as I walked down the road, and went indoors. Seemingly I might be butch, but clearly I pass as a woman all the same, albeit one he clearly didnt fiund attractive. Question is, which should I take more from, the fact that I should be flattered that he clearly thought I was a woman, or hurt that I’m clearly a very butch one lol?

Oh, the video, I so want Roger Taylor’s wig, or by some miracle, my hair looking as good as that. John Deacon’s slippers are quite cute too. So if anyone is looking for Christmas items for me…mind, the wig would have to be a decent quality one, I’d want to wear it outside as well as in!

Thanks to Amy for reminding me about this video in the first place, a posting of hers on Facebook.