Category Archives: Charity shops

There she goes again!

No, not going crazy again, not sure I’ve never not been crazy, but anyway… Something far more mundane, a little bit (well, maybe not so little?) of clothes shopping.

In truth, one of the main reasons for my trip into town today, was to get a birthday card for someone, for Thursday, which I at least managed to do. The secondary issue, a bit of clothes shopping for me.

No, nothing very exciting, but stuff that I needed. One thing I’ve discovered walking to work recently, is that even allowing for the fact that winter is coming, its a chilly zone I walk through, with a brisk wind, so wrapping up warm is a wise move. Snag is, most of my tops are of the lighter kind, not much use for winter weather, especially if the forecasters are right this year (they forecast this every year, mind), and that its going to be a cold winter, I need something warmer. I also needed a pair of gloves, for the same reason, and a winter coat too, as my anorak I’ve had for many years is coming to the end of its life as well. The latter, no one would know, unless I lifted my arms up high, but…

Luckily, there’s a charity shop close to the bus stop at the bottom of town, so went in there, hoping I might find something. A coat, a pair of gloves, and 3 tops (2 winter suitable, other vintage look) later, I walked out again! Several months ago, I won a contest on a Facebook group (I tipped well at golf at the time, less so lately), and got £30 of vouchers for the group of shops including Dorothy Perkins (Arcadia group?), and hadnt been inspired by the store across the road at work. I know a lot of the issue is me, and paying out large sums of money for clothing, even if I’m not paying for it, but…So I tried the store in town. Fine, price issue is much the same, but I found a reduced top for winter wear for £10, so hunted around, found a non winter, flapper type top for £20, and yes, issue of spending vouchers is gone lol!

The other main thing I needed was slippers, as my current pair are rather religious now (holy, groan) and I found a cheap pair of those slipper/sock type things, so will give them a try. Oh fine, its after this I went mad, given I was on a roll, and ended up in one of my favourite charity shops in town (Kirkwood Hospice), saw a gorgeous vintage style dress for £6.50, and fine, it came home with me too! May well wear it Thursday night now. My excuse, and sticking to it!

So, lesson learnt, musnt go shopping again too soon, even if I’m paying, and even if all the money only goes to charity shops! But if anyone wants to subsidize me, there are a few things I could get…? 😉 A pair of work shoes, for starters, though I suspect I will be in boots most of the winter. Nightwear, and bras, hmm, might be more critical lol!

Oh, bonus moments. One guy in one of the charity shops said he liked the way I was dressed, and another guy told me to “Be Careful, darling.” as I was trotting round a corner to make sure I got the bus home!

OK, video time. A bit more of Sixpence None The Richer, another cover song.

The way things were

Before 6 weeks ago, I hadnt visited Newbury since the end of 2001, when I left here, to head back to Kent, for reasons I’d rather not mention here, as they are rather personal. The way I left, to rush home to Kent, did mean that I didnt get much of a chance to say goodbye to the town that had been my home for about 2 years. And to be honest, for a very long time, I assumed I wouldnt be back, given how far it is from where I live now, and the fact that I had no ties to lead me back to the place.

Then, about 6 months or so ago, I heard from someone I used to work with, when I was the contact for reps at Farnell, who had now moved into the beauty business. And yes, as the story has already been told, I had the chance to get some semi permanent make up done, at a reduced rate, and I grabbed the chance. Fine, if I’d known then that 4 months later I was going to be on a redundancy list, I might have been more cautious about the money. Though equally, I must say, having it done has done wonders for my confidence, the look is amazing, and I cant thank Paula Elvey enough for that.

But this blog isnt about me, and the make up, its about me, and Newbury.

When I had the initial work done, it took up most of the time I was here, I stayed 2 nights at Paula’s house, and beyond a brief sojourn to eat on the 2nd night, I really didnt come into town, just passing it by as I headed to the station, and home.

This time around, I’ve had the chance to see a lot more of Newbury, and its been fun doing so. There are one or two places that are the same as when I was here, but most of it has changed pretty dramatically, hardly surprising in nearly 14 years, I guess? But am I glad I stayed 1 extra day, and had a look around? You bet I am! But no, I quickly decided that going out to see the building I lived in for those 2 years was not a wise idea.

Funnily enough, when I left Newbury, I was still living as a man, about the last time that I was, in all honesty. I sort of knew, but tried not to accept the fact I was living in the wrong body then, but it didnt last very long, about a month in fact! So yes, coming back here as a woman makes it extra precious for me.

But I know one thing for sure now, I can never return to Yeovil, where I worked for 16 years up to ’99, or to the Medway Towns (last seen in 2003), where most of my formative years were where I lived. I know that the changes would look strange to me, and for that reason alone, I dont think I want to return to either, after this trip back here. I guess I sort of knew this might be the case, because I know what it felt like when I returned to Jersey after 30 years, but…like there, at least I’ve finally closed the circle on that place in my life.

The last tale from today.

As is my style, when out down town today, I visited a ‘few’ charity shops. In one, I found a pair of absolutely gorgeous dresses, both on sale at £12. The snag, both had zips at the back, not something I can easily cope with, with my limited joint flexibility, and things. One very 20’s style dress was divine, and a size 14. But as it was therefore a perfect fit, there was no way I could get the zip done up from behind me, and no way I could get it on without undoing the zip.

But there was another, a size 18, in silver, that looks like it could quite easily have blown in from the 30’s! Now, because this was a larger size, I can get into it, without having to play with the zip. And thankfully the material clings to a girl’s figure, it still looks snug on me. So yes, I bought it. Oh, and by the way, it still had the original price tag in it, £200! Looks like someone who was a size 18 bought it, couldnt get into it, and just sent it off to the charity shop! Crazy! But I’m glad they did!

The video, well its almost the title of the blog, but its apt

Summer Day shopping

Well, I assume most of my followers are as big football fans as me, because the last blog barely got looked at lol! So hopefully a Trans girl, going shopping in the sun might prove more popular.

To be honest, beyond a few vintage style purchases in Jersey charity shops, I havent had an afternoon shopping scavenge in a while, what with work, and everything else thats been taking up my time. Anyway, with 3 days off in a row, and gorgeous weather outside, I decided today would make a fine day to visit Wakefield, and see what I could find.

So what’s new about that, you might be asking yourself? Simple, no trousers, I went in a skirt! And to be honest, it caused as little reaction as I probably would have got wearing trousers, so…I’ll be doing it more often, I’m sure, given that my knees seem to react favourably to the lack of restrictive pressure that trousers cause. Which I sort of had guessed already, but got confirmation of the fact today, and seemingly the world isnt going to end at the sight of me out in a skirt.

So fine, I bought a few, and may well be wearing one of them to work on Wednesday in all honesty. I have got some more, but the 2 ‘nice’ ones are both lined, and might just be a bit warm in this current heatwave, so…Well, I hadnt bought anything in ages…A few tops too, a satin one, a gorgeous 30’s style glittery one (definitely only style, got it on a market stall) and a few more vintage looking ones too. Combined with a vintage style dress, and some new, needed bras (3 for £7)…I spent more than planned. Seriously, Primark seem to have stopped doing 38B, the smallest I can find there now are 38C, so finding some 38B’s reduced, I couldnt miss out. Will give me the chance to throw away a few of my ‘more tired’ ones, shall we say?

The one highlight for me, of this spending spree, was the return of an old friend, the Wakefield Hospice charity shop, home to so many lovely vintage, and vintage look items. Yes, they are back, in the Ridings shopping centre, I nearly squealed with joy when I saw it. And yes, I bought a top (very 30’s look), and a skirt (plain, modern) in there, just to say thank you.

So yes, Wednesday morning, wearing a nice black business skirt to work, instead of trousers, highly likely! Business killer heels, not quite so likely lol, I might have to run for a bus coming home!

Fine, I spent too much, but I had a wonderful afternoon shopping, but discovered the world doesnt end if I go out on my own in a skirt. 🙂

So to the video, its an oldie, a live performance, and the first word in the blog title, is also in the song title.

Whatever next, a rhubarb festival, maybe?

Well, yes, it sounds crazy, but in fact, it already happens, for a few years now, in Wakefield, the town I visited today. In fact, the famous rhubarb festival was only last weekend, but, like Trans Pennine Express trains tend to do, I was running a bit late for that!

Rhubarb is actually more interesting than you think, and before you ask is it fruit, or is it vegetable, I’ll tell you the answer, its both! Over here, for some reason, its a vegetable, but in the US, its a fruit! Personally, I see it more as the latter, but anyway…

Its so famous over here, that Yorkshire forced rhubarb is one of those foods that has a protected designation from the EU! Even more so, if it comes from the famous Yorkshire triangle, I kid you not!

Forcing apparently keeps it sweeter (grown in heated dark sheds during the winter) which is pretty helpful, because on its own, its a pretty sharp taste! I only really know it cooked in pies, and crumbles, but as the video shows, it is useful in other ways too.

Oh, and one other fun connection, for me at least. Kansas State is probably the college I most root for in the US, and their sport teams are the Wildcats. Wakefield’s rugby team, yes, you’ve guessed it, are also the Wildcats!

For me though, my favourite thing about Wakefield, the wonderful charity shops there! For some reason, vintage, and vintage look clothing (more the latter, I suspect) seems to be plentiful over there, I have no idea why, but I am very grateful. To support my home town of Huddersfield, we too have some good charity shops, but beyond one, finding anything less than modern looking, is nigh impossible. So not hard to see why my shopping expeditions take me to Wakefield!;)

So, the next time you have rhubarb pie, just think, it might have been grown in a shed near me! Hope that thought doesnt put you off it!

Now I know the end of 2013 is near

Why, because today almost certainly marked my last venture out shopping for things this year. And yes, unsurprisingly, it was to Wakefield, rapidly becoming my favourite shopping spot. Well fine, it already is, but…

No, I cant guarantee it will be my last, but it looks a safe bet, and given where I work, I should know these things. My days off for the rest of the year are Tuesday and Sunday next week (former is beauty treatment day, latter is last Sunday before Christmas), then Christmas Eve (no way am I going shopping anywhere then!), Christmas Day (pretty obvious), and the Sunday after, when I will be on my own (and public transport is awful anyway). After that, well the next day off is New Years Day, and there are no buses then, and besides which it will be 2014 by then! So, as I say, good bet that today was it.

Surprisingly, 2 weeks before the big day, Wakefield wasnt overly crowded. I know, its midweek, but…To be honest, given all my purchases today (apart from my coffee and cake) were from charity shops, I havent helped the retailers much myself!

Most of it was practical stuff, 4 tops, and 1 skirt, which will all get used for work, and things. Well fine, the skirt to work is only a maybe bet, but…I should do really, they seem to be better for the circulation in my legs than trousers, but its just…I know, I know! Err, one of those tops, no, fails the work test. But…let me explain,

At work, we have a rule that all tops should cover the shoulders completely. Fine, understandable, though some choose to ignore it, and get away with it, but anyway…I try to be a good girl lol! One of the things I love about Wakefield is the quality of clothing options in the charity shops there, some really nice stuff, at very good prices. One especially, the Wakefield Hospice shop, is the creme de la creme. Seriously, I saw a gorgeous silver dress there today, must have cost a fortune new, for £15. Thankfully it was a size 12, with a zip at the back, so no way would I have got into it, because otherwise…drool…

But sneakily, they also, in a size 14, had a top that looked quite literally as if it had arrived direct from the 1920’s. It hadnt, its good a ‘made in Asia, somewhere’ tag in it, so clearly it hadnt, but…Snag, its got nothing more than 2 thin(ish) straps over the shoulders, so I cannot wear it to work. And to be honest, in that sense, whats the point in buying it, even at £4.50? Even though its perfect for a Flapper…? So I talked myself out of it, left it in the shop, even though I regretted doing so.

Fine, I walked round the corner, and after about 5 minutes, changed my mind, and went back and bought it! No idea when, or where I wear it, but, its mine! I know, I know, silly thing to do, but I would have regretted it for ever more if I hadnt.

But anyway, famous last words and all that, it should be the last silly buy of 2013! Stop laughing now!

The video, not the last Christmas one of the year, of that I’m sure. I’d forgotten about this little gem until You Tube reminded me!

’cause I’m a blonde

Yes, those linking through facebook might have already seen the video, but if not, you get a second chance! 😛 Oh, and James, you might have seen it at the other blog too!

I’ll be honest, if I’d known what a reaction mentioning I was going to get blonde hair extensions was going to cause, I’d have had a whipround for a collection to pay for it earlier lol! It seems a lot of people want to see it, others want pictures posted of it when done, what a crazy world! Its not like I’m even a natural blonde in the first place, but maybe that doesnt matter to some? I’m also not sure if not being a natural girl has raised interest or not, hard to say I guess, but I suspect it has? Any wealthy benefactors want to help put that right lol?

I’m sort of hoping to get some done post make up as well, but that might depend on time and occasion, because unless I manage to get a solo picture taken, I wont be able to use any from the works dinner of course. Funnily enough, people at work are also quite keen to see the ‘extra’ blonde me as well.

Oh, and lastly tonight, its amazing what good buys you can get in charity shops over here. The four of us went off to Ilkley in the rain today (had a hat in my bag, but didnt wear it. Some will get the inside joke I trust?), and us two girls went in a charity shop there. I found a wonderful silver sequin (for want of a better word) top, that not only appeals to a certain kink, its so 20’s flapper like in style, its quite amazing. Yes, I love it, apart from the fact that when I got it back I found out it was dry cleaning only of course, aargh! Wont say the price, lets just say it was a lot less than I suspect it cost originally!

Oh, and really lastly tonight (well apart from the video), I’m back in ‘print’ as an author today, its been quite a while, but Chapter 1 passed the test with the wonderful man at the website, and was posted up tonight. No prizes for working out who it might be based around though! Her first name was Mary, though thats not the name all know her by! 😉

The video, just love the sentiments of this, though my blonde hair wont be as easy to remove as the beauty pageant girl!