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Lucy Diamond 's Entries

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  • 02 Aug 2011
    I don't know what's happened these last few weeks. It's quite possibly been the best month of my life. When is it all going to come crashing down upon me? It surely can't keep up like this... My bezzie mate Gillian has been off work for 3 weeks, so we've spent a lot of time together as my band have also been off due to various members' holidays. But it all seemed to start while watching Glastonbury on the telly... I've been to Glastonbury two years in row, over 20 years ago, but I know what it's like; I understand the atmosphere, the vibe, man. It really is wonderful. So although it's no big deal watching it on the telly these days, it brings back how special it is, it touches a place in my heart, lets me feel the magic again. It's so huge now, in fact this was true even when I was there, that no-one can see everything that goes on, and the TV coverage doesn't even come close to the experience of actually being there. Even still, to see the big acts playing probably the best gig of their lives is really exciting for me, somehow I know, to a tiny extent, how special it is for them; I empathise, and I love it. I haven't seen a whole set from U2 since Live Aid, and that of course was only a short set. Bono apparently was a little reluctant to do Glastonbury, he shouldn't have worried, they might not all be U2 fans but the Glastonbury audience love the headliners, and U2 are actually quite famous. Their set was great. I've heard some people were critical; what the hell did they want? What did they expect? This was a lesson in rock and roll, this is how it's done. This was one of the biggest bands in the world playing to almost certainly the best audience in the world, and they did what they do with aplomb. The Edge has the best job in rock music, if I was a guitarist I'd like to be him. I'm not a massive U2 fan mind, I just think if you want to play rock and appeal to the masses then that's how to do it, and they do have some mega, smash hit, brilliant songs. So that was good. But the next night Coldplay were to headline... Now I do love Coldplay. Their song-writing is sublime. I was gigging this night though, so disappointed to be missing the set which was to be shown live on the BBC. We were doing a wedding in Kendal, practically round the corner from my house. I packed away quickly after the gig hoping to catch a few snippets of the day at Glastonbury as I took off my make-up, waiting for my ears to stop ringing. I couldn't believe my luck when I turned the telly on about 3 seconds into the repeat of the Coldplay set, the whole lot! Fireworks, lasers, oh so many lasers, and a new, unreleased song to open with, which grabbed me by the ears in a way that unknown songs rarely do. "Hurts like Heaven" - fast, energetic, melodic. These guys can really write a good song, what an opener. So of course I had stay up and watch the whole set, perched on the edge of my bed, smiling my head off, one of my favourite bands, about the third time they've done Glastonbury, but this time they pulled out all the stops. This time, this tour, they have really got it sussed. How to win an audience over. U2 were great, Coldplay were awesome. The Coldplay set was on telly again the next day. I watched it again. Then I found it on BBC i-player, linked up my computer to my stereo downstairs, turned it up bloody loud and watched it again, and again, and again in the background while I was cooking my dinner that evening. And several times over the next few days... Wonderful. Best gig ever. With Coldplay still ringing in my ears, Gillian picked up me and Laura a few days later and we headed off to Manchester to see Roger Waters doing The Wall live in Manchester. Now you've all read about that haven't you, so no need to go into that. I said on the way down that I hoped this gig would get all those Coldplay songs out of my head. It did, and I found myself now singing Pink Floyd songs in my head for the next week. Best gig ever... Although it's not exactly been wall to wall sunshine throughout July we have had several nice hot days up here, so Gilly and I made the most of them. Picnics and barbecues, a few meals out, some gentle walking around The Lake District, skinny dipping underneath waterfalls; all good for the soul. A week after The Wall though, we flew to Switzerland to see one gig at the Montreux festival. Never been to Switzerland before so that was a treat, it's lovely. The gig was my musical hero - Andreas Vollenweider's 30 anniversary concert, his first major gig having also been at Montreux, the gig that really got his career going. I saw him a couple of years ago in Germany, my first time, it was magical, but I've loved his music for around 27 years. This gig was quite different, a much bigger band with several special guests, and once again absolutely awesome. He is the most beautiful player, a truly skilled musician who can play just about every instrument ever invented like a virtuoso, but he is most famous for playing the harp. His music is unique and wonderful, I love him, and to see him again at this special concert was truly a privilege, a blessing. The weather in Switzerland was scorching, and the view around Montreux is spectacular. We swam in Lake Geneva, just so we could say we had, so there I said it! It was a flying visit, but just super fun. The day after the gig we flew back to Manchester, but didn't head up the M6 back to Kendal, oh no, for it was Friday, the first day of the Sparkle weekend... So having flown in from Geneva for Sparkle, what jet-setters we are, we booked into our hotel, quickly tidied ourselves up, ate out at our favourite Thai restaurant, and tottered off towards the Village. We stayed out later than intended, of course, and eventually fell into our beds completely exhausted. Long day. The next day I spoke to Anna-Marie at the park, and met Jane (Janey Woo) and her better half that evening. Thought there might be more GS girls around but I guessed we missed them. A week and a bit after Sparkle was the now legendary Staveley Beer Festival, it's only been going 3 years but is attracting huge numbers already. Staveley is a tiny place, but this event is becoming some sort of "Village Glastonbury". We played it last year with another top local band, but the manager decided just to have one band on per evening this year and asked us to headline the gig on the Saturday, which was quite flattering as the other band last year, good friends and ex-colleagues of mine, have been going a lot longer than us, at least since I joined the band that is. We are also attracting a big following now, and interest has snowballed since the Staveley gig this year. I've posted a couple of videos of the gig, they are better than usual quality, most of our vid's having been taken by fans on their phones, but you still don't get the real feel of one of our gigs, the sound, the audience atmosphere. We had well over a thousand people jumping up and down together in the last set, going bonkers. It's an awesome sight from where we stand. I looked out and thought, these people are having a great time, and I'm one fifth of what's doing it for them. Great feeling, best gig ever... The day after the Beer festival was the Windermere air show. I didn't go, I needed to rest after such a gig (free beer too!) Gillian, who had been our taxi service for the night (Mum and Laura came too) had stayed over, the weather was once again glorious, so we decided just to chill out in my garden. Both of us being sun-worshipers, there we were sitting naked in the garden, sipping a rather special Champagne (Orpale Grand Cru 1998) and eating salad and nibbles, so relaxed, so happy... As Gillian was back at work the next day I remarked what a super end this was to such a great month, it really had been fantastic. She agreed, we chinked our glasses, and right on cue the Red Arrows swooped in right above my house, turning towards Windermere in perfect formation - a sideways W with a V at the front. I couldn't believe it! I screamed with delight, "Whooo!" Our own private fly-by. "Thank you!" I shouted, waving madly. We fell about. Who had arranged this for us? How did they time it so well!? Thank you to whoever, the Goddess, destiny, just plain luck... Remarkable. Best fly-by ever. The following week the band were back at the big music pub in town, another stonker, packed out, more numbers added to our growing fan club. And the day after that a wedding in the most stunning setting, big posh house, cracking view, lovely summer evening in an open-sided marquee on their giant veranda. We don't half do some amazing gigs, so lucky to live in this part of the world and be asked to do events like this. I feel blessed. I feel lucky, and so happy. My heart goes out to all those I see here who are obviously being torn apart with frustration, as I once was. But life is what you make it. You have to stop telling yourself that it's family, your job, your friends, or what people will think of you that prevent you from coming out of the closet, getting on with your own life and finding true contentment. I know that won't go down well with some, and I can already hear people leaping to their own defence. But that's just it, it's a defence. My life has been quite ordinary since I've been post-op (you can read about it in this month's Frock), but this month I have grabbed life by the scuff of the neck and taken control, done what I want to do, and loved every minute. OK, maybe the Red Arrows fly-by was just plain luck, and the truth is I don't believe in any superior being, but you know, it really felt that someone somewhere was trying to tell me something. To paraphrase a scene from Fawlty Towers: (Cue Red Arrows) Whooosh! What was that? That was your life mate. That was quick, do I get another one? Who knows, maybe next month..? xx Montreux Festival Lake Geneva Sea Bass with a saffron white wine reduction My secret place Wedding of the year Water Nymph                                
    4255 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • I don't know what's happened these last few weeks. It's quite possibly been the best month of my life. When is it all going to come crashing down upon me? It surely can't keep up like this... My bezzie mate Gillian has been off work for 3 weeks, so we've spent a lot of time together as my band have also been off due to various members' holidays. But it all seemed to start while watching Glastonbury on the telly... I've been to Glastonbury two years in row, over 20 years ago, but I know what it's like; I understand the atmosphere, the vibe, man. It really is wonderful. So although it's no big deal watching it on the telly these days, it brings back how special it is, it touches a place in my heart, lets me feel the magic again. It's so huge now, in fact this was true even when I was there, that no-one can see everything that goes on, and the TV coverage doesn't even come close to the experience of actually being there. Even still, to see the big acts playing probably the best gig of their lives is really exciting for me, somehow I know, to a tiny extent, how special it is for them; I empathise, and I love it. I haven't seen a whole set from U2 since Live Aid, and that of course was only a short set. Bono apparently was a little reluctant to do Glastonbury, he shouldn't have worried, they might not all be U2 fans but the Glastonbury audience love the headliners, and U2 are actually quite famous. Their set was great. I've heard some people were critical; what the hell did they want? What did they expect? This was a lesson in rock and roll, this is how it's done. This was one of the biggest bands in the world playing to almost certainly the best audience in the world, and they did what they do with aplomb. The Edge has the best job in rock music, if I was a guitarist I'd like to be him. I'm not a massive U2 fan mind, I just think if you want to play rock and appeal to the masses then that's how to do it, and they do have some mega, smash hit, brilliant songs. So that was good. But the next night Coldplay were to headline... Now I do love Coldplay. Their song-writing is sublime. I was gigging this night though, so disappointed to be missing the set which was to be shown live on the BBC. We were doing a wedding in Kendal, practically round the corner from my house. I packed away quickly after the gig hoping to catch a few snippets of the day at Glastonbury as I took off my make-up, waiting for my ears to stop ringing. I couldn't believe my luck when I turned the telly on about 3 seconds into the repeat of the Coldplay set, the whole lot! Fireworks, lasers, oh so many lasers, and a new, unreleased song to open with, which grabbed me by the ears in a way that unknown songs rarely do. "Hurts like Heaven" - fast, energetic, melodic. These guys can really write a good song, what an opener. So of course I had stay up and watch the whole set, perched on the edge of my bed, smiling my head off, one of my favourite bands, about the third time they've done Glastonbury, but this time they pulled out all the stops. This time, this tour, they have really got it sussed. How to win an audience over. U2 were great, Coldplay were awesome. The Coldplay set was on telly again the next day. I watched it again. Then I found it on BBC i-player, linked up my computer to my stereo downstairs, turned it up bloody loud and watched it again, and again, and again in the background while I was cooking my dinner that evening. And several times over the next few days... Wonderful. Best gig ever. With Coldplay still ringing in my ears, Gillian picked up me and Laura a few days later and we headed off to Manchester to see Roger Waters doing The Wall live in Manchester. Now you've all read about that haven't you, so no need to go into that. I said on the way down that I hoped this gig would get all those Coldplay songs out of my head. It did, and I found myself now singing Pink Floyd songs in my head for the next week. Best gig ever... Although it's not exactly been wall to wall sunshine throughout July we have had several nice hot days up here, so Gilly and I made the most of them. Picnics and barbecues, a few meals out, some gentle walking around The Lake District, skinny dipping underneath waterfalls; all good for the soul. A week after The Wall though, we flew to Switzerland to see one gig at the Montreux festival. Never been to Switzerland before so that was a treat, it's lovely. The gig was my musical hero - Andreas Vollenweider's 30 anniversary concert, his first major gig having also been at Montreux, the gig that really got his career going. I saw him a couple of years ago in Germany, my first time, it was magical, but I've loved his music for around 27 years. This gig was quite different, a much bigger band with several special guests, and once again absolutely awesome. He is the most beautiful player, a truly skilled musician who can play just about every instrument ever invented like a virtuoso, but he is most famous for playing the harp. His music is unique and wonderful, I love him, and to see him again at this special concert was truly a privilege, a blessing. The weather in Switzerland was scorching, and the view around Montreux is spectacular. We swam in Lake Geneva, just so we could say we had, so there I said it! It was a flying visit, but just super fun. The day after the gig we flew back to Manchester, but didn't head up the M6 back to Kendal, oh no, for it was Friday, the first day of the Sparkle weekend... So having flown in from Geneva for Sparkle, what jet-setters we are, we booked into our hotel, quickly tidied ourselves up, ate out at our favourite Thai restaurant, and tottered off towards the Village. We stayed out later than intended, of course, and eventually fell into our beds completely exhausted. Long day. The next day I spoke to Anna-Marie at the park, and met Jane (Janey Woo) and her better half that evening. Thought there might be more GS girls around but I guessed we missed them. A week and a bit after Sparkle was the now legendary Staveley Beer Festival, it's only been going 3 years but is attracting huge numbers already. Staveley is a tiny place, but this event is becoming some sort of "Village Glastonbury". We played it last year with another top local band, but the manager decided just to have one band on per evening this year and asked us to headline the gig on the Saturday, which was quite flattering as the other band last year, good friends and ex-colleagues of mine, have been going a lot longer than us, at least since I joined the band that is. We are also attracting a big following now, and interest has snowballed since the Staveley gig this year. I've posted a couple of videos of the gig, they are better than usual quality, most of our vid's having been taken by fans on their phones, but you still don't get the real feel of one of our gigs, the sound, the audience atmosphere. We had well over a thousand people jumping up and down together in the last set, going bonkers. It's an awesome sight from where we stand. I looked out and thought, these people are having a great time, and I'm one fifth of what's doing it for them. Great feeling, best gig ever... The day after the Beer festival was the Windermere air show. I didn't go, I needed to rest after such a gig (free beer too!) Gillian, who had been our taxi service for the night (Mum and Laura came too) had stayed over, the weather was once again glorious, so we decided just to chill out in my garden. Both of us being sun-worshipers, there we were sitting naked in the garden, sipping a rather special Champagne (Orpale Grand Cru 1998) and eating salad and nibbles, so relaxed, so happy... As Gillian was back at work the next day I remarked what a super end this was to such a great month, it really had been fantastic. She agreed, we chinked our glasses, and right on cue the Red Arrows swooped in right above my house, turning towards Windermere in perfect formation - a sideways W with a V at the front. I couldn't believe it! I screamed with delight, "Whooo!" Our own private fly-by. "Thank you!" I shouted, waving madly. We fell about. Who had arranged this for us? How did they time it so well!? Thank you to whoever, the Goddess, destiny, just plain luck... Remarkable. Best fly-by ever. The following week the band were back at the big music pub in town, another stonker, packed out, more numbers added to our growing fan club. And the day after that a wedding in the most stunning setting, big posh house, cracking view, lovely summer evening in an open-sided marquee on their giant veranda. We don't half do some amazing gigs, so lucky to live in this part of the world and be asked to do events like this. I feel blessed. I feel lucky, and so happy. My heart goes out to all those I see here who are obviously being torn apart with frustration, as I once was. But life is what you make it. You have to stop telling yourself that it's family, your job, your friends, or what people will think of you that prevent you from coming out of the closet, getting on with your own life and finding true contentment. I know that won't go down well with some, and I can already hear people leaping to their own defence. But that's just it, it's a defence. My life has been quite ordinary since I've been post-op (you can read about it in this month's Frock), but this month I have grabbed life by the scuff of the neck and taken control, done what I want to do, and loved every minute. OK, maybe the Red Arrows fly-by was just plain luck, and the truth is I don't believe in any superior being, but you know, it really felt that someone somewhere was trying to tell me something. To paraphrase a scene from Fawlty Towers: (Cue Red Arrows) Whooosh! What was that? That was your life mate. That was quick, do I get another one? Who knows, maybe next month..? xx Montreux Festival Lake Geneva Sea Bass with a saffron white wine reduction My secret place Wedding of the year Water Nymph                                
    Aug 02, 2011 4255
  • 04 Jul 2011
    "So ya, thought ya, might like to go to the show, To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow..." And so it was this week that I had the privilege of feeling the warm thrill of confusion, seeing Roger Waters perform "The Wall" live at the M.E.N. Arena. By way of Catharsis I feel I must write a little about it. It was the most amazing show I have ever seen, and I have seen a few. I can't quite get over it... Words cannot express the spectacle of it, the musicianship, the design, the sheer brilliance, but I have to say something. I'd like to go through the whole show in detail, but that's not going to work, so I may pick some random bits. I'm hoping that some readers at least will know a little of the album - The Wall. It's about a rockstar named Pink... The show began with a brief flash-forward. Two Nazi-esque post-apocalyptic-nightmare soldiers marched onstage carrying a soft toy version of Pink in his stripped bare state as caricatured in the trial sequence from the animated footage of the film. A pencil outline of a strange childlike figure, emotionless and vulnerable. The soundtrack to the old film "Spartacus" boomed out as Pink's head was manipulated as though through his broken-down haze he examined the audience as if we were the ones chanting, "I'm Spartacus". The rabble reached its climax, stopped dead, and Pink was unceremoniously dropped to the floor. The soldiers marched off. And then without warning in a sudden flash, all hell was let loose... The opening bars to The Wall are thumping drums, screaming guitars and organ, playing a slow, grandiose rock piece. The drums did not thump here though, they thundered, they beat at your diaphram, they made the earth move. Banks of red maroons shot across the stage highlighting the first beat of each phrase, each double-hit of the impossibly deep drum sound. The maroons were SO bright it was surreal, lighting the whole auditorium in incandescent crimson. Giant white Roman candles fizzing across the top and bottom of the stage came at the end of the song, dazzling, almost blinding. All the pyrotechnics accompanied the stomping opening bars perfectly and stunningly. OK, now you have my attention, this is exciting, this sounds amazing, this is what I call Rock and Roll. The sound quality throughout was immaculate. I say this as a former sound-engineer, indeed I still mix the sound for our band from onstage whilst playing keyboards, singing backing vocals, and trying to look pretty. I digress... It was loud, excitingly so, but the clarity of sound was perfect. Attention to detail in every respect. Waters' vocal sat atop the mix majestically, clear and warm. He sang everything just as he did on the album, bringing a familiarity that you don't always get in a live show, but the whole sound was just, better. He's not the greatest vocalist in the world, but his voice has a certain character; his ability to wail desolately, or scream the lyrics manically is unique and brilliant within itself. I've never been his biggest fan, always preferring the musicality of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, but I always appreciated the song-writing partnership they had, which to me stands alongside the genius of Lennon and McCartney. I think it's safe to say, I am now a fan of Roger Waters. He is a visionary. What he created 30 years ago and has once more brought back to life and revitalised was, and is, pure genius. The album was played through in its entirety true to the original format, some extended songs and solos, some brand-new brief additions here and there, no major re-working of any songs though. I've heard clips of older live performances of The Wall and it's obvious that this time Waters wanted to get back to how it was originally intended. This was wise in my opinion; it's what audiences want to hear. This was The Wall as it was supposed to be, the same arrangements but with attitude, and with one hell of a show to go with it. Snowy White was on second guitar, quite a surprise. The main guitarist, Dave Kilminster, played the big Gilmour solos note perfectly and with feeling. He blew me away, I have never heard anyone take off Gilmour so brilliantly. His playing was truly wonderful, it was a joy to behold and he certainly looked like he was getting into it. Over the course of the show, giant "puppets" appeared, as big as a house. Again these were based on the grotesque characters drawn by Gerald Scarfe for the album artwork and film; the teacher, Mother, and later the scary wife with her praying mantis arms, and lips that freakishly didn't meet at one side. At the end of the first song a plane flew from the back of the hall over the audience's heads, bursting into flames as it crashed through the wall, which at the start of the show had been built at the sides only. A follow spot hovered out from the main lighting rig above the stage and passed right above our seats, accompanied by massive helicopter noise. "YOU, yes YOU, stand still Laddie!" And then of course there was the inflatable flying pig daubed with slogans such as "Drink Kalashnikov Vodka", floating around the entire auditorium just over our heads. And all throughout the first half of the show, they gradually built a bloody great wall in front of the band... "Goodbye cruel world, I'm leaving you today... Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!" The final brick was added on the last note of the first set. The first song of the second set had no visuals. There was no band to be seen, they played from behind the wall; Waters' controversial way of making his point. All we could see was a giant, stone-textured wall. "Hey you, standing in the aisles with itchy feet and fading smiles can you feel me..?" This was strangely unnerving. The stage was lit but we couldn't see it, the follow spot faded up during the vocals, the lights shone down behind the wall. How long are we going to just see a very big wall, we wondered. Not for long... Apart from the music, the sound quality, the gigantic puppetry, the effects, and various objects flying around the arena, what really made the show different, what made it a stunning and thought-provoking visual experience, were the projections onto the wall. They were there in the first half, but with the wall now complete (and bloody massive), we saw the projections in all their glory. Not just the animations that had been used in the film, but, well, too much really to even attempt to describe. There was a strong anti-war message running throughout. It was stark, brutal, and factually up to date including hundreds of photos of real people accompanied by their name, rank or occupation and born/died dates, all who'd been killed in conflicts from the first world war through to 9/11 and beyond. It was moving, and so cleverly done... As each brick was individually added to the wall we noticed that after a second or two the new brick would light up. The entire projection area had been broken down into blocks matching the position of each physical brick in the giant wall, so that each one could be lit or projected upon independently. This innovative idea was used to such clever effect in many different ways. At one point every brick on the wall was projected with a different photo of someone lost through conflict. We became aware that occasional bricks began to "fly" backwards, leaving a black hole in the wall as the photo-brick floated away into the vastness of space. More and more bricks faded away backwards, and for final emphasis when about half the bricks randomly remained, each still showing their individual projection, they twisted and floated away together into distant space; hundreds of real people fading away. You had to be there for the impact, it was devastating. Later in the show, individual bricks appeared to explode out from the wall and hurtle forwards into the audience, each brick projection getting larger and spinning towards us. An amazing, seemingly 3D effect, all done by projection onto a very large wall. The projections - weird, wonderful, beautiful, bizarre, and it being Roger Waters, usually anarchic, were omnipresent, barely giving us time to catch our breath as the next mind-bending idea was projected across the width and height of the stadium. And all this set to the massive, "theatrical" music of The Wall. Stunning. After the first song in the second set, the "surrogate band" appeared and took up their places in front of the wall. All were wearing the pseudo Nazi style uniforms, with hammer-logo armbands instead of swastikas, black berets instead of helmets, guitars their weapons of choice. Waters returned wearing the same outfit minus beret, and at first with a long black leather coat, eyeing the band up and down as if performing a military inspection as he walked across the stage; Gestapo meets twisted, delusional rockstar, oh but it was fun. Even when he shot me with his machine gun that flashed from the barrel as he fired, and panned across the speakers as he strafed the audience. And yes he did shoot me! You know when people think the singer is looking into their eyes and is singing just to them? Well he really was shooting right at me! I cowered in my seat, raising my arms in defence, I hope he appreciated me playing along... In the first song, Waters had exclaimed with glee, just as on the album, "Lights! And all the sound effects!" Searchlights flying overhead and picking us out was spooky, but the sound effects were verging on scary! Not content with the giant stack of speakers on either side, many of the sound effects came from another pair, the same size, at the back of the room. Helicopters panned around the 4 speakers, surrounding us with their sound. Guns, bombs, and weird and wonderful noises boomed out from behind. Such volume and clarity, like some immense, rock and roll, sound and light extravaganza, fairground ride. Nearing the end the music built towards its climax of mayhem, the Nazi rally chant, "Jawohl" emphasised the beat as it marched through the stadium. Battle noises, screeches, the final wall collapse and other huge sound effects rattled your body, you felt it right through you. It was awesome, I grinned throughout, it was hard to resist laughing manically. It was frightening and feel-good all at once. This was the warm thrill of confusion; an assault on the senses, safe but terrifying, insane but wonderful. Earth shattering, mind-blowing, beautifully done. xx   Roger's entrance: Goodbye Blue Sky Photos on the wall Mother, should I trust the government? Big wall, nearly built Those bricks are coming right at us! Slightly blurry, but we were there
    1768 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • "So ya, thought ya, might like to go to the show, To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow..." And so it was this week that I had the privilege of feeling the warm thrill of confusion, seeing Roger Waters perform "The Wall" live at the M.E.N. Arena. By way of Catharsis I feel I must write a little about it. It was the most amazing show I have ever seen, and I have seen a few. I can't quite get over it... Words cannot express the spectacle of it, the musicianship, the design, the sheer brilliance, but I have to say something. I'd like to go through the whole show in detail, but that's not going to work, so I may pick some random bits. I'm hoping that some readers at least will know a little of the album - The Wall. It's about a rockstar named Pink... The show began with a brief flash-forward. Two Nazi-esque post-apocalyptic-nightmare soldiers marched onstage carrying a soft toy version of Pink in his stripped bare state as caricatured in the trial sequence from the animated footage of the film. A pencil outline of a strange childlike figure, emotionless and vulnerable. The soundtrack to the old film "Spartacus" boomed out as Pink's head was manipulated as though through his broken-down haze he examined the audience as if we were the ones chanting, "I'm Spartacus". The rabble reached its climax, stopped dead, and Pink was unceremoniously dropped to the floor. The soldiers marched off. And then without warning in a sudden flash, all hell was let loose... The opening bars to The Wall are thumping drums, screaming guitars and organ, playing a slow, grandiose rock piece. The drums did not thump here though, they thundered, they beat at your diaphram, they made the earth move. Banks of red maroons shot across the stage highlighting the first beat of each phrase, each double-hit of the impossibly deep drum sound. The maroons were SO bright it was surreal, lighting the whole auditorium in incandescent crimson. Giant white Roman candles fizzing across the top and bottom of the stage came at the end of the song, dazzling, almost blinding. All the pyrotechnics accompanied the stomping opening bars perfectly and stunningly. OK, now you have my attention, this is exciting, this sounds amazing, this is what I call Rock and Roll. The sound quality throughout was immaculate. I say this as a former sound-engineer, indeed I still mix the sound for our band from onstage whilst playing keyboards, singing backing vocals, and trying to look pretty. I digress... It was loud, excitingly so, but the clarity of sound was perfect. Attention to detail in every respect. Waters' vocal sat atop the mix majestically, clear and warm. He sang everything just as he did on the album, bringing a familiarity that you don't always get in a live show, but the whole sound was just, better. He's not the greatest vocalist in the world, but his voice has a certain character; his ability to wail desolately, or scream the lyrics manically is unique and brilliant within itself. I've never been his biggest fan, always preferring the musicality of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, but I always appreciated the song-writing partnership they had, which to me stands alongside the genius of Lennon and McCartney. I think it's safe to say, I am now a fan of Roger Waters. He is a visionary. What he created 30 years ago and has once more brought back to life and revitalised was, and is, pure genius. The album was played through in its entirety true to the original format, some extended songs and solos, some brand-new brief additions here and there, no major re-working of any songs though. I've heard clips of older live performances of The Wall and it's obvious that this time Waters wanted to get back to how it was originally intended. This was wise in my opinion; it's what audiences want to hear. This was The Wall as it was supposed to be, the same arrangements but with attitude, and with one hell of a show to go with it. Snowy White was on second guitar, quite a surprise. The main guitarist, Dave Kilminster, played the big Gilmour solos note perfectly and with feeling. He blew me away, I have never heard anyone take off Gilmour so brilliantly. His playing was truly wonderful, it was a joy to behold and he certainly looked like he was getting into it. Over the course of the show, giant "puppets" appeared, as big as a house. Again these were based on the grotesque characters drawn by Gerald Scarfe for the album artwork and film; the teacher, Mother, and later the scary wife with her praying mantis arms, and lips that freakishly didn't meet at one side. At the end of the first song a plane flew from the back of the hall over the audience's heads, bursting into flames as it crashed through the wall, which at the start of the show had been built at the sides only. A follow spot hovered out from the main lighting rig above the stage and passed right above our seats, accompanied by massive helicopter noise. "YOU, yes YOU, stand still Laddie!" And then of course there was the inflatable flying pig daubed with slogans such as "Drink Kalashnikov Vodka", floating around the entire auditorium just over our heads. And all throughout the first half of the show, they gradually built a bloody great wall in front of the band... "Goodbye cruel world, I'm leaving you today... Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!" The final brick was added on the last note of the first set. The first song of the second set had no visuals. There was no band to be seen, they played from behind the wall; Waters' controversial way of making his point. All we could see was a giant, stone-textured wall. "Hey you, standing in the aisles with itchy feet and fading smiles can you feel me..?" This was strangely unnerving. The stage was lit but we couldn't see it, the follow spot faded up during the vocals, the lights shone down behind the wall. How long are we going to just see a very big wall, we wondered. Not for long... Apart from the music, the sound quality, the gigantic puppetry, the effects, and various objects flying around the arena, what really made the show different, what made it a stunning and thought-provoking visual experience, were the projections onto the wall. They were there in the first half, but with the wall now complete (and bloody massive), we saw the projections in all their glory. Not just the animations that had been used in the film, but, well, too much really to even attempt to describe. There was a strong anti-war message running throughout. It was stark, brutal, and factually up to date including hundreds of photos of real people accompanied by their name, rank or occupation and born/died dates, all who'd been killed in conflicts from the first world war through to 9/11 and beyond. It was moving, and so cleverly done... As each brick was individually added to the wall we noticed that after a second or two the new brick would light up. The entire projection area had been broken down into blocks matching the position of each physical brick in the giant wall, so that each one could be lit or projected upon independently. This innovative idea was used to such clever effect in many different ways. At one point every brick on the wall was projected with a different photo of someone lost through conflict. We became aware that occasional bricks began to "fly" backwards, leaving a black hole in the wall as the photo-brick floated away into the vastness of space. More and more bricks faded away backwards, and for final emphasis when about half the bricks randomly remained, each still showing their individual projection, they twisted and floated away together into distant space; hundreds of real people fading away. You had to be there for the impact, it was devastating. Later in the show, individual bricks appeared to explode out from the wall and hurtle forwards into the audience, each brick projection getting larger and spinning towards us. An amazing, seemingly 3D effect, all done by projection onto a very large wall. The projections - weird, wonderful, beautiful, bizarre, and it being Roger Waters, usually anarchic, were omnipresent, barely giving us time to catch our breath as the next mind-bending idea was projected across the width and height of the stadium. And all this set to the massive, "theatrical" music of The Wall. Stunning. After the first song in the second set, the "surrogate band" appeared and took up their places in front of the wall. All were wearing the pseudo Nazi style uniforms, with hammer-logo armbands instead of swastikas, black berets instead of helmets, guitars their weapons of choice. Waters returned wearing the same outfit minus beret, and at first with a long black leather coat, eyeing the band up and down as if performing a military inspection as he walked across the stage; Gestapo meets twisted, delusional rockstar, oh but it was fun. Even when he shot me with his machine gun that flashed from the barrel as he fired, and panned across the speakers as he strafed the audience. And yes he did shoot me! You know when people think the singer is looking into their eyes and is singing just to them? Well he really was shooting right at me! I cowered in my seat, raising my arms in defence, I hope he appreciated me playing along... In the first song, Waters had exclaimed with glee, just as on the album, "Lights! And all the sound effects!" Searchlights flying overhead and picking us out was spooky, but the sound effects were verging on scary! Not content with the giant stack of speakers on either side, many of the sound effects came from another pair, the same size, at the back of the room. Helicopters panned around the 4 speakers, surrounding us with their sound. Guns, bombs, and weird and wonderful noises boomed out from behind. Such volume and clarity, like some immense, rock and roll, sound and light extravaganza, fairground ride. Nearing the end the music built towards its climax of mayhem, the Nazi rally chant, "Jawohl" emphasised the beat as it marched through the stadium. Battle noises, screeches, the final wall collapse and other huge sound effects rattled your body, you felt it right through you. It was awesome, I grinned throughout, it was hard to resist laughing manically. It was frightening and feel-good all at once. This was the warm thrill of confusion; an assault on the senses, safe but terrifying, insane but wonderful. Earth shattering, mind-blowing, beautifully done. xx   Roger's entrance: Goodbye Blue Sky Photos on the wall Mother, should I trust the government? Big wall, nearly built Those bricks are coming right at us! Slightly blurry, but we were there
    Jul 04, 2011 1768
  • 03 Aug 2005
    The great escape Today would have been my umpteenth wedding anniversary, had I not had a lucky and merciful escape. I guess that’s not how it felt at the time, me trying to be "normal" and all that, but things really did work out for the best. When people say that, it’s not always a cliché. It’s taken me a bloody long time to gather the courage and whatever else is needed to follow my heart, but it is most certainly for the best. Not wishing to poke any ex-wives in the eye or anything, but I will be celebrating my non wedding anniversary by going out with my tv lover and bringing her back to my boudoir for a night of passion. See what I mean? You don’t get much better than that! We’re going to a club in St Helens for a change, Pippa’s neck of the woods, I think she goes there quite often (I’ll have to ask her, good chat up line that). Should be fun. I got my new medical card today (I’m sure I never had one in my old name though), in fact the mail generally is starting to weigh in favour of my new name, but I expect I will continue to get junk mail for "him" for years to come. I suppose there would have been a new Mrs X at this address, had I not changed my surname as well, but I never liked it, and who wants to share the same name as their ex-wife? Not I. So, to commemorate this rather non-event, what the hell, I posted another pic of me and Pip in our album, Lucy and Pippa’s girly days and nights (pic number 40): http://gendersociety.com/perl/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980166903840 It’s not quite steamy, but not stone cold either, in fact it’s got to be worth becoming a full member to be able to see pics like this. Maybe we should do more of this, in pursuit of artistic goals of course! Anyway, I must go and do my legs, and generally make myself beautiful, could take some time… xx
    975 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • The great escape Today would have been my umpteenth wedding anniversary, had I not had a lucky and merciful escape. I guess that’s not how it felt at the time, me trying to be "normal" and all that, but things really did work out for the best. When people say that, it’s not always a cliché. It’s taken me a bloody long time to gather the courage and whatever else is needed to follow my heart, but it is most certainly for the best. Not wishing to poke any ex-wives in the eye or anything, but I will be celebrating my non wedding anniversary by going out with my tv lover and bringing her back to my boudoir for a night of passion. See what I mean? You don’t get much better than that! We’re going to a club in St Helens for a change, Pippa’s neck of the woods, I think she goes there quite often (I’ll have to ask her, good chat up line that). Should be fun. I got my new medical card today (I’m sure I never had one in my old name though), in fact the mail generally is starting to weigh in favour of my new name, but I expect I will continue to get junk mail for "him" for years to come. I suppose there would have been a new Mrs X at this address, had I not changed my surname as well, but I never liked it, and who wants to share the same name as their ex-wife? Not I. So, to commemorate this rather non-event, what the hell, I posted another pic of me and Pip in our album, Lucy and Pippa’s girly days and nights (pic number 40): http://gendersociety.com/perl/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980166903840 It’s not quite steamy, but not stone cold either, in fact it’s got to be worth becoming a full member to be able to see pics like this. Maybe we should do more of this, in pursuit of artistic goals of course! Anyway, I must go and do my legs, and generally make myself beautiful, could take some time… xx
    Aug 03, 2005 975
  • 21 Oct 2004
    Grease is the word When Pippa and I were discussing outfits for last Saturday I said to her, "I bet this gets us our pic on the Trans-mission website". This was to be my fourth TM and that was something I still hadn’t achieved; story of my life - never in the right place at the right time. Well, I was right, we did get our pics taken and now we’re famous! Well OK not really, but it’s nice to be featured on the website of such a well known club, something most of my friends seemed to manage virtually every time they visited the place; I know I’m not photogenic but come on?! Anyway there we are for all the tranny world to see, not our best pic ever, and of course I wasn’t able to do my usual nifty editing and de-blemishing, out of my control, but hell we made it, at last, and at least the outfits look nice. If you want to see us and all the other beauties here’s the address: http://www.trans-mission.org/tx/txindex.htm Just click on latest pictures, if it’s within the next couple of weeks, otherwise you need to find the archive from 16th October 04. Went to my mum’s last night, who still has her arm in plaster. We both got plastered actually, well, just a little bit. Was a nice evening though, she called me Lucy! Woo hoo! We talked more about what it means to be transgender, she seems to be getting her head round it all very well, but mostly we talked about all things girly. Due to excess alcohol intake I was unable to drive home so I stopped over. In the morning she asked me to blow-dry her hair, and style it into a bob, with a bit of frizz for volume, and was very pleased with the results. I thought that was quite a girly mother/daughter thing to do, which is exactly what I feel I’ve missed out on all these years, that kind of relationship, and now it just seems natural, and very lovely. I showed her some pics in my pink 50’s outfit and she screamed "Oh my god you look just like I used to, ooh sorry", like I would be offended at that! She loved our outfits, took her right back to her going-out days as a teenager, awww. Tomorrow my friend Ann is coming for dinner. She’s broken her foot (do people always break limbs when you tell them you’re TS? I’m going to have to stop telling people about it). It’ll be the first time I’ve seen her since I told her and she promptly fell downstairs, though we are regularly in contact via email. I don’t really feel my revelation will change our relationship, though of course if she’s got any questions I’ll be happy to talk about it. Oh and my dad called round unexpectedly today (he never does that), fortunately it was an incredibly rare occasion when I was in drab, having just got back from mum’s, though I was wearing mascara last night, and it was by now a bit smudged. He was probably more concerned about the fact that my hair was tied up in a ponytail though, he hates ponytails, and tattoos, and piercings, even earrings. What he thinks of men dressed as women I’ve never dared ask. Maybe one day I’ll find out, can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Oh well, these things are sent to challenge us.
    1177 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Grease is the word When Pippa and I were discussing outfits for last Saturday I said to her, "I bet this gets us our pic on the Trans-mission website". This was to be my fourth TM and that was something I still hadn’t achieved; story of my life - never in the right place at the right time. Well, I was right, we did get our pics taken and now we’re famous! Well OK not really, but it’s nice to be featured on the website of such a well known club, something most of my friends seemed to manage virtually every time they visited the place; I know I’m not photogenic but come on?! Anyway there we are for all the tranny world to see, not our best pic ever, and of course I wasn’t able to do my usual nifty editing and de-blemishing, out of my control, but hell we made it, at last, and at least the outfits look nice. If you want to see us and all the other beauties here’s the address: http://www.trans-mission.org/tx/txindex.htm Just click on latest pictures, if it’s within the next couple of weeks, otherwise you need to find the archive from 16th October 04. Went to my mum’s last night, who still has her arm in plaster. We both got plastered actually, well, just a little bit. Was a nice evening though, she called me Lucy! Woo hoo! We talked more about what it means to be transgender, she seems to be getting her head round it all very well, but mostly we talked about all things girly. Due to excess alcohol intake I was unable to drive home so I stopped over. In the morning she asked me to blow-dry her hair, and style it into a bob, with a bit of frizz for volume, and was very pleased with the results. I thought that was quite a girly mother/daughter thing to do, which is exactly what I feel I’ve missed out on all these years, that kind of relationship, and now it just seems natural, and very lovely. I showed her some pics in my pink 50’s outfit and she screamed "Oh my god you look just like I used to, ooh sorry", like I would be offended at that! She loved our outfits, took her right back to her going-out days as a teenager, awww. Tomorrow my friend Ann is coming for dinner. She’s broken her foot (do people always break limbs when you tell them you’re TS? I’m going to have to stop telling people about it). It’ll be the first time I’ve seen her since I told her and she promptly fell downstairs, though we are regularly in contact via email. I don’t really feel my revelation will change our relationship, though of course if she’s got any questions I’ll be happy to talk about it. Oh and my dad called round unexpectedly today (he never does that), fortunately it was an incredibly rare occasion when I was in drab, having just got back from mum’s, though I was wearing mascara last night, and it was by now a bit smudged. He was probably more concerned about the fact that my hair was tied up in a ponytail though, he hates ponytails, and tattoos, and piercings, even earrings. What he thinks of men dressed as women I’ve never dared ask. Maybe one day I’ll find out, can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Oh well, these things are sent to challenge us.
    Oct 21, 2004 1177
  • 31 Oct 2009
      I have now been taking oestrogen for five years and one day, seemed like a bit of a milestone, so… It’s going, kind of how I expected I guess. My breasts have been feeling a bit tender again recently so maybe I’m just starting on another growth splurge. I think development stops and starts a bit, but overall it’s so slow that you hardly notice it. I’m happily filling an A cup now though (was double-A for about 3 and a half years) and even have a few B-cup bra’s that don’t look too silly. I still have a way to go I believe, before breast development will cease, and don’t fret about it, in fact I think my modest boobs are kind of cute, big enough to not be embarrassed about them in changing rooms, or on the nudist beach. Generally I still feel… great. That was the other big thing I noticed pretty quickly with oestrogen; that ennui, the male moodiness, a certain je ne sais quoi, has never reappeared. I know a lot of guys who I’m sure would be much happier, and much nicer people if they took a small dose of oestrogen! Anyway… I’m off on holiday again soon so me and Gillian went shopping yesterday to get kitted out, she needing more clothes than I do. I really must get selling stuff on ebay; I am running out of space. And I must stop going on shopping trips, but Gillian pleaded with me to come so how could I refuse. Of course I ended up buying more stuff than her… I am soooo bad. So after shopping we went out for dinner, and that’s my idea of a perfect girly day. Shop shop shop, eat, drink. What more could a girl want? Oh yeah, sex, it’s been a while, forgot about that. Maybe in Jamaica, just over 3 weeks to go, yayyy. I bought a red top! "Yeah… so..?" I have never bought anything red, I dunno know why, I’ve just never been sure about it. But we found this nice, casual knitted top, a bit see through, Gilly tried it on first, she’s a bit bigger than me, in all directions, and was well and truly pissed off when I tried it and it fitted me perfectly, and to my surprise, looked great. Found a red bra in the sale at TK Maxx which works great with it, the black bra underneath was a bit tarty, having a same colour bra just gives it a suggestion of seductiveness, rather than total tart. My mum’ll be horrified reading this, "See through top?!" but it’s not that bad mum, honest, it’s nice really, in a casual, but red, sort of way. Anyway it’s a first for me. It’s only taken me 16 years (since I really started buying clothes for myself) to buy something red. I think it goes well with my blonde hair, I could be converted (must do my roots though). Gilly is having a Halloween party tomorrow night. I have a bag of eyeballs for her. Not sure what I will wear yet. Probably my raggedy black dress with black shawl, and accessorise with my Christian Dior broomstick. Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls. xx
    1524 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   I have now been taking oestrogen for five years and one day, seemed like a bit of a milestone, so… It’s going, kind of how I expected I guess. My breasts have been feeling a bit tender again recently so maybe I’m just starting on another growth splurge. I think development stops and starts a bit, but overall it’s so slow that you hardly notice it. I’m happily filling an A cup now though (was double-A for about 3 and a half years) and even have a few B-cup bra’s that don’t look too silly. I still have a way to go I believe, before breast development will cease, and don’t fret about it, in fact I think my modest boobs are kind of cute, big enough to not be embarrassed about them in changing rooms, or on the nudist beach. Generally I still feel… great. That was the other big thing I noticed pretty quickly with oestrogen; that ennui, the male moodiness, a certain je ne sais quoi, has never reappeared. I know a lot of guys who I’m sure would be much happier, and much nicer people if they took a small dose of oestrogen! Anyway… I’m off on holiday again soon so me and Gillian went shopping yesterday to get kitted out, she needing more clothes than I do. I really must get selling stuff on ebay; I am running out of space. And I must stop going on shopping trips, but Gillian pleaded with me to come so how could I refuse. Of course I ended up buying more stuff than her… I am soooo bad. So after shopping we went out for dinner, and that’s my idea of a perfect girly day. Shop shop shop, eat, drink. What more could a girl want? Oh yeah, sex, it’s been a while, forgot about that. Maybe in Jamaica, just over 3 weeks to go, yayyy. I bought a red top! "Yeah… so..?" I have never bought anything red, I dunno know why, I’ve just never been sure about it. But we found this nice, casual knitted top, a bit see through, Gilly tried it on first, she’s a bit bigger than me, in all directions, and was well and truly pissed off when I tried it and it fitted me perfectly, and to my surprise, looked great. Found a red bra in the sale at TK Maxx which works great with it, the black bra underneath was a bit tarty, having a same colour bra just gives it a suggestion of seductiveness, rather than total tart. My mum’ll be horrified reading this, "See through top?!" but it’s not that bad mum, honest, it’s nice really, in a casual, but red, sort of way. Anyway it’s a first for me. It’s only taken me 16 years (since I really started buying clothes for myself) to buy something red. I think it goes well with my blonde hair, I could be converted (must do my roots though). Gilly is having a Halloween party tomorrow night. I have a bag of eyeballs for her. Not sure what I will wear yet. Probably my raggedy black dress with black shawl, and accessorise with my Christian Dior broomstick. Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls. xx
    Oct 31, 2009 1524
  • 28 Sep 2009
      Today is my second birthday, rebirthday of course. 2 years of being happy with my new body, which is no longer new, it’s just, my body. I gave myself a bit of a rebirthday present by flying to Germany last week to see my favourite musician of the last 25 years or so, Andreas Vollenweider. What a super trip. The flight from Manchester to Bremen was a doddle, found a cheap taxi company for transfer to the cheap hotel in Oldenburg, which was amazingly smart, and included a fantastic buffet breakfast, and a fridge on each landing with free bottled drinks - water, soft drinks, and beeeeer. Amazingly good value, and I took good advantage of the all you can eat breakfast, and the all you can drink fridges. Also had a good shop in Oldenburg, found a sexy skirt and a snazzy, chic cardie/top. But the gig, the reason I was there, was astounding, Wondrous, beautiful music, played by extremely talented musicians, especially Andreas himself. Having loved his music for so long, but only ever seen still photo’s of him, to actually see him play was amazing. The man is an absolute genius, a master of the many instruments he can play. His "electro-acoustic modified pedal harp" has just the most gorgeous sound. To hear it on big speakers in a concert hall, and to see his skill and deftness as his hands glide gracefully over the strings was a joy, nothing short of heavenly. Words cannot describe how good it was to see him, I’m still reeling, still buzzing. It was amazing. A real treat. I am so happy, so inspired, and so filled with awe. Wow. Here's an old clip on youtube, for anyone who's interested in furthering their musical tastes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XOdKG9Z_Xw&NR=1 xx
    1740 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   Today is my second birthday, rebirthday of course. 2 years of being happy with my new body, which is no longer new, it’s just, my body. I gave myself a bit of a rebirthday present by flying to Germany last week to see my favourite musician of the last 25 years or so, Andreas Vollenweider. What a super trip. The flight from Manchester to Bremen was a doddle, found a cheap taxi company for transfer to the cheap hotel in Oldenburg, which was amazingly smart, and included a fantastic buffet breakfast, and a fridge on each landing with free bottled drinks - water, soft drinks, and beeeeer. Amazingly good value, and I took good advantage of the all you can eat breakfast, and the all you can drink fridges. Also had a good shop in Oldenburg, found a sexy skirt and a snazzy, chic cardie/top. But the gig, the reason I was there, was astounding, Wondrous, beautiful music, played by extremely talented musicians, especially Andreas himself. Having loved his music for so long, but only ever seen still photo’s of him, to actually see him play was amazing. The man is an absolute genius, a master of the many instruments he can play. His "electro-acoustic modified pedal harp" has just the most gorgeous sound. To hear it on big speakers in a concert hall, and to see his skill and deftness as his hands glide gracefully over the strings was a joy, nothing short of heavenly. Words cannot describe how good it was to see him, I’m still reeling, still buzzing. It was amazing. A real treat. I am so happy, so inspired, and so filled with awe. Wow. Here's an old clip on youtube, for anyone who's interested in furthering their musical tastes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XOdKG9Z_Xw&NR=1 xx
    Sep 28, 2009 1740
  • 18 Sep 2009
      Just been catching up with the latest blogs and see that Marsha has stolen my title, well almost, but I thought of it first! So, I’ve just been to France as promised, with my mate Gillian. The naturist resort we stayed at was lovely, all wooden chalets set in a pine forest, a few minutes walk from the beach. Really peaceful, really relaxing, and a great sense of freedom being able to cast off the shackles of clothing, and not having to decide what to wear! Yes, buying croissants and dining out naked really did feel normal, it took no time at all to get used to being constantly unclothed. It was a great relief in fact as we arrived during a bit of a heatwave, 37 degrees C the day we arrived, scorching sunshine; the weather was super. So I think I’m hooked, I mean, I like my clothes, god knows I have enough of them, but I’d rather it was really warm and I didn’t have to wear any. Oh yeah, and I love having a real all-over tan! Currently I am thrilled and ecstatic and filled with anticipation as I’ve just booked a trip to Germany next week to see my musical hero in concert – Andreas Vollenweider. Who? Yeah, I know, everyone says that. He’s a Swiss harp player, his music usually falls into the new-age/ambient category, but that particular pigeon-hole really does not do it justice. His music is the most wonderful in the world, it brings joy to my soul. True, pure music, filled with beauty. I have been a fan for 25 years or so ever since a friend introduced me to him (in Germany, appropriately), but this will be the first time I have seen him play live. SO excited! And as if 2 weeks naked in France and a pilgrimage to see my musical guru wasn’t enough, I’ve also booked another winter holiday in Jamaica, at the end of November. I know, boring isn’t it, I’m sorry. I promise I will not go on holiday again for a long time, it’s all I seem to blog about these days. Well, see, I didn’t have a holiday for over ten years, so I have some making up to do. There was a time when I really didn’t want to travel, couldn’t have imagined doing a whole holiday au naturel, had no-one to go with anyway, and basically just wanted to hide away in my tumbledown cottage of isolation. Sad really. From Mr Grumpy to Little Miss Sunshine. Which would you rather be? xx
    2289 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   Just been catching up with the latest blogs and see that Marsha has stolen my title, well almost, but I thought of it first! So, I’ve just been to France as promised, with my mate Gillian. The naturist resort we stayed at was lovely, all wooden chalets set in a pine forest, a few minutes walk from the beach. Really peaceful, really relaxing, and a great sense of freedom being able to cast off the shackles of clothing, and not having to decide what to wear! Yes, buying croissants and dining out naked really did feel normal, it took no time at all to get used to being constantly unclothed. It was a great relief in fact as we arrived during a bit of a heatwave, 37 degrees C the day we arrived, scorching sunshine; the weather was super. So I think I’m hooked, I mean, I like my clothes, god knows I have enough of them, but I’d rather it was really warm and I didn’t have to wear any. Oh yeah, and I love having a real all-over tan! Currently I am thrilled and ecstatic and filled with anticipation as I’ve just booked a trip to Germany next week to see my musical hero in concert – Andreas Vollenweider. Who? Yeah, I know, everyone says that. He’s a Swiss harp player, his music usually falls into the new-age/ambient category, but that particular pigeon-hole really does not do it justice. His music is the most wonderful in the world, it brings joy to my soul. True, pure music, filled with beauty. I have been a fan for 25 years or so ever since a friend introduced me to him (in Germany, appropriately), but this will be the first time I have seen him play live. SO excited! And as if 2 weeks naked in France and a pilgrimage to see my musical guru wasn’t enough, I’ve also booked another winter holiday in Jamaica, at the end of November. I know, boring isn’t it, I’m sorry. I promise I will not go on holiday again for a long time, it’s all I seem to blog about these days. Well, see, I didn’t have a holiday for over ten years, so I have some making up to do. There was a time when I really didn’t want to travel, couldn’t have imagined doing a whole holiday au naturel, had no-one to go with anyway, and basically just wanted to hide away in my tumbledown cottage of isolation. Sad really. From Mr Grumpy to Little Miss Sunshine. Which would you rather be? xx
    Sep 18, 2009 2289
  • 31 Jul 2009
      So long since I blogged I thought I’d better read my last one before I wrote this, see where I’d got up too. So apparently at a gig I turned down a guy 20 years younger, well, he really was too drunk, and not my type, but I seem to have made up for it at Sparkle… I was working on the Saturday night so me and Gillian went down late afternoon on the Sunday. We checked in and went out to our favourite eating place to line our stomachs. Bumped into 4 of the TW girls whilst we were crossing Canal Street. Of course I wasn’t made up, hadn’t done my hair, in jeans and a t-shirt, not even wearing a bra, sorry for my slovenly appearance girls! I tidied myself up for the evening, honest. Nice to meet Tracey, who is great fun in the chat room, a fellow rum drinker, and, strikingly beautiful actually. Sorry we didn’t get chance to chat more, Trace. Anyway, later, after drinking much and chatting to virtually everyone in every pub we went to, I became aware of some guy staring across at me, outside in the smoking area of Napoleon’s (I was talking to a smoker, not smoking myself). So I asked him what he was staring at, not the best chat up line perhaps, but he said, "Sorry, I can’t take my eyes off you ‘cos you’re so gorgeous". "Oh stop…" Well actually he was gorgeous, and obviously much younger than me, 18 years younger in fact. He was no more drunk than me, and very sweet, so one thing led to another and I dragged him back to my hotel room, checking that Gilly was ok first. Yes, she was chatting up someone else of course. Well, I’m not bragging or anything, but it was nice to pick up a 28 year old who was like, totally into me. He was nice, and it was all very lovely, but he probably wasn’t boyfriend material (too young!) so I didn’t bother giving him my number. I know I know, I’m a shameless hussy, there I’ve said it, so you don’t need to comment on that thank you! It was very, very nice; I’m approaching 2 years post-op and things have obviously improved since last November, god that’s an age, but then again, that guy was Jamaican. Despite the last time being on a sun-drenched, secluded beach, this time was kind of more romantic, and natural, and kind of felt right, as well as, um, good. Anyway, that’s enough of that, I’m sure no-one wants to know, just wanted to enter it into my online, somewhat public diary. It’s the only diary I keep after all. So I’m off on holiday again in a couple of weeks, South-west France this time, on the coast near Bordeaux, and er, a nudist resort. This is something I’ve never done before, but I’ve spent plenty of time on nude beaches so I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it. I expect buying Croissants in the morning and dining out in the nude will feel a little weird at first, but I’m no longer ashamed of my body like I used to be. This is something I never would have done in my former life. I was a little apprehensive before I booked it, but I’m really looking forward to it now. The summer in England seems to have deserted us, rather predictably once again. We did have few days heatwave weeks ago, I guess that was our lot. Looking forward to swimming in the sea again, (is the Atlantic cold down there?) I’ve now got up to 64 lengths at the pool – a whole mile! Still got a fat tummy though. Well I guess that will do for now, but I will leave you with a few pics of a couple of recent gigs that were great fun to do. One was at a posh country house on the side of Lake Windermere, the view I had whilst playing was even better, looking up the lake, but you get the idea. The other gig, as you will see, was a birthday party with a James Bond theme, everyone in fancy dress, including the band, well, sort of. Obviously our singer had to be James (and god he looked handsome), but I thought the other guys should have gone as Odd-job, nick-nack and Blofeld. They chickened out and got some T-shirts printed instead. I felt I couldn’t really get away with being a Bond girl, and don’t look great in a catsuit, so I did kind of a generic Moneypenny, more of a secretary/librarian really, but approaching the look of the one in the Timothy Dalton films - glasses, hair tied up, with a short pencil skirt and satin blouse. Great fun. And hmm, I think some of the band have a secret, librarian fetish thing going on… soundchecking bedazzled bond guys james & moneypenny
    1808 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   So long since I blogged I thought I’d better read my last one before I wrote this, see where I’d got up too. So apparently at a gig I turned down a guy 20 years younger, well, he really was too drunk, and not my type, but I seem to have made up for it at Sparkle… I was working on the Saturday night so me and Gillian went down late afternoon on the Sunday. We checked in and went out to our favourite eating place to line our stomachs. Bumped into 4 of the TW girls whilst we were crossing Canal Street. Of course I wasn’t made up, hadn’t done my hair, in jeans and a t-shirt, not even wearing a bra, sorry for my slovenly appearance girls! I tidied myself up for the evening, honest. Nice to meet Tracey, who is great fun in the chat room, a fellow rum drinker, and, strikingly beautiful actually. Sorry we didn’t get chance to chat more, Trace. Anyway, later, after drinking much and chatting to virtually everyone in every pub we went to, I became aware of some guy staring across at me, outside in the smoking area of Napoleon’s (I was talking to a smoker, not smoking myself). So I asked him what he was staring at, not the best chat up line perhaps, but he said, "Sorry, I can’t take my eyes off you ‘cos you’re so gorgeous". "Oh stop…" Well actually he was gorgeous, and obviously much younger than me, 18 years younger in fact. He was no more drunk than me, and very sweet, so one thing led to another and I dragged him back to my hotel room, checking that Gilly was ok first. Yes, she was chatting up someone else of course. Well, I’m not bragging or anything, but it was nice to pick up a 28 year old who was like, totally into me. He was nice, and it was all very lovely, but he probably wasn’t boyfriend material (too young!) so I didn’t bother giving him my number. I know I know, I’m a shameless hussy, there I’ve said it, so you don’t need to comment on that thank you! It was very, very nice; I’m approaching 2 years post-op and things have obviously improved since last November, god that’s an age, but then again, that guy was Jamaican. Despite the last time being on a sun-drenched, secluded beach, this time was kind of more romantic, and natural, and kind of felt right, as well as, um, good. Anyway, that’s enough of that, I’m sure no-one wants to know, just wanted to enter it into my online, somewhat public diary. It’s the only diary I keep after all. So I’m off on holiday again in a couple of weeks, South-west France this time, on the coast near Bordeaux, and er, a nudist resort. This is something I’ve never done before, but I’ve spent plenty of time on nude beaches so I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it. I expect buying Croissants in the morning and dining out in the nude will feel a little weird at first, but I’m no longer ashamed of my body like I used to be. This is something I never would have done in my former life. I was a little apprehensive before I booked it, but I’m really looking forward to it now. The summer in England seems to have deserted us, rather predictably once again. We did have few days heatwave weeks ago, I guess that was our lot. Looking forward to swimming in the sea again, (is the Atlantic cold down there?) I’ve now got up to 64 lengths at the pool – a whole mile! Still got a fat tummy though. Well I guess that will do for now, but I will leave you with a few pics of a couple of recent gigs that were great fun to do. One was at a posh country house on the side of Lake Windermere, the view I had whilst playing was even better, looking up the lake, but you get the idea. The other gig, as you will see, was a birthday party with a James Bond theme, everyone in fancy dress, including the band, well, sort of. Obviously our singer had to be James (and god he looked handsome), but I thought the other guys should have gone as Odd-job, nick-nack and Blofeld. They chickened out and got some T-shirts printed instead. I felt I couldn’t really get away with being a Bond girl, and don’t look great in a catsuit, so I did kind of a generic Moneypenny, more of a secretary/librarian really, but approaching the look of the one in the Timothy Dalton films - glasses, hair tied up, with a short pencil skirt and satin blouse. Great fun. And hmm, I think some of the band have a secret, librarian fetish thing going on… soundchecking bedazzled bond guys james & moneypenny
    Jul 31, 2009 1808
  • 27 Apr 2009
      Some lovely comments following my last blog, thanks everyone, and especially to my mum who is the best mum in the world, has been an absolute rock in my journey, including travelling to Thailand with me and looking after me on our return, and all along in fact. I love her to bits. Mum, you are brilliant. So the five year anniversary of my first time out in public has just passed, and soon will be the 46th anniversary of my original entrance to this world. Right, no more birthdays, I am quite old enough thank you. Now that my second band is in full swing I am being kept quite busy, playing virtually every weekend this year and having been frantically learning songs during the week for both bands. I’m really enjoying it, and am at last getting some fairly decent money in. It may look easy when you see a band singing and strumming and tinkling and bashing their respective instruments, but what you see is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s fun, usually, but it’s also bloody hard work, physically and mentally demanding. Punters often don’t believe that, they just think it’s a wheeze. But it’s what I do, what I am good at, and what I love, and yes, it’s better than a boring office job. I could do with being a bit fitter and building up some stamina, will soon be doing some 3 nights in a row, two is bad enough. So mum and I have just started swimming at the local pool, hardly the Caribbean but one has to make do. The nearest sea around here is Arnside, not great swimming there, but if you like flat fish (flooks are the local delicacy, yummy) you’re in luck. And of course now the weather is improving I will get out and do some gentle walking again. So I’ve had my first experience in a female changing room, no hang on that sounds a bit dubious, oh you know what I mean. But to be honest I never even thought about it at the time, such things just seem normal now; I guess I feel more comfortable in the female changing room than I ever did in a male one. Took me a while to find a swimming costume that didn’t make me look like I’d just been tortured on "The Rack", but I finally got one on ebay, adjustable straps and padded bust, so although I still look like a pregnant stick, the costume looks kind of ok. Must work off this tummy… I got talking to a girl I knew vaguely at one of our Easter weekend gigs, and it tuns out she is a professional photographer and make up artist, doing weddings and stuff. She offered to give me a free makeover sometime, so the following week I took her up on the offer and let her doll me up before a gig (which was in Arnside as it happens). She put my hair in rollers whilst doing my make up, giving me tips all along. When the rollers came off the hair looked amazing, I’ve never had it that "big", it was just astounding, and really suited me, but she said the curls would drop a little and not be quite so "bouffant", if that’s the right word. They did, but it still looked great, really rock chicky, I could get used to this, so I will just have to learn how to do it myself. I was so grateful, what a kind thing for her to do to give up an hour and a half of her time on a Saturday evening. When I saw myself in the mirror I blurted out that I suddenly felt more confident (not that I have confidence issues), and she said, "For me, that makes it all worthwhile." So I was buzzing all night. Of course some of the men in the band didn’t seem to notice (they are lovely guys, but they are still men), but when the singer walked in I said, "Hi", he did a double take, his jaw dropped and he said, "You look GORGEOUS". Kind of made it all worthwhile for me. Then of course one of the others said, "Yeah, have you had hair done or something?" No, just being eating all my crusts… I even got chatted up later on, which is a first at a gig (at least since being post-op; some guy did once ask me for my number before that, I didn’t dare give it to him). Unfortunately this guy was 20 years too young and a bit pissed, but he was ok looking, so it was better than nothing. So whaddya think, curly hair from now on? Maybe just for special occasions eh. xx
    1325 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   Some lovely comments following my last blog, thanks everyone, and especially to my mum who is the best mum in the world, has been an absolute rock in my journey, including travelling to Thailand with me and looking after me on our return, and all along in fact. I love her to bits. Mum, you are brilliant. So the five year anniversary of my first time out in public has just passed, and soon will be the 46th anniversary of my original entrance to this world. Right, no more birthdays, I am quite old enough thank you. Now that my second band is in full swing I am being kept quite busy, playing virtually every weekend this year and having been frantically learning songs during the week for both bands. I’m really enjoying it, and am at last getting some fairly decent money in. It may look easy when you see a band singing and strumming and tinkling and bashing their respective instruments, but what you see is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s fun, usually, but it’s also bloody hard work, physically and mentally demanding. Punters often don’t believe that, they just think it’s a wheeze. But it’s what I do, what I am good at, and what I love, and yes, it’s better than a boring office job. I could do with being a bit fitter and building up some stamina, will soon be doing some 3 nights in a row, two is bad enough. So mum and I have just started swimming at the local pool, hardly the Caribbean but one has to make do. The nearest sea around here is Arnside, not great swimming there, but if you like flat fish (flooks are the local delicacy, yummy) you’re in luck. And of course now the weather is improving I will get out and do some gentle walking again. So I’ve had my first experience in a female changing room, no hang on that sounds a bit dubious, oh you know what I mean. But to be honest I never even thought about it at the time, such things just seem normal now; I guess I feel more comfortable in the female changing room than I ever did in a male one. Took me a while to find a swimming costume that didn’t make me look like I’d just been tortured on "The Rack", but I finally got one on ebay, adjustable straps and padded bust, so although I still look like a pregnant stick, the costume looks kind of ok. Must work off this tummy… I got talking to a girl I knew vaguely at one of our Easter weekend gigs, and it tuns out she is a professional photographer and make up artist, doing weddings and stuff. She offered to give me a free makeover sometime, so the following week I took her up on the offer and let her doll me up before a gig (which was in Arnside as it happens). She put my hair in rollers whilst doing my make up, giving me tips all along. When the rollers came off the hair looked amazing, I’ve never had it that "big", it was just astounding, and really suited me, but she said the curls would drop a little and not be quite so "bouffant", if that’s the right word. They did, but it still looked great, really rock chicky, I could get used to this, so I will just have to learn how to do it myself. I was so grateful, what a kind thing for her to do to give up an hour and a half of her time on a Saturday evening. When I saw myself in the mirror I blurted out that I suddenly felt more confident (not that I have confidence issues), and she said, "For me, that makes it all worthwhile." So I was buzzing all night. Of course some of the men in the band didn’t seem to notice (they are lovely guys, but they are still men), but when the singer walked in I said, "Hi", he did a double take, his jaw dropped and he said, "You look GORGEOUS". Kind of made it all worthwhile for me. Then of course one of the others said, "Yeah, have you had hair done or something?" No, just being eating all my crusts… I even got chatted up later on, which is a first at a gig (at least since being post-op; some guy did once ask me for my number before that, I didn’t dare give it to him). Unfortunately this guy was 20 years too young and a bit pissed, but he was ok looking, so it was better than nothing. So whaddya think, curly hair from now on? Maybe just for special occasions eh. xx
    Apr 27, 2009 1325
  • 22 Feb 2009
    Thought I’d do a quick blog as today is a momentous anniversary, well, kind of… It’s five years to the day that I joined Trannyweb. It is completely surreal to think back to how my life was when I joined, "looking for others like me" as we so often see in the "Welcome New Members" forum. How many others like me have had their lives turned around after joining TW, I wonder. I’d been in a comparatively new job for about a year, which turned out to be utterly more miserable, depressing, frustrating and soul destroying than the last one, which wasn’t all that bad, but after 10+ years I felt I needed a change. The new job found me in a male dominated environment, dealing with male customers in a way that was expected of a male. Not really for me all that. I think all that was part of the catalyst that got me where I am today, and what led me to TW in the first place. I’d kept my head down in a gender neutral office job for 10 years, and in line with the rest of my previous life, I plodded along going with the flow, never really comfortable in my own skin, but somehow getting by. So things had changed, I found TW, I found others like me and after meeting so many people whilst being able to express my true nature I found myself. I was out dressed in public for the first time within 2 months of joining. I think it’s fair to say I never looked back. I left my job within 5 months, it really was destroying me. And before too long I had made the decision to return to working in bands, which I had given up a few years previously, again for reasons relating to my gender dysphoria. I don’t feel I have GD now, though it sounds a bit naff to say that I am "cured". But here I am 5 years on, post-op, really happy, now working in two bands and loving it. Never ashamed or embarrassed or uncomfortable being onstage like I used to feel occasionally when I had to attempt to present as male. Ugh, like I say, surreal. Did I really do that? For so long? I guess so. TW gave me the opportunity to meet others, explore myself, and come to terms with the reality that Transition really could be an option. Just about everyone is a little apprehensive of taking those first steps, You’d probably have to be bonkers not to be. But don’t talk yourself out of it, or at least finding some happy medium if you can. All things are possible. This is your one and only life, it would be a shame to waste it. Believe me, I spent many years wasting mine, but no more. Now I love my life, and every minute is worthwhile. No more despondency, doom, gloom, frustration. I have to thank Katie with all my heart for starting this site and making it such a brilliant place, and shall probably do so again in another five years. Because who knows, without this place I may not be where I am today. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Thanks to all the lovely people here too, who continue to make this place great, and give such support and encouragement to so many people. I see so many TS’s who shun such communities after transitioning, saying something along the lines of, "I’m a woman now, I have no place in a trans community…" Well personally I think that’s a bit naff, though I do understand it. But I’m a woman too. I am not clinging on to the Trans community, being here does not make me any less of a woman or mean I have not fully integrated into society. I have, and I love it. It’s something I was never fully able to do in the past. I finally feel like I belong in the world. And I still feel I belong here. Be happy, and remember: it’s there if you want it, so go for it! xx
    1443 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Thought I’d do a quick blog as today is a momentous anniversary, well, kind of… It’s five years to the day that I joined Trannyweb. It is completely surreal to think back to how my life was when I joined, "looking for others like me" as we so often see in the "Welcome New Members" forum. How many others like me have had their lives turned around after joining TW, I wonder. I’d been in a comparatively new job for about a year, which turned out to be utterly more miserable, depressing, frustrating and soul destroying than the last one, which wasn’t all that bad, but after 10+ years I felt I needed a change. The new job found me in a male dominated environment, dealing with male customers in a way that was expected of a male. Not really for me all that. I think all that was part of the catalyst that got me where I am today, and what led me to TW in the first place. I’d kept my head down in a gender neutral office job for 10 years, and in line with the rest of my previous life, I plodded along going with the flow, never really comfortable in my own skin, but somehow getting by. So things had changed, I found TW, I found others like me and after meeting so many people whilst being able to express my true nature I found myself. I was out dressed in public for the first time within 2 months of joining. I think it’s fair to say I never looked back. I left my job within 5 months, it really was destroying me. And before too long I had made the decision to return to working in bands, which I had given up a few years previously, again for reasons relating to my gender dysphoria. I don’t feel I have GD now, though it sounds a bit naff to say that I am "cured". But here I am 5 years on, post-op, really happy, now working in two bands and loving it. Never ashamed or embarrassed or uncomfortable being onstage like I used to feel occasionally when I had to attempt to present as male. Ugh, like I say, surreal. Did I really do that? For so long? I guess so. TW gave me the opportunity to meet others, explore myself, and come to terms with the reality that Transition really could be an option. Just about everyone is a little apprehensive of taking those first steps, You’d probably have to be bonkers not to be. But don’t talk yourself out of it, or at least finding some happy medium if you can. All things are possible. This is your one and only life, it would be a shame to waste it. Believe me, I spent many years wasting mine, but no more. Now I love my life, and every minute is worthwhile. No more despondency, doom, gloom, frustration. I have to thank Katie with all my heart for starting this site and making it such a brilliant place, and shall probably do so again in another five years. Because who knows, without this place I may not be where I am today. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Thanks to all the lovely people here too, who continue to make this place great, and give such support and encouragement to so many people. I see so many TS’s who shun such communities after transitioning, saying something along the lines of, "I’m a woman now, I have no place in a trans community…" Well personally I think that’s a bit naff, though I do understand it. But I’m a woman too. I am not clinging on to the Trans community, being here does not make me any less of a woman or mean I have not fully integrated into society. I have, and I love it. It’s something I was never fully able to do in the past. I finally feel like I belong in the world. And I still feel I belong here. Be happy, and remember: it’s there if you want it, so go for it! xx
    Feb 22, 2009 1443