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Lucy Diamond 's Entries

204 blogs
  • 20 Dec 2005
    "No-one said it would be easy..." Indeed, and neither do I, but nothing's impossible. Anyway, today's blog... "I don’t understand it so I hate it". That’s not right is it? It’s a phobia, an irrational fear or dislike of something. My dad seems to be trans-phobic. I think the only solution to that phenomenon is better education, but some people really don’t want to be educated, they are more comfortable just to live with their irrational fears and dislikes. Why is that? Dad used to be homophobic too, but seems to have mellowed after meeting and making friends with a gay couple, his age, and much like him in several ways, apart from the gay bit of course. Maybe that is cause for optimism in my case, and hence the reference to gay marriage rights in the following email which I just sent to my dad in response to his latest (belated) non-constructive, ill-educated reply. One has to try… Subject: No such word as can’t… Oh, Dad… I don’t expect I’m ever going to find the words that will make you understand, but ultimately that’s all I wish for; that you reach some understanding of who I am, what I have been through all my life, what I am doing to ensure my own survival and peace of mind, etc… It saddens me that you say you hate what I am doing, "incomprehensible" is better than "hate". You shouldn’t hate it, perhaps it’s fear of the unknown? Fear this – if I went back to living as a man, one way or another I would destroy myself, such is the nature of this condition. You shouldn’t wish for my own destruction, for that would be the only possible outcome of any 180 degree shift in my course. I’m not doing this as some sort of wheeze, it’s not because I’m a weirdo, I just have to be myself, my real self. You may still believe that something has happened that has made me want to do this, something that happened in my life changed me; not so. I’ve always been this way. I’ve tried very hard to fit in, to do what is expected of a man, to appear to be a normal bloke. If I achieved any of that it was in appearance only, it never changed what I am on the inside and never will, never can, no way. Trust me, no amount of therapy can change the way my brain is wired up, all I can do is take steps to make me feel better about myself, give me the congruency that has always been missing from my life, something that most people take for granted. "I would rather none of this were happening", maybe I would too, but it has to, and it’s for the best. It’s not going to cause me problems, it’s going to solve them, problems that I’ve always kept hidden. I wish I'd been more honest about them. Gay people don’t choose to be gay, trans people don’t choose to be trans, they are born that way (yes, they ARE). Same-sex couples have now been given similar rights as different-sex couples, transsexuals are now legally recognised in their true gender. Before too long I will have a birth certificate that states that I am female. The government recognises my condition, the medical profession recognise it, you can too, if you’d only try. I’m not a freak, weirdo, pervert (or gay); I’m me, the same me I always have been, but without the old façade, and at last finding some peace of mind, some happiness. There are only two real choices for me: a) live as a woman, or b) die, soon. Which would you prefer? I’m sure you’re thinking of a c), sorry, it’s not there; a) or b), that’s it. I choose life. Wishing none of this were happening seems a strange reason for not discussing it with anyone else. I wish you would discuss it, at least with me, but you might even be reassured to hear other people’s opinions on the subject. In the last 12 months I’ve practically gone from reclusive agoraphobic to social animal, I’ve talked to a lot of people about it, seen reactions from strangers, always positive, or neutral; never negative. So far, your reaction has been unique, but you’re you, just like I’m me. Of course I always knew this would be difficult with you, why do you think it took me nearly 40 years to tell you?! But it needn’t be impossible. I’ve a lot to go through in all this, but I’m not asking for your help. I would however like to help you come to terms with it, if I can. You should talk to people about it, you should try to understand, you should WANT to understand. And you shouldn’t hate it. All I want is to be the best person I can be, hell, to actually BE a person makes a change, and to maintain (perhaps even improve) the loving relationships that I’ve always had with my friends and family. That includes you, dear Father. Please have a good Christmas, please don’t think about me if it upsets you, and please give my love to M*****, who I think is a wonderful woman, by the way. Maybe one day I’ll be a wonderful woman too, surely that’s better than being a depressed, alcoholic, agoraphobic, suicidal woman in a bloke’s body? Please keep in touch. Lots of love, Your daughter, Lucy So there you go, it's a bit personal, but on this occasion I wanted to share it with you. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's finding her dad to be the biggest obstacle in terms of understanding. He's not going to reply saying, "Ah yes, now I understand..." but change does not happen overnight. When I said in my last blog, "For the time being I give up", it was never going to be for long. My dad is wrong to "hate" this, effectively that means he hates me, for "this" is who I am, and I know he doesn't really hate me. It's not easy to convince your dad he's wrong, especially when it's my dad, but I have to try to help him understand, for only then will he lose the hatred, get over his phobia. No-one said it would be easy. Love and peace, and Merry Christmas! xx
    478 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • "No-one said it would be easy..." Indeed, and neither do I, but nothing's impossible. Anyway, today's blog... "I don’t understand it so I hate it". That’s not right is it? It’s a phobia, an irrational fear or dislike of something. My dad seems to be trans-phobic. I think the only solution to that phenomenon is better education, but some people really don’t want to be educated, they are more comfortable just to live with their irrational fears and dislikes. Why is that? Dad used to be homophobic too, but seems to have mellowed after meeting and making friends with a gay couple, his age, and much like him in several ways, apart from the gay bit of course. Maybe that is cause for optimism in my case, and hence the reference to gay marriage rights in the following email which I just sent to my dad in response to his latest (belated) non-constructive, ill-educated reply. One has to try… Subject: No such word as can’t… Oh, Dad… I don’t expect I’m ever going to find the words that will make you understand, but ultimately that’s all I wish for; that you reach some understanding of who I am, what I have been through all my life, what I am doing to ensure my own survival and peace of mind, etc… It saddens me that you say you hate what I am doing, "incomprehensible" is better than "hate". You shouldn’t hate it, perhaps it’s fear of the unknown? Fear this – if I went back to living as a man, one way or another I would destroy myself, such is the nature of this condition. You shouldn’t wish for my own destruction, for that would be the only possible outcome of any 180 degree shift in my course. I’m not doing this as some sort of wheeze, it’s not because I’m a weirdo, I just have to be myself, my real self. You may still believe that something has happened that has made me want to do this, something that happened in my life changed me; not so. I’ve always been this way. I’ve tried very hard to fit in, to do what is expected of a man, to appear to be a normal bloke. If I achieved any of that it was in appearance only, it never changed what I am on the inside and never will, never can, no way. Trust me, no amount of therapy can change the way my brain is wired up, all I can do is take steps to make me feel better about myself, give me the congruency that has always been missing from my life, something that most people take for granted. "I would rather none of this were happening", maybe I would too, but it has to, and it’s for the best. It’s not going to cause me problems, it’s going to solve them, problems that I’ve always kept hidden. I wish I'd been more honest about them. Gay people don’t choose to be gay, trans people don’t choose to be trans, they are born that way (yes, they ARE). Same-sex couples have now been given similar rights as different-sex couples, transsexuals are now legally recognised in their true gender. Before too long I will have a birth certificate that states that I am female. The government recognises my condition, the medical profession recognise it, you can too, if you’d only try. I’m not a freak, weirdo, pervert (or gay); I’m me, the same me I always have been, but without the old façade, and at last finding some peace of mind, some happiness. There are only two real choices for me: a) live as a woman, or b) die, soon. Which would you prefer? I’m sure you’re thinking of a c), sorry, it’s not there; a) or b), that’s it. I choose life. Wishing none of this were happening seems a strange reason for not discussing it with anyone else. I wish you would discuss it, at least with me, but you might even be reassured to hear other people’s opinions on the subject. In the last 12 months I’ve practically gone from reclusive agoraphobic to social animal, I’ve talked to a lot of people about it, seen reactions from strangers, always positive, or neutral; never negative. So far, your reaction has been unique, but you’re you, just like I’m me. Of course I always knew this would be difficult with you, why do you think it took me nearly 40 years to tell you?! But it needn’t be impossible. I’ve a lot to go through in all this, but I’m not asking for your help. I would however like to help you come to terms with it, if I can. You should talk to people about it, you should try to understand, you should WANT to understand. And you shouldn’t hate it. All I want is to be the best person I can be, hell, to actually BE a person makes a change, and to maintain (perhaps even improve) the loving relationships that I’ve always had with my friends and family. That includes you, dear Father. Please have a good Christmas, please don’t think about me if it upsets you, and please give my love to M*****, who I think is a wonderful woman, by the way. Maybe one day I’ll be a wonderful woman too, surely that’s better than being a depressed, alcoholic, agoraphobic, suicidal woman in a bloke’s body? Please keep in touch. Lots of love, Your daughter, Lucy So there you go, it's a bit personal, but on this occasion I wanted to share it with you. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's finding her dad to be the biggest obstacle in terms of understanding. He's not going to reply saying, "Ah yes, now I understand..." but change does not happen overnight. When I said in my last blog, "For the time being I give up", it was never going to be for long. My dad is wrong to "hate" this, effectively that means he hates me, for "this" is who I am, and I know he doesn't really hate me. It's not easy to convince your dad he's wrong, especially when it's my dad, but I have to try to help him understand, for only then will he lose the hatred, get over his phobia. No-one said it would be easy. Love and peace, and Merry Christmas! xx
    Dec 20, 2005 478
  • 15 Dec 2005
    Open your mind "Some things, however, do not change. I am not certain whether the acceptance and tolerance will ever change and if so, into which direction." Have to disagree with that sorry, and I’m confident in doing so because I see it every day. I believe it’s not so much society that has a problem with us, it’s now just individuals, the bigots as Pippa put it, quite rightly. Maybe they won’t ever change, but each of them will die, end of bigot. Bigotism as a social concept will gradually die out too. In some cases it may be passed on through closed family units, taught by father to son, but hey, my dad is a bigot and I’m not, so that’s not always the case. What gets me is how so many people bang on about society’s lack of tolerance when really it’s becoming more and more of a minority that are intolerant towards us. I’m seeing a pattern, and that’s what prompted me to make the comments in my last blog; so many TG people insist that society won’t allow them to be themselves, and so often that is their "reason" for not doing so. If you don’t stand up for yourself you will always be down-trodden. I’m not suggesting that everyone should come out, I understand that individuals have their own unique situations to deal with. But I am saying that if you feel unhappy not living the way you would like to, then change. Just do it. It’s up to you to make the change, not society, so don’t go round blaming it for not allowing you to do so. The truth is, acceptance and tolerance HAVE changed for the better, even in my lifetime, and that’s very obvious to see. I imagine that if I’d come out 20 years ago things might have been much more difficult, I may have experienced a great deal more intolerance, misunderstanding, negativity. But I haven’t come across any of that. With one exception. My dad. Intolerance, misunderstanding, negativity - he has in spades. Where does it all come from? He’s a good man, but his attitude towards anything that doesn’t fit in with his insular notion of "normality" is extreme. Everyone should live the way he lives, be the way he is. Everyone should be cisgender, heterosexual, get married, have kids and carry on the family name. I’m transgender, sexuality debatable, divorced, no kids, and changed both my names. Oh dear. No wonder I’m such a disappointment to him. How do I get him to see things from my point of view? He says he hates what I am doing, hopes I will change my mind, and can’t comprehend any of it. Does he fear what he doesn’t understand? He seems to have a phobia of any sort of deviation from "normality" and I wonder where that comes from. I’m sure it is more than just the environment in which he was brought up. Above all I’d like him to see that the way I have chosen to live is my "normal". In my previous life I’ve always felt deviant, a female dressing in male clothes, learning male traits, trying to appear outwardly male. I wish I hadn’t done it so well. He still believes all this has been caused by one or more events in my life. And still clings on to the belief that I can be cured, perhaps by therapy. Ironic, considering his attitude towards therapists! He doesn’t want to understand, so he doesn’t try to, but even without any understanding he still feels able to cast judgement. This is just "wrong". How can I get him to see that this is right for me? How can I get him to even talk about it? For the time being, I give up. He’s a difficult man to get through to sometimes, and at the moment, completely impossible. I hope that one day he will see me as a happy and successful woman, realise that I used to be a miserable, drifting, ambition-less bloke and see that I really am better off like this. I hope he doesn’t die a bigot. One should never believe that there is no more to learn, or that things should always be a certain way, or that things can’t change. I invite anyone who believes that society is and always will be intolerant towards us to come down the pub with me and see how people really are. Maybe we’ll go shopping, take in a show, whatever. Come and see for yourself and stop living in the past. Dad, that includes you. xx
    454 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Open your mind "Some things, however, do not change. I am not certain whether the acceptance and tolerance will ever change and if so, into which direction." Have to disagree with that sorry, and I’m confident in doing so because I see it every day. I believe it’s not so much society that has a problem with us, it’s now just individuals, the bigots as Pippa put it, quite rightly. Maybe they won’t ever change, but each of them will die, end of bigot. Bigotism as a social concept will gradually die out too. In some cases it may be passed on through closed family units, taught by father to son, but hey, my dad is a bigot and I’m not, so that’s not always the case. What gets me is how so many people bang on about society’s lack of tolerance when really it’s becoming more and more of a minority that are intolerant towards us. I’m seeing a pattern, and that’s what prompted me to make the comments in my last blog; so many TG people insist that society won’t allow them to be themselves, and so often that is their "reason" for not doing so. If you don’t stand up for yourself you will always be down-trodden. I’m not suggesting that everyone should come out, I understand that individuals have their own unique situations to deal with. But I am saying that if you feel unhappy not living the way you would like to, then change. Just do it. It’s up to you to make the change, not society, so don’t go round blaming it for not allowing you to do so. The truth is, acceptance and tolerance HAVE changed for the better, even in my lifetime, and that’s very obvious to see. I imagine that if I’d come out 20 years ago things might have been much more difficult, I may have experienced a great deal more intolerance, misunderstanding, negativity. But I haven’t come across any of that. With one exception. My dad. Intolerance, misunderstanding, negativity - he has in spades. Where does it all come from? He’s a good man, but his attitude towards anything that doesn’t fit in with his insular notion of "normality" is extreme. Everyone should live the way he lives, be the way he is. Everyone should be cisgender, heterosexual, get married, have kids and carry on the family name. I’m transgender, sexuality debatable, divorced, no kids, and changed both my names. Oh dear. No wonder I’m such a disappointment to him. How do I get him to see things from my point of view? He says he hates what I am doing, hopes I will change my mind, and can’t comprehend any of it. Does he fear what he doesn’t understand? He seems to have a phobia of any sort of deviation from "normality" and I wonder where that comes from. I’m sure it is more than just the environment in which he was brought up. Above all I’d like him to see that the way I have chosen to live is my "normal". In my previous life I’ve always felt deviant, a female dressing in male clothes, learning male traits, trying to appear outwardly male. I wish I hadn’t done it so well. He still believes all this has been caused by one or more events in my life. And still clings on to the belief that I can be cured, perhaps by therapy. Ironic, considering his attitude towards therapists! He doesn’t want to understand, so he doesn’t try to, but even without any understanding he still feels able to cast judgement. This is just "wrong". How can I get him to see that this is right for me? How can I get him to even talk about it? For the time being, I give up. He’s a difficult man to get through to sometimes, and at the moment, completely impossible. I hope that one day he will see me as a happy and successful woman, realise that I used to be a miserable, drifting, ambition-less bloke and see that I really am better off like this. I hope he doesn’t die a bigot. One should never believe that there is no more to learn, or that things should always be a certain way, or that things can’t change. I invite anyone who believes that society is and always will be intolerant towards us to come down the pub with me and see how people really are. Maybe we’ll go shopping, take in a show, whatever. Come and see for yourself and stop living in the past. Dad, that includes you. xx
    Dec 15, 2005 454
  • 08 Dec 2005
    If you see a shining star, follow it... Life plods on, as Christmas sneaks up quietly, ready to pounce. I really ought to do some shopping. I did try earlier this week, just thought I’d go out and see if anything caught my eye, it didn’t, but I did manage to buy some clothes for myself. Although I don’t actually have room to store all my clothes I still feel I don’t have enough, and need stuff for going out on special occasions as well as everyday wear. I guess a girl can’t have too many clothes. Just not enough wardrobes perhaps. So I must make a list next time I go out, of things to buy for people, else I will just end up buying for myself again. In the olden days the run up to Christmas was a good time to buy clothes for myself; "It’s a present for my girlfriend…" was of course the line I had prepared, not that I ever needed it, no-one ever actually comments on men buying women’s clothes. So I used to stock up around this time, and always had a good look round all the charity shops, which aren’t at all bad in Kendal. Since I no longer present as male of course I can buy stuff for myself whenever I like without feeling awkward about it, so I really must concentrate on other people for the next couple of weeks. I love shopping, but only for myself… My mum has several visitors booked in at her place, and no doubt there will be others that turn up unannounced, so there will be quite a few people meeting Lucy for the first time. Seems strange that I’m still saying that, as I’ve been full-time since June, but I guess people come out of the woodwork more at Christmas, and there are still plenty of old friends who have yet to do the "Lucy experience". Mum and her friend from Spain came over on Sunday for dinner (I made prawn linguine, yummy), so it was nice to have a girly night, and catch up with someone I haven’t seen for 8 years. Hopefully Pip’s coming over early next week, should help to keep me warm, and then at the weekend we are going to Manchester with Sue and Laura (TS mother and daughter from Kendal) and some of their friends, as it’s someone’s birthday. There are a few going, all from vaguely around here, so it will be nice to meet some more local girls. I’ve heard that there is another girl from Kendal about to transition (who’s also going), great news, that’s at least 4 in about 26,000, we’re practically taking over this town. I can’t help wondering that if I’d seen other girls transitioning locally, I might have done it sooner myself. It’s a bit daunting when you think you’re the only one. Hopefully the more of us there are making our presence known, the more others will be encouraged to come out and follow suit. Which is an equation that works nationally and globally, but when you see a happy looking TS walking down the street in your own town, and you know that is how YOU want to be, it has a real impact. Sadly, I keep seeing things in forums etc, not just on this site, saying that "things will never change", "we will never be accepted". Always I know that such comments are not from people who are "out". I’m not preaching, but I just find it sad that their own fears not only dictate that they cannot ever contemplate going out in public, but that their comments spread fear amongst others who also would like to transition, or even  just go out dressed, but just feel that they can’t possibly, what would everyone think… 26,000 sounds like a lot, well it’s a big number isn’t it (though less than the population of Trannyweb), but really this is just a small town, generally considered quite conservative, old-fashioned, lots of yokels, and many people in fact said to me things like, "You’re going to transition in KENDAL?!" The truth is though, and I will keep saying this, that things ARE changing, people watch television, read newspapers, look up things on the internet, the world is getting smaller. Whereas 20 years ago we might have been more justified in thinking that people would be shocked, disgusted, amused, whatever, these days that just isn’t the case. People AIN’T BOVERED. Even in a town like this. So I wish people wouldn’t spread such negativity around the internet especially on what are supposed to be sites offering support. Taking that attitude prevents change more than anything. And really they are just making excuses for themselves, trying to make out that their fear is justified. Fear resides in people’s heads. Yes, it takes a small amount of courage to make that first step, a leap of faith, but once you do you realise that there is nothing to fear, and that things are changing and will continue to do so, and your presence can only help. Well, the choice is yours, sit at your desk and tell me it’s just not viable for you to come out because things will never change, or get out and make the change yourself. No-one else is going to do it for you. But please don’t tell others that they can’t, or shouldn’t do it, or that it’s dangerous or that they will be subjected to abuse and humiliation. None of that is true. That’s what is in people’s heads, not what you find on the streets. Don’t inflict your paranoia on others, don’t spread fear, don’t assume coming out will be hell. It’s actually pretty good, and it’s a way to a better life. Try it, you might like it! xx OK that was a bit preachy, sorry, sermon over.
    444 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • If you see a shining star, follow it... Life plods on, as Christmas sneaks up quietly, ready to pounce. I really ought to do some shopping. I did try earlier this week, just thought I’d go out and see if anything caught my eye, it didn’t, but I did manage to buy some clothes for myself. Although I don’t actually have room to store all my clothes I still feel I don’t have enough, and need stuff for going out on special occasions as well as everyday wear. I guess a girl can’t have too many clothes. Just not enough wardrobes perhaps. So I must make a list next time I go out, of things to buy for people, else I will just end up buying for myself again. In the olden days the run up to Christmas was a good time to buy clothes for myself; "It’s a present for my girlfriend…" was of course the line I had prepared, not that I ever needed it, no-one ever actually comments on men buying women’s clothes. So I used to stock up around this time, and always had a good look round all the charity shops, which aren’t at all bad in Kendal. Since I no longer present as male of course I can buy stuff for myself whenever I like without feeling awkward about it, so I really must concentrate on other people for the next couple of weeks. I love shopping, but only for myself… My mum has several visitors booked in at her place, and no doubt there will be others that turn up unannounced, so there will be quite a few people meeting Lucy for the first time. Seems strange that I’m still saying that, as I’ve been full-time since June, but I guess people come out of the woodwork more at Christmas, and there are still plenty of old friends who have yet to do the "Lucy experience". Mum and her friend from Spain came over on Sunday for dinner (I made prawn linguine, yummy), so it was nice to have a girly night, and catch up with someone I haven’t seen for 8 years. Hopefully Pip’s coming over early next week, should help to keep me warm, and then at the weekend we are going to Manchester with Sue and Laura (TS mother and daughter from Kendal) and some of their friends, as it’s someone’s birthday. There are a few going, all from vaguely around here, so it will be nice to meet some more local girls. I’ve heard that there is another girl from Kendal about to transition (who’s also going), great news, that’s at least 4 in about 26,000, we’re practically taking over this town. I can’t help wondering that if I’d seen other girls transitioning locally, I might have done it sooner myself. It’s a bit daunting when you think you’re the only one. Hopefully the more of us there are making our presence known, the more others will be encouraged to come out and follow suit. Which is an equation that works nationally and globally, but when you see a happy looking TS walking down the street in your own town, and you know that is how YOU want to be, it has a real impact. Sadly, I keep seeing things in forums etc, not just on this site, saying that "things will never change", "we will never be accepted". Always I know that such comments are not from people who are "out". I’m not preaching, but I just find it sad that their own fears not only dictate that they cannot ever contemplate going out in public, but that their comments spread fear amongst others who also would like to transition, or even  just go out dressed, but just feel that they can’t possibly, what would everyone think… 26,000 sounds like a lot, well it’s a big number isn’t it (though less than the population of Trannyweb), but really this is just a small town, generally considered quite conservative, old-fashioned, lots of yokels, and many people in fact said to me things like, "You’re going to transition in KENDAL?!" The truth is though, and I will keep saying this, that things ARE changing, people watch television, read newspapers, look up things on the internet, the world is getting smaller. Whereas 20 years ago we might have been more justified in thinking that people would be shocked, disgusted, amused, whatever, these days that just isn’t the case. People AIN’T BOVERED. Even in a town like this. So I wish people wouldn’t spread such negativity around the internet especially on what are supposed to be sites offering support. Taking that attitude prevents change more than anything. And really they are just making excuses for themselves, trying to make out that their fear is justified. Fear resides in people’s heads. Yes, it takes a small amount of courage to make that first step, a leap of faith, but once you do you realise that there is nothing to fear, and that things are changing and will continue to do so, and your presence can only help. Well, the choice is yours, sit at your desk and tell me it’s just not viable for you to come out because things will never change, or get out and make the change yourself. No-one else is going to do it for you. But please don’t tell others that they can’t, or shouldn’t do it, or that it’s dangerous or that they will be subjected to abuse and humiliation. None of that is true. That’s what is in people’s heads, not what you find on the streets. Don’t inflict your paranoia on others, don’t spread fear, don’t assume coming out will be hell. It’s actually pretty good, and it’s a way to a better life. Try it, you might like it! xx OK that was a bit preachy, sorry, sermon over.
    Dec 08, 2005 444
  • 22 Nov 2005
    West End Girls Well, approximately 8 months after seeing my GP, yesterday I finally had my appointment at Charing Cross. Apparently that sort of wait is about normal, don’t you just love the NHS… Cut to the chase, it all went very well, at which I have to admit to being a little surprised; I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, you hear such differing opinions of the CX experience. For me it was fine, lots of questions, none too silly, no patronisation, and no smacks on the wrist for my self-medicating. The woman who interrogated me, Alison, obviously had the letter of referral from my local psychiatrist, so she knew about the hormones I was taking. She confirmed the dosages I was on and then carried on with her questioning, mainly about my past, how I felt about things and so on. When she seemed to have finished I had to ask about the hormone situation, as if to say, "Where’s my smack on the wrist then?" Still none was forthcoming so I said something along the lines of me preferring to have an official prescription and be suitably medically supervised. The guidance notes I was given state that hormones may be prescribed after the second visit, subject to certain criteria, so I wanted to know what they thought I should do in the meantime. She seemed to respond to the fact that I would prefer things to be in their hands (partly true at least) and told me that she would send the results of my blood tests to my GP and, if all was well, would authorise him to give me the prescriptions that they advised. Of course this will take time but from the sounds of things it ought to be sooner than my next visit, which will be (insert random number here) months away. Which to me sounds like as close as the NHS get to fast-tracking things. I doubt if I’ll agree with their dosages and so on; from what I’ve heard they have a rather narrow-minded approach of minimum dosages, same for everyone, no room for manoeuvrability, and certainly not the more holistic approach which seems to be taken for private patients at home and abroad. However, for the meantime I’m playing their game. I don’t wish to appear too sceptical of the NHS system, they really were very good with me at Charing Cross and I now have a better picture of how to go about things and am daring to believe that they may actually be able to help me, at least to a certain extent. I’m still thinking of ultimately having my SRS done privately, with a surgeon of MY choice. Other good points to come out from yesterday are that they do provide voice therapy, and would refer me to someone locally so I don’t have to keep travelling down to London. The NHS will also fund a tracheal shave, if they consider it necessary, ie the adam’s apple has to be noticeable enough, in my case for once I hope it is. One big advantage of having the NHS perform the operation, as Alison pointed out to me, is that should there be any complications arising from surgery the NHS will follow it up free of charge; if I was to go private that would be debatable, depending on what the actual complication was. No referrals are given however until you have seen two consultant psychiatrists, so I have to ask about those two issues next time I visit. Referrals for SRS incidentally are only given after the 2-year "real life test" has been completed, and they won’t budge on that time-scale. Of course it then takes time to get them to write the referral, and more time for your Primary Care Trust to authorise funding and yet more time to actually get an appointment for surgery once it has all been approved. When you do get your appointment it will be course be several more months away. What a palaver. At least Alison was honest about it though. All in all, a good experience, and surprisingly reassuring. Several issues were clarified and I now have a clearer picture of time-scales and how things will pan out in general. I'm not counting chickens though, and realise that there are plenty of potential obstacles which may be in my way. After a quick blood sample was taken (two bottles, they test for all sorts) I was on my merry way and feeling pretty good about everything. So I was well in the mood for the evening’s entertainment; my mum had come down to London with me on the train and as a special treat had bought tickets for us to see "We will rock you" at the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road. I dashed back to the hotel to change into something a bit more classy (than jeans, trainers and a sweater), and the Diamond girls headed off "up west", as I believe the locals call it. For me this really was a special treat. I haven’t seen a show in London since, um, well since the musical what I wrote for my local youth theatre was performed at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, twenty something years ago, if that counts. I had to drop that in, sorry, it was pretty cool for a 16-year old to get the chance of performing their own show in a classy theatre in London, and even cooler in fact when we took the sequel, what I also wrote, to the States, doing shows in Detroit and Kalamazoo (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo). But I’m digressing, and blowing my own trumpet, sorry. Anyway suffice to say that I have some thespian/musical experience, so to see a top show in the West End was, well, quite exciting actually. I wasn’t disappointed. The show was amazing, stunningly good. Awesome sound & lights & effects, fantastic performances, and all the songs were done so well I went away liking Queen more than I did when I went in. They’re a great band of course, all respect to them, good songs, great musicians, Brian May I think is quite unique in his style and has his own characteristic sound, but I never considered myself a Queen fan. In no way were the arrangements tacky; I wasn’t sure what would happen with all those Queen songs being performed by a chorus-line, but believe me, it rocked! Cool. It was a good story, lots of laughs (I never considered myself a Ben Elton fan either), the whole thing was bloody, bloody good. I’d go and see it again tomorrow. Except I’m back in Kendal of course. Tired, exhilarated, relieved and focussed on my journey ahead. A seriously worthwhile trip. Brilliant. xx p.s.   Apologies to Morecambe and Wise for any infringement of copyright in this blog, it was entirely intentional.
    459 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • West End Girls Well, approximately 8 months after seeing my GP, yesterday I finally had my appointment at Charing Cross. Apparently that sort of wait is about normal, don’t you just love the NHS… Cut to the chase, it all went very well, at which I have to admit to being a little surprised; I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, you hear such differing opinions of the CX experience. For me it was fine, lots of questions, none too silly, no patronisation, and no smacks on the wrist for my self-medicating. The woman who interrogated me, Alison, obviously had the letter of referral from my local psychiatrist, so she knew about the hormones I was taking. She confirmed the dosages I was on and then carried on with her questioning, mainly about my past, how I felt about things and so on. When she seemed to have finished I had to ask about the hormone situation, as if to say, "Where’s my smack on the wrist then?" Still none was forthcoming so I said something along the lines of me preferring to have an official prescription and be suitably medically supervised. The guidance notes I was given state that hormones may be prescribed after the second visit, subject to certain criteria, so I wanted to know what they thought I should do in the meantime. She seemed to respond to the fact that I would prefer things to be in their hands (partly true at least) and told me that she would send the results of my blood tests to my GP and, if all was well, would authorise him to give me the prescriptions that they advised. Of course this will take time but from the sounds of things it ought to be sooner than my next visit, which will be (insert random number here) months away. Which to me sounds like as close as the NHS get to fast-tracking things. I doubt if I’ll agree with their dosages and so on; from what I’ve heard they have a rather narrow-minded approach of minimum dosages, same for everyone, no room for manoeuvrability, and certainly not the more holistic approach which seems to be taken for private patients at home and abroad. However, for the meantime I’m playing their game. I don’t wish to appear too sceptical of the NHS system, they really were very good with me at Charing Cross and I now have a better picture of how to go about things and am daring to believe that they may actually be able to help me, at least to a certain extent. I’m still thinking of ultimately having my SRS done privately, with a surgeon of MY choice. Other good points to come out from yesterday are that they do provide voice therapy, and would refer me to someone locally so I don’t have to keep travelling down to London. The NHS will also fund a tracheal shave, if they consider it necessary, ie the adam’s apple has to be noticeable enough, in my case for once I hope it is. One big advantage of having the NHS perform the operation, as Alison pointed out to me, is that should there be any complications arising from surgery the NHS will follow it up free of charge; if I was to go private that would be debatable, depending on what the actual complication was. No referrals are given however until you have seen two consultant psychiatrists, so I have to ask about those two issues next time I visit. Referrals for SRS incidentally are only given after the 2-year "real life test" has been completed, and they won’t budge on that time-scale. Of course it then takes time to get them to write the referral, and more time for your Primary Care Trust to authorise funding and yet more time to actually get an appointment for surgery once it has all been approved. When you do get your appointment it will be course be several more months away. What a palaver. At least Alison was honest about it though. All in all, a good experience, and surprisingly reassuring. Several issues were clarified and I now have a clearer picture of time-scales and how things will pan out in general. I'm not counting chickens though, and realise that there are plenty of potential obstacles which may be in my way. After a quick blood sample was taken (two bottles, they test for all sorts) I was on my merry way and feeling pretty good about everything. So I was well in the mood for the evening’s entertainment; my mum had come down to London with me on the train and as a special treat had bought tickets for us to see "We will rock you" at the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road. I dashed back to the hotel to change into something a bit more classy (than jeans, trainers and a sweater), and the Diamond girls headed off "up west", as I believe the locals call it. For me this really was a special treat. I haven’t seen a show in London since, um, well since the musical what I wrote for my local youth theatre was performed at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, twenty something years ago, if that counts. I had to drop that in, sorry, it was pretty cool for a 16-year old to get the chance of performing their own show in a classy theatre in London, and even cooler in fact when we took the sequel, what I also wrote, to the States, doing shows in Detroit and Kalamazoo (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo). But I’m digressing, and blowing my own trumpet, sorry. Anyway suffice to say that I have some thespian/musical experience, so to see a top show in the West End was, well, quite exciting actually. I wasn’t disappointed. The show was amazing, stunningly good. Awesome sound & lights & effects, fantastic performances, and all the songs were done so well I went away liking Queen more than I did when I went in. They’re a great band of course, all respect to them, good songs, great musicians, Brian May I think is quite unique in his style and has his own characteristic sound, but I never considered myself a Queen fan. In no way were the arrangements tacky; I wasn’t sure what would happen with all those Queen songs being performed by a chorus-line, but believe me, it rocked! Cool. It was a good story, lots of laughs (I never considered myself a Ben Elton fan either), the whole thing was bloody, bloody good. I’d go and see it again tomorrow. Except I’m back in Kendal of course. Tired, exhilarated, relieved and focussed on my journey ahead. A seriously worthwhile trip. Brilliant. xx p.s.   Apologies to Morecambe and Wise for any infringement of copyright in this blog, it was entirely intentional.
    Nov 22, 2005 459
  • 06 Nov 2005
    Light the blue touchpaper and run like buggery… My bonfire party went with a bang, lots of bangs actually, and a few screeches and crackles and fizzes too, great fun. I had about 20 people turn up which is quite enough to make my house look full, so it was just right. Pip came and was chief bonfire lighter and rocket launcher and I really want to say a huge and public thank you to him for all his hard work. Babe you did a brilliant job making the bonfire and chopping up wood and smashing large items of junk to ickle pieces and just generally buzzing around looking after everything. If you hadn’t been there I would have been flustered and stressed and muddy and would have broken nails and got my hands all scratched. As it was I could relax and concentrate on being a hostess, and I really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much babe, you were wonderful and I think we make a great team! Of course all my friends loved Pip, well who wouldn’t. I would have found it just a little daunting to be faced with that many new people in one go, but Pip seemed to take it in his stride and got on really well with everyone. I was proud of him. I did loads of food, and Pip helped me there too setting it all out beautifully, and everyone was very appreciative of the warming, Aga-cooked food and sumptuous buffet, so a good night was had by all. Brilliant. Must do it again soon. And some of those fireworks were mega, love ’em, the bigger the better. We had some little ones too which we set off on the lawn (had to do the big ones in the adjacent field) one of which fell over and started shooting into the shed, where I was standing. It was one that sends charges into the air (or shed) then they explode, I thought I was in Iraq, explosions going off all around me, dodging bullets, but I managed to cower in a little alcove. Mad, but quite exciting actually, I’m just a loony… Two old friends and their 18 year old daughter stayed the night. After everyone else had left we stayed up chatting around the kitchen table until 3am, was lovely. Sue, the post-op ts from Kendal called in for a while, she’d been busy doing other things so hadn’t been able to make it for the fireworks. It was great to see her again and I really must try to get together with her for a quiet drink and a chat sometime. There’s a lot of things I’d like to talk about, with someone who’s been there and done it, so to speak. And she’s lovely anyway so she’s my kind of person regardless of our similar situations. Everyone has sent me texts or voicemails thanking me for a great night, good food, wonderful hospitality etc, which kind of makes me feel warm inside. I feel that my friends, old and new have really taken to Lucy, the new me, the real me. The old me was just an empty shell and hadn’t thrown a party for bloody years, and I have to say, the old me wasn’t so welcomed into everyone else’s little cliques, and who can blame them, and I didn’t particularly want to be invited anyway, as I didn’t particularly want to go out of my own front door. Oh how things have changed already, how much better everything is. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I know I’m a better person for just travelling in the right direction, and I think the pleasure I got from being a hostess proved that. The old guy went up in smoke, good riddance. The new girl smoulders like a volcano and soars like a rocket. Better than being a damp squib. xx
    437 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Light the blue touchpaper and run like buggery… My bonfire party went with a bang, lots of bangs actually, and a few screeches and crackles and fizzes too, great fun. I had about 20 people turn up which is quite enough to make my house look full, so it was just right. Pip came and was chief bonfire lighter and rocket launcher and I really want to say a huge and public thank you to him for all his hard work. Babe you did a brilliant job making the bonfire and chopping up wood and smashing large items of junk to ickle pieces and just generally buzzing around looking after everything. If you hadn’t been there I would have been flustered and stressed and muddy and would have broken nails and got my hands all scratched. As it was I could relax and concentrate on being a hostess, and I really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much babe, you were wonderful and I think we make a great team! Of course all my friends loved Pip, well who wouldn’t. I would have found it just a little daunting to be faced with that many new people in one go, but Pip seemed to take it in his stride and got on really well with everyone. I was proud of him. I did loads of food, and Pip helped me there too setting it all out beautifully, and everyone was very appreciative of the warming, Aga-cooked food and sumptuous buffet, so a good night was had by all. Brilliant. Must do it again soon. And some of those fireworks were mega, love ’em, the bigger the better. We had some little ones too which we set off on the lawn (had to do the big ones in the adjacent field) one of which fell over and started shooting into the shed, where I was standing. It was one that sends charges into the air (or shed) then they explode, I thought I was in Iraq, explosions going off all around me, dodging bullets, but I managed to cower in a little alcove. Mad, but quite exciting actually, I’m just a loony… Two old friends and their 18 year old daughter stayed the night. After everyone else had left we stayed up chatting around the kitchen table until 3am, was lovely. Sue, the post-op ts from Kendal called in for a while, she’d been busy doing other things so hadn’t been able to make it for the fireworks. It was great to see her again and I really must try to get together with her for a quiet drink and a chat sometime. There’s a lot of things I’d like to talk about, with someone who’s been there and done it, so to speak. And she’s lovely anyway so she’s my kind of person regardless of our similar situations. Everyone has sent me texts or voicemails thanking me for a great night, good food, wonderful hospitality etc, which kind of makes me feel warm inside. I feel that my friends, old and new have really taken to Lucy, the new me, the real me. The old me was just an empty shell and hadn’t thrown a party for bloody years, and I have to say, the old me wasn’t so welcomed into everyone else’s little cliques, and who can blame them, and I didn’t particularly want to be invited anyway, as I didn’t particularly want to go out of my own front door. Oh how things have changed already, how much better everything is. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I know I’m a better person for just travelling in the right direction, and I think the pleasure I got from being a hostess proved that. The old guy went up in smoke, good riddance. The new girl smoulders like a volcano and soars like a rocket. Better than being a damp squib. xx
    Nov 06, 2005 437
  • 31 Oct 2005
    Overpaid, over-sexed, and over here Thus was described the American presence in England during the second world war. However last week saw the welcoming of two more GI’s (GID’s that is) to the shores of Blighty. I’m sure they deserve every cent they earn, they seemed well-behaved enough, but they were indeed here (probably still are in fact, somewhere). Pippa had a gig cancelled so we were able to make it to the Village for Halloween, and like last year we jumped on the excuse to be a bit more dressy. In my case that really just meant I wore a dress, it’s been a while, but I did have fun back-coming my hair to look a bit witch-like, well that was the idea, I just looked a bit more tousled really, but I kind of liked it, and thanks to Pippa for putting the finishing touches on that. So, we both had our little black dresses on and were both feeling just a little bit sexy. We went to a few other places first, to try and have a quiet chat, but everywhere seemed pretty noisy, or we’re just getting old, and there seemed to be no other girls about anywhere. They must all have been at Napoleon’s. Indeed they were… We knew GI’s Gloria and Robyn and our lovely webmistress Katie would be there, but weren’t expecting quite so many Trannyweb members to also be present, a wonderful surprise. The place was buzzing, proof perhaps that you don’t need loud music to create a good atmosphere; it’s the people that matter. Lovely to meet a couple of our sisters from across the pond, they are both warm and friendly people, and great to put faces to a few more names of T-web members, and to meet Katie again of course, neither of us quite as pissed as the last time we met! Once again Pippa and I had a great time, so many friendly faces, so many girls to talk to, such fun. And once again Napoleon’s was the place to be. Stop groaning you old fuddy-duddies, it really was. Everywhere else we’d been that night was dull, dull, dull. We even ventured upstairs for a while, not particularly busy up there, but plenty of admiring glances and comments, and I even got a wolf-whistle! I’m hearing more groans ("Oh god those lecherous admirers…"), but they were all in fact very gentlemanly. One of them bought me a drink and gave up his seat for me, well, I am an old lady… I don’t really get off on attention from admirers, but it is nice to be treated with respect and get so many compliments. We both had a good mingle and met some really nice people, and chatted the night away, staying out rather late, but we gained an hour of course; it’s now GMT. I guess that means the nights will be drawing in… This week I’m having a bonfire party, my first party for years and the first ever as a real hostess. I am SO looking forward to it. I’m planning on burning a Guy on the bonfire, somewhat symbolic really, it will kind of be a coming-out party, a rebirth party, for the benefit of my friends in Kendal, and for me; can’t wait to see that Guy go up in smoke. But I have lots of cleaning and tidying to do so I’d better go get to work. Bye for now. xx
    436 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Overpaid, over-sexed, and over here Thus was described the American presence in England during the second world war. However last week saw the welcoming of two more GI’s (GID’s that is) to the shores of Blighty. I’m sure they deserve every cent they earn, they seemed well-behaved enough, but they were indeed here (probably still are in fact, somewhere). Pippa had a gig cancelled so we were able to make it to the Village for Halloween, and like last year we jumped on the excuse to be a bit more dressy. In my case that really just meant I wore a dress, it’s been a while, but I did have fun back-coming my hair to look a bit witch-like, well that was the idea, I just looked a bit more tousled really, but I kind of liked it, and thanks to Pippa for putting the finishing touches on that. So, we both had our little black dresses on and were both feeling just a little bit sexy. We went to a few other places first, to try and have a quiet chat, but everywhere seemed pretty noisy, or we’re just getting old, and there seemed to be no other girls about anywhere. They must all have been at Napoleon’s. Indeed they were… We knew GI’s Gloria and Robyn and our lovely webmistress Katie would be there, but weren’t expecting quite so many Trannyweb members to also be present, a wonderful surprise. The place was buzzing, proof perhaps that you don’t need loud music to create a good atmosphere; it’s the people that matter. Lovely to meet a couple of our sisters from across the pond, they are both warm and friendly people, and great to put faces to a few more names of T-web members, and to meet Katie again of course, neither of us quite as pissed as the last time we met! Once again Pippa and I had a great time, so many friendly faces, so many girls to talk to, such fun. And once again Napoleon’s was the place to be. Stop groaning you old fuddy-duddies, it really was. Everywhere else we’d been that night was dull, dull, dull. We even ventured upstairs for a while, not particularly busy up there, but plenty of admiring glances and comments, and I even got a wolf-whistle! I’m hearing more groans ("Oh god those lecherous admirers…"), but they were all in fact very gentlemanly. One of them bought me a drink and gave up his seat for me, well, I am an old lady… I don’t really get off on attention from admirers, but it is nice to be treated with respect and get so many compliments. We both had a good mingle and met some really nice people, and chatted the night away, staying out rather late, but we gained an hour of course; it’s now GMT. I guess that means the nights will be drawing in… This week I’m having a bonfire party, my first party for years and the first ever as a real hostess. I am SO looking forward to it. I’m planning on burning a Guy on the bonfire, somewhat symbolic really, it will kind of be a coming-out party, a rebirth party, for the benefit of my friends in Kendal, and for me; can’t wait to see that Guy go up in smoke. But I have lots of cleaning and tidying to do so I’d better go get to work. Bye for now. xx
    Oct 31, 2005 436
  • 24 Oct 2005
    All aboard the Tranny Express! What a super night out Pippa and I had on Saturday. It was Pippa’s first outing for over a month so I think she was kind of looking forward to it. I picked her up from home and was knocked out by her revived rock chick look, she looked great, and since she really IS a rock chick that style really suits her. I felt positively frumpy in my long skirt and cardy, but I was doing a bit of a hippie chick look so I guess we kind of looked ok together. We stayed at the Ibis for a change, having had quite enough of the 5am trams running past the International thank you very much. The Ibis looked like a proper hotel, was right next to the car park, has spacious clean and tidy rooms, all en suite and most of all double glazing, with windows that actually close. And no trams. So, upon arriving we tidied ourselves up, they even had a chair in the room, and decent lighting, wow, and hit the town. We started off at View, formerly Prague V, where the clientele looked unusually straight. I’d expected it to be full of trannies as it was supposed to be the second, monthly "Funky Diva" event complete with tranny DJ. We were later to find out that Funky Diva had been cancelled, not entirely sure why but the word on the street was that the club was playing silly buggers, or perhaps the resident DJ was being a bit territorial and possessive of his little DJ’s cubby hole. Can’t say I was too bothered, I find that sort of "music" totally boring anyway, it just repeats ad infinitum without ever actually going anywhere. So it seemed all the trannies who had come to Manchester that night for Funky Diva were boycotting View. We eventually found several of them at AXM, just down the road, including Cerys and Sammy, Andrea, Amy and many others. Annette was also out, I haven’t seen her for ages and she had different coloured hair with pink and white woolly extensions, so it took me a moment to recognise her. Lovely to see all the girls again. Anyway after lots of chat and catching up with people most of the crowd filtered out towards Napoleon’s, with the odd groan I have to say. Napoleon’s is, well, Napoleon’s. I don’t like it upstairs for the same reason I don’t really like any night-club anywhere in the world; bloody loud music that gives me tinnitus after about 10 minutes. But the ground floor is ok, always plenty of characters, and downstairs is compact and bijou but a nice friendly atmosphere. They even play proper songs, (quietly, on little speakers), complete with words and tunes that you can sing along to, or hum if you don’t know the words. I think it’s a great place down there, full of trannies, any admirers who venture down there tend to be polite ones, as they know not to mess with the barmaid there. She appears to be a butch lesbian, looks a bit like Robbie Coltrane, but very friendly and helpful and protective of her customers. She once gave a very stern warning to a guy who was whining at me to give him a kiss, despite me politely telling him, no, I was spoken for etc… He turned very pale and left within 5 minutes, I thanked her, though I hadn’t felt at all threatened by this rather wimpish guy, and I’ve liked her ever since. Why people groan at the mere mention of Nap’s I’m not sure, perhaps it just has a certain reputation and one feels obliged to groan, but I like it, mainly because you can chat without shouting, and it’s just another club in the Village to me, perhaps with a greater concentration of trannies. Unlike some ts’s I don’t have a problem mixing with tv’s, in fact I really don’t care whether these people are ts or tv or whatever. Going out in my home town has been great, not being part of any scene and just feeling like one of the girls is fantastic, but getting back to Trannyland is also great. It reminds me that I’m not the only one, not that I need reminding any more, but it just makes you feel part of something, something big, with momentum. All it takes is numbers, enough people on board to give the tranny movement weight so that nothing can stop us. And out in the Village on a Saturday night one realises that we are indeed many. Hundreds, thousands, millions of individuals in the world, with one purpose: to be ourselves. Pippa didn’t want to go home when I suggested, she was enjoying herself too much, bless, so we stayed for another hour until my grumbling tummy got the better of me. Back to the hotel via McTucky’s for chicken and chips, yum. Later that night (I’ve skipped a bit here ok…!) the hotel lost some of its charm. Whilst the uPVC double-glazed tilt-and-turn windows offered good sound-proofing from the rumble of the traffic outside, the door to our room seemed to allow in plenty of noise from other passing guests. It may have been worse because we were right next to the lift, so there was a lot of hotel traffic, but both of us were a bit peeved at the inconsiderateness of other guests. Why do people walking down a corridor need to talk so loudly to each other? It may seem like a public building to them but they are in effect walking past other people’s bedrooms, and it went on all night. I’m not being fussy, it really was pretty bad. We were both close to nodding off at about 3:30am when the fire alarm went off. Jesus Christ, do they really need to make them THAT loud?! Something with that volume could be used as a weapon of war to disable the opponents, leaving them writhing on the floor in agony, ears bleeding, waving white flags. It went on for about a minute presumably before someone in reception realised there wasn’t actually a fire. Long enough to leave us in a not so nodding off state, grrr… Sleep was, intermittent, but maybe we’ll get used to it, and it’s certainly no worse than the International, though I’m sure the guests there are quieter and more respectful, maybe it’s a tranny thing. It’s a shame because the International has a certain character, they just need Kim and Aggie to really clean up the rooms, some proper windows, and some new bedding. I know they’re trying, they’ve refurbished the bar and fixed most of the windows so they at least close, but they still have work to do. I’ve gone on longer than I had intended to in this blog, sorry dear reader, if you’re still with me, I guess it’s been a long time since we were out in the Village, but I’ve gotta say, it was good to be back. xx
    477 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • All aboard the Tranny Express! What a super night out Pippa and I had on Saturday. It was Pippa’s first outing for over a month so I think she was kind of looking forward to it. I picked her up from home and was knocked out by her revived rock chick look, she looked great, and since she really IS a rock chick that style really suits her. I felt positively frumpy in my long skirt and cardy, but I was doing a bit of a hippie chick look so I guess we kind of looked ok together. We stayed at the Ibis for a change, having had quite enough of the 5am trams running past the International thank you very much. The Ibis looked like a proper hotel, was right next to the car park, has spacious clean and tidy rooms, all en suite and most of all double glazing, with windows that actually close. And no trams. So, upon arriving we tidied ourselves up, they even had a chair in the room, and decent lighting, wow, and hit the town. We started off at View, formerly Prague V, where the clientele looked unusually straight. I’d expected it to be full of trannies as it was supposed to be the second, monthly "Funky Diva" event complete with tranny DJ. We were later to find out that Funky Diva had been cancelled, not entirely sure why but the word on the street was that the club was playing silly buggers, or perhaps the resident DJ was being a bit territorial and possessive of his little DJ’s cubby hole. Can’t say I was too bothered, I find that sort of "music" totally boring anyway, it just repeats ad infinitum without ever actually going anywhere. So it seemed all the trannies who had come to Manchester that night for Funky Diva were boycotting View. We eventually found several of them at AXM, just down the road, including Cerys and Sammy, Andrea, Amy and many others. Annette was also out, I haven’t seen her for ages and she had different coloured hair with pink and white woolly extensions, so it took me a moment to recognise her. Lovely to see all the girls again. Anyway after lots of chat and catching up with people most of the crowd filtered out towards Napoleon’s, with the odd groan I have to say. Napoleon’s is, well, Napoleon’s. I don’t like it upstairs for the same reason I don’t really like any night-club anywhere in the world; bloody loud music that gives me tinnitus after about 10 minutes. But the ground floor is ok, always plenty of characters, and downstairs is compact and bijou but a nice friendly atmosphere. They even play proper songs, (quietly, on little speakers), complete with words and tunes that you can sing along to, or hum if you don’t know the words. I think it’s a great place down there, full of trannies, any admirers who venture down there tend to be polite ones, as they know not to mess with the barmaid there. She appears to be a butch lesbian, looks a bit like Robbie Coltrane, but very friendly and helpful and protective of her customers. She once gave a very stern warning to a guy who was whining at me to give him a kiss, despite me politely telling him, no, I was spoken for etc… He turned very pale and left within 5 minutes, I thanked her, though I hadn’t felt at all threatened by this rather wimpish guy, and I’ve liked her ever since. Why people groan at the mere mention of Nap’s I’m not sure, perhaps it just has a certain reputation and one feels obliged to groan, but I like it, mainly because you can chat without shouting, and it’s just another club in the Village to me, perhaps with a greater concentration of trannies. Unlike some ts’s I don’t have a problem mixing with tv’s, in fact I really don’t care whether these people are ts or tv or whatever. Going out in my home town has been great, not being part of any scene and just feeling like one of the girls is fantastic, but getting back to Trannyland is also great. It reminds me that I’m not the only one, not that I need reminding any more, but it just makes you feel part of something, something big, with momentum. All it takes is numbers, enough people on board to give the tranny movement weight so that nothing can stop us. And out in the Village on a Saturday night one realises that we are indeed many. Hundreds, thousands, millions of individuals in the world, with one purpose: to be ourselves. Pippa didn’t want to go home when I suggested, she was enjoying herself too much, bless, so we stayed for another hour until my grumbling tummy got the better of me. Back to the hotel via McTucky’s for chicken and chips, yum. Later that night (I’ve skipped a bit here ok…!) the hotel lost some of its charm. Whilst the uPVC double-glazed tilt-and-turn windows offered good sound-proofing from the rumble of the traffic outside, the door to our room seemed to allow in plenty of noise from other passing guests. It may have been worse because we were right next to the lift, so there was a lot of hotel traffic, but both of us were a bit peeved at the inconsiderateness of other guests. Why do people walking down a corridor need to talk so loudly to each other? It may seem like a public building to them but they are in effect walking past other people’s bedrooms, and it went on all night. I’m not being fussy, it really was pretty bad. We were both close to nodding off at about 3:30am when the fire alarm went off. Jesus Christ, do they really need to make them THAT loud?! Something with that volume could be used as a weapon of war to disable the opponents, leaving them writhing on the floor in agony, ears bleeding, waving white flags. It went on for about a minute presumably before someone in reception realised there wasn’t actually a fire. Long enough to leave us in a not so nodding off state, grrr… Sleep was, intermittent, but maybe we’ll get used to it, and it’s certainly no worse than the International, though I’m sure the guests there are quieter and more respectful, maybe it’s a tranny thing. It’s a shame because the International has a certain character, they just need Kim and Aggie to really clean up the rooms, some proper windows, and some new bedding. I know they’re trying, they’ve refurbished the bar and fixed most of the windows so they at least close, but they still have work to do. I’ve gone on longer than I had intended to in this blog, sorry dear reader, if you’re still with me, I guess it’s been a long time since we were out in the Village, but I’ve gotta say, it was good to be back. xx
    Oct 24, 2005 477
  • 19 Oct 2005
    Isn’t modern science wonderful! It’s official, I’ve gone down from a size 14 (on top) to a size 12. Yesterday I was out shopping, one of my favourite hobbies, when I came across a lovely chunky pink sweater, just the thing I’d been looking for, but they only had it in a 14. The last few tops I bought (a while ago) have been 12, but just a little tight under the arms or across the shoulders. They didn’t have a changing room in this shop, and the sweater looked about the right size for me so I bought it anyway. It was only 8 quid so what the hell, and now that I shop en femme I don’t have a problem taking things back. When I tried it on at home it was positively hanging off, plenty of room under the arms and across the shoulders, and far too big at the waist, obviously not my size. I’d also bought a long cardy in a 12 from the same place which fitted perfectly. Since I’ve been able to buy my own clothes freely for about the last 15 years I have noticed sizes getting bigger (thus you need to buy smaller), and of course they do vary between manufacturers, so just to make sure I tried some of my old dresses on, some of which used to be a bit of a squeeze even though they were 14’s. Definitely these were on the big side, it must be me who has shrunk. I’m approaching a year on oestrogen and I’m quite amazed really that my shape has changed in this way. I was never exactly a he-man (never exactly a man at all), always been slim, but working in bands for 25 years I’ve had heavy stuff to lift on a constant basis so I guess I had a certain amount of muscle, perhaps more than I thought, as I’m sure oestrogen doesn’t make your ribs shrink or your shoulders less broad; it must just be muscle mass that I’ve lost. It’s not obvious (to me) to look at, but the drop in sizes must mean I have changed in that way. I haven’t lost any weight, so this has to be a good sign. Changes from oestrogen are quite subtle, little breast development as yet, I’m about an AA, but definitely softer skin, which seemed to happen quite quickly, and a certain sense of wellbeing - perhaps that’s due to my hormones at last finding a better balance. Testosterone did me serious damage when it kicked in as a teenager, played hell with my skin mainly, and that continued even into my 40’s. I don’t suppose there is much left in my body these days, but I’d still like to rid myself entirely of this poison. One day Lucy, one day… Having had a jolly good shop yesterday I got back rather late, so had a take-away and settled down in front of the telly. I found myself watching yet another property development programme, with even more rubbish on the other 3 channels (this is Cumbria, we don’t get channel 5 or digital, unless you have a dish, and I expect that only gives you more rubbish from which to choose), SO… still being all made up and dressed smart but casual, I thought I’d go out for a quick drink and a chat with Penny at the bar. There were 3 people in, including me, Cumbria remember. Anyway it was lovely to see her and we had a good chat. Rachel came in later so we headed off across the road and found some other reprobates, all staff from the bar with the night off. We ended up going for a game of pool, the first time I’d played for, oh, I have no idea, probably about 20 years, but I didn’t do so bad, played 4 won 2, and it was quite fun. I haven’t been out in Kendal for quite a while so I’m glad I made the effort and met up with everyone. We had some interesting conversation about how, even in this town no-one is really bothered about gays or tg’s, or pretty much anything that once would have been considered a deviation from "normal". Perhaps one has to first define "normal". I am normal, and so are you, dear reader, and if you’re one of those who is apprehensive about going out into "normal" society whilst expressing your true self, you might be surprised to find that the large majority of the population thinks you’re normal too. I’m not preaching, but all too often it seems it’s the people who don’t go out who claim that we get a bad reaction from the public. Maybe it depends where you are and so on, but in my experience, hand on heart, no problem. My friends admire and support me, if they even give it a second thought that is, for after 6 months of being full-time it just feels, well, um, normal! I’m far from perfect, but I’m happy to be me. Would I have been born female if given the choice? Probably. Would I prefer to be a cisgender ("normal") male rather than transgender? No way. This is who I am. Hopefully my openness will help those few remaining dinosaurs who don’t understand to find a better comprehension of such things. Taking the stealth option, if you can, will change nothing. Moving away to transition where nobody knows me was never an option for me either, despite my family’s fears about how difficult it would be in this town. As each day goes by, each day I go out at least, I know I am going about this the right way. I sincerely hope that other transgender people will see me and realise that it really, really is not so difficult to be yourself. In fact not being yourself is much harder, much more damaging. I hope my chosen path will further our cause, but mainly I’m following it because it is right for me. It sounds totally bloody obvious when I write it down, but if I have a message for the world, then that is it. Follow your heart, do what is right, be yourself. Simple, but effective. xx
    466 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Isn’t modern science wonderful! It’s official, I’ve gone down from a size 14 (on top) to a size 12. Yesterday I was out shopping, one of my favourite hobbies, when I came across a lovely chunky pink sweater, just the thing I’d been looking for, but they only had it in a 14. The last few tops I bought (a while ago) have been 12, but just a little tight under the arms or across the shoulders. They didn’t have a changing room in this shop, and the sweater looked about the right size for me so I bought it anyway. It was only 8 quid so what the hell, and now that I shop en femme I don’t have a problem taking things back. When I tried it on at home it was positively hanging off, plenty of room under the arms and across the shoulders, and far too big at the waist, obviously not my size. I’d also bought a long cardy in a 12 from the same place which fitted perfectly. Since I’ve been able to buy my own clothes freely for about the last 15 years I have noticed sizes getting bigger (thus you need to buy smaller), and of course they do vary between manufacturers, so just to make sure I tried some of my old dresses on, some of which used to be a bit of a squeeze even though they were 14’s. Definitely these were on the big side, it must be me who has shrunk. I’m approaching a year on oestrogen and I’m quite amazed really that my shape has changed in this way. I was never exactly a he-man (never exactly a man at all), always been slim, but working in bands for 25 years I’ve had heavy stuff to lift on a constant basis so I guess I had a certain amount of muscle, perhaps more than I thought, as I’m sure oestrogen doesn’t make your ribs shrink or your shoulders less broad; it must just be muscle mass that I’ve lost. It’s not obvious (to me) to look at, but the drop in sizes must mean I have changed in that way. I haven’t lost any weight, so this has to be a good sign. Changes from oestrogen are quite subtle, little breast development as yet, I’m about an AA, but definitely softer skin, which seemed to happen quite quickly, and a certain sense of wellbeing - perhaps that’s due to my hormones at last finding a better balance. Testosterone did me serious damage when it kicked in as a teenager, played hell with my skin mainly, and that continued even into my 40’s. I don’t suppose there is much left in my body these days, but I’d still like to rid myself entirely of this poison. One day Lucy, one day… Having had a jolly good shop yesterday I got back rather late, so had a take-away and settled down in front of the telly. I found myself watching yet another property development programme, with even more rubbish on the other 3 channels (this is Cumbria, we don’t get channel 5 or digital, unless you have a dish, and I expect that only gives you more rubbish from which to choose), SO… still being all made up and dressed smart but casual, I thought I’d go out for a quick drink and a chat with Penny at the bar. There were 3 people in, including me, Cumbria remember. Anyway it was lovely to see her and we had a good chat. Rachel came in later so we headed off across the road and found some other reprobates, all staff from the bar with the night off. We ended up going for a game of pool, the first time I’d played for, oh, I have no idea, probably about 20 years, but I didn’t do so bad, played 4 won 2, and it was quite fun. I haven’t been out in Kendal for quite a while so I’m glad I made the effort and met up with everyone. We had some interesting conversation about how, even in this town no-one is really bothered about gays or tg’s, or pretty much anything that once would have been considered a deviation from "normal". Perhaps one has to first define "normal". I am normal, and so are you, dear reader, and if you’re one of those who is apprehensive about going out into "normal" society whilst expressing your true self, you might be surprised to find that the large majority of the population thinks you’re normal too. I’m not preaching, but all too often it seems it’s the people who don’t go out who claim that we get a bad reaction from the public. Maybe it depends where you are and so on, but in my experience, hand on heart, no problem. My friends admire and support me, if they even give it a second thought that is, for after 6 months of being full-time it just feels, well, um, normal! I’m far from perfect, but I’m happy to be me. Would I have been born female if given the choice? Probably. Would I prefer to be a cisgender ("normal") male rather than transgender? No way. This is who I am. Hopefully my openness will help those few remaining dinosaurs who don’t understand to find a better comprehension of such things. Taking the stealth option, if you can, will change nothing. Moving away to transition where nobody knows me was never an option for me either, despite my family’s fears about how difficult it would be in this town. As each day goes by, each day I go out at least, I know I am going about this the right way. I sincerely hope that other transgender people will see me and realise that it really, really is not so difficult to be yourself. In fact not being yourself is much harder, much more damaging. I hope my chosen path will further our cause, but mainly I’m following it because it is right for me. It sounds totally bloody obvious when I write it down, but if I have a message for the world, then that is it. Follow your heart, do what is right, be yourself. Simple, but effective. xx
    Oct 19, 2005 466
  • 11 Oct 2005
    Legs, footwear, clothes, shopping, female relatives... Pip was up again this weekend, but no postcard this time, no pretty scenery or saucy seaside photos, sorry. Anyway it was lovely, lovely, lovely, as always; I was brought flowers, chocolate and lots of love, what more can a girl ask? We did manage a brief excursion into town for some retail therapy, where Pip bought some stuff for his outdoor survival needs, and we both bought some make up and bits and pieces. I tried Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs for the first time (£1.25 from our market) as someone had recently raved about it in the forums. I’ve gotta say it’s pretty good stuff, I’ve heard it called spray-on hose, but it doesn’t look like you’re wearing tights, just hides the veins and blemishes on your (my) legs, making them look a whole lot smoother and more feminine, let’s face it, most of us need all the help we can get with our legs. It stays on pretty well, but did rub off a bit in bed, then again we were rolling around quite a bit, as usual. So I’ll save it for special occasions I think, and probably not around this time of year when woolly tights are the order of the day. With the time of year in mind, yesterday I bought my first pair of boots, about time really, I’ve always been more of a shoes girl. They’re not sexy or flash and don’t have heels but I do like them, and they compliment my autumn-wear skirts much better, so I think I’ve been converted, at least until Spring. Besides, all the girls wear boots around here so I feel it’s another step (sorry) towards blending in. I’d bought a nice crocheted (I think) scarf with Pip, and that teamed with my big coat and boots all looked good together, and appropriate for the season, so I felt pretty good wandering around town and doing my shopping yesterday. In some ways I like this time of year because you can cover up more. This summer everyone was wearing strappy tops, except me, I just feel I can’t yet get away with those, so it’s kind of nice to be able to wrap up in a few more layers. No doubt that novelty will have worn off when the winter really hits us, not long now... Pippa and I will be at the next "Funky Diva", when all notions of appropriate dress will be out of the window. Well, it is the Village after all. My favourite aunt is coming over this week, so we’ll be having dinner at my mum’s. I’ve spoken to her a couple of times since she was told about me (she rang me as soon as she’d heard, bless) but this is the first time she will have seen me in the flesh. It’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with a first-timer, not that it’s any sort of ordeal, in fact I just know she will be considerate and intelligent about it all, so I’m quite looking forward to seeing her again. I’m sure I must have more interesting news for you all but it escapes me for the moment so I shan’t waffle on any more. Look forward to seeing some of you again in a week or two. xx
    440 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Legs, footwear, clothes, shopping, female relatives... Pip was up again this weekend, but no postcard this time, no pretty scenery or saucy seaside photos, sorry. Anyway it was lovely, lovely, lovely, as always; I was brought flowers, chocolate and lots of love, what more can a girl ask? We did manage a brief excursion into town for some retail therapy, where Pip bought some stuff for his outdoor survival needs, and we both bought some make up and bits and pieces. I tried Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs for the first time (£1.25 from our market) as someone had recently raved about it in the forums. I’ve gotta say it’s pretty good stuff, I’ve heard it called spray-on hose, but it doesn’t look like you’re wearing tights, just hides the veins and blemishes on your (my) legs, making them look a whole lot smoother and more feminine, let’s face it, most of us need all the help we can get with our legs. It stays on pretty well, but did rub off a bit in bed, then again we were rolling around quite a bit, as usual. So I’ll save it for special occasions I think, and probably not around this time of year when woolly tights are the order of the day. With the time of year in mind, yesterday I bought my first pair of boots, about time really, I’ve always been more of a shoes girl. They’re not sexy or flash and don’t have heels but I do like them, and they compliment my autumn-wear skirts much better, so I think I’ve been converted, at least until Spring. Besides, all the girls wear boots around here so I feel it’s another step (sorry) towards blending in. I’d bought a nice crocheted (I think) scarf with Pip, and that teamed with my big coat and boots all looked good together, and appropriate for the season, so I felt pretty good wandering around town and doing my shopping yesterday. In some ways I like this time of year because you can cover up more. This summer everyone was wearing strappy tops, except me, I just feel I can’t yet get away with those, so it’s kind of nice to be able to wrap up in a few more layers. No doubt that novelty will have worn off when the winter really hits us, not long now... Pippa and I will be at the next "Funky Diva", when all notions of appropriate dress will be out of the window. Well, it is the Village after all. My favourite aunt is coming over this week, so we’ll be having dinner at my mum’s. I’ve spoken to her a couple of times since she was told about me (she rang me as soon as she’d heard, bless) but this is the first time she will have seen me in the flesh. It’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with a first-timer, not that it’s any sort of ordeal, in fact I just know she will be considerate and intelligent about it all, so I’m quite looking forward to seeing her again. I’m sure I must have more interesting news for you all but it escapes me for the moment so I shan’t waffle on any more. Look forward to seeing some of you again in a week or two. xx
    Oct 11, 2005 440
  • 26 Sep 2005
    Postcard from the Lakes Another one in fact, I believe I sent one to you all in January. Well here’s another from our recent jaunt around the Cumbrian fells and lakes, it wasn’t quite so nippy this time. Lovely day in fact, and rather warm for the end of September, so I’m glad we made the most of it. Pip arrived on Friday evening and we had a quiet night in. I made us Chinese food and we had a bottle of wine and snuggled on the sofa, and a reasonably early night. Consequently, and this may be a first, we got up in the morning, blimey. Neither of us were rubbing our heads and groaning, "How much did I drink last night…?" or anything of the sort, and the sun was shining down on my little cottage, so we had a light breakfast of coffee and bagels and headed off to the mountains. Here’s my home-made postcard from our day out, followed by a brief, local geography lesson. Pay attention, I’ll be asking questions later... Top left is the view from Gummer’s How, overlooking the southern end of Lake Windermere, with Morecambe Bay on the horizon, awesome, but sadly you don’t get the full effect with this resolution. Top right is further up the hill, looking the other way, with Ray Mears in the foreground. Bottom left is the Lakeside to Haverthwaite steam train trundling through Newby Bridge, which just happened to pass us as we were on our way to High Damn, bottom right, one of the Lake District’s best kept secrets. It’s a small tarn that was damned up to supply water for a bobbin mill down the hill. Now, it’s just a little piece of heaven, quiet, secluded, and beautiful. I’ve swum naked in this lake, rowed around it in a dinghy, camped out here with friends, and have enjoyed exploring the surrounding woods since I was about eight. I just had to take Pip here, I love the place. What a super day, lots of walking, lots of scenery, quaint little country lanes, wonderful weather and a pub lunch thrown in for good measure. Neither of us were too exhausted when we got back, in fact we felt rather fit and healthy, and certainly refreshed, mentally, physically, spiritually. We had a good dinner again, and I even made us pudding. (Have I EVER made us pudding before, Pip?) Baked apple sponge (my own home-grown organic apples of course) and my recently discovered home-made custard. Another piece of heaven, this time in a dish, and just what you need after a long day’s rambling. The next day we got up in the morning AGAIN, and after breakfast went for a ickle walk to see if there were any mushrooms around. Not many, perhaps because it’s been quite dry here of late, but we found enough for my breakfast today. I don’t expect we’ll get such good weather here for quite some time, so it really was great to get out and enjoy it, especially with the man I love. The whole weekend has done me the world of good, talking, walking, laughing, cuddling. Just wonderful. Thanks for coming, babe. xx Not a great deal has happened in the couple of weeks since I last blogged, though I’ve been out a few times in town. Oh and I made some jam. I should go into business cos it’s yummy, "Lucy’s Organic English Hedgerow Preserve" I will call it, comprising of blackberries, pears, apples, elderberries and sloes. See, I really am a country girl; I make jam and everything! And last week I went out with 3 of the girls who work at the pub, Penny, Rachel and Carol; a proper girls’ night out. We went to the local Italian restaurant for happy hour, and to a few pubs afterwards, ending up with a "lock-in" at their place. Do I even need to say how great it was to be invited out with the girls? No, course not, but it just was. It was so nice of them to ask me to join them, and it was such fun. Hanging out with the lads, talking about beer, football and women’s tits is really not for me. That’s something I’ve been subjected to for many years whilst playing in bands, and generally keeping my female persona hidden. But this, this felt right. Looking out over the lakes and mountains, one really gets a feeling that the world is at our feet. And so it is. It’s there if you want it. xx P.S. Pip took a sneaky pic of me in my nightie, you little rapscallion, I didn’t even have any lippy on. But I’ve decided to share it with you, full members only though sorry, you can see it here (number 42): http://gendersociety.com/perl/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980160650604&ownerid=9970154724712
    520 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Postcard from the Lakes Another one in fact, I believe I sent one to you all in January. Well here’s another from our recent jaunt around the Cumbrian fells and lakes, it wasn’t quite so nippy this time. Lovely day in fact, and rather warm for the end of September, so I’m glad we made the most of it. Pip arrived on Friday evening and we had a quiet night in. I made us Chinese food and we had a bottle of wine and snuggled on the sofa, and a reasonably early night. Consequently, and this may be a first, we got up in the morning, blimey. Neither of us were rubbing our heads and groaning, "How much did I drink last night…?" or anything of the sort, and the sun was shining down on my little cottage, so we had a light breakfast of coffee and bagels and headed off to the mountains. Here’s my home-made postcard from our day out, followed by a brief, local geography lesson. Pay attention, I’ll be asking questions later... Top left is the view from Gummer’s How, overlooking the southern end of Lake Windermere, with Morecambe Bay on the horizon, awesome, but sadly you don’t get the full effect with this resolution. Top right is further up the hill, looking the other way, with Ray Mears in the foreground. Bottom left is the Lakeside to Haverthwaite steam train trundling through Newby Bridge, which just happened to pass us as we were on our way to High Damn, bottom right, one of the Lake District’s best kept secrets. It’s a small tarn that was damned up to supply water for a bobbin mill down the hill. Now, it’s just a little piece of heaven, quiet, secluded, and beautiful. I’ve swum naked in this lake, rowed around it in a dinghy, camped out here with friends, and have enjoyed exploring the surrounding woods since I was about eight. I just had to take Pip here, I love the place. What a super day, lots of walking, lots of scenery, quaint little country lanes, wonderful weather and a pub lunch thrown in for good measure. Neither of us were too exhausted when we got back, in fact we felt rather fit and healthy, and certainly refreshed, mentally, physically, spiritually. We had a good dinner again, and I even made us pudding. (Have I EVER made us pudding before, Pip?) Baked apple sponge (my own home-grown organic apples of course) and my recently discovered home-made custard. Another piece of heaven, this time in a dish, and just what you need after a long day’s rambling. The next day we got up in the morning AGAIN, and after breakfast went for a ickle walk to see if there were any mushrooms around. Not many, perhaps because it’s been quite dry here of late, but we found enough for my breakfast today. I don’t expect we’ll get such good weather here for quite some time, so it really was great to get out and enjoy it, especially with the man I love. The whole weekend has done me the world of good, talking, walking, laughing, cuddling. Just wonderful. Thanks for coming, babe. xx Not a great deal has happened in the couple of weeks since I last blogged, though I’ve been out a few times in town. Oh and I made some jam. I should go into business cos it’s yummy, "Lucy’s Organic English Hedgerow Preserve" I will call it, comprising of blackberries, pears, apples, elderberries and sloes. See, I really am a country girl; I make jam and everything! And last week I went out with 3 of the girls who work at the pub, Penny, Rachel and Carol; a proper girls’ night out. We went to the local Italian restaurant for happy hour, and to a few pubs afterwards, ending up with a "lock-in" at their place. Do I even need to say how great it was to be invited out with the girls? No, course not, but it just was. It was so nice of them to ask me to join them, and it was such fun. Hanging out with the lads, talking about beer, football and women’s tits is really not for me. That’s something I’ve been subjected to for many years whilst playing in bands, and generally keeping my female persona hidden. But this, this felt right. Looking out over the lakes and mountains, one really gets a feeling that the world is at our feet. And so it is. It’s there if you want it. xx P.S. Pip took a sneaky pic of me in my nightie, you little rapscallion, I didn’t even have any lippy on. But I’ve decided to share it with you, full members only though sorry, you can see it here (number 42): http://gendersociety.com/perl/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980160650604&ownerid=9970154724712
    Sep 26, 2005 520