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  • 20 Feb 2024
    Ariane went to the Etihad tonight for the City match. There were some women present in the crowd. I bet I was the only one there tonight in a little black dress and pearls. Always look your best girls! Even if no one notices. I could have taken the bus or tram to the stadium (it's about a mile east of the centre of Manchester) but decided to walk instead for more Ariane time outdoors. We won, so it was worth it.   Afterwards I walked along Canal Street to see what was happening. Normally I end up in Oscar's but tonight I went to Via. They had live cabaret with a succession of drag artists, starting with Flick de Beanz (why do they all have such weird names?). I'm quite old-fashioned. I like seeing female cabaret artistes, the way it used to be. You can still find that but I think it's called burlesque these days.   I was planning to walk in the Lake District tomorrow, but the forecast is not good: strong winds, heavy rain, arctic temperatures on the summits and zero visibility. Not a day for the tops then. Ariane will stay in Manchester and amuse herself some other way.
    40 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Ariane went to the Etihad tonight for the City match. There were some women present in the crowd. I bet I was the only one there tonight in a little black dress and pearls. Always look your best girls! Even if no one notices. I could have taken the bus or tram to the stadium (it's about a mile east of the centre of Manchester) but decided to walk instead for more Ariane time outdoors. We won, so it was worth it.   Afterwards I walked along Canal Street to see what was happening. Normally I end up in Oscar's but tonight I went to Via. They had live cabaret with a succession of drag artists, starting with Flick de Beanz (why do they all have such weird names?). I'm quite old-fashioned. I like seeing female cabaret artistes, the way it used to be. You can still find that but I think it's called burlesque these days.   I was planning to walk in the Lake District tomorrow, but the forecast is not good: strong winds, heavy rain, arctic temperatures on the summits and zero visibility. Not a day for the tops then. Ariane will stay in Manchester and amuse herself some other way.
    Feb 20, 2024 40
  • 13 Feb 2024
    Life's been hectic for a while. But today was an Ariane day. When I had the house to myself, straight after breakfast, I made up and got changed. Today I was going to do all the normal things the boy would have done, only as a girl.    First up, some piano practice. Playing the piano is Ariane's new thing. I listen to loads of solo piano and thought it was about time I started reproducing the sound. Maybe one day I will be the keyboard girl in a rock band…   Then I drove into town. First stop the laundrette to dry some washing. Then my local Waitrose, where once again I didn't see anyone I knew, and no one took any notice of me. And finally a walk through the town to collect some tickets from the station. This all feels natural now. Ariane has travelled a long way in the past year.   Later today I'm seeing the physio, who is a friend of mine, and she will ask me to take all my clothes off (well almost all anyway). She doesn't know about Ariane yet although I hope she will soon. So I have to revert to boy mode for that. But Ariane will be out again over the next two days. It would be nice to go somewhere out of town. Maybe take the train as Ariane.   Next week, Manchester again. Ariane's going to the Etihad and then Canal Street. The next day, a country walk, Ariane in a dress and walking boots. Life's been good to me so far…
    37 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Life's been hectic for a while. But today was an Ariane day. When I had the house to myself, straight after breakfast, I made up and got changed. Today I was going to do all the normal things the boy would have done, only as a girl.    First up, some piano practice. Playing the piano is Ariane's new thing. I listen to loads of solo piano and thought it was about time I started reproducing the sound. Maybe one day I will be the keyboard girl in a rock band…   Then I drove into town. First stop the laundrette to dry some washing. Then my local Waitrose, where once again I didn't see anyone I knew, and no one took any notice of me. And finally a walk through the town to collect some tickets from the station. This all feels natural now. Ariane has travelled a long way in the past year.   Later today I'm seeing the physio, who is a friend of mine, and she will ask me to take all my clothes off (well almost all anyway). She doesn't know about Ariane yet although I hope she will soon. So I have to revert to boy mode for that. But Ariane will be out again over the next two days. It would be nice to go somewhere out of town. Maybe take the train as Ariane.   Next week, Manchester again. Ariane's going to the Etihad and then Canal Street. The next day, a country walk, Ariane in a dress and walking boots. Life's been good to me so far…
    Feb 13, 2024 37
  • 28 Dec 2023
    Just after Manchester, I came out to another friend. It was a very natural thing to do. I said I was hoping to live more and more as Ariane within the limits that my circumstances allowed. Not just in safe environments like Canal Street, but in normal life (gigs, football matches, walking round town etc). So much to look forward to. A whole world to explore.   That remains the ambition, but December has been regrettably girl-free. It wasn't just the approaching holiday season with more people being around at home. More serious than that. My mother, who was ill for a long time, suddenly got worse. She had to go into hospital, and there she died, the week before Christmas, with me keeping a lonely vigil at her side. Then on leaving the hospital for the last time, I went down with a virus which knocked me out for a while.   So this afternoon is literally the only time when I've been on my own. Straight into the loft for the  hidden suitcase. And Ariane is here again. All in black, with pearls, and the highest heels available. And a gin and tonic. I feel so much better. I have missed this so much.   Looking ahead: normal service resumes in January, when everyone goes back to work and I will have whole days on my own. Lots to explore. Guildford (trans desert) turns out to host The Fallen Angel which is a regular cabaret. There's someone else I'm planning to come out to. Then back to Manchester at the end of the month where Ariane will go and watch City again. Ariane also needs to make her London debut.   Being trans is like a drug. The more you do, the more you want.
    133 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Just after Manchester, I came out to another friend. It was a very natural thing to do. I said I was hoping to live more and more as Ariane within the limits that my circumstances allowed. Not just in safe environments like Canal Street, but in normal life (gigs, football matches, walking round town etc). So much to look forward to. A whole world to explore.   That remains the ambition, but December has been regrettably girl-free. It wasn't just the approaching holiday season with more people being around at home. More serious than that. My mother, who was ill for a long time, suddenly got worse. She had to go into hospital, and there she died, the week before Christmas, with me keeping a lonely vigil at her side. Then on leaving the hospital for the last time, I went down with a virus which knocked me out for a while.   So this afternoon is literally the only time when I've been on my own. Straight into the loft for the  hidden suitcase. And Ariane is here again. All in black, with pearls, and the highest heels available. And a gin and tonic. I feel so much better. I have missed this so much.   Looking ahead: normal service resumes in January, when everyone goes back to work and I will have whole days on my own. Lots to explore. Guildford (trans desert) turns out to host The Fallen Angel which is a regular cabaret. There's someone else I'm planning to come out to. Then back to Manchester at the end of the month where Ariane will go and watch City again. Ariane also needs to make her London debut.   Being trans is like a drug. The more you do, the more you want.
    Dec 28, 2023 133
  • 29 Nov 2023
    By Wednesday morning I was feeling the effect of all the gin I’d drunk the night before. I got up, then went back to bed. Eventually I felt ready to face the day. I decided to proceed with Plan A. I caught the train south, 30 minutes to Disley on the edge of the Peak District. Then I went for a long walk, along the Macclesfield Canal, into Lyme Park, brief tourism at Lyme Hall aka Pemberley, then through the rolling hills and moorland of the park back to Disley.   Earlier I considered going for the walk as Ariane, but it was just too cold. I discovered one of the inconvenient truths of girlhood, that sometimes it’s just too cold to go out in a dress. Anyway I was happy enough on my own. I like being outdoors on my own because there’s so much time to think. I have so much to think about.   Back in Manchester, in the warmth of my room at Velvet, I changed into Ariane. Wednesday night is TGirl night in the Village. I walked down the road to Via, the designated meeting place for their regular organised group. Quite a lot of girls out tonight, some established, some new. After a while we moved on to the Molly House round the corner (so named because traditionally men used to go there to wear dresses). There were some musicians playing trad folk in the background, and some gay couples, and there was us.   And I found what I found the previous time, that you can feel out of place in a group of people even though you all have one thing in common. Yes we had our common trans-ness, and that was something to talk about, but I don’t think there was anything else. Essentially this was a group of men in dresses, some more convincing than others. The established ones talked to each other and some of the new ones, including me, just sat there and said nothing. Around mid-evening I got my coat and made a French exit. Like last time, I just prefer female company to male company, even if the men are all trying to be women. It’s not the same.   Back at the hotel I didn’t want Ariane’s evening to end, so I went out again, on my own, back to Oscar’s down the road. It was quiet, as was all the Village for a Wednesday night. I watched some of the clips from the musicals that they have on non-stop play. Next to me a lesbian couple were being very affectionate towards each other. I drank less gin than the night before and then I left.   So these TGirl meet-ups are not the answer for me. I knew that last time. The way forward is for Ariane to engage with more of her real friends.
    156 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • By Wednesday morning I was feeling the effect of all the gin I’d drunk the night before. I got up, then went back to bed. Eventually I felt ready to face the day. I decided to proceed with Plan A. I caught the train south, 30 minutes to Disley on the edge of the Peak District. Then I went for a long walk, along the Macclesfield Canal, into Lyme Park, brief tourism at Lyme Hall aka Pemberley, then through the rolling hills and moorland of the park back to Disley.   Earlier I considered going for the walk as Ariane, but it was just too cold. I discovered one of the inconvenient truths of girlhood, that sometimes it’s just too cold to go out in a dress. Anyway I was happy enough on my own. I like being outdoors on my own because there’s so much time to think. I have so much to think about.   Back in Manchester, in the warmth of my room at Velvet, I changed into Ariane. Wednesday night is TGirl night in the Village. I walked down the road to Via, the designated meeting place for their regular organised group. Quite a lot of girls out tonight, some established, some new. After a while we moved on to the Molly House round the corner (so named because traditionally men used to go there to wear dresses). There were some musicians playing trad folk in the background, and some gay couples, and there was us.   And I found what I found the previous time, that you can feel out of place in a group of people even though you all have one thing in common. Yes we had our common trans-ness, and that was something to talk about, but I don’t think there was anything else. Essentially this was a group of men in dresses, some more convincing than others. The established ones talked to each other and some of the new ones, including me, just sat there and said nothing. Around mid-evening I got my coat and made a French exit. Like last time, I just prefer female company to male company, even if the men are all trying to be women. It’s not the same.   Back at the hotel I didn’t want Ariane’s evening to end, so I went out again, on my own, back to Oscar’s down the road. It was quiet, as was all the Village for a Wednesday night. I watched some of the clips from the musicals that they have on non-stop play. Next to me a lesbian couple were being very affectionate towards each other. I drank less gin than the night before and then I left.   So these TGirl meet-ups are not the answer for me. I knew that last time. The way forward is for Ariane to engage with more of her real friends.
    Nov 29, 2023 156
  • 29 Nov 2023
    Ariane is back in Manchester for a few days. This has to be one of my favourite places. Another first last night. Ariane went to the Etihad to watch City play. Me and 50,000 men. Lots of abuse! Directed at the team though not at me. We played very badly in the first half but turned it round in the second.   On returning to the Village I went to Oscar’s (my favourite bar round here) for a couple of large gins. No company, more’s the pity, but it was nice to soak up the atmosphere.   It feels very natural to me to be out as Ariane. I’m just who I am, but wearing different clothes. I don’t care what people think. I’ve stopped feeling guilty or self-conscious. Added bonus, two people called me “Madam” last night. I like the thought of being a Madam.
    99 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Ariane is back in Manchester for a few days. This has to be one of my favourite places. Another first last night. Ariane went to the Etihad to watch City play. Me and 50,000 men. Lots of abuse! Directed at the team though not at me. We played very badly in the first half but turned it round in the second.   On returning to the Village I went to Oscar’s (my favourite bar round here) for a couple of large gins. No company, more’s the pity, but it was nice to soak up the atmosphere.   It feels very natural to me to be out as Ariane. I’m just who I am, but wearing different clothes. I don’t care what people think. I’ve stopped feeling guilty or self-conscious. Added bonus, two people called me “Madam” last night. I like the thought of being a Madam.
    Nov 29, 2023 99
  • 18 Nov 2023
    So I was listened to a two parter audiobook from BBC Sounds starring David Tennent as the tenth Doctor Who.  One of the charactors is called Chevalier d'Eon, who was born Charles d'Éon de Beaumont or Charlotte d'Éon de Beaumont and lived between 5 October 1728 to 21 May 1810.   The Beaumont Society is named after her.  I wasn't too sure whether the charactor was real or not, so I thought I checked it out one Wikipedia and I was surprised to learn thats she was an actually real person.   Here is a link to the page I mentioned, Chevalier d'Eon  
    129 Posted by Suzy Russell
  • So I was listened to a two parter audiobook from BBC Sounds starring David Tennent as the tenth Doctor Who.  One of the charactors is called Chevalier d'Eon, who was born Charles d'Éon de Beaumont or Charlotte d'Éon de Beaumont and lived between 5 October 1728 to 21 May 1810.   The Beaumont Society is named after her.  I wasn't too sure whether the charactor was real or not, so I thought I checked it out one Wikipedia and I was surprised to learn thats she was an actually real person.   Here is a link to the page I mentioned, Chevalier d'Eon  
    Nov 18, 2023 129
  • 13 Nov 2023
    I'm having an Ariane day. I wanted to do the same as I would in boy mode. So I started off responsibly with a stack of ironing, in our front room looking out the window and hoping to see some passers by or the postwoman (I was planning to open the door to her, but sadly no post for me today). Then I drove into town to the supermarket to buy a few things for tonight's dinner. Lots of people there today, but no one I knew. And then, walking through town to one of my favourite local cafés. I'm not sure whether the (young and female) staff worked me out, but they smiled and they were friendly.    So this is the new normal now. I feel completely natural when I go out as Ariane. I'm just me myself I, wearing different clothes today. No one gives me a second look. I'm loving it. Amazing how I was afraid to go out locally until quite recently.
    111 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • I'm having an Ariane day. I wanted to do the same as I would in boy mode. So I started off responsibly with a stack of ironing, in our front room looking out the window and hoping to see some passers by or the postwoman (I was planning to open the door to her, but sadly no post for me today). Then I drove into town to the supermarket to buy a few things for tonight's dinner. Lots of people there today, but no one I knew. And then, walking through town to one of my favourite local cafés. I'm not sure whether the (young and female) staff worked me out, but they smiled and they were friendly.    So this is the new normal now. I feel completely natural when I go out as Ariane. I'm just me myself I, wearing different clothes today. No one gives me a second look. I'm loving it. Amazing how I was afraid to go out locally until quite recently.
    Nov 13, 2023 111
  • 09 Nov 2023
    Today Ariane drove to Horsham, 20 miles southeast, to meet Angela whom I met online. Angela is now separated and on her own at home so is able to dress more or less full-time.    Angela knows Horsham better than me so she led us into a shopping precinct where we stopped for lunch and a chat. That was fine for both of us. Either people didn't realise who we are, or didn't take any notice, or if they did realise, they just smiled and treated us like we were normal. Which we are.    We had a nice conversation about our situations and way of life. Then I headed off to the bathroom (remembering to walk into the Ladies side). After lunch we walked out through the centre of Horsham and Angela gave me a brief tourist guide. It's an interesting town and feels like a safe place to be.    It felt very natural and comfortable for me to be out as Ariane. It feels like I've made a breakthrough over the past month. Looking forward to the next adventure. Although I will have to compromise on the heels for my planned hill-walk as Ariane. 
    108 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Today Ariane drove to Horsham, 20 miles southeast, to meet Angela whom I met online. Angela is now separated and on her own at home so is able to dress more or less full-time.    Angela knows Horsham better than me so she led us into a shopping precinct where we stopped for lunch and a chat. That was fine for both of us. Either people didn't realise who we are, or didn't take any notice, or if they did realise, they just smiled and treated us like we were normal. Which we are.    We had a nice conversation about our situations and way of life. Then I headed off to the bathroom (remembering to walk into the Ladies side). After lunch we walked out through the centre of Horsham and Angela gave me a brief tourist guide. It's an interesting town and feels like a safe place to be.    It felt very natural and comfortable for me to be out as Ariane. It feels like I've made a breakthrough over the past month. Looking forward to the next adventure. Although I will have to compromise on the heels for my planned hill-walk as Ariane. 
    Nov 09, 2023 108
  • 02 Nov 2023
    Ariane has the day to herself. I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch in Horsham, but these are storm conditions and we decided to wait until next week. So instead I went for a walk round my local town. I was out for about 30 minutes. It felt completely natural. I didn’t see anyone I know, and no one gave me a second look. So I must have passed well enough.   It was important for me to go out locally. The fear of being recognised or challenged becomes less and less each time. This is a step on the way to bigger things. In better conditions I’m planning to take the train to London and go to lunchtime concert and have a light meal somewhere. I don’t mind if anyone works out that I’m not a cis woman. This is who I am.
    132 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Ariane has the day to herself. I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch in Horsham, but these are storm conditions and we decided to wait until next week. So instead I went for a walk round my local town. I was out for about 30 minutes. It felt completely natural. I didn’t see anyone I know, and no one gave me a second look. So I must have passed well enough.   It was important for me to go out locally. The fear of being recognised or challenged becomes less and less each time. This is a step on the way to bigger things. In better conditions I’m planning to take the train to London and go to lunchtime concert and have a light meal somewhere. I don’t mind if anyone works out that I’m not a cis woman. This is who I am.
    Nov 02, 2023 132
  • 28 Oct 2023
    Chantel McGregor is my current favourite artiste. She comes from Yorkshire, she has a big voice, and she plays a mean guitar. She sings about relationships and heartbreak, and because she's a guitarist as well as a vocalist, many of her songs morph into long instrumentals.   I have travelled across the world to watch Chantel perform. Well, London and Surrey anyway. Tonight she was due to perform at The Musician venue in Leicester. I thought it was time that Ariane caught up with Chantel. So I took the train 100 miles north, booked into somewhere central, and got myself ready.   I've been looking inconspicuous for a while, but night time is the right time, so tonight Ariane was wearing a black mini-dress, a black leather fitted jacket, and ankle boots with 4" heels. I looked in the mirror before I went out, and for the first time I thought, You look gorgeous, I wish I was going out with you.   The venue was crowded, but I found a place near the stage, and had a nice conversation with a Leicester girl called Julie before the set began. Then Chantel went through her set. Most of the songs featured on her best album, Bury'd Alive, recorded live in Bury St Edmunds in 2019. The word is she's writing a new studio album, but we didn't hear much from that tonight.   No one took much notice of me, which is good in a way, because it shows that Ariane is convincing, but even so I went there feeling a bit like a tease, so it was slightly disappointing that no one tried to chat me up.   After the show I thought, The night is yet young, let's see what else Leicester has to offer. So I walked through the centre to the Dover Castle. This bar claims to be the UK's oldest LGBT venue. Friday night is cabaret, so I settled down with my drink for a performance by the drag artist Missie Jay. Drag is not really my scene, but she was outrageous, and the audience were loving it. Again no one stared at me or made out I was weird. So that was fun. I left around midnight and walked back to my overnight stay.   All this going out is changing Ariane as a person. I used to look on places like Manchester's Canal Street as a safe haven, somewhere I could go where everyone was like me. Or at least, alternative in an absolutely fine kind of way. I still like that and I always will. But Ariane now wants to do normal stuff in normal situations, just like in boy mode, only as Ariane. Something like my local Waitrose, or the Etihad Stadium. I'm going back to watch City at the end of November and I'm seriously thinking of taking Ariane to her first match.
    127 Posted by Ariane Durand
  • Chantel McGregor is my current favourite artiste. She comes from Yorkshire, she has a big voice, and she plays a mean guitar. She sings about relationships and heartbreak, and because she's a guitarist as well as a vocalist, many of her songs morph into long instrumentals.   I have travelled across the world to watch Chantel perform. Well, London and Surrey anyway. Tonight she was due to perform at The Musician venue in Leicester. I thought it was time that Ariane caught up with Chantel. So I took the train 100 miles north, booked into somewhere central, and got myself ready.   I've been looking inconspicuous for a while, but night time is the right time, so tonight Ariane was wearing a black mini-dress, a black leather fitted jacket, and ankle boots with 4" heels. I looked in the mirror before I went out, and for the first time I thought, You look gorgeous, I wish I was going out with you.   The venue was crowded, but I found a place near the stage, and had a nice conversation with a Leicester girl called Julie before the set began. Then Chantel went through her set. Most of the songs featured on her best album, Bury'd Alive, recorded live in Bury St Edmunds in 2019. The word is she's writing a new studio album, but we didn't hear much from that tonight.   No one took much notice of me, which is good in a way, because it shows that Ariane is convincing, but even so I went there feeling a bit like a tease, so it was slightly disappointing that no one tried to chat me up.   After the show I thought, The night is yet young, let's see what else Leicester has to offer. So I walked through the centre to the Dover Castle. This bar claims to be the UK's oldest LGBT venue. Friday night is cabaret, so I settled down with my drink for a performance by the drag artist Missie Jay. Drag is not really my scene, but she was outrageous, and the audience were loving it. Again no one stared at me or made out I was weird. So that was fun. I left around midnight and walked back to my overnight stay.   All this going out is changing Ariane as a person. I used to look on places like Manchester's Canal Street as a safe haven, somewhere I could go where everyone was like me. Or at least, alternative in an absolutely fine kind of way. I still like that and I always will. But Ariane now wants to do normal stuff in normal situations, just like in boy mode, only as Ariane. Something like my local Waitrose, or the Etihad Stadium. I'm going back to watch City at the end of November and I'm seriously thinking of taking Ariane to her first match.
    Oct 28, 2023 127