Wednesday, 17 December 2008

A trip to trans femme

Last Sunday I paid another visit to Trans-Femme ( It was all arranged at fairly short notice ... I knew there wasn’t likely to be much in the way of opportunity to get dressed up for a few weeks so I dropped Tracey & Nikki an email midweek and was luck to be able to organise something for the weekend.

There are many especially nice things about the experience. One of my favourites is that because Tracey does the makeup I don’t have to spend an hour or so doing it myself before I set off. The main challenge really is working out what clothes to take! Enough for a week under more everyday kind of circumstances.

It’s still not easy for me to express the pleasure that the makeover and photo experience gives to me. I guess I don’t really understand it. But I guess that I’m not alone in how I feel about this ... as evidenced by the Guest Book (

I love the way that both Tracey and Nikki have of making a person be comfortable and at home with them.

Nikki mentioned that a tgirl that had visited them not so long ago had been moved to tears of happiness when she first had the chance to see herself. I remember that feeling. Like meeting a part of you that you always suspected was there but had never had an opportunity to get to see before. I know that Nikki and Tracey are making a big difference in peoples’ lives – helping people be better able to accept themselves as they are.

It’s seems strangely appropriate that I’m writing this at a time when the Royal Variety Performance is on television here. The show is featuring an enormous number of transvestites. So far maybe a dozen. I think, as time passes, the idea of a guy wearing a dress and makeup is getting to be less and less strange. Just as it was a few hundred years ago, maybe.

And so ... here are a few photos ... including the new black dress.

Friday, 12 December 2008

A train and a short black dress

I recently spent a week working in Bristol.

As usual I travelled by train. Unusually I booked seats in advance.

I arrive at the train station in Slough at 06:40 ... the train is timetabled for 06:49 ... but it’s running late and the TV screen says it’s due at 06:59.

I have to make a connection at Didcot Parkway – but so long as my train is no more than about 15 minutes late I can still do it.

As each minute passes by, the time that my train is expected to arrive drops back by a minute.

“What’s happening with this train?” I ask.

The assistant says “It should be here at 07:02.”

“Nahhh ... “ I say. “It hasn’t set off from Paddington yet has it?”

The man makes a phone call. I can hear the voice at the other end.

“It’s just about to leave Paddington.”

“If I were you I’d get the next train to Reading” says the man.

I arrive at Reading at 07:23.

The train to Bristol is due at 07:27 ... and it’s not going to stop at Didcot Parkway!

I am lulled into a false sense of elation and relief.

At 07:30 the train is expected to arrive at 07:31.

At 07:31 the train is cancelled.

I ask someone if I should get the train to Bristol Parkway and then catch one from there to Bristol Temple Meads.

The train to Bristol Parkway is cancelled as well.

It’s one of those kinds of days!

But it does get better.

The week in Bristol goes well.

Someone tells me I look a lot younger than I am – always a nice thing for anyone over the age of about 20.

On Wednesday night I call in at Debenhams ... the lure is a 20% off almost everything sale. And at last, I find a short black dress that I like!

A nice kind of week in the end.

Croque Monsieur for a lady

On December 6th I begin to get ready.

I’m told that for shopping trips makeup should be different than for nights out. However, my makeup skills are still somewhat limited. And ... well ... I enjoy it. So there’s not a lot of difference.

Working out what to wear is trickier. In the end I decide trousers, shirt and cardigan. Well ... as well as underwear and shoes.

The doorbell rings at about 11:15. Makes me smile as I walk towards it thinking ... “what do I say if its the postman?”

In fact it is Billie.

We head for the car and drive in to Windsor. En route I remember the things that I have forgotten.

I park at the Victoria Street car park – it would have cost less if I had brought my Windsor residents card.

What used to be “Shoe Fetish” is now “Naughty but Nice”. They specialise in fancy dress kind of costumes. As we walk past we are greeted by a couple of Santa’s little helpers. One of them is Natalie from Naughty but Nice.

A little further down the road there is a guy dressed as a medieval town cryer.

And just a little further a guy ... or maybe a girl ... dressed as a cat.

Perhaps being a guy dressed as a girl isn’t so odd after all.

Heading for Cafe Rouge I realise how surprisingly relaxed I feel. I don’t have the urge to keep looking down. People don’t seem to be staring – and I’m not worried if they are.

We order drinks and food and I discover that Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

The waitress doesn’t stare. Nor do the other people sitting at tables around us.

It amuses me to think of Emily and Florence in the TV (as in television) show Little Britain:

After the meal we spend a while wandering into and out of shops and pop into Naughty but Nice for a chat.

And oh – I see someone that I know and that knows me. I used to work at the same place as Dennis – and there he is collecting money for the Windsor and Eton Rotary Club. Although he sees me, he doesn’t recognise me. I think it wouldn’t have bothered me too much if he had.

When, and if, summer arrives we decide it would be great to organise a tgirl picnic in the park (Windsor Great Park is perfect for this) and maybe a walk alongside the Thames.

Swans and shopping

I was weeks and weeks and weeks ... even longer ... since I had a chance to get made up and go out.

On the last Sunday of November it was the occasion of a Surrey Swans get-together.

It was really nice to feel the foundation, powder, shadow, mascara, blush, lipstick and gloss go on again. And a first chance to wear the sweet black not-quite-a –dress.

It was really good as well to spend some time catching up on things with Billie and Kathie and with Tina.

I also met another Andrea.

Billie asked if I fancied a shopping and lunch trip to Windsor ...

“You bet!” After a while of humming and ahhhing and a lot of common sense from Kathie we decide on Saturday December 6th.

Is there such a thing as too short?

One of the nice things about the approach of Christmas here is that the stores start to have pre-Christmas sales.

My wife was really sweet and bought me what she reckoned was a lovely black dress at a Marks and Spencer s 20% discount special.

However ... it was a (UK) size 14 hanging on a size 18 hanger. It was a lot of fun getting it on – but we needed an exchange. Also ... I am a great fan of short skirts and dresses ... but this one ... well ... even for me ... it needs to be worn with a skirt. Having said that ... I love it!

Holidays, jeans and fingernails

It’s been a while ... so here is a catch up.

My wife and I spent a couple of weeks in Nepal recently. It involved a lot of walking and I had been looking forward to it with mixed feelings. However ... it was great! Great scenery, wonderful weather, great people! It was an almost exclusively male-mode kind of time – though I did wear girlie trousers and jeans whilst in Kathmandu –I have Billie to thank for that as an idea. No one really notices – though I guess if the jeans had been bright pink maybe someone would have commented! I’m slowly getting used to working zippers with my left hand and finding ways to cope with the very small pockets.

At one point in Nepal ...

“Do you play guitar?”
“No ... but I wish I did ... why ?”
“Well ... you have really long fingernails.”
“Talons ...!”
“There is a story behind those ...”

But no one asked to hear the story. Ah, well.