October 10th provided an opportunity for another trip to Pink Punters.
The room at the Campanile Hotel is booked … especially good value if you book two rooms at the same time.
On the day I pack quite frugally … for me at any rate. A fairly normal selection of makeup and other accessories. Only three pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, one skirt and one top. Three bras, two pairs of stockings, two pairs of tights and two of hold-ups. Two suspender belts.
No partridge and no pair tree.
I know. There is no way I’ll get the chance to use it all in one evening. But there is a logic in al of this.
The tradition is to get made up and dressed. Eat at the hotel. Change. Head for Pink Punters.
So two sets of outerwear are needed. And I’m not sure whether to wear the black dress or a skirt with a top. So I take three.
And it’s nice to change shoes. And heels are nice. And maybe I’ll drive home the next day as a girl … so I need some flat shoes to drive in.
The dresses need a strapless bra. The skirt and top are fine with a bra with straps. I have no idea why I took three.
Stockings are fine with the long dress. The spare pair is insurance against laddering.
The skirt is ok with holdups.
The short dress is safer with tights.
And a spare pair of each. Just in case.
I bought a new suspender belt at Debenhams in Bristol … but haven’t given it a try out yet – so I take a spare just in case.
I almost forget the makeup remover.
The drive to Fenny Stratford … Bletchley … the home of Pink Punters … is pleasantly uneventful. The M25 is being widened … again … so has a 50 mph speed limit for what seems miles and miles and miles. But it is moving.
Round about 5:00 pm I pull into the car park and start to dismantle Tom Tom.
My phone rings.
“It’s Nikki. Where are you?”
Nikki arrived earlier in the afternoon and is out shopping. We’re in room 12. Nikki has paid half already. Well … half of one room or a quarter of two.
The man at reception is very patient as I check in.
The transgender thing isn’t at all strange to staff at the hotel.
In the room the ritual begins.
Shave. Shower. Moisturiser. Underwear. Makeup.
Laura and Billie have arrived and are next door in room 14.
She has a nice new pair of shoes.
She spotted a handbag outside the door of room 14 so goes to tell Billie and Laura about it.
Knock knock. “Hello. This is room service.”
“Oh … it’s going to be a half hour before I’m decent!”
”Ha ha! It’s only Nikki. You left your handbag outside.”
Nikki begins to remove makeup and showers ready to start over again.
I finish off with the makeup.
Knock knock. “It’s room service.”
But it sounds a lot like Billie so I just open the door.
With makeup and no wig I know I look a little like a clown without the red nose.
I look a little odd even with the wig, I know.
We agree to meet Billie and Laura in the bar.
I head for the bar while Nikki continues with the makeup.
Billie and Laura are (well at least Billie is) watching Leeds play against St Helens. A big rugby league match. The TV set is muted though so we can talk as Billie watches.
There are two other people in the bar who pay us no attention.
The girl at the bar asks “What would you like to drink?”
“A white wine. Do you have a Chardonnay?”
“Ooooo you slut” giggles the lady rugby spectator.
Perhaps rugby union spectators are more gentlemanly? Well, the male ones at any rate.
We sit and talk rugby a little.
And t-shirts. Nail polish. Dresses.
Leeds beat St Helens.
We move to a table in the restaurant area and order some food. Tastes varying from burgers to swordfish.
Nikki and Laura:
Billie and Andrea:
Another tgirl is eating in the restaurant. Her dress is quite short … maybe too short to be bending so far over the buffet table like that.
After the food it’s back to get changed for the short trip across the road. Nikki kinda likes photos in the hotel corridor. And so …
Those straps keep on dropping down:
Black dress or skirt? Stockings or tights?
Laura had almost worn dress several times before. It’s very transparent. She managed the transparency pretty well … bit it is a little on the short side. Cute legs though, don’t you think?
A short walk across the road and there we are.
In we go.
I see Nikki collecting what looks like some sweets from a jar attached to the wall.
I like Pink Punters a lot. The kind of place where people can be different without worrying about being hassled. You can be who you want to be. You can be who you are.
It’s fairly quiet early in the evening.
As time passes we talk and dance. And it’s a nicxe place to sit and watch people.
We talk to a girl that is in the process of becoming a full time girl. Medical appointments and things on the horizon. She explains that most people already know, apart from at work. In about six months time she will become a girl at work as well. She talks about the hopes and fears that go with all of that. She knows it’s not going to be an easy journey.
When I go to the bar to buy a drink the girl always calls me “babe”. It’s quite cute, so long as you don’t associate “babe” with “piglet” too closely. She has a painful leg … football (soccer) injury sustained on Friday. The girl sitting at the bar plays rugby, but prefers football.
A whole group of people are wearing white t-shirts with lots of messages written on them.
A few sit at the table next to us.
“Happy birthday Harry” I read on the back of the guy sitting just to the side of me.
I lean to the side.
“Are you Harry?”
“Thanks … how did you know I was Harry?”
I explain it’s more a case of writing on the back than psychic talents.
Christian sits beside me and we chat a while. His girlfriend, Leandra, is sitting just opposite.
He’s impressed that my wife copes with the concept of Andrea so well and encourages me to buy her a big bunch of flowers and a holiday to the Bahamas. Leandra says she wouldn’t mind a trip to the Bahamas as well.
Sam sits beside me … he’s Harry’s partner. Tomorrow he gets to meet Harry’s parents for the first time and is a little nervous about it.
Simon says hello.
A little later on the dance floor he invites me for a bop.
The Pink Punters photographer is taking pictures.
We leave at a little after 4:00 am.
Next morning Nikki breaks the bad news to me that I snore. Or at least, breathe heavily whilst asleep.
Of course, I know this already.
She says it was lucky that she picked up the earplugs at the nightclub.
So, the jar wasn’t a jar of sweets, it was a jar of earplugs.
A really nice evening!