Saturday, 8 May 2010

A week flashes by

The last week has passed in a flash. Every time I sat down to write a blog post I got distracted by a first reading others posts and e-mail and sometimes chat and then all my time disappeared.

From having all the time in the world to play our departure is suddenly only one week away and still many things to sort out. Since we drive on the left in the UK we are supposed to adjust the headlights so as not to startle oncoming traffic driving on the right. Last time we drove abroad I purchased the appropriate stickers to put on the headlights only to find that there were no instructions on where to stick them. I assumed would be some help at the ferry port that I wouldn't be the first person to arrive there with the make of car we drive, they were no help and suggested trying garages in northern France when we arrived, they were no help either. I tried accessing Volkswagens Internet site, typically worse than useless! Why is it that companies find it so difficult to use the Internet for more than a couple of percent of its possibilities! Today I visited the dealership has the company had advised me to do prior to my next journey abroad, their suggestion was that the car had to come in to the garage and be set up using their headlamp testing equipment! What a bunch of cretins! This would cost a fortune and they are suggesting doing it days before I leave the country so the headlamps would be useless here!

The late spring has created some marvellous blossom on the trees which has lasted well because it hasn't been affected by frost, even the plum tree which I threatened to cut down because it never produced a decent crop of fruit in the nearly 25 years it's been growing. Perhaps trees can hear, under threat this one has decided that it will kill itself under the weight of fruit if that blossom gets fertilised.

We have cool sunny days alternating with cold damp days, on a couple of the good days I attack the garden with vigour and energy, too much vigour and energy for my reduced muscle mass and now I am in pain! My brain clearly has not received the message about my new lack of muscle tone but after this suffering I think the message may have got through. Even typing these keys is a pain.

There was another day trip to Glasgow this week and while Julie enjoyed a day visiting an exhibition of paintings at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery on the Glasgow boys a group of painters from about 100 years ago who painted really nice pictures of Glasgow girls and landscape. I took a leisurely walk through the park and paid another visit to the Sandyford gender clinic. That's not all they do at this clinic and I didn't pay much attention to the few others in the waiting area as I organised to fill my head with music from the iPod while I waited. It drowned out the noise of the chattering girls nearby who were quickly replaced by another couple, a guy with really hairy legs protruding from his baggy shorts and he was chatting to a delicate androgynous creature or who had taken three hours to get there by bus, they too were loud.

Only when they disappeared did my attention fall on the girl at the other end of the room and I started to take in some of her details, it was a few moments before I realised that we were in the same situation! Here is the one place I should have expected this but this is the first time I had encountered anyone else. Suddenly I was able to to realise that we don't necessarily a stick out like a sore thumb and unless you are paying attention we could be passed on the street without too much notice. Well she could anyway. She tapped away on her PDA and made it clear that she was content to stay in her own bubble so I left her to it.

She had made some kind of mistake with her appointment with the clinic and since she got seen first it set me back but it is such a friendly place waiting is no great problem. We chatted about how I was getting on and how others are taking to my changes, I told him about having to come out to Norma my dentist that morning when we did an update of my medication and Norma just came out with the biggest smile like I'd given her the best birthday present she had ever received and immediately started to compare HRT regimes! A couple of seconds was all it took to be enrolled into the sisterhood.

When asked if I had any concerns I said the only one was whether the government would maintain their services in these hard economic times. His reply was that it was unlikely given the high profile that had been given to being inclusive that discriminatory cuts would be allowed, the most to be expected was perhaps a little delay. This is still something away off in the future, a year or so at the earliest if I'm able to go down that path. Meantime I've been checked and I'm still alive and don't appear to have had any unwanted reactions so my dose has been doubled. My next visit will be in August and I've promised to take a blood test with me to see how things are really working.

I went wearing silky blue tunic length top, cast-off present from a girlfriend who now has an excuse to go shopping, and a pair of earrings which arrived just moments before I left home, little silver cameras glinting in the sunlight! What a joy to be out in the world, wandering through the park in the spring sunshine feeling absolutely alive. If I had been told even two years ago that I could ever feel like this I would not have believed it, this is happiness way beyond anything I've ever imagined.

Next week is going to be interesting, 400 miles south of here I shall be making my two younger sisters, I don't expect them to be too shocked when I tell them exactly what's going on. That they have had over half a century to try and puzzle out why my life has been so strange, if they haven't already at least contemplated the possibility of me being how I am I would be most surprised, I'm putting money on them being relieved to know for sure. Watch this space.


  1. You got me interested... I recall adapting my motorbike headlight, and it had a marking on the lens to show where to stick the adaptor. Honest John and his correspondents, though, seem to think that it's not rocket science and you can do it just ass well with masking tape or gaffer tape...

    ...I was looking at photos someone took of the Kelvingrove, t'other day, and thought "wow! Must go there".

    The Claybrooke Centre was a bit like your clinic, too. Uusually enlivened by nutters...

  2. Glad the clinic went well.
    I am sure everything will be fine with your sisters.
    You have such a lovely aura that I think all that meet you will be won over.
    Speak soon.

  3. I can't imagine what the car dealership was talking about, since modern cars have no headlight adjustment. Headlight assemblies are all fixed modules, that you simply insert a bulb into, then twist a nut down on the back to lock it in place. Why would they need to use special test equipment, when they already know what the beam pattern for each model is? Sounds like they were just trying to separate you from some of your money.

    Melissa XX

  4. Dru, so much written about sticky tape on lights, who would have known!

    Melissa, not falling for that one, the little money I have stays in my pocket.

    Lisa, you are good at this sort of thing, can you go and tell them?

  5. Interesting how parallel our lives are - Linda is now out to everyone in her family of origin, and I still have my two brothers. I've promised to write to them this weekend. I am out to my sister, and she is supportive, but then she came out as a Sarah Palin supporter and I haven't known what to say since. I am feeling happier in Jill mode - and looking forward to full time June 23. The gender clinic I go to here in Seattle is usually pretty quiet when I go for my counseling appointment. It's a bit of a production for me - because I change clothes there. When I am full time, I will go more often - they have a support group on another night.
    Looking forward to reading about your travel adventures!

  6. Since we drive on the left in the UK we are supposed to adjust the headlights so as not to startle oncoming traffic driving on the right.

    Interesting, Caroline, never thought about that. My trips to "drive-on-the-left-land" have always resulted in me on a train or public transportation. I'm just not brave enough to try driving on the other side.

    I'm glad you had a good day at the clinic.

    Calie xxx

  7. Caroline
    I can tell your sisters lol
    On a serious note the family reaction is one we never know until "the cat is out of the bag"
    I have a feeling you will be fine

    glad the appointment went well.

  8. Since you can't drive to any right-hand-drive countries from North America, my only experience driving that way was in a rental car in Australia -- very jet lagged and a bit tipsy (foolish, I know, but we were young) on one trip.

    I had no idea that low-beam headlamps were angled any way but somewhat down (so as not to blind oncoming traffic). Massachusetts used to test headlamp angle as part of its annual inspection, and as I recall, the beams went straight ahead. Maybe it's different in Europe.

    I know I'm catching up, but you've told me your back story before. I'm surprised that you keep mentioning loss of muscle mass. Wouldn't that have happened a long time ago? It's related to the amount of T in your system. E (or perhaps I should write "OE":) ) doesn't have anything to do with it. As well, I was many months on E + anti-T before I experienced any loss of strength. Very little in the body happens quickly (which is unfortunate when it comes to breast development).


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.