Saturday, 1 December 2012

Best laid plans...

I knew exactly what I should be doing right now. My large toenails have been due to be removed for a while now and the appointments manager had assured me that the 28th. of November was the last time it would be rescheduled for but with a few hours to go…! I should be resting up reading books, catching up on TV recordings made for such an eventuality and perhaps musing on my ten months post op and tapping out my thoughts here but… My hair appointment carefully booked well in advance has had to be cancelled and as I expected the place is booked up until christmas so I am going for a slightly longer look! If the next toe appointment fails it will have to be in the new year since it will not heal in time for the battle with the christmas crowds. We are told constantly that we are in a recession but there is still something of a mad frenzy in the air and all we want to do is carry on much as normal.

For nearly a week my French niece and her boyfriend were here at the end of their three week Scottish tour. They live in heat, he does projects which take him to Africa for weeks on end so they found it quite enjoyable in Scotland where you can get every season in one day or even during a couple of hours as they found! Sophie had found an old B & W super 8 movie of her mother at her age cavorting in our bath during a visit with the guy who is Sophie’s father, when she saw how I had filled it with flowers for her she was delighted and was determined to recreate the scene… Not sure that we shall be seeing the results...

I have spent the last few days out in the freezing cold helping my friend Adrienne close down and pack up her glass making studio which is in a picturesque cottage ornĂ© which was an old farm dairy. As cute as you could imagine with curved ends and a five foot shaded veranda all around to keep off the sun all supported with rustic rough trees which was all the rage then. She has been there for fifteen years and we have had fun together photographing her work and became good friends. Sadly she has decided to move back to Ireland where she was able to afford a home in the country with a barn which she will need to store all the stuff she has collected over the years. Yesterday was amusing because there were three of us there most of the day with a skip to fill and you would be hard pushed to find three people more likely to be found taking stuff out of skips! Jim, a bodger, who was helping even proudly showed us his custom steps which are designed specifically for skip access and never leave his van. I was strong willed and only “saved” one heavy piece of cast iron, rusty but a thing of beauty in the eye of this beholder. I am a recovering skip diver but Jim has it bad, I just got pleasure by finding all the things I worked out he would be interested in just to see his eyes light up.

Much of the time I spent easing glass creations off the windows. Over the years they had collected and whilst many had been put up for easy sale during studio open days many had been fixed for all time! She knows my cunning and obstinacy when faced with problems like this but thought that she would have to abandon hundreds of pounds worth of pieces. After a couple of hours work encouraged with a toasted cheese sandwich not one item remained though the studio had lost it’s soul…

So her I am almost ten months to the day since I was reborn. All healed up but with one suture line slightly raised, better than I had hoped for since I don’t heal up easily! There are still breast growing sensations and tenderness so perhaps there is more to come, they certainly are getting past the pert teenager look. I have never been keen on large breasts generally so I think that I shall be more than content with what I grow myself whilst a while back I have to admit to wavering about wether I would get enough to satisfy though I have no idea how I would find the relatively large fee for a little enhancement. Guess we are all different in what will make us happy but don’t give up too soon on what will come naturally.

Day to day I am just me, just getting on with my quiet life as the me I should always have been. No drama, no hassles. Sometimes misgendered on the phone but more often even friends think they are speaking to Julie when I answer. In a way it is handy if cold sales calls get through and they make the mistake, I can pretend to take offense and tell them that the call is at an end!

It is almost four years since my first post. How could I have imagined how I would feel four years on? I still lay awake at night, head spinning with what ifs and wondering if it might just be better to apply one of several well thought out plans to end it all and vanish from this world. I would be up on the net sometimes ‘til the sun came up searching out others round the world working through the same anxieties, collecting countless pieces of the jigsaw and trying to make sense of it all and how I could fit in.

During those four years it has been like riding a roller coaster during an earthquake at times. Moments a pure joy as someone you have encountered makes real progress or just finds happiness and leaves. Others who like I once was find themselves trapped part way or standing on the edge of the maelstrom wondering if it is worth the risk of jumping in, those stories bring on a tightening in the chest and a feeling of great sadness but not as great as that for those souls who have died along the way. A number of those I have been in contact with directly are gone all through natural causes, many friends of friends have died and a few by their own hand. On the whole suffering from random brutality and suicide has been a lot lower than the bare statistics would suggest, this could be an age related factor since many of us are past the first flush of youth and not out clubbing late at night or living amongst a hostile population, something to be thankful for…

Every day logged on you never knew what cocktail of emotions you would be put through but without the online presence of others and their highs and lows this journey would be a much harder one than it has been.

It reminds me of the time caught in a sudden rip tide and nearly drowning and without the will to look away from the safety of the beach and concentrate on one job at a time, get to the surface, float, get energy for next attempt for the shore… It seemed impossible, easy to just give up but I made it through and glad that I did. Still don’t know how but I did, both at sea and here on land…

This blog is my “social media” and I shall be around, though with less and less transitional material I suspect, to see what happens to all those friends and followers I have met along the way who still wish to post and comment.


  1. Less and less transitional material? I wouldn't count on it! I cover a lot of non-trans topics nowadays, but still find a need to return to the Old Theme. It's hard to ignore basic facts about your nature, and the way you interact with other people while knowing that you are different. besides, I think the ongoing experience of people who are suppose to have 'completed' their transition might be valuable to those who are just taking the first plunge.


  2. Lucy, you could be right, just have to wait and see.

  3. I know of a few who have kept the trans side of things going for all the reasons suggested but I think the majority just wish to get on with their lives after a while. I was one who stayed in contact for a year or so but gradually slipped away. There will always be those willing to take over anyway. You must be feeling a little sad about your friend moving back to Ireland. It seems you get along very well. You will have the opportunity to visit her one day I'm sure.

    Shirley Anne x

  4. Shirley Anne, she is organising holiday accommodation on her smallholding for general visitors and with arts tuition and outdoor activities if wanted so she will have plenty of room to put us up if we ever get enough cash to take up her invite.

    What is a little sad about the present age is the number of people who are happy to abandon long established circles of friends when well on in life, something our parent's generation would never have dreamed of. We have lost a large number of close friends this way...

  5. I believe you have it right when you said, "Day to day I am just me, getting on with my quiet life as the me I should always have been......" Which is why I believe some people leave this part of their life behind.

    With that, I would have to agree. My own boring and mundane life is not of value to bring any relevant inspiration to the transitional person. All the drama, all the first times, all the new and exciting things that occur which validates the women that we always knew to be is no longer a necessity to write about because we are now living the dream and that dream seems to be the new normal.

    In saying that, everyday when some one validates my femininity in person, on the phone or any other way just by saying 'she' puts a wee smile to my face and a feeling of joy in my heart. It's like the Christmas present that keeps on giving.

  6. Where would we be without news of your toenails!!!

    You know a little while ago you mentioned a dear departed friend. Someone who, even in such a short time of interaction with me, showed great kindness and was always there to lift spirits with some well chosen words. You suggested that she has not been replaced but for me at least you do yourself a disservice.

    I look forward to more posts of a normal life and the odd words of encouragement as I shuffle my feet from side to side.


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.