Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Just heading off for a family visit. I have been joking for weeks that the miserable excuse for a sumer will turn warm and sunny the moment I leave like it did in the spring and lo and behold that is exactly what is about to happen...

Net contact can be a bit ropey where we are heading so don't expect a lot of comments or posts.

In the past I would pack in a few minutes, my disguise was almost constantly the same fine trousers and tee shirt or pullover top, only the colours changed so it was simply a case of grabbing some which happened to be clean and be off. 

Now there are just so many choices!! And a baggage allowance that is less than I could carry!! Thank goodness I have so little money for clothes or I could find it too difficult to choose and have to stay home...

Friday, 23 September 2011

Melissa Alison Price.

Just the other day a 0.87€ stamp fluttered out of my handbag where it had been since I had purchased it along with its siblings in April while in France. That is £1 or $1.5 and they had been acquired to send post cards to one special friend who had retired early to the Piedmont in Virginia. The stamp had hardly hit the ground when I opened an email from a long lost net friend who had decided to seek me out and pass on the bad news that she had been searching for our mutual friend only to discover that she had departed this life a month before, just one month short of what would have been her 63 birthday. I had not long ago posted an old fashioned letter to her country hideaway knowing that post was being redirected. It had been written with dread and clearly said that I fully expected that it would be her sister who would be reading this years birthday greetings. 

I asked for some sign of Melissa’s fate to be able to pass a message on to the endless posters of messages of concern.
My € stamps had been to send postcards of the European journey, she said that few items of real post fell into her mailbox and this was our little game on these trips. Being away from the net much of the time away it was a chance net hookup in the middle of nowhere about a month into the trip when I sent a message one evening asking if she was OK, her net activity had been a little different from what we normally expected when I had been reading online, her comments kept us going after all. A message came back immediately and we did an online chat which she had said she would never do preferring our exchange of long emails. Out came the saga of going to one of her regular family Monday meals forty miles from her sanctuary and ending up in hospital! The saga sounded horrendous and lacking in any real longterm hope of returning to her old life.
For such a private person to have to suffer the hell of her treatments and the well meaning ministrations of her 90 year old mother while trapped with little stimulation and no outlet for the personality we all knew and loved whilst in a high rise apartment in the stifling summer heat must have been a sad way to end her time here. Her mother after all had always refused to accept the Melissa we knew...
I was shell shocked, we were like online sisters and there was nothing I could say or do to help. The final card from the French part of the trip could now never be sent, what could I write?
Those last four months must have felt like an eternity and the replies to my attempts to keep her amused became rarer and shorter as she spent more time under morphine and she kept falling asleep at the keyboard. Somehow even in the darkest moments she managed to slip in one of her trademark quips to show that her spirit was not yet broken but the suffering could not be hidden.
She only made one brief return visit to her sanctuary in the woods and I am sure she knew she would never be able to manage the effort required to live there ever again or ever again be able to live out her life as our Melissa.
I have lost many of my closest family and friends but the tears shed over this new loss exceed all those previous tears combined. My twin soul is no longer suffering the slings and arrows of this cruel world and that is my only comfort.

Melissa Alison Price. 21 September 1948 - 20 August 2011.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Blue sky day.

Perhaps it is just me but the net life which gave me such support and information is no longer the joyful thing it once was. Perhaps it is because my progress has been relativly slow through the transition process allowing so many to race on ahead and vanish. I don't think I shall go like that, better to stay and show that life does go on.
This strange summer has definitely passed, the geese are honking overhead and the browning leaves are already blowing about in the tail end of a hurricane. No matter which way the wind blows most of the leave in the street end up in front of our house…
After a season trying to finish some needed hard landscaping to aid access round the garden trying ti find enough dry days to manage it bit by bit I am left with just a short section of driveway to finish before I give up for this year. The wind and rain do occasionally give way to a warmish sunny day with endless blue skies and the last week or so has been taken up with being sociable and the sunny days occurred just when needed. A picnic on the beach then a day in the highlands with two other couples and yesterday     a beautiful crisp clear day in a perfectly preserved riverside village with our friend Louise. Some of the village has been preserved by the National Trust and in the excellent introductory video it was pointed out that what is now so peaceful and picturesque was once a hive of dirty smoky industry much like the Grangemouth oil refinery far across the Firth of Forth. Quite the steepest garden I have ever visited and with a southern aspect gave us a comfortable place to bake in the sunshine before adding to the honesty box for fresh garden produce. If Julie had actually picked up the tomatoes which she had waxed lyrical about and for which I paid generously I would be a lot happier! I suspect we shall be having a lot of pumpkin soup next week!

Julie & Louise

True to form today is cold wet and windy. I am interested to see how my cheery mood stands up to the impending winter and long days of gloom. I hope that this will be the first winter without a real dip, my old depression seems like a distant dream.
We shall be making a short road trip later in the autumn to visit some family and friends and to attend a first consultation at the hospital where Scottish gender patients generally get their treatment. The process still feels less than certain with the added complications of age and health, I doubt that I shall really be convinced that it will work until I see the stitches being pulled out. Don’t hold breath, this is still some way off in the future and no doubt some interesting hair removal to be done before that...

Monday, 5 September 2011

Near naked woman running round the garden!

Red Polo Through window.
Quite a while since the last post, grinding on through this autumnal weather which passes for summer this year and slows so much down.
It has not been boring, far from it. Numerous memorable things have happened, many I have probably forgotten already but others are harder to forget. So was the most memorable glancing out of the upstairs window to find my recently retired neighbour chasing her happy yappy dog around the garden while she herself was only wearing a pair of floral knickers, or could it have been finally giving in and letting a man get on top and finding it difficult to relinquish control, or could it be finding ourselves low on ready cash having found a second hand low mileage car for sale after we had decided not to bother trying to buy a new one when our savings plummeted in value almost overnight, or was it something completely different?
The neighbour has lived there for about twenty years and for some of those years we had not seen her once, now we see so much of her! She must be mad! I love letting the sun occasionally warm my whole body but not once this year, she is going to catch a chill like that!
This is the sad end to an era of colour. The colour red. In the past thirty years getting a car has usually just been deciding between wee polo or golf, depending on various circumstances it has ranged from extremely frugal to tyre squealingly quick. The one constant has been the choice of colour, the brightest lipstick red available and by some miracle it was always there on the colour chart. We had finally decided we needed more room to carry age related aids and something higher off the ground to help with access. Friends had a Citroen which has been a great success carrying huge quantities of stuff for an enormous distance and is still going well so we set off to find what the current model was like with the knowledge that we had the foresight to put away money starting thirty years ago just to be able to buy ourselves something like this just when we would need it most. 
We had a test drive and it was comfortable and takes what we need to carry with ease so we sat down to see how we could get one, it would have to be ordered and take six to eight weeks… 

So would we like one? 
Yes a red one. 
That will be £440 extra!! 
What! So what is the standard choice? 
White and what else? 
Just white!! 
We have never seen a white one. 
Nobody seems to want white!! Perhaps we could be flexible on the cost of colour since you seem so upset!!! 
So how much for reversing sensors as shown on page “X” of the brochure? 
To get that you have to have automatic folding mirrors and cruise control all in a package. 
So how much would that be? 
No idea!! 
They have not told us yet and will not be available until the end of the year at the earliest!! 
So how about the opening window in the tailgate, that would be handy for through ventilation when out picnicking and for loading the boot to capacity without stuff falling out? 
That is reasonable and available now. 
Great, so it is not part of some insane package? 
No, you just get blackened windows, two on each side and the rear so that you look like some mafia hit squad and can’t see out well!! 
How much does one of these cost? 
A small fortune and we will not offer you much for that cute red Polo with low mileage either. 

At this point Julie is bored and exasperated and just wants it to be over and says just order it, I say it will take most of the savings and I want to see the money in our hands before we say yes, remember three years ago when we tried to look for a new car, the economy collapsed while we were away on holiday and the savings were no longer enough. That will not happen twice says Julie!!!...
Obviously that was a few weeks ago so imagine my surprise having already given up on the idea of changing to find that we had agreed to buy a cheaper secondhand low mileage similar Peugeot. People will leap out and try and stop us for a lift since so many are now used as taxis round here. Obviously we could not choose the colour but it is not white or grey or black or silver which make the roads so dull these days, it is a sort of dark blue and has few creature comforts. We get it in 12 hours time. No more cute cars, no more red…
I met this guy a few weeks ago and he seemed nice and quite keen and interested and looked fit. Then sadly he did not answer my calls, two messages is my limit, I am not going to go begging! Then all of a sudden he appears on the doorstep and makes a date! Then he fails to turn up of course but soon calls again to make another, men!! I have just never done this kind of thing before and do find it hard, near impossible actually, to submit to control, especially to a guy. Finding him on top and not knowing what he wanted to do next had me nearly a nervous wreck, if he tells me what he is up to and lets me help a bit I am ok but letting him just do what he wants was just not on. He admitted that he nearly did not come that day but in the end was back in the afternoon for more and was soon back on top again! I could hardly believe it. That leak had been worrying me for months.
Only forty years since I first saw a doctor about not being the boy everyone thought I should be I have a first consultation appointment, confirmation letter in the post. Shame we did not know that we would buy a newer car since we had booked a couple of cheap flights to get a couple of weeks late summer sun in France. We could have driven there again and passed by the hospital where the appointment is on the way back five hundred miles south of here. The appointment is just days after we return, probably fly right over it!

A Peugeot built like a tank.