Sunday, 15 April 2018

Blogs were an Electric Ladyland...

This was going to start with a video of Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix, but as proof that the internet is useless, a long search has only found the evidence that lawyers have wiped them from the face of the earth… Lyrics are at the end. 

It seems like a lifetime ago now. I had long resisted our getting a computer then even more resisted getting connected on line. I first argued that a slow connection at home would be pointless when my partner already had faster connection which she was allowed to use at work, “ let’s just wait for broadband…”. Then broadband arrived in the village!

As a student in the 70’s I had scoured the university library in search of writings about transsexuals and even though it included a medical school I found nothing. Surely over three decades later this new fangled internet would tell me all, surely a few taps on the keys and all would be revealed… I knew that I would tap those keys given half a chance and had done all I could to keep that temptation at bay.

Finally we were connected, I had not a clue how a computer worked, my last contact had been in ’72 when I was writing some programs on punch cards and it would take a day to run the cards and see if each part of the program actually worked, one slip and you had zilch. I did run my small business invoices from a pocket organiser but that was hardly much help in knowing what to do with a desktop machine on the net.

I was clumsy, treating the net like an encyclopaedia and a bit confused by the small snippets of information which leaked out. It was an age before I discovered that people wrote “blogs” but those which might interest me seemed to be rare as hen’s teeth and not the personal and open things which would be found a few years later. I seemed to have just missed the age of dial up chat rooms, probably a good thing with my fear of showing some of the world’s worst spilling…

As soon as I was finally reading blogs about people’s personal experiences and also the comments made on them I started to feel strongly guilty, like a voyeur. I had to join in, that meant signing in to get an authorised identity and since the first comment was to a Livejournal blog I signed up with them. I was hooked! I had no intention of ever writing a blog of my own, I even resisted writing a shopping list, I had successfully hidden my dyslexia for half a century, why ruin it now? The spellchecker saved me and I became an avid commentator, I did have things I wished to say and confidence was gained. By now you have worked out that my dyslexia is in the writing part of my brain, not the reading part, a blank page is far more terrifying than spiders or rats!

I have lost track of just how long it was before I finally made my first attempts at a blog of my own. I waited until I felt “qualified”, surely an orchiectomy was enough to make me feel that I really had something to show my seriousness!

That first attempt was on the live journal platform but even with all my comments on other blogs I seemed to be whistling in the wind. It was great for one of my reasons for writing, to keep track of my thoughts and changes, things very easily forgotten. By now it had become obvious that there was more interaction on the Blogger site so I copied all my previous posts and nine years ago on the 14th of April my blog, originally titled “In Search of Lost Time” started her on Blogger. For many years I was obsessed with life online, ten times more diligent than any previous studies I had ever done, I had hundreds of bloggers bookmarked and often read their entire blogs from start to finish when I discovered them, not something that blog platforms like to make easy! Did I mention that I was a bit obsessed? That was even though I was still convinced that I would probably never progress much further on my transition. Well that finally went much further than I had really ever dreamed that it could and some of you may have noticed a certain amount of encouragement on my blog not to hang about wasting time like I did.

All now seems so long ago and hard to imagine that writer was me. Life is more transformed than transitioned. If I had not been sifting through my ancient and grinding old iMac for the few files which I want on a new simpler machine I might not have noticed the nine year anniversary. I would have posted on the right day if I had not been delirious with nasty cold symptoms.

If anyone had told me all those years ago that one day blogging would not be an ever present part of my life I would have thought them mad, but there you go, transition can lead you to the sort of life you had always dreamed of and that becomes your new obsession…


Have you ever been, have you ever been, to Electric Ladyland?
The magic carpet waits, for you.
So don't you be late
Oh, I wanna show you, the different emotions
I wanna run to the sounds and motions
Electric woman waits for you and me
So it's time we take a ride, 
we can cast all of your hang-ups over
the side.
While we fly right over the love filled sea
Look up ahead, I see the loveland, soon you'll understand.
Make love, make love, make love, make love.
The angels will spread their wings, spread their wings
Good and evil lay side by side while electric love penetrates the sky
Lord, Lord I wanna show you
I wanna show you…
Show you