Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Friday, 28 June 2013


Like this. I mean, I volunteered, but still.
Okay, it's been a bit bonkers. I freely admit that this year has been more taxing on my time than last when it comes down to marking. I've been putting the Boy to bed, preparing the house for viewings and not marking on the premises of my job because I don't have a co-conspirator and I am a coward. This all means that I have had less time to do what I was doing last year and this has meant less time online. As a consequence I've let this blog go a bit fallow. For which I apologise to all of you who read this. All ten of you.

Not quite the pair, but close enough
Anyway, clearly I am feeling the burn because I wandered into ASDA today to get some toothpaste for the family and note they have a sale on some summer shoes. Of course I look. Of course I find a pair of platform wedges with strappy bits, four inches of heel, half an inch platform, that I decide I must own. They are £8, down from £16, and I didn't buy them. Everything in me wanted to get them and take them home and try them on etc etc but I couldn't. I can't even be arsed to mark some extra papers at about £2 a pop enough to afford them. Though I do kinda want to a bit. The problem isn't so much finances, like it was last year, it's more a case of moving house.

I can't claim I've been deprived of
At the moment all of my en femme wardrobe, such that it is, is stored in a rucksack in my actual wardrobe. It is safe there for the time being. However, I do wonder how I am to transport it between houses. At some point I will be called upon to explain the contents of that rucksack and I'm not sure that Tilly is any closer now than when I started this blog to being able to cope with the idea of me owning, let alone wearing, apparel designed for the opposite gender. Indeed, we may have restarted sexual relations but these have been severely limited in frequency and regularity to the point where it is difficult to know what the difference is. I'm not complaining, but since I last wrote there has been no further interaction. She maintains that I am 'different' in my needs to most men and refuses to take any initiative in such matters. It seems a little unfair. However, I haven't put in a line break and most people aren't really interested in the minutinae of the sexual relations of other people.

Not chocolate-y at all.
After Triple Chocoholic I
am a tad disappointed.
My boss reaffirmed her selfishness and her drive to be so this afternoon, which I found rather sad. I mean, it doesn't affect me all that much but I found her justification for something she clearly struggles with to be saddening and telling. Mind you, I am a father and so I guess I'm pretty biased on that front. I mean, I am selfish, but nothing quite beats the Boy and the Girlie playing happily with you or enjoying a whisper story now and again, even if I get bored of these things. A smile from either of them tends to lighten the mood regardless.

Tilly bought me a beer too. I'm drinking it now, while I can. A review may follow, but I doubt it.

Also, I noticed that Stana has linked me on her wonderful blog. I have no idea how long that's been there, but thank you, Stana, I am deeply honoured! If you haven't been to her wonderful blog then you should - it's thought-provoking and almost required reading for anyone who has even a token part of gender dysphoria in their lives. Okay, it's no caption blog, but nor is this place.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Ah yes. Like that.
I'm sorry. It may have come to your attention if you've read, like, any of this blog that I am a total and abject fangirl of the British pop duo that are the Pet Shop Boys. They have a new album coming up called Electric which promises to really take them back to their roots, something I do enjoy, but in a way that is totes different from their last effort, Yes. Now, Yes was a good album, had me in mind of what they were like in the 1980s with some brilliant tracks. Then there was Elysium which I thought was brilliant but was very much an acquired taste. Neil claimed it was "like mood music, but there's just one mood" and I think he was kinda right about that. It was melancholy, that was the single mood, and it had its place, y'know, for driving and stuff but not a lot else. Yes was pop-pier, it had stuff you could sing and dance to, I guess, in a way that Elysium didn't really. No getting your glad rags on.

Electric looks like being a completely different kettle of fish. From the first track released out into the wilds of youtube, Axis, where they have a couple dancing with moose heads and horns throughout the seizure inducing laser light shots it was clear that this was going to be an homage to an era that I am sad I missed. Back in the late 80s and early 90s there was something of a minor cultural revolution going on in the UK, a summer of love in which everyone knew about the 60s and had been well and truly hammered by AIDS awareness. Thing is, at the same time the Cold War was ending and there was a quiet wild abandon about everything. Nothing seemed impossible. He's blogged about it all before on here. My turn!

The video for the Boys is brilliant. There's a shot about 1.11-1.12 that shows what I so desperately wanted to do in the early 1990s but didn't. He was scared and simply didn't know that he could indulge. In essence, it tries to capture that feeling that I remember quite well. At the same time, you have a more Pet Shops experience than you perhaps had in the Axis track (below for comparison).

Finally, there is this cover that I have rolling about in my head. It's also very good, but for completely different reasons, and it too captures something of the 1990s.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Time to say goodbye

Maybe in the end we are all blessed...

I am not so much looking forward to the end of my employment in my current job as I am aware that it is all coming to an end. I announced it to one of my classes, the only one I started the year teaching that I have left, today and was touched how much of a difference it seemed to make to them. Bless 'em, as they are actually the ones that it's going to affect the least.

But neither as talented nor as
beautiful. Looks like Tilly...
And I have completed one round of extra marking for money and am awaiting clearance to start the second one, though I have a real worry about whether or not I did that right. I'm known for administrative fuck ups, after all, but I just got a text that said that was fine...

Oh dear, I appear to be writing stream of consciousness - which is neither edifying nor particularly interesting. I shall stop.

Father's Day went well this end, the Boy has turned the grand old age of three and is loving the presents that he got: interactive chuggington sets and a marble run. He is cock-a-hoop with the extra wooden railway bits that he got to choose at the toy shop using his birthday money and is generally a very happy little chap. He has also had a bit of a speech 'splosion, though I still have a hard time following what he's saying, and is very funny generally.

No... I don't know the point of this post either. Sorry.

I found these and Tilly is giggling at this.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A passing muse

There's only really the rusted metal here to suggest post-
apocalypse, so this is pretty close to the event or very
far after it. No inbetweenies here.
I have this sudden urge, probably borne out of drinking an energy drink after lunch, to write some fiction set in a post-apocalyptic world.  Terri has previously written about how she would live in such an environment free to indulge in dressing and whatnot. I have always commuted such thoughts to being stranded as I would hate there to be no other people forever  and the thought of rescue at some point would be a comfort in the cold of the night.

Basically put the theory goes along the lines of in a society-less environment there would not be the shame that is usually associated with the embarrassment of being the wrong gender in pretty clothes. The fear of attack or ridicule would be lifted and the taboo of dressing differently would be a free-for-all, well, one and so do-able. Now, on that basis, that of the lack of fear, I can definitely relate as that is something that I wrote about around this time last year as being a primary motivating factor both in my desire to dress and preventing me from doing it altogether. However, there is another edge to this. Consider the scenario of being stranded on some idyllic island with only female luggage, for example, that just so happens to be your size. Brilliant? Well, it would be at first, but I'd wager that over time it would become less so. Let me explain, I think the female clothing that I am drawn to is the impractical kind - that is what stands out as being most feminine and therefore the most desirable. There is an element of recognition of the idea, if not the substance, of patriarchy here. I accept that 'femininity' is equivocal to the concept of impracticality: flowy dresses, twirly skirts, floopy sleeves. That none of these clothes would be terribly helpful in a survival setting almost goes without saying.

Wonderfully impractical is the name of the game. So, this
looks very pretty and lovely. How in the Hell does one
walk in it?
Part of my own fetish, habit, whatever - is this concept of imposition. Like being forced to wear glasses, losing IQ or else simply having long hair that falls into the eyes all the time - these are all aspects of femininity that I feel drawn to and epitomise this idea that women are in need of help. It is this recurrent role as damsel in distress that calls to me. In the pornography that I select and use to, well you know, like limited audience or boundlife or even restrained elegance - all of these feature women who pose in the guise of needing help. There is even the story that I started on here (and intend to return to with a reboot over the summer) that pretty much sets this up with a male damsel in distress rescued by a female knight in shining armour. The trope is very strong.

This is, I guess, pretty realistic.
My point is this: in a post-apocalyptic setting there would likely be no rescue and thus the concept of dressing would fail the primary function for which I use and like it. Okay, I accept that in real life I am not likely to be rescued by a female knight in shining armour either but in the society in which I inhabit the concept is common enough to indulge. In a post-apocalyptic setting, one where normal society has broken down and replaced by who-knows-what would the desire hold true?

Not quite, but close enough
that you get the concept.
So to the idea and concept. I have two options. I know that the Joanna view would be to write with a female protagonist who was properly female, discussed things with other survivors and would be very capable. Indeed, her gender would be largely irrelevant. My view, on the other hand, would be to write about a cross-dresser who then has to approach the new and changed landscape, thus deliberately playing with gender roles and expectations. It would be further enhanced, for example, if the protagonist could be catapulted from our time to the post-apocalyptic situation. Perhaps he was indulging and then somehow found himself dressed and without facility to change that dress in the world that now stretches before him. In either case you would see challenges and have scope to fully explore the world and the attitudes of it and in both you would hold a mirror up to our own situation. The latter option has the further fun angle of having changed language structures that the main character can then react to and translate for the good of the reader. The former would still have the changed language but with less acceptable reasons to translate for the reader - which would be more satisfying to write but much harder to contemplate.

Can you tell I've been hard at work these last few weeks or that I am hyped up on caffeine? You probably can actually.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bitten to buggery

Our hedge clippers are much older. But I can relate. Oh, to
have hair that long...
Whilst getting the garden all sorted out for the Great Sale of the House late in the evening I clearly disturbed some great moot of all the midges in the Universe because my arms have been absolutely bitten to buggery. I am covered in spots and look like I've been afflicted by some great skin disease and then gone on the run from a medical laboratory. Thankfully, my shirt hides my arms at work or I think they would be sending me home as a potential infection risk. Seriously, I don't think I've ever been bitten as badly as I appear to have been on that night. And they itch! Boy, do they itch!

Little bastards. Of all animals on the good planet Earth I
think this is the one that I dislike the most. I'm not saying
that they ought to be wiped out - I am sure they serve some
useful purpose - I am saying I hates them. Gollum.
Did I mention I have a bit of an irrational fear of midges anyway? Their buzzing and the clouds that can be produced have been known to send me a little mad. As a teen I was staying over at the holiday home of a friend of my Dad's with their daughters, the eldest of which I may have had a crush on. We were walking through some becks and whatnot in swimming costumes, the time to be suave and manly and generally show off the fact that I was mature. No, instead, I got buzzed by a vast cloud of midges that ended up following me down the beck and so I went a bit mad and started running - flapping my arms about like a loon.

I have no idea what relevance that little tale has to anything at all, nor even if it was amusing enough to relate for the banter! Still, you have now heard it and I feel that I have divested myself of the minuscule weight it represented. I think I may be avoiding work again...

Anyway, I am in the middle of a marking marathon, with the stated intention of polishing off about 75 scripts by the end of the day. I have so far managed 5. Ahem. Yes, back to it!

Friday, 7 June 2013

From the Front Line

I'm leaving my job. I am actually leaving.

Like, I know, right?
I can't quite believe it, nor the slightly undisguised glee from my boss that I am going - from letting everyone she knows know that I am going to rearranging the timetable to divorce me from any students I have taught long term - but this just reinforces why I am going. It scares me that it came to be as it is now, under two different bosses, and how much I was blown away by praise at where I'm going.

I smiled less than this but the weather was this good.
I'd love to have dressed this way, and the hair too...
Never gonna happen.
Add to that two weeks of massive work on the house to prepare it for sale (painting, tidying, gardening etc) and you have a recipe for an odd fortnight at the best of times. However, it is also the time of exam board marking, which I do, and the time of strange things to get one's head around in time for the new school year. So it is that I haven't been on here, or on any blog in this lovely community of TG folks, much in the last fortnight or so. Unlike last year I haven't stacked up posts in anticipation either, nor did I end up dressing for the online meeting like last year, because it was all packed up and away and I was cold so didn't feel the urge once the family were out. Or maybe I've been less stressed?

I don't know if the song is appropriate but I found a CD of stuff that I was listening to back in 2006/7 and I've been playing it in the car. It seems that my musical choices back then were a tad more upbeat than they they have been for at least three years!

Maybe this will become an ode to my new job? I hope so. I'm looking forward to moving, I'm looking forward to the challenge of a new job and to working with people who won't be looking to sack me or deliberately undermining my performance in the classroom. At least, I hope they won't. I worry that two people, who did not like one another, came to the same conclusions about me and my professional effectiveness, I worry that perhaps they were right in their assessment. I worry because, if this is true, then moving to another job won'tr prevent a similar outcome.

At the same time I am reminded that the new place saw my bog-standard lesson as outstanding because of a few of the things I do as standard in most of my lessons and praised me highly for my honest and actual plans for what I intend to do as Head of Department. I am buoyed by the stuff Gove has been bleating and the controversy because the place I go to has ignored most of it, has focused on what I think is good teaching and has got outstanding in the last few inspections as a consequence. In short, I am torn between being happy and sad and bitter all at once.

I am trying not to think of my leaving speech. And I've a had beer. Spitfire about which I think I've written before...

EDIT - Didn't realise it had been that long. Tilly passed her driving test, of course she did, and the kiddlies have been very good, considering their parents have gone a bit mental making the house ready for sale.