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!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Who is in the mirror?

Oh I would love this to be the view
in the mirror.
Several people talking about identity and self-image at the moment and so, obviously, I've been analysing it as well. Because everyone needs to know my thoughts on the matter. I am trying a lager from the Galloway, which is nice, and it's hopped so it's really a very light ale. So there. Did you know that units in the UK are based on ale that is just 3.5% ABV? I did not.

I registered with a doctor's surgery at long last today. Prompted by the trips to the hospital with Tilly and by feeling the elbow I fell on a few months ago and realising that the bone isn't straight any more, there are lumps and bumps there and feeling it made me feel a bit sick and gave me pins and needles. I maybe ought to have that checked out, but I haven't done any work or marking yet and I'm feeling rubbish again. During the registration I did wonder just how much to reveal. I told them about the depression but not about the transvestism but part of me wanted to tell them about the sexlessness because I feel entitled and my immense throbbing privilege needs to be acknowledged I suppose.

Yes, I have been watching Dylan Moran stand-up again. I may be talking like him but in a text format. I suspect it doesn't work so well anyway.

And there was a dream.

Saturday, 27 December 2014


I would love to wear this ensemble.

No reason. Just I would. There's a pink dress, size 12
in a charity shop. I saw it today whilst out for ale
and it was £9. So tempted. If I thought I'd get any
chance to wear it...
It snowed last night. It has stayed today and I was too weak willed to go out and attempt to make a snowman for my daughter. One point to note is that, although there was some melt and plenty of ice, no one had attempted to destroy the snowman in the nearby grass common. Quite the contrary, it looks as though it was hastily constructed the night before during the snowfall, possibly after our children went to bed. Did I mention how much I love the place we live and how much nicer it is than where we used to live?

In other news, I have imbibed more ale, at lunch time, and cooked tea. It was pork steak with plenty of herbs and spices because I can't leave well alone when cooking pork. It was a reminder of those early months after Tilly first moved in, except with children. They'd been out in the snow earlier too, together, and their different ways of dealing with it were quite funny. She went out and was impractical, leaving a mess as she got out the toys she wanted to play with; he initially went out with three toys, immediately brought one back in as he didn't "av enuff 'ands!" then came back with a second: "the 'and in my sleeve is cold and I can't hold the green one." Then proceeded to tidy up his sister's mess before heading back out. They both had a whale of a time.

Well, I was entertained.
Anyway, yes, tea. Neither child appreciated the food but Tilly did manage to eat it all. She has also resumed research for her book, so that's positive. Not sure that she's feeling any better though. Another early night last night and long lie in this morning suggests that there's no change anywhere else. She did manage to get out to the library today to take back some late library books (I have only ever had one late library book, I don't know how she can do that) and head into a shop or two with the Girlie but, after that, she was pretty much wiped out.

Still, both children are still having fun, the snow means I can't get into work right yet, but I will. Tomorrow we have some of my friends from Uni coming over, less a couple due to an illness that seems very similar to Tilly's - though interestingly the other sufferer (from the States) seems able to maintain an upright position, work and interact romantically with her husband (that's romantically, not sexually). Tilly could barely muster the wherewithal to write a card that didn't go off on tangents. There hasn't been anything romantic in written format from Tilly since before she was pregnant with the Girlie come to think of it.

I'm sure I had a point somewhere around here but I appear to have lost it...

I'm sure I left it around here somewhere...

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Day

No post on Christmas day? Failed to save properly and lost your intro? Gah! I shan't try again. Instead, here's the short version!

The children enjoyed the day immensely, even if it was mainly Daddy on duty all day. He played with his not-quite-Lego-but-passable fire station, car track set, alien meteorite thing (sand moulded to a shape, dig out the parts of an alien), wooden train extras and squiggly worms game; she played with her magic clip dolls, incessantly and manically, and merriment was had. Tilly snoozed, dozed, served lunch, went to bed, had a bath, snoozed, watched Dylan Moran (not new) on DVD and then we went to bed early. Not a bad day by any stretch but slightly perturbing as Tilly kept looking up her symptoms and they could point to cancer (though I'm pretty sure anything can do that).

On the previous evening I had been to my father's sixtieth, about which I must have rambled previously, and it was nice but it meant a short night before the Day itself. Luckily, my children gave me the greatest gift of all: a lie in. There now follows a brace of beer reviews to hide the TMI after the line break.

Firstly twas the turn of Yule Love It because it wasn't so bad last year and I rather like me some Thwaites and it seemed rude not to. The colour was like last year, chestnutty and deep, with a nose that packed a little of the mulled spices from last year but, this year, was more along the line of light fruitiness. Not a little unlike some orange liqueur that my mother used to drink back in the day, but faintly. There was a bitterness again, but not as strong as I remembered it. Poured well, decent enough head that frothed and then hung about but at a much reduced rate of bubbling - for which I was glad - and the coloration seemed lighter when compared to the photo I used last year (not mine). First sip was nice enough, good smack of malt over some reduced hops (I blame the fact that I've had far more hoppy ales this year than last) and some bitterness down the sides. It did manage to fill the mouth without too much trouble and I can't complain at that. A moderate fizz over the tongue and then it settled in to the long wind down to the bittering aftertaste. Last year I claimed there was a creamy finish to it, and that remains true, but it is nowhere near as much as I remembered - either through being a different batch or else through the fact that I've had many more ales in proper pubs this year. Either way, it wasn't bad, I'm glad I had it and I think, as Christmas-themed ales go, it does quite well. Indeed, it set me up for quite the evening.

Secondly, for it came second, there was the Snowman's Revenge which had been vaguely threatening me since about November down at our local supermarket. I did wonder how it was that they came to have such a Christmas themed ale so early in the year (last year they all appeared en masse after the season was over) but was glad that it turned up in my festive presents from the children. Bless 'em, they know how to make their Daddy happy. There are other ales too for me to try and I am looking forward to them. Enough! On with this one! Yes, it opened with barely a hiss and poured in a gloopy way, the kitchen has been rather cold of late, but with no head at all (and I tried). Colour was deep and ruby, as promised, but the nose was bitter and with a faint blackberry edge to it. I wondered straight away if it were off, and the lack of carbonation does seem to bear out a potential failing on this score. Sure enough, the first taste was thin and without too much character. It manages to fill the mouth, sure enough, it's not missing any components; they're just... well, I am slightly disappointed is all. No, I think I must have a bad bottle here, reluctant to blame the ale as a whole after others I've had from Wentworth. No... wait, that's Wadworth. Oh, well, maybe I'll blame the ale. Very disappointing.

I shall be finishing with a delightful home-made vodka from one of Tilly's friends. It is blackberry and absolutely lip-smacking delicious! Not the best brace of ales that I have had, but the Yule Love It does take the evening by a long way and is not a terrible tipple. Onward to the New Year and more interesting ales!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Plan Omega

Interesting, male quote but female image. Feminism is
I have been struck by a few posts on this subject of late and been ruminating on it myself, a little, since the other night when I got a chance to dress because Tilly was in hospital overnight. She stayed there another night, though there was no dressing on the second night for reasons I'll get into later, and now is home. I'm not sure whether this is the best idea but the children are happy to see her home and she is happy to be home so I guess my concerns can go do one.

The two posts, eminently better written than mine, can be found over at Rhiannon's place and Terri's corner by the way.

Oh, I wish.
Whilst at hospital, Tilly was placed on an IV for antibiotics of a nuclear variety designed to finally knock the infection of her kidneys on the head, so to speak, and that seems to have been successful. The pain-killers that this required, given the insane levels of pain she's been experiencing in varying degrees since 21 November, made her woozy and ill-focussed. By the time we saw her on the afternoon of the Friday she was compos mentis enough to have the children, but that was through her coming off the meds and trying to go it alone. Now that she's home she's cut back further on the pain-killers, in a dick move she borrowed from me, and in a lot of pain. On the plus side, if there can be such a thing, that meant I could nip out to get some Christmas stuff for people without children in tow. On the downside, it does make it hard to get a card. The last few days, without Tilly at home, have been spent ferrying small people about whilst trying to get rid of the mould in the house and tidy things up.

Yes, that about sums it up.
It's a coping mechanism I got from the years before my father left. When my parents would have an argument, which I now know circled the affair, my father would respond after my mother had stormed off by doing whatever job I assumed had caused the blow-out. So, obviously, my brother and I would pitch in as if by carrying out the tasks we could bring my mother home by force of will. My mother being my mother meant that after my father left she remained very broken and I found myself doing jobs around the house and trying to be mature and stuff as a means of balancing the household. Ergo my coping strategies revolve around making sure the pots are washed, things are put away, the laundry is done, clothes are folded, beds are made, hoovering is done, the walls are free of mould, errands run... you get the idea. Thus the children have had a diet of wholesome, but shitty, food; cartoons and DVDs and much dashing around shops to get things that are needed (detergent, washing powder, dehumidifiers) and treats to keep them going and take their minds off the fact that their mummy was in hospital.

Also, there was the small matter on Friday of realisation that Tilly could actually be facing cancer. And that, if it were, then the symptoms suggested inoperable cancer. Unlikely, but a distinct possibility. As much as I have coped and done reasonably well as a single parent over the last few days that has been full time, a few days and without having to work. I called in and took time off. If the worst happened and Tilly died then... well, I wouldn't be able to be as full time as I have been. I do now have a plan Omega though, I would move back to a small house in my mother's city (cheaper house prices means a smaller mortgage) and get a teaching gig there if I could (I have enough contacts) that would be part-time. Hopefully, I could network with some other people I know there. Home schooling would have to finish (not enough of my family and friends support it), which would suck, but I could alleviate what I could as best as I could that way. Also, probably live well within my means rather than at the edge of them as we currently do. It would be possible, is all. I am very much into making things practical. As to the emotional parts of this, well, I don't do emotion. I imagine I would do even less if Tilly died. My Boy would follow my lead and, together, we would support the Girlie.

All this concentrates the mind. I dressed whilst Tilly was in hospital on the Thursday evening. Because it was an affirmation of who I am. What if Tilly died - what then? How soon until I come clean to them and how would I manage that? On Friday evening I had a beer and then numerous attempts at a phone conversation failed due to the people at the hospital being awfully good at their jobs (did I mention I love the NHS?) and caring for my wife. On the the Thursday I dressed and I did some other things. Today, when shopping, I was accosted by someone trying to sell soap who insisted that I could use it as a blandishment for my special lady (herself being female) and that there might be some 'magic trick' to 'spice things up'. I felt like telling her that we've managed 12 times since 2008 and that my wife has a kidney issue that may just end sex forever. I didn't.

But it brought home the danger that Tilly is in, that the relationship is in as it concentrates my thoughts and I begin to plan in case there is a life without Tilly soon and that I really, really don't know what I want. For the same reason that my coping strategies revolve around housework and doing things for other people, for the same reasons, my own awareness of what I want and need is stunted and unreliable.

This is going to take another post.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Time is Precious

It is surprisingly difficult to take a picture in
the hallway mirror.
After last night's post was finished and published, Tilly revealed that her pain was getting worse. Even talking about my penis appears cursed. Anyway, long story short, she went to the hospital at 5.50am, leaving me with the children and a day off work. She's been put on an IV to deal with the recurring infection and knock that on the head, so to speak; and then they did a CT scan to check for stones. There were none. They're keeping her in overnight, which likely means that I shall miss another, my final, day of work tomorrow. This sucks on many levels.

Mind you, being full time parent with the kids was actually rather empowering. I managed to get plenty of home stuff done too - like washing and getting rid of mould and the pots - so that the house looks a little tidier than when I started and we all have more clean clothes. If I manage a similar amount tomorrow we should have clean bedding and clean rooms to sleep in. Yay! Also, it has given me chance to talk with my children and the Girlie, in particular, has gained much from knowing that I do things differently to Tilly (she may not like it all, but she has learned that there is more than one way to skin a cat, not literally, at least). So, there have been positives but mainly it's been a bit pants not having her well and home.

This one is the second and it doesn't look
totally awful.
Worryingly, I have used the time tonight, now that the children are asleep, to dress. I put on a dress loaned to Tilly a while back and not required by the original owner any more (and Tilly has said she will never wear it, so I figure it's fair game) and even managed to get my boots on. Given the pain I still feel from the time when I did my ankle in playing football I think that was a significant plus. I have now changed outfit to my red top (new this year) and my denim knee-length skirt (ditto). I actually feel rather relaxed and almost, yes, almost happy with myself. Don't get me wrong, I still miss Tilly, but this does help.

Actually, looking at the images of that ensemble that accompany this post I think it does look rather fetching. I ought to have added the wig after all, I could have looked even better! Mind you, I am glad that I didn't as the Girlie did come downstairs whilst I was in the kitchen and explaining that away would have been impossible. Also, scarier than I would have liked at this point in time. I managed to hide away long enough for her to go back upstairs and give me chance to don jeans and a jumper so I could go and deal with the problem (a ticking clock that was too loud).

Yeah, yeah, of course I tried a curtsy.
I do confess that I am rather guilty about enjoying this time however: it seems somehow wrong to find positives in this sort of situation. I am also reasonably certain that the mould killer I used to spray the rooms this morning may have got into my lungs as I have had a tickley cough since then and that probably isn't a good sign. Plenty to drink ought to help. Tilly announced her hospitalisation on the Book of Faces and so my mother has been in touch to say not a lot and make some strange noises about whether or not it is serious. She's due to visit after the weekend, you see, and so any chance that her visit may be affected is a Bad Thing.

Also, she wanted to know what we were doing regarding my father. I think I've mentioned that we are sooo not looking forward to going down for his birthday on Christmas Eve for a meal at a place that does not do children's food, has nowhere for the children to run around in and does not really want children there (though it will not turn them away) at 7pm (their normal bedtime) and that they don't want us to "rush away from". I have no clue what my father is expecting of us. My mother knows nothing of these shenanigans but is desperate to find out so she can feel hard done to and that my father has more time with me than her as it will feed her martyr complex. No, I am not feeling charitable to either of my parents.

Not much more to say tonight.

Gotta love the slipper hanging off there.
This is an attempted curtsey too.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Curse of my Penis

Yar, it be a caaarse. A caaaaaarse!

Also sticky.
Okay, as titles go, that's a doozy. Allow me to explain: I am not suggesting that being born male is somehow bad for me, I am lucky, my internal thoughts usually line up nicely with both my outward physicality and societal expectations for what someone with my outward appearance should be. Usually. Nor am I suggesting that life as a man is getting any harder with the rise of Feminism - life as a misogynist twat of a man with entitlement issues and plenty of privilege may well be less easy, and I'll confess that there are times I wish I had the chutzpah and privilege of other males; but the fact remains that my life is not any harder because I am outwardly, and mostly inwardly, a male.

C'est possible.
Certainly there are no societal issues that I have encountered with having a penis. I have never been called or suspected of being a rapist (mainly because I am not one) and I am cognizant that my non-rapist situation doesn't mean that all women will necessarily be able to tell the difference between me, a non-threatening Feminist-ally who is not a rapist, and another potential rapist. I can mitigate much of that but, in some situations, I just need to back off and do nothing and campaign more generally to eradicate the threats and stupidity aimed at people who are minorities or perceived as different - not just women, femmefolk and their ilk.

I used to draw velociraptors, based on concept art for Jurassic
and even used one in my GCSE Art display.

It was one of the few things that I drew that had a spark of
life in it, come to think of it.
And so, my point. Within my relationship to Tilly, my only sexual partner (both chronologically and in all other ways), each instance or episode of sexual relations has been followed by interminable periods of shittiness. Early on, our first encounter was followed by the worry that she was pregnant, anxiety and stress - enhanced by the fact I did not 'finish' in a whole weekend - and the relationship, looking back, took a beating. Then, after that, when she moved in, our sexual relations were tainted by anxiety and depression over having moved, that I inadvertantly fed and maintained. This culminated in a miscarriage and this was then followed by the episode of refusal and resultant resentment and argument that lasted a few months. Then Tilly was pregnant with our Girlie - a period of grumpiness, anger, irritability and depression in which I was punished for her pain (something admitted later) and general unhappiness. Breast-feeding and parenthood, whilst positive, did not alleviate the shittiness in our relationship and, for two years, no further relations were sought.

Like Tyler Durden, sometimes it speaks for me.
A utilitarian set of sessions followed to conceive our second-born and then there was the pity-sex after the birth. That, itself, was pretty traumatic but it had been preceded by a huge bout of depression and anger by Tilly largely brought on by the aftermath of sexual relations - pregnancy and birth and parenthood. That souring of the relationship lasted a long time after that until just before we moved. Another load of sessions then were cursed because they were curtailed with a flimsy excuse about stress and a lack of emotional connection (again) and then there was nothing until that odd time at the beginning of the year which was followed by the long fallow patch and the admission that Tilly did not think about sex and could not see us ever having it again. Then we did. Tilly got a UTI which did something to her and now her kidneys are in constant pain. The UTI has recurred twice after courses of anti-biotics and is getting worse each time. And the UTI was the result of our sexual relations on the Monday.

It is therefore reasonable to conclude that my penis is cursed.

What the Hell is going on here? I looked for 'workplace
banter' and got... this. Gay guys and friend abuse
woman with fabulous hair?

Two homosexual men debate primping tips to be told by friend
that classy hair-lady is actually trans?

What the Hell is going on here?
In the meantime I have met several people online with whom I have pursued cyber sessions. The most marked thing about this is how open they are about sex, appetites and wanting it. I am amazed. I did not know people were like this. Even at work, colleagues talk about sexual relations in a way that is perfectly above board and polite but also so much more often and openly than Tilly and I have ever managed. Which I find fascinating. And now that I'm out of my own depression a bit I'm noticing this tendency more. Toby used to talk of sex like this but I had always chalked that up to her being batshit crazy and the social circles in which she moved - I had assumed more puritanical conventions on talk of sexual acts within my more academic and scrutinised work-circles. No, I was mistaken, it appears that most people I know are happy to make allusions, talk in depth, invite comment and share mini-confessions of sexual and relationship events, anecdotes and items. That I am quieter in these is beginning to be noticed and is seen to be quite strange. And I can remember a time pre-Tilly where I would not have been so guarded and careful... or silent.

Objectivity is male subjectivity.
I say: bollocks to it.
No explanation? No feelings.
I shouldn't reduce my wife's suffering to whether or not I get sex, I know, but I find it hard to avoid doing so given the past. In the context of my very limited relationship experience I do wonder whether this may be the end. If Tilly's kidney problems persist and do not improve, which is possible, then this will be the end. I'm not sure I could actually cheat in the physical plane, even if I have already done so on the cyber plane, and so physical sex may well be over. It is certainly over for the time being. Tellingly, as a result of having sex too. Even if Tilly is open to future sexual relations I am not certain that I will be able to unfurl enough - each miniature cycle of sex has left me more and more wound - clenched - and less able to relax. With each further cycle I end up less able to perform properly and more apt to withdraw, very evident in the latest act actually.

When we had a mini-fall-out over parenting, Tilly suggested we compare notes on what we wanted by writing down our aims and expectations. We could do this for parenting but not for sex, she said, because in sex we were just getting used to the idea of touching one another again and we weren't in the right place to go deeper. I rather suspect that we will never be in that place. Or, at least, not for a long while yet. Each little push from my cursed penis, each long drought, renders any emotional connection more distant.

And that's it for tonight.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sweet Harmony

I love this song! Just rediscovered Sweet Harmony by The Beloved and realised that it could be rather rude. Here I thought it was all about Green politics and environmentalism and freedom in the early 90s and it could well have been about sex. Well, there you go.

In other news, we had a meal out my colleagues and I and I had the first Secret Santa in which I got anything even remotely close to something I'd like. It's a bowler hat with a light bulb atop it. I think it rocks. But I would because I am curious and strange. And now I have a headache and it's late, so that's probably it for a brief update. Tilly's kidneys are getting worse again. Something's up, and will likely be so for a while yet. I'd moan, but I suspect that she has the worst of it.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Haunting Tunes

Is it me, or does Neil Hannon sound like melancholy personified? You be the judge:

Then people cover his stuff and sound just as haunting and spectral, but for completely different reasons:

But, of course, Neil Hannon cannot let something like this lie and instantly comes back with something else that just tugs at the heart-strings with a wry wink at the audience and the society in which he creates the music:

Followed on the same album by another sing of yearning and sorrow that is so powerful that it often makes me tearful. To the point where I won't actually record a copy on a CD or listen to the copy I have lurking somewhere. It's too sad. Also stalker-ish.

Luckily, there's something more upbeat to sing along to:

And that's the lot for the evening. Thank you for listening to any of these and for visiting my humble blog.

Boy.exe has stopped working.

Boy.exe has crashed. Reboot from start Y/N? N

I'd happily wear this to care for my family.

I am sadder than I realise, I've just noticed, I mean, how bizarre
and just... well, I am very sad indeed.
Yes, the Boy has an ear infection and has been alternating between running around like a hellion and falling asleep leaning against one or other of his parents. For those keeping track, Tilly is feeling better than she was but not out of the woods yet - a doctor's appointment has shown blood in the urine but no signs of the kidney infection despite her continuing to feel pain in her side. So far no tests have been done to check her general run-down-ness but there are hints that an iron-deficiency is at work. The doctor did not believe it to be that bad, however, and so I'm sticking to my pet theory that Tilly has a testosterone deficiency - low libido, low appetite, hair loss and urges to sleep for long periods. I could be biased though.

And so, I decided to grace these pages (ha) with something I've not done for a while, a beer review! Don't worry, it's after the line-break!

Oh God yes.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Death in Vegas

An electro artiste, but a bloody good image.

Back at University I felt terribly 'out-there' and 'edgy' when I bought the CD single of Aisha and discovered that I could play the video from it on my computer. Keep in mind that this was a stage in my life when I was still fascinated like a newly pubescent teenager with the garb of Leeloo in The Fifth Element. However, there was some electro stylings in that song that I don't believe that I fully appreciated back then, and now that I have randomly come across them on youtube, I am finding that they are very much my jam. Of course, the mood I am in at the moment means that this must be shared! Aisha! I'm VI-brating!

Close enough to me over the last few nights.
Tilly remains twingey following the kidney infection, it's very likely that she has stones and so that will likely take surgery. She has an unerring and unnerving habit of having the worse of any two scenarios presented except when she believes that the worse scenario is likely. This means it's been over a month since the act was last undertaken and last discussed. It is likely to be another month yet before there are any more discussions. After my session of cyber two nights back I think I am more frustrated than normal. But that's my issue, not hers. She's also bought herself a laptop with the advance money from her publishing contract, as one would with a broken netbook, and I am irrationally annoyed at that. Probably because my examining money, the nearest thing to her publishing contract, was spent on fixing the car and family stuff. I shouldn't complain, some £350 will be spent on research - books, access to documents and archives - for her book. It's hardly a money-making enterprise but that was never the point.

In the meantime I shall feel more guilty than before about essentially cheating through the medium of the internet and ruminate on the fact that Tilly is beginning to natter aimlessly and without end like her mother does. Is this a function of my mood regarding sexual frustration or is it a cause of the frustration that I am interpreting as being sexual?

Whatever it is, I have worn a pair of knickers today because, again, we have no dry underwear for me. Plenty of socks for a change but no boxers - they're all still wet. The main bedroom is covered in mould, that I shall have to kill this weekend, and some moves have been made to clean the floors. I haven't made a new lesson in about seven weeks now and am slipping into that lazy mode of working that I despise but find it hard to rouse myself from. The Boy was ill last night and so he slept in with me again. Alas, he woke Tilly this morning after I got up to get ready for work, so I was grumped and grizzled at by Tilly 'til I left.

I have lost the point of this post.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Wonder and fantasy all at once.
As a youngster I remember being fascinated with tales of the unexplained, mysteries, and the wonderment that came with them. My aim in reading about them was always to find an explanation rather than simply to marvel at the stories and leave them as mysteries - I was perfectly prepared to find that the suppositions and the marvelous stories were false, I was interested in the answers. This attitude surprised my mother and sometimes even angered my father who both maintained that part of the thrill and the interest was the mystery and that ruining the mystery was a problem. So it was that I enjoyed reading the more outlandish theories but would readily accept, and even welcome, iconoclastic theories that held water to disprove them. Take the whole thing with Area 51, for example, I was perfectly prepared to accept that it was a government testing facility for aircraft and that most of them were far from clever - it was a testing zone. Even the more outlandish tales seem to hint that there's nothing more to it than random aircraft.

This pragmatic approach has coupled with my whimsy in odd ways, leading me to enjoy the unrestrained speculation on the Enterprise Mission website with regards NASA and toroid physics whilst doubting much of what they say. I have chased down tales of cryptozoology on giant squid (imagine my happiness at the discovery that such things not only existed but have been caught on film now) and UFOs simply because they are fascinating. And I prefer fiction to fact when reading, so there's that.

Joanna - as I appear on Twoo - I like this as an avatar
because it is 'real' and still attractive.

I do hope I don't prejudice anything the original person
does in future.
It also means that I find being online and acting out a role - as I do in many places - rather easy. The skills of deception and being believable are pretty easy for me to utilise. I am, it appears, a damn' good liar. My G+ account, associated with here, has a profile on a social network called Twoo and there Joanna has been propositioned for cyber with someone else claiming to be female. It was... an interesting experience and one that I confess I enjoyed. All the more, I suspect, because I know that even when Tilly is fully well again there is no chance of even talking about, much less carrying out, the fantasies explored of domination and submission and restraint of both parties. On another website, alluded to last night, I have met someone who is very interested in and complimentary of my pictures of me cross-dressed. Again, in both cases, I am not me. Or, rather, I am more Joanna. Not the full 'me' that posts here and discusses things, but a hived-off separate version of Joanna that can be whatever I want her to be and is responsive to the needs and expectations of others. Like when I cybered as a female with a man on G+, and enjoyed it, it was like that - at one level removed.

Or is it just my desire to be a cheating arsehole?
I think it is connected to my love of mysteries and the unexplained. It is a facet of my ability to lie and it is motivated primarily by my complete inability to articulate my sexual appetites to Tilly in a way that doesn't get closed down or have me dry up and wait, vainly, for her to ask. I realise that she will never ask, that I need to make my views known myself and without prompting, but I also know that I am a coward and that this is highly unlikely. In the meantime, I guess I am cheating. I guess I am an adulterer (making me pretty bad in God's eyes) as I am cheating with my mind - the important part - if I were to cheat with my body now it would hardly make a difference. I mean, I won't, but that's my distinction not God's and all sin reeks equally to My Favourite Imaginary Friend Who I Believe Created the Universe.

Yeah, I'm feeling guilty. And I should. Because what I am engaged in is not right, I know that.

Tilly's contract is now signed, it will be sent off in the morning and she will begin work proper on writing the book. She maintains a writing relationship with her buddy online who went to London with her. This is not cheating. It may form part of my rationalisation for what I do though. It does not excuse or legitimise what I am doing, for I hope to meet one or both people from last night again tonight, but it explains, to me, my motivations.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

I shouldn't be allowed coffee

How I'd like to think I look on caffeine.

I have something of an explosive reaction to caffeine generally, I use it to drive long distances and, until starting at my new place of work, made limited use of energy drinks in an attempt to stave off the inevitable and crippling stress with B-vitamins, sugar highs and caffeine-induced mania. I was moderately successful but mainly I just ended up crashing. Since about a year ago I have got into the habit of a coffee on Friday mornings and now employ coffee a little more regularly when tired. And last night I sort of glutted myself on the internet. This meant that I had a very late bedtime and was shattered today. I'm still suffering from imposter-syndrome (and the nagging feeling that I'm not even as good as I think people think I am - it's a messed up psyche I have here). Anyway, I had a coffee and now have a few links to videos that I'm obviously going to share.

This one is by that Rob Cantor feller-me-lad that did the Shia Laboeuf thing that I find beautiful for reasons I cannot adequately explain. This one is just emotion-jerking and a bit beautiful too, and, again, it's hard to say exactly why. After all, it's trite and it's been done, but it is done well and with just the right amount of mournfulness in the tone that my melancholy is sated for a while.

This one, by Neil Hannon, is just good to sing along to. I like the growl in his voice and recall trying to match it when singing Motorway to Damascus on the way to school early in the morning in the mid- to late-'90s when I was on my own and out early enough to avoid people I would meet in school.

On other news, Tilly is getting better properly now. Soon to be well again. She has a book contract signed and about to send back to the publishers and she will be writing it (and researching) until about October next year. I'll be honest and say I shall do whatever I can to support her. At the same time, I do rather feel that any physical relationship will remain very much second-fiddle and unlikely to perk up any time before that point.

In odder news, I have signed up for some chastity on another site (no real enforcement of this, I'm mainly role-playing) and met an odd bloke on another site. He seems nice enough but having exchanged messages on a site devoted to sex I do rather wonder what's going on. The messages suggest just another, like me, bored bloke looking to chat rather than anything else. Layers on layers though and no pulling back any curtains. Too many scandals involving teachers and child pornography for me to trust the word of anyone online like that, so no sharing of any images and no real information.

There we go, my confession is over. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

I have nothing

Apart from being part of the grotesque lengths of mistranslation of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air's theme tune (see the video below) this is also the title of a track from Plumb, a Christian band/solo artist who gets a bit punk-y, and an accurate depiction of what I have in my head for posting here.

A good dark ale this one. Stout? Alas, I had but a half of
Coach and Horses from Tetley as we were in the Coach and
 so it seemed logical.

Three hours later I was designated driver, so safe.
Why? No real reason. I was out on Friday with a very male group of people what play football for a curry and a bevvy of drinks. It was a good night, there were good conversations that left me flattered (no, really) about teaching, our craft, and teaching, the political football, and teaching, the school at which we work. I was able to offer two of my colleagues a lift home and that went well too. I was also, subtly, put in my place. There are weekends away for members of this very masculine group and I have never been inculcated into that inner-sanctum but a new member was on that evening. I am, thus, the only member of the group so far not invited to these. Make of that what you will, you can imagine how I have interpreted it - I'm not offended but nor am I particularly surprised. Perhaps a little disappointed. Oh, and there were teams to be chosen on the Friday. Yes, I was left until last.

Ha ha ha. I wish.
Saturday we processed north to see my mother and some friends for the exchanging of Christmas gifts. It was a long, but generally good, day. Lots of travelling (I live in the UK, our distances are laughably short - less than 200 miles here - but every bit as tiring as US distances - in Michigan we managed more than this per day but with cruise control and no corners). I had two ales round my Mother's that evening and it was good. But the Boy did not get to sleep until 11pm. Cue much grizzling today. It does not bode well for my Father's mad birthday meal at 7pm on Christmas Eve round a place with nowhere to go for children and an expectation of smart clothes, quiet and refinement (I mean, seriously? Seriously?). Still, after a little mucus-invoked vomit in the car and a mega-tantrum, the Boy settled to sleep easily enough.

Yes. This sums it up - that's pretty much how the hugging
looked when trying to calm the Boy.

I looked less nice.
This latter point deserves some unpacking if only because I am quite proud of how I handled it. I stayed with him, telling him that I understood his feelings and how much he hated feeling them but that they were fine to be feeling and that, even though I couldn't help, I would be with him. I told him that his Daddy loves him and that his Daddy understood his anger, his disappointment and his sadness but that his Daddy would not leave him as long as he wanted me there. And it worked. It's not the first time I've done this nor the first time it's worked, but it is the first time that a weekend of travel left me tired enough to shed tears of solidarity whilst doing it.

Then, online, there were the following things:

This article made me cry and I want to do something.

This article made me angry and I want to do something.

This video (below) is beautiful and I cannot accurately explain why - you just have to watch it.

This blog (look at the links too) gave me pause and made me want to do something.

And, as I get older, I get more radical. I'm beginning to wonder if riots, direct action and anger may be the way to actually enact change. Maybe. Maybe not. I am less and less attached to property the more I live with my family.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Question and A Plea

I have a question. Or rather, I'm going to repeat a question I've asked here in the past, but this time I am very deliberately reaching out to transmen and people generally. It is this: can women cross-dress?

This is a woman in a shirt designed and made
for males. Now, question, is this cross-dressing?
Is there a difference twixt this and a male in a
blouse? If so, what? If not, why not?
I've waxed lyrical on here before, I think, about my fascination with clothing associated with gender. This is unsurprising given my own proclivity for clothing designed for, made for and sold to primarily women and seeking it out even when similar designs are available for the males. It does not seem to be based on material or colour so much as the feeling that it is, in fact, designed for the gender that does not conform to my outward appearance. And that is interesting to me. Tilly has said before, and so have my students when posed the question, that women cannot cross-dress.

Also, society in general seems to be more accepting of women wearing clothes that were designed for and made for and sold to men. Seems. Not being part of that demographic I am not at liberty to really comment on society's reactions to them, only they can effectively do that. So, I am reaching out to find out what the views of others are (please comment and let me know, even anonymously, I think it's important to know).

A self-proclaimed female to male
cross-dresser. Question: how is what they are
doing different to what my wife is currently
doing? If there is no difference, why is there
no difference? What, if anything, is the line?
Why do I ask? I ask because of the fact that Tilly, still recovering from her kidney infection, bought a male jumper/hoodie before the illness began. It has become her clothing of choice in the house and outside when she goes shopping or goes off on adventures with the children. And, obviously, it got me thinking. She very deliberately chose a male jumper - it looked, felt and 'hung' right for her to get it. It was not that the design was unavailable in female tailoring (it was) nor that the colours were different (they weren't) but the fact that it was male and thus 'baggier' due to the way in which it was tailored. She has previously worn my hoodie from the States for much the same reason, so much so that it has become part of her wardrobe rather than mine. This is highly visual and obvious (though I suspect that many would not be aware of the cross-dressing nature of it).

And I wonder. Is this actually cross-dressing? That is, does it occupy the same space as a physically male (and I use this term to denote typically male characteristics such as broad shoulders, limited breast development and a penis) who presents as a male wearing clothing designed for females? I have known plenty of males who have chosen to wear blouses, for example, or 'girl jeans' without having any other proclivities beyond that. I realise that my own experiences regarding cross-dressing tend to take things further than this.

So, is it the dressing that makes it cross-dressing or the motivation? If Tilly is not cross-dressing (and is just wearing male clothes - I accept there is a difference) then what makes me a cross-dresser (and I accept that I am) - where is the line to be drawn?

Because all thoughtful, concerned or pensive women must
simultaneously appear constipated.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Over the Hills and Far Away

So, you see Dougal, though these cows look like the cows in the field the difference is that these cows are small, but the ones in the field are faaaaaar away. Small. Faaaaaar away.

I have been keeping track of the events in Ferguson, of the politics surrounding Obama's daughters, the furore that built and built around the GamerGate attacks, the anarchic streets organisations, occupy, Hong Kong... and I have been a keyboard warrior, a slacktivist and an observer. History paints me in its likeness and I work around the edges.

Those who plan for after the revolution are the reactionaries.

I keep listening to Scroobius Pip and Watsky! and Pet Shop Boys and nothing changes. Not in me, not in the music, not in the lyrics, not in what I do for a living, not in the fact that I haven't cross-dressed in so long, not in the fact that Tilly remains ill, not in the fact that when she's done...

Tilly got a book deal. She will gain an advance to write a book in nine months, or thereabouts, and she will receive a piddly amount of royalties from the deal. But she will be published, in print. She will have achieved and be living the dream; her dream. My dream. And she will stress and she will work at it in a way that I know I do not, have not, can not. And that work will take the time in the morning, the children the day and the evening lost to writing, blogging, networking. Over time we will return to where we were. But she will be right to do so. She will need to do so to research and write her book. I will take a back seat, encouraging, supporting but in the back seat.


This is not the post I expected to write...

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Paddington Bear

In fairness, this could be my boy and I. Were it not for the fact
that I've had a haircut and now it is far too short and I have a
beard that I have trimmed and I look like my mate Jeremy and
I am in fact a man and not a woman.

I wouldn't mind though.
I must be broken on some level. I went to see Paddington with the Boy today whilst the eldest and Tilly went to a birthday party for a friend of the Girlie's from ballet (yes, we are that middle-class that our daughter goes to ballet. We also have a pantry). Anyway, the upshot was that I got all teary eyed and emotional watching it. What the Hell? I mean, to some extent I understood the fact that I blubbed at The Book of Life because of the director and the fact that the story was designed to have people cry watching it (if not, what was with that soundtrack?) but Paddington?

Basically, it was a bit of a mis-matched thing - there was Capaldi being anyone but Capaldi, there were cameos from famous British actors everywhere and possibly a cameo by the author of the Paddington books as well. There was a badly acted and badly explained almost-love story betwixt the villain and a next door neighbour of the Browns, there was a badly handled love story between Mister and Missus Brown and there were superhuman powered children who could single-handedly run the world in any version of reality you care to name. Paddington himself came from a race of highly intelligent bears in Darkest Peru and even the heavy-handed emotional wrenching at the beginning had me tearing up.

Damn' straight.
I blame being a male. Stupid feelings.

Last night, in case it wasn't obvious, I binged on Scroobius Pip and perhaps that emotion leeched into my mood enough that the sight of a bear possibly being all alone was enough to set me off. In short, the film was watchable and not dire. I question how much of it the Boy was able to follow in any depth, he preferred the bits that were "crazy" like all the bits that were in the trailer. Basically, they are the only bits he's talked about since. The bits in the trailer. That was money well spent going to see the rest of it then...

I have managed some marking and Tilly is feeling a little better. I have had two ales this weekend, I have failed to get all the marking done. Tonight we had a kebab and I've been on Boy duty (the film did mean that he was too hyped to deal with it, so some of the emotion got to him too). No, there's a bit in the film where Mrs. Brown sees her husband rediscover himself and my heart went out to her, it really did, she gained what I would like to gain. That part when your partner returns to who you know them to have been in the past. I was Freda. But I was reciprocated.

If you get a chance, by all means go and see the film. There's some of actual UK London in there and there's a lot of the Hollywood and US interpretation of London but I don't mind. It's a good film to take children to go and see. It's enough adult-y that you won't get bored. And, apparently, if you're in the right state of mind, it'll make you cry.

Saturday, 29 November 2014


So, tonight this would be my jam. Why? I rather find myself drawn, but only in a virtual sense, to areas like this (Chernobyl) and I do like the concept of being 'off-grid'. Not in a survivalist sense, I don't fear the collapse of civilisation or anything like that (though part of me believes it's inevitable, maybe just not in my lifetime).

No, I remember camping in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. I remember being somewhere with no permanent residents for 50 miles in any given direction. I remember thinking that this was brilliant. Just the quiet, some people to talk to, and a tent. I liked it.

I would do that again. I would enjoy that again. It's not brilliant, but I've often tried to design a life that is sealed. Sure, it can interact if it wants, but I like the idea of being small and out of the way. Self-contained. No need for a 'job' but enough income to take part in the world if necessary. Something to contribute tax. No benefits if possible and... well, a life that's pretty neutral overall in terms of impact.

Videos like this remind me of that... dream? Aspiration? I don't know. One day, I suspect if I ever finish a novel, it shall be a novel that has this sort of thing at its heart. Truth be told though, I'm never writing a novel, let's be serious, it just isn't going to happen.

Okay, that escalated quickly.

It will come as no surprise that this piece of music has been playing whilst I composed the last post on this here place...

There's something about this artist that keeps me coming back for more. I was introduced to him by Dee and I dabbled a bit, enjoying the track called 'Introdiction'. But then I finally went to listen to the rest of the album for which that serves as an introduction and I realised that the artist, Scroobius Pip, is more than bottled and clever anger. There's a depth there. There's something on which to hang.

It brings to mind the concept of travelling, on foot and possibly without shoes, across a vast and lonely landscape. Maybe the brooding hills of the Cumbrian Lakes or the dense forest of the Upper Peninsula in the States. Perhaps it is the quiet lowlands of the Norfolk Broads on a wild summer night in the dark. It is music that serves for introspection. It is an escape from everything that makes up my own life, bounded beneficiently by the boundaries placed by work and life that I have chosen. A breaking free.

Of course, I wax lyrical in the way only an educated fool on the internet avoiding real work and real life can. I miss writing, can you tell? But I'm lazy, and one should never underestimate just how lazy I can be.

Music again

Not really got much to say, so I guess I stay silent. Wish I could make beat poetry properly in my own way but less in the fray I'm propless these days and I haven't the time to game the words and syllables to float in a flow like dirigibles. In the meantime I appear without fear to share in the glare and sear another track by Scroobius Pip that, in this video trip, may speak a little to the kind of mind that may find this blog attractive.

I think it lies somewhere in the fact that we have females playing the parts of the males to make us stare without tact as I sup an ale that I fail to review as those posts tend not to create the kind of attention that lessens the tension in living this life less public than tragic. Those that create the beat poetry clearly live their lives by it, the talent and salient use of words that bring forth the half-rhymes and broken times of the sentence structure - poetry framed by the wit and wisdom cultivated and tame like quail but still beautiful as paradise kept in a vice and stretched.

My mode is less than being meaner than the average, with thanks to Watsky! And, much as I disagree with some of the conclusions maintained by Minchin I am nevertheless moved to bring him across the median to speak of the standard deviation that creates the deviant within me too.

And that's all I have tonight.