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, 31 January 2014

Adventures in being Me

Close to how I've felt all week in one way or another.

Right down to the blouse.
This week has been a good one, bad for my ego but overall a good week. Bad for my ego? In that good things have happened and I have been paid compliments at work. This has been especially clear with students that I teach creating a positive reputation with other staff and one member of my form apparently only mentioning one teacher by name, me, and as the only positive thing about school at the moment where they are feeling marginalised and under pressure. It's also been a tired week in which I have done very little outside of my working hours and had a crick in my neck for most of it.

This is prettier.
In other news, the pink flames appear to have burnt out. I started the week fulfilling a dare to wear my dress with a stuffed bra, tights and boots with handcuffs on. It was very nice, actually, and only the addition of handcuffs made it more sexual than comfortable. Of course I followed up with a pair of briefs for the day after having made lunch and done the washing up en femme. But, since then, the ardour has cooled and I have had little cause nor need to do anything about anything. Apart from going out shopping tonight where I wore my femme watch - which felt perfectly natural and comfortable. I loved the fact that the face is so different (being square) from my normal watch that I have to study it a bit to work out the time. That little pause while I wrap my head around the display is really quite pleasing. I have no idea why this would be the case save for the fact that I remember a similar experience from wearing my mad-ex's glasses.

I could go on. I probably will in fact, so let's put a line break here in case you have, you know, something important and interesting to do other than read odd things about me wearing glasses and watches.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Just saw this

I was just chasing links across the internet, ruminating on the situation that a good friend is facing and the fact that there is nothing to do to help but be there and listen (or read, same difference). In the background Tilly was having a domestic with her writerly friend with whom she co-writes plot things (which is about as far as I understand it) and doing that thing that Tilly does: push on something because she doesn't want to be made to feel bad by others (emphasis mine). Eh. Honestly? She, Tilly, creates the situation as much as anyone else because she lets these things get to her. Mind you, I'm used to just shrugging, ignoring and moving on, which is probably no better. I sucked up the comparisons to me about her friend being unreasonable and lo, we have not argued. See? Easy.

Aaaanyway. I was pootling and found this article.

I have nothing else to say but YES.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Life is Good

Cultural baggage allows you to derive the meaning of my
post from this wholly unrealistic and posed image of a
classroom that would actually cause me to recoil in terror.
Most students don't know the answer - if they do, what are
you still talking for?
Work continues to be a joy, it honestly does, and though I have a lot to do I still don't feel overwhelmed. It's early days yet, I know, but I'm enjoying it and milking it for all it's worth. I have been involved in a training programme at work and have been very impressed with the reasoning for it and the genuine attempt to be engaging and interesting. The managers so far have striven to use it as a place to express their frustrated teaching instincts and, frankly, they are good teachers. Neither manager has reacted with joy at the less teaching they do as they climb the greasy pole. They are, therefore, good managers. In that they don't justify what they do, they try to get what they need to do done so that they can spend more time in the classroom as teachers.

I typed in 'compassionate teacher' and this came up. I am a
sucker for roses. So, have some roses.

I wonder if I can ever receive any?
This leads to a compassionate outlook, even if circumstances will mean they have to be hard and uncaring some of the time, and a genuine desire to engage and inspire an audience. We were, in effect, taught a lesson and that's no bad thing. Too many training courses for people in education neglect the fact that we, as a rule, create resources and lessons that are engaging and exciting for a living - and treat us to boring lectures (not the good kind) or pointless make-work tasks because the person doing the training doesn't understand what has happened in the classroom since they left it or, worse, never understood it in the first place and so may still be there - banging out tasks that sound and look clever without being engaging or interesting.

The talent continued unabated in the competition that I am judging - it actually got better! And home life is good.

So it's a short entry tonight, and all good.


It has been rather a while since I last posted and my last posting was one of those entries that I write intending it only to be top of the blog for a short while. However, I got distracted. This post is also intended to be hidden, I shall be updating the narrative of my life (ooh, I can practically feel your excitement) tonight as well in a very deliberate attempt to bury this post.

If you don't want to read on about my recent escapades on the sexual front, then don't hit the 'read more' below. Check out some of the other themes in my links section or, better yet, go to one of the lovely links on the right there and leave some comments. I have been really poor at that lately so, as a salve to my conscience, I shall direct your attention that way.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Why I hate TV

It occasionally shows relationships. Tilly got Cold Feet as a present and was watching an episode tonight as we are both in the room. The episode revolved around 'troubles' in bed for three couples. And, of course, how they were solved. Cue much talk of sex, rekindling sex (with a couple after having children) and sexual fantasies. On the TV. Not in real life. We, of course, have not discussed it. Why would we? We agreed the male characters (and the females latterly) were twats to one another. Then we stayed on laptops.

Me trying out GetDare Forums and discussing the First World War with some old friends and her... drinking wine, eating pringles and sitting on Facebook.


Tuesday, 21 January 2014


I don't often talk about my job or my workplace on this blog. Several reasons but principally because I suppose society at large would still view my internal struggles, minor triumphs and open discussion of sexuality as porn. And hey, on a base level I am still a privileged white male in a patriarchal world and so my mores and thoughts chime with what is packaged and sold back to us to further condition us and enrich others. In a nutshell, my openness with sexuality is porn. My honesty is only so far.

But those philosophical points are half-baked and not yet ready for full exposure. I doubt they ever will be. Don't be surprised if they don't surface again. They also aren't the point of my post. No, that is to be about my workplace.

Stress at work, bullying at work, has loomed large on this blog. Silently in the background, looming and all-present but without ever being the centre of attention for too long. Cathartically, I left my old place and went to a new one. So far it has been wonderful. Sure, I get stressed and I find myself overwhelmed from time to time with everything that needs doing but, and this is crucial, my colleagues have been wonderfully supportive. Students here are the same as I've ever taught, if anything they are not as well behaved, but that was never the issue and so it is close enough to keep me happy.

Tonight I was privileged again to see part of a talent contest as a judge. I don't know what I was expecting but the sheer quality of the singing/musical ability and the confidence and creativity just blew me away. I had to share that. In a world overrun with 'American Idol' and 'X Factor' and 'the Voice' I saw raw talent without it being packaged and edited and saw what we all hope to see on reality shows: real talent. And this is by a majority - I saw students being themselves and, more importantly, being allowed to be themselves and revelling in it. I was humbled. I was inspired.

Thank you new place for the honour. Thank you.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Oh, What an Atmosphere

I never knew that this was sung by Russ Abbott! It's in the background of an old tape I made as a youngster, recording myself telling a story I made up on the spot (I did that from time to time when very bored, so I know that I had about an hour an a half of uninterrupted bored time), the recording quality was a bit shit on my father's tape thing and so this song fades in and out at the beginning of the second side along with me attempting to ramble about something or other. No idea, I have never been able to listen to myself since recording it. Anyway, it was a tape being thrown out by my father.

When the flames are burnin' hot they take you higher.
Russ Abbott is not the reason for this post, of course. No, I have been mulling over issues surrounding the re-emergence of the pink fog and the increase in desire to dress, underdress and generally move toward feminine things. I have been perusing several new websites and these have fueled the pink fire (if I may mix my metaphors on this subject) to an all new intensity. I have also played football and buggered one hand (my left) by making a save badly and the other by picking up the ball funny and damaging the little finger nail quite badly. Because I am no sportsperson.

Anyway, as ever with such self-serving ranting and whatnot, there's a line break to save you if you want to quit now. My thoughts are perhaps less incisive than Calvin's comments here. It's the penultimate comment there (number 7 at present), I think he sums things up more succinctly than I bother to these days.

Thursday, 16 January 2014


I have already posted about the graphic novel Watchmen on here before. I recall talking at length about the impression that Adrian Veidt's story left on me - the fact that he did all he did deliberately from a position where he had nothing in order to set an example to all people, to prove that anyone could do what he had done. Anyone. On the surface this is challenging enough, but then this was by Alan Moore, so you know that there's a kicker buried in the narrative. And, of course, it was that Adrian Veidt was, in fact, different than most people. He was the world's most intelligent man and he had the reflexes that went with that, in one section of the novel he catches a bullet. The film version of the graphic novel is also challenging but from a different perspective. The focus in the film is very much on Dr Manhattan.

The principal scene in which we are introduced to the life and times of a man who perceives everything as happening simultaneously (as he is outside of time) are accompanied by a particular tune too (see the video above). And it is this section, although less mind-melting than the synchronicity implied and overtly stated in the graphic novel, that provided me with the impact in the film. There is something compelling and challenging about that concept and about the conclusions that are reached by that character about life in his first instance and, then, again when he speaks to his ex-girlfriend. His growing realisation about the sanctity of life is, itself, a parody. This is Alan Moore. But the humanist impulse that governs his journey is accentuated more in the film than it is in the graphic novel.

Now, Rorschach does embody a character who only does
what normal people could do. His difference is his lack of
moral compass. Or rather, his single-minded adherence to
his moral compass. No quarter asked for, none given.
I like Rorschach.
The other thing, apparent in both film and novel, is the question of identity. When dealing with masked heroes the question is easier to show on screen and in art, without needless words littering such an undertaking (novels can't really do introspection on the same level as a personal blog, no one would read it). The scene in question is Dan's apocalyptic dream where he rips off his naked skin to reveal the masked hero beneath - the obvious corollary being that he is more himself when in costume than he is out of it. It was also the only way that he could 'get it up' or enjoy sex with a woman who shared that particular fetish. As Rorschach (another good example of identity when he goes in search of his face in the prison riot) put it: "it's a wonder there are any of us that survive without serious personality disorders".

And that's all I really have for this evening. I want to post about my continuing journey since my last splurge, the abrogation of responsibilities and addiction that I am feeding, but that can wait for another time.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Residual Self Image

I wouldn't complain if I woke up with the ability to look like
this (though it would clearly take a bit of work).
As part of my ma-hoos-ive sharing of images earlier this week (was it only Saturday?) I got to thinking that I have only really had two images grace my profile page. Should I change that more often to reflect how I am feeling or should I be searching for an image that remains mine and never changes? Increasingly, since Calvin's rather interesting comment (still thinking it through), I am wondering about what image I would like to show the world. Note, this is different to what I want to show the world and even from what I should present to the world.

Oh noes, I haven't found the time or opportunity to
wear clothes designed for another gender in a
manner that won't arose suspicion despite having
recently bought them for this purpose.
I haven't under-dressed for a few days. Combination of factors but mainly the fact that the clothes I've been wearing have been rather too thin to 'get away with it', especially my shirt to work today that would have made any choice of clothes beneath it rather too obvious. There's also the small matter of Tilly and trying to work out what's going on there. I was dismissed on Sunday evening as she was getting grumpy and angry trying to settle a small claim we have with some company (not really a story for here save for the fact that we of an accord about restitution and we tried the peaceable method - I got hung up on). So I retired to mark. She came to bed late, we did not talk. Tonight I come home from work to a very happy Tilly who was keen to talk, she made tea for me, she seemed excited and happy. After children are abed I come down to sullen Tilly, we have not spoken much, she's immersed in facebook. On the back of Friday's spooning in bed I am thoroughly confused. To make matters worse, I read the following article.

Huh, well, see, it's already meme worthy.
I really don't know what to make of that at all. I mean, on one level, it makes a lot of sense about the primacy of PIV sex and how that shouldn't be the be all and end all of the sexual act, the fact that most women do not climax from PIV as it stands. The fact that the whole act should be more sharing, more languid, more playful. Yes, that all makes sense. But the fact that any PIV can be classified as rape (logical argument despite the tone of the piece) has me wondering generally. In wanting that from Tilly am I essentially pressuring her to do something she doesn't want to do? Is Tilly even aware of what she wants from all of this?

Along with those musings, I have been doing stupid things again. I think it's a matter of record that I often flirt with the idea of behaviour and other modification due to a fascination with hypnosis and conditioning. Indeed, I think I have already done much to condition sexual response and social mores in my own life. If you go beyond the line-break I shall share some of the things I found myself doing because I am random. Don't worry, I'll leave a long break if people want to comment but don't really care to read further! I shall fill that break with a couple of images with commentary. I promise they're nice enough.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Beer Review: Fursty Ferret

Tonight I shall mostly be reviewing a beer that, on the face of it, does not belong in the stable of Christmas beers that I am still working my way through. Ah, but, you see, it does! For this beer was the gift of Tilly's parents to me for Christmas, which was nice of them. They got it for me after hearing about my beer blog, though neither of them have yet read it.

So, it is another entry from Badger brewery, the same ones that gave us the curiously peachy beer from some point last year (which is a cheat and very vague as virtually every beer I can compare to was last year at this point) and it is endearingly named Fursty Ferret.

The bottle and label promise much in the way of yeasty beer, no idea why I think that, but that is the impression that I got. A characteristically clear bottle allows an appreciation of the chestnutty colour before opening and the snick of the cap tells you that they have added the carbonation to maintain pressure. The aroma is powerful, and is indeed yeasty, but not in a poor or overpowering way, just in a way that firmly and insistently reminds you that there is yeast and that this is the selling point. Not hops, not malt, but yeast. At 4.4% ABV it may well match that promise of yeasty power in the tasting.

First sip is awash with fizz and filtered through a surprisingly hoppy head that lacks the cream that I have come to associate with beer since I have a local pub I can walk to and buy an actual pint from a bar. This is a good thing, I'm not sure I'm a fan of creamy headed beer. This gives way nicely and swiftly to a spicy taste that warms the tonsils and matches the original aroma - in effect doing what I'd hoped Yule Love It was going to do. It remains heavy on that yeast, but pleasantly so, with a strong hops wave following before fading to a playful and soft malt that eludes any kind of classification or analysis.

Enjoy this one on its own of an evening or a late afternoon. It is a sessionable ale and needs no introduction. It would do well without any guests to break it up and would ensure that you didn't go mad and end up too drunk. I think it benefits greatly from being in a bottle rather than on draught and stands well for most times in the year. Perhaps more suited to a less wintery setting this worked well given the unseasonably warm temperatures at the moment and the clear skies around here. Much better than the last showing from this brewery and may well be repeated.

Friday, 10 January 2014


There may be bridal photos ahead...

I love the hair and the make up here. I lack the
face shape to ever emulate this.

After last night's rather depressing and fatigue induced post I feel the need to redress the balance. Not a good night's sleep, not even a rest, but a good day of teaching and some good conversation with students has brought me back to an even keel. A stark contrast, and a pleasant one, to the last three or four years. So, it is my blog and I am going to share images. You have the option to avoid the whole damn thing, in the meantime, have some Ace of Base. (The video for which has stopped working! I shall try again - alas, it is lyrics only).

Thursday, 9 January 2014

So very tired

Random bridal picture achieved!
Yes, yes, I'd like that.
Loving the flower in the hair.
It would appear to be an on-going saga, both my under-dressing and my tiredness. The latter resulted in me dropping off, despite large amounts of caffeinated beverage, to sleep with the Boy and thence to bed proper, resulting in me having no evening. Tilly found this fine, I feel, and watched Toast of London. She is introducing me to this tonight. I think it is more her than I. However, the night before last was scene to actual physical contact in bed. Luckily I had changed out of the camisole into my pyjamas before we spooned for a bit. Tilly rapidly fell asleep and nothing else has been said of the matter. It's something, though.

Ah, random relationship reports, almost as much a part of this blog as bridal pictures. I was at a training day today and so missed my chance to teach madly, had two coffees but I think I'm still totally zonked, so there's not much to say this evening.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Breaking Barriers

Honestly, who wouldn't want to wake up and find that they
look like Catelyn Tully Stark?
I promised a review of Game of Thrones but the Boy was awake at about 11pm last night and remained so, playing on a tablet, until 6.30am. Yes, for seven and a half hours. Snot streamed from his nose, he had a fever and so Tilly (also feeling funky) opted to stay with him and sent me into his room. I only managed to get to sleep at about 1am (I had changed out of the camisole) and thus had a tiring day at work. Also, in other random news, I finally broke 50k views on this humble blog. I'd like to thank each and every one of you for each and every visit. You are lovely people and that large number makes me feel very happy.

Tilly has retired for the evening to the spare room to write. I wore my purple cami to work today and enjoyed it so much that I stopped off at the supermarket on the way home and invested in some knickers (pink and purple) and another pack of camisoles (pink and purple again). In all, the three purchases (2x camisole packs and 1x pack of knickers) set me back just £7, which I'm thinking is good value.

Beer review will similarly have to wait, I'm just not capable of making any sense right now as I am tired.

I shall leave you with some Bronski Beat:

Monday, 6 January 2014

Taking Advice

A while back now, Leslie sensibly suggested that I should try under-dressing more often as it was clear that Tilly wasn't going to find out given our lack of frisson, sexual or otherwise, even if I couldn't wash underclothes regularly enough (or even at all) to do it all the time.

Yeah, that's close enough.
Oh to have that hair...
I was out at the local supermarket and lo and behold if they didn't have an offer on camisoles. Some rather nice ones, presumably Christmas season, were down from a fiver to two quid for two. Of course, at that price, I got two. I have a nice purple-y one and a pink one. As soon as I got back I smuggled them upstairs and immediately under-dressed in my pyjamas. It feels lovely. I like the tightness of it (despite finding the stone and a half that Tilly lost [from 142 pounds to about 160] over Christmas I still manage to fit into a 12-14 size) and I love the colours. I've gone with the pink because I have recently mislaid my proper pyjama top and have made do with a cheap (and this pretty thin) white t-shirt. The darker one would probably show through. The pink one does, truth be told, but it's less noticeable and so I should be able to get away with it.

Before I went out on the run to the supermarket, having had a lovely first day back at work (no, really, no sarcasm), Tilly was lamenting having had a trying day with Girlie. I shan't go into details here, suffice to say that I was making sympathetic noises to Tilly about it genuinely rather than through confusion, but the rant was coming to an end. Tilly remarked that in the evening she was going to do not much. I suggested, albeit obliquely, sex. Tilly responded "No, I just want to do something that I find fun and nice." Hence my decision to actively seek out dressing in spite I guess.

I'd wear this.
On my return I thought maybe I hadn't been clear about what I was offering, after all, the response was pretty insulting if she thought I was offering sex. No, no, she knew. "After the day I've had, I just want to sit on the internet with some music playing". Oh. Oh well. Thus I went and got changed.

It's not totally out of spite, mostly it's to do with how I felt the other night when dressed and be-wigged when I saw myself in the mirror by accident, but I can't deny that spite is part of it. Mind you, I intend to wear the purple cami to work tomorrow just because I can and because my shirt won't let it show through. It's a 'light' day, so it shouldn't interfere too much either. Also, today, there were some shoes I spotted that made me a bit wistful, not much of a heel but patent leather lace-ups from Clarks. I did scout out a local Clarks store on the way home to see if it was within striking distance, but, let's be honest, I probably couldn't justify (let alone store) another pair of shoes that got as little wear as my feminine shoes do. In the supermarket there were dresses too, but they were outside my self-imposed limit of a fiver per article. At some point I am going to have to find a way to cruise the charity shops alone again and see if I can't nab a decent dress in my size, that way I shan't have to nick clothes that, though abandoned, aren't really mine.

At some point I shall have to sleep in the purple cami and my favourite knickers too.

Now, now that I have all that rather bizarre ranting out of the way I shall return to normal service as soon as possible. I will post a review of Game of Thrones because we have watched the first two seasons and I have found it to be entertaining and generally good. I feel I ought to be recommending it to people. I have also started the books, courtesy of Tim, and they are also passing muster quite nicely. Lots of marking over the coming weeks, but I also hope to be posting a couple of beer reviews too (I can drink on school-nights now, I am that comfortable, plus I sort of started doing that in the five weeks of loveliness in September - and apart from the dressing, it did help my mood to be able to do so - even if I didn't drink much or regularly, I was just allowed). See, I know you all wanted to know that!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Beer Review: Yule Love It

Christmassy beer time of the year! Yes,yes, many days too late. Many many days. Eh, we'll live, I'm sure. I have another Christmas themed beer lurking in the kitchen as well, so I imagine I shall be back for that at some point!

Anyway, yes, for Christmas I was bought a whole selection of Christmas themed beers and so it stands to reason that I should review them as and when I get round to them. Bear in mind the fact that I have brewed my own this year as well and so I have been drinking considerably less professionally brewed stuff, this could take me a while.

Tonight it is the turn of an effort by Thwaites called Yule Love It (I see what they did there) and I confess that I was looking forward to this one because of my love of Thwaites as a brewery and the efforts of theirs that I have enjoyed in the past.

None too clever bottle though. I mean, the design lacked the gravity that I like to associate with a brewery from Lancashire whose older symbol was two plough horses. The bottle was reassuringly dark and brooding however and the love I have for them outweighed my disquiet at the almost too cheery and simple packaging. On opening one is immediately taken to task by the odour, in a nice way. It is very Christmas spice. It was very much what I associate with rich Christmas cake and brandy butter and the taste of a Christmas tea I had a few years ago (I don't really drink tea, but I could tell that difference). So full marks for getting the right kind of perfume for the Holiday period. On pouring one is struck, or I was anyway, by the tawny and oaky colouration to the beer. Not too much carbonation but more than I have had with my own, slightly sparking I suppose.

The first sip revealed a hint of fuggles in the bittering hops with an underlying light malt that seemed almost at odds with the generally darker colour of the beer. There was a big head, not too vigorous but still making it's presence felt, that was creamier than I have come to expect from bottled beers. Having an actual walk to pubs where we now live means that I can actually partake more often of cask ales and I have realised that they have creamy heads as a rule (even Black Sheep!) so I was a little surprised by the creaminess of the head. There was a richness of flavour that gave way rapidly to some string bitter hops. A lasting aftertaste follows, fading slowly to a memory of smooth malt at the back of the throat, in the nicest possible way.

After mulling it over (ah yes! Mulled wine! That's what this smelled of!) I believe that this ale smells much nicer than it tasted, but I don't mean that as a criticism, for it tasted pretty good. Had this beer tasted as the smell suggested it ought then we would be looking at the kind of ale that would make you stand back in fear and wonder after taking a sip. Indeed, truly awesome ale. As it is, we're looking at merely good ale. The kind that would session well and play a keen role in any evening in which it was a part but not one that would have you writing home or seeking out immediately.

Enjoy around the festive season, accompanied by a proper meal of turkey with all the trimmings (maybe get an extra bottle to add to the gravy, you won't be disappointed), or late on a winter evening. It's not, strictly, a winter ale (it lacks the weight) but it will serve you nicely if you don't expect too much from it and take it as it comes.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

While the cat's away...

I don't think this is at the O2. Nevertheless, the stories they
saw were Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel.
Girlie returned with a model Rapunzel, through the lens of
Tangled, and the Boy got two cars from me.
Well, he likes his cars.

So do I actually.
Our cousins, well, Tilly's cousin's husband, Pik, had managed to nab some tickets to see Disney on Ice at the O2 Arena in London. They offered them to the Girlie (and the Boy too, but we decided that he wasn't quite at the point where he could cope, we took him to see a play in a theatre and, though he loved it, he couldn't quite cope with the overwhelming stimulation) and so she and Tilly went down to London with Tilly's cousin and watched it. This meant that I was on Boy duty, alone, for two whole days. Shock Horror! Anyway, yes, I was actually looking forward to it. Tim and Emily were up, Tim being an old friend of mine from school and Emily being his wife, and they would be with the Boy and I whilst the rest of the family were gone. Basically, Tilly and the Girlie left at about 9.30 and they were due at 11. They would leave that afternoon and Tilly and the Girlie would return around midday the following day.

Heh, it's cross-dressing in a 'cross'

Well, I laughed.
As you can probably imagine, my mind went to the one place you would expect. The evening would be mine and it would be mostly free. I had previously managed to do most of the marking that I've brought home, there was the small matter of the chinchilla but then, oh, well, the world was my oyster. My oyster with some clothes that Tilly is not 'throwing out' just yet, but which are now variously several sizes too big or just plain abandoned. I had planned to get a new top when out but this didn't work, the Boy and I went to run some errands and there simply wasn't the time to look properly and nothing jumped out at me anyway.

Sure enough, Tim and Emily were slightly late, having travelled up from her parents' house, and we sat and had a convivial chat. My beer, brewed myself, was partaken in small quantities (it is very small beer, less than 4% and probably lower than 3%) and then we went out to my local chain pub for a meal and, in my case, a pint. It was a good visit. Tim, Emily and I had good conversation and, when we returned, the Boy and Tim played happily whilst Emily and I discussed feminism at length, as we are wont to do. They left before tea and the Boy and I had a good evening of convivial (that word again) companionship and some food. Then he played with his wooden train track for about an hour, very happily, with me doing some small matters around the house (he likes to play when I watch, he gets put out if he's left alone too long), before we went to bed and he was fast asleep by 7pm.

The hairband looked nothing at all like this.
It was a thin Alice Band style with a small
bow. Both were in pink. The wig was a
ginger and blonde mix and straight.
Seeing that in the mirror, even framing my
hideous visage, was pretty damn' powerful.
Naturally I dug out my dressing hoard and began. Wig was used properly for the first time and the feeling was brilliant. I can't accurately describe any of the sensations except to say that it felt 'right'. I felt completely at home with strands of hair keep falling across my face and ears and getting in the way generally. It was, oddly, a most liberating sensation. Then there was the hairband I found. Oh, it stopped the hair dropping where it wasn't wanted and the feeling of it on my head was amazing. I have no clue how women actually cope with these sensations on a daily basis, I really don't. I tried on a strapless dress that tied round the neck and fell to past my feet. Wonder of wonders, even with my boots on, the skirts of this wonderful dress fell below my feet. I had to lift the hem to walk! I added an overshirt of Tilly's (now far too big for her and slightly too large for me) and I just walked about a bit. I made it downstairs to look in the mirror and have a drink. But the sensation, I will admit, was too powerful for me. I was actually, genuinely, overwhelmed by it all. So I changed out and briefly tried on the oriental dress I have spoken about before now. Then I stopped. This was all after having the chinchilla out for half an hour. The time was 8.05pm.

It's a combination of what happened to Evie, the music,
and the story written on toilet paper.
Reading the graphic novel of that section is usually enough
to bring out the sadness in me but the film just magnifies it.
Okay the political message of the film is significantly watered
down from the graphic novel, but the emotional power of
Evie's development is amplified by Portman's acting.
Still feeling the emotional power of the dressing I ended up watching V for Vendetta and crying at the sequence where V removes fear from Evie Hammond in one of the best filmed sequences I have ever seen. Brutal, powerful and evocative. After that I was able to calm down a bit before the Boy woke with a nightmare and I took him into our bed to get the rest of the night's sleep.

And that's it. Not sure what I mean to do with this entry except to record the immense power the dressing had this time. Far greater power than this time last year (though that was in a different life in many ways) and much more lasting in emotional effect than the first time recorded in this blog. No, last night was very short but arguably the most powerful emotional experience I have known in about three years. I wish, earnestly wish, that I could share that with Tilly. That I could explain to her the feelings that coursed through me and thus show her that my dressing is not a vile, secretive and dirty thing but a thing of great healing and intensity. Basically, that it was safe and as much part of me as is brewing my own beer, reviewing said beers or writing bad fiction.

Also, later that evening, I happened to read Calvin's comment (last night's entry was set up a few days ago, sorry, I couldn't post it on New Year's Day and I wanted to say nice things first so I put it back a couple of days) and had a warm fuzzy feeling for the rest of the night. Of course, now I want to track down who the model was in the picture, see if there are any more, and rashly change all of my profile pictures to that model. I am... well, I am very flattered. Which is very silly, given the fact that I have a beard, a gaunt face, pallid complexion (I think pallid is the right word, it may not be) and hair in all the wrong places. My smile is more cartoonish (in that there are many wrinkles, have been since I was a small person) with proper British teeth (they really are naturally yellow - many dentists will attest, no whitening toothpaste has ever changed that, apparently it means that I have uber-strong enamel) and a pointy annoying nose. Anyway, yes, if I were to be a woman I would happily look like that!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Moons in Ponds

Oh God. Seriously. God. Could You allow me to dress like
this. To look like this. If only for a moment. If only in private.
God? I know. Your will, not mine.
Much of the holiday season at my end has been spent busy and with guests. It has been hard for me to make the time to blog here, not because I haven't had things that I would like to say but because there have been other things to take up my time. Game of Thrones as a for instance, which is a fascinating show that Tilly and I have been very taken by, and the plotline has meant that we have spent many a happy hour this season watching it. These have been hours well spent.

Nothing has changed, of course, we still haven't really touched or had anything approaching romance. I have bought flowers and made all the right noises but, ultimately, nothing has changed. She has had a headache, gone on the blob, been too drunk to be awake or just plain not been in the mood. Lie ins, cooking and so on and so forth. My father has been over to see us, after Christmas we played host to him, his wife and my brother's family. Tilly and I spoke at length about the perils of having my family over - and it turned out that I took these worries to heart more than either of us suspected. Having had an energy drink in order to stay awake I was very much on edge and it did not take much - my father warning me that sending Christmas gifts via my grandfather to his mother was a stupid idea and should not be done (we sent them via my mother actually) - to send me over it and into madness territory. I stormed out, drove around for a bit, then came back and let it all out about how much I hate the family politics of Christmas, especially my family. After all, it turned out that my grandmother was, as usual, exaggeration and making shit up. She's just less good at it than she used to be.

The odd thing about the above video and music is just how much I enjoy it. If the nineties have recently been rediscovered then this must be the sound of my eighties and I was completely unaware of the fact. Now that I have heard it I do not know how it could have been otherwise but for many years I did not know. It is a good version. I like the interplay of the voices and the way that the two songs are intertwined so that it becomes almost impossible to separate them. Also, it occurs to me that both artists are utterly gay and that I had a thing for Marc Almond's version of The Days of Pearly Spencer. My father did too.

Not quite, of course, not quite.
We went down south to see Tilly's family. This was a much less fractious affair despite the fact that her mother still smokes and her brother is ever so slightly messed up. I have spoken about this before. Nevertheless, there was no stress for me beyond the usual thing where unpacking the car, repacking the car and all the sundries fall to me. Tilly remained tired and/or ill and so we shared a bed but as far apart as we could manage. We spoke a little on the journey out and on the journey back.

On the way back we stopped off at my father's. This was significantly less stressed than his visit to us, but he was very much treading on eggshells - the altercation on the previous meeting still weighed heavily on his mind. Though he was complimentary, he was still my father. He was happy that I am finding work much better than before but warned me against fucking it up again - as if the last three years were all my fault. Thing is, it is hard to fault my father's logic on this matter, and of course I have internalised his thoughts on the matter long since. When we spoke after me storming out of my own home I confided in him that my work had been awful because they had voiced my own private fears, I don't know that this had the weight with him as it did with me. I also spoke about how the choices that Tilly and I have made with raising our children are such as to make all those who view us put what we do under greater scrutiny. Behaviour from them that would elicit little regard were we mainstream seems to pile up and suggest that the choices we have made are erroneous. My father denied the greater scrutiny, of course, but he inadvertently lied, we have taken a path that brings less in terms of acceptance than it does challenge.

It is known that all the dragons are dead. And winter is coming.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year Listings

Last year I posted about some of the wonderful people and places that deserved more than my pithy remarks, but got only them in return for making my life a much nicer place. I intend, because I owe something, to do the same again. The recognition is necessary.

The first of these wonderful people is, as it was last year, Leslie-Ann who has been full of sense and sensibility (my apologies to Jane Austen). Leslie is a great person who has shouldered much in her own life and supported her family in ways that I can only dream of, she has challenged me when I have been too harsh or too black and white and she has been the voice of reason in the heat of my emotion. Equally, she can provide emotion in the deserts of depression. For these reasons alone I would count Leslie as a great friend. Only the separation of a large body of water would stand in the way of us being friends in real life as well as online and so I offer her thanks and gratitude.

Then there is Terri, whose infrequent blog, though infrequent, is a place that I still have a hard time not taking as my own. She has shared many experiences of my own, though we have never known one another or met. For this reason, if for no other, I can recommend going and seeing what she has written about her life and tribulations. I would wish that there were more frequent insights but for the fact that I know that such things are not at the behest of onlookers, only in the gift of the beholder. Thank you, Terri, for sharing what you have and I wish you well in this 2014.

Of course, no write up would ever be complete without Dee and the blog that bears one of the best puns in the TG world. Her insight and attention to the craft and history of captioning is welcome to those such as myself who seek such things. She has created a safe place for the sharing and discussion of ideas that are relevant to our interests and is welcoming to dickheads like myself who blunder in to conversations with little insight and a greater belief in one's own importance and originality.

Of course, there is Calvin, whose journey this last year was mostly shrouded and yet no less inspiring, interesting and challenging for that. We all know of the caption site and some of that journey can be found there and that would be good enough for anyone wanting to know more. Thank you, Calvin, for being you.

There is, of course, Stana whose blog continues to be a place of joy and interest and who has, by the by, put me on her vaunted list of people that she links to. I am deeply honoured, as always. And Rhiannon, whose recent comments here and posts on her blog attest to her tenacity, integrity and struggle. But also her heart and her courage. It is with respect and deference that I name you here dear lady. Ah, there are, in fact, too many to mention and I've been watching Game of Thrones and with a pressured bladder. I shall have to admit defeat and leave the list unfinished.

Then, of course, there are other sites that keep me going that I have mentioned before now. Things like Limited Audience and Contemplating the Divine and Boys who became Girls.

I leave this post with these images, because I should like to be the female in each and every one: