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!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Who's not in bed?

I may have got this book because of my
interests, sure.
The most difficult book I think I've ever read I finished reading last night, whilst charging the car. I started it back in 2014, I think, but had to stop as it all got a bit much in the chapter (the first of two, as it happens) on childbirth. At the time I couldn't explain precisely why I felt the need to stop reading, in fact, I'm not sure I could do any better now, but recently I got kick-started into reading it again and was almost overwhelmed, in a good way, a number of times. I found myself mulling things over as I finished and that is the sign of a good book. It was, of course, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran which is a fantastic book that is totally not a list of things to do to be a woman, despite its title. It is an autobiographical account of feminism and life, which is fine. Also a big tangent into things I did not know about Lady Gaga. Which is fine.

The reason I got back into reading it some four years after I stopped? Caitlin Moran set up a group on the Book of Faces where men could talk about things that bothered men. Like a safe space for men free from social conformity of, well, the patriarchy. It is... well, it has a lot of women in it and a goodly portion of men that don't fit the narrow stereotypes. It's a nice place. And it's not veered wildly into MRA territory, even though there was one man who, forgive me, NT-splained autism to me after using the term 'sexually autistic' to describe porn-addled youths sending unsolicited dick pics online. I queried and pointed out I was autistic and got told what autistic meant (which was incorrect) and how that definition worked in context (it didn't). I pointed out flaws and was told I was wrong, using more inappropriate terms (mild autism, lower end of the spectrum, high functioning). I have... walked away from that discussion. Apart from that, it's been a very nice place to hang around.

You get the idea.
Intriguingly, for me, there are a vast number of men bemoaning that they'd never been bought flowers, a sizable minority who have been and liked it (and extol the virtues) and roughly even amounts of women amazed that this could be a thing and women who have used it and found it yielded fantastic results with their partners. So far as I can tell, sexless people are not in any great numbers there. I mean, there are plenty single men on the place, which is par for the course, and single women but those with partners report thriving sex lives augmented with things like flowers for men and romantic gestures on both sides. Regardless of age people report loving relationships. It's good to see.

I tried talking to Tilly about it, I did not get far. I said that there were loads of men who liked the idea of flowers and- she cut me off with "and I've bought you flowers." Of course. We can't discuss the fact that something I thought made me more feminine and that Tilly thought was borderline sex reassignment surgery turns out to be a modern masculine trait and what that might mean for other things in my life and between us. To be honest, I don't know how to actually talk about it anyway, or even if it's worth trying, so I can't blame Tilly for that.

I can relate.
Since the family holiday things have been... well, they've been. I cocked up the first night they were back by waiting too long to go to bed and finding Tilly asleep. She had spent a good four hours regaling me with what happened on the trip after I got back from work, a hodge-podge of anecdotes about people I had been told about before, people I had heard nothing about and some aspects involving people she may have mentioned in the past. I performed poorly, did not make the right number of comments nor the right worded ones, but mostly this was ignored in favour of blasting me with stuff that had happened. The second night was similar, but punctuated with childcare so that Tilly could work again and she finally asked what I'd got up to on the weekend. Before the weekend took over and I barely saw her or the children. Not helped by parent's evening, after school training and multiple classes for the eldest. This last week Tilly's mother was round and, again, I barely saw her or Tilly or the children. I went out to get take outs, shopping, charging the car, that sort of thing.

It's half term now. Maybe I can get back to updating this place. Maybe not.

I find that, when I pack away myself after a time of being me, I put more of me in the box. It is unmarked, it gathers dust on top of the wardrobe. It now includes all my camisoles and my feminine watch. It includes any feminine deodorant. The only things not in there are my knickers. Which I haven't worn since the family returned. Too risky now, what with smaller windows to wash my stuff and dry it as winter rolls in. Especially since Tilly pointed out how angry she was getting seeing me hide the knickers (or not, she had no way of knowing one way or the other) that I was using. When that box is closed and placed in its hole I place myself in there too. It's safer there for my identity than anywhere else. It's certainly not safe at work. And my home life, family life, is scrutinised and controlled so that I am not me. I am what it is acceptable to Tilly for me to be.

Agh, I was hoping to write something else, but this happened instead.

Well, hello, I am man.
Psst, skateboards.

Thursday, 11 October 2018


This ranks up there with 'Try It' in 2013
as one of the photos of me I can stand!
In the film Tron: Legacy Qora, the ISO, discusses with Flynn's son the nature of Flynn's opposition to CLU and how it is based upon the game of Go and some vaguely Eastern inspired philosophies based, in turn, upon the portrayal of Flynn as electro-hippy in the original 1980s movie - along with all the fudges and vagaries that it implied. It's a remarkably clear and honest summing up of the scant regard paid to context whilst also being generally workable as a set of rules for living. She takes about the art of denial of the ego, removing oneself from the equation.

I recently signed up to look at my pension pot, because that's what is happening now and all our details on on leaky online portals controlled by private companies who harvest the data for profit. My 'gold-plated' pension, which kicks in when I'm 68 at the moment (with warnings that it will more likely be north of 70), is currently at £4k a year. However, it will pay that now plus a one time death in service payment of £102k if I were to die whilst in employment. Add to that the life-insurance would pay off the remainder of the mortgage (and no more) on death and the fact that the pension to dependents cuts out after 12 years and you get a reasonably good idea of what my death would be worth.

It would allow Tilly and the children to live relatively comfortably, as they do now with a bit extra on top, for 15 years. Now, as there are 12 years of payments, all Tilly would have to do is raise around £3.2k per year after that point to pay for bills. She can already do £1.5k a year on articles. 12 years of that and she has enough for another four years or so of keeping the house. So, 15 years in all. By that point our youngest would be 16 years of age and the two eldest would likely have flown the coop. So, assuming the youngest needs less input, the last four years would allow Tilly to earn more than £1.5k per year. She could easily earn enough to keep the family home going with bills and insurance until the youngest has hit 21 and likely to be past University (assuming that is their wish).

The point? Tilly has stated that the only reason she is maintaining the relationship we have, such as it is, is to maintain the current situation of where we live and the room it affords along with the contacts and transport links. If I don't want to jeopardise this it would follow the solution is not to leave but to die.

Which brings me back to the beginning and the removal of self from the equation.

Don't know how clear it is, but that is a
size 14 dress that comes to just lower
than my knees. It feels lovely and
comfortingly tight around the under-bust
area, with an inner slip that was just

The only real issue is that it is just a tad
too tight to sit down in comfortably. So,
obviously I stand, crouch or kneel instead.

Why wouldn't I wear it more?

Oh, and that top is from Poundland!

I love it.
At work, my card is marked. Again. It appears I have approximately five years in the tank in any given place until it is noted that I am something of a loose cannon and my escapades stop being amusing and become detrimental to learning. To whit, I have been told that making the joke "ask me any question, except the one about where babies come from; because we all know that's Sweden. They arrive by stork" is inappropriate to be said in Secondary School and just 'odd' of the kind of eyebrow raising quality one associates with sexual innuendo. I'm not interpreting this, I was told it directly by my Head and a Deputy Head in an unannounced meeting about a fortnight ago. A meeting with my Union rep confirmed my suspicion that they can proceed on pointless crap like this because of parental complaint - it was raised by a parent and not staff - so I don't have much of a legal leg to stand on to get it overturned. They can't force me out, but they can make it next to impossible to operate as my last place did. And here I thought exam results would get me first.

The stupid thing is that my ego, and my issues, mean that I tend to double down. It's like I can't help it. So I've been busting out all of my Dad jokes and silly remarks, silly voices and ridiculous comparisons. My most entertaining RadFem articles and debates on Domestic Violence with allusions to the Kavanaugh debacle in Sixth Form, daft jokes in all year groups and so on. I ran the Politics Taster session with deliberately inflammatory ideas about Feminism and the State of the World with parents. I've gone full activist and taken down my genderbread person infographic, prompting students to get upset about me removing it. This was calculated. I suspect there will be more, not less, conversations about gender (the source of another parental complaint) around the school now. I'm not above shitty tactics.

It's not impostor syndrome if one is actually something of an impostor. This week, for ten days, the rest of the family is on holiday in Bournemouth. I think I may have mentioned this as being in the works. And so you would think I am being efficient. But I'm not. I'm worse than ever. Dressing and being shit online. Of course. I now know why I'm like this, which is good to know, but it doesn't help with me not being like it. It's also hard because, well, I am alone. I mean: cool: I get to dress and read interesting shit and not have to do the pots and lunches every morning. I get to have lights off and the heating turned off and stuff. I get to have a shower every morning and dress in front of a mirror to do my tie and have music playing if I like. I get to eat when and what I like. I get to keep a room tidy and keep track of things. It's not all bad. But it's a bloody poor do when the excitement of doing that, and it is excitement, renders me incapable of working effectively.

And so I'm lonely. Feeling pretty crap, despite dressing and having some reasonably good photos of my new ensemble (£8 the lot), and looking at self immolation as usual.

Same top, different ensemble. Skirt (from Toby)
a size 10 from Next. Vest top rescued from the
bin and ex-owned by Tilly. I blogged about it
before. I "lawyered" about not wearing her
clothes. Frankly, she can do one.