Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Questioning the Fluctuations

This isn't the scribbling I intended (or promised) to note as I stated in the last entry.  However, it is part of my developing thoughts on this future subject.

A couple of weeks ago, I took four days off from work and headed into London for some exploratory adventures.  Physically.  Mentally.  Emotionally.  Of course, this was all presenting as Tanya.  From leaving home to arriving in the hotel to coming home again a few days later.

I had a great time.  It was not as relaxing as I hoped it would be; as me being me, I don't do relaxing very well.  For example, one day I walked 12 miles according to my phone stats.  I caught up with a couple of friends, explored a few places I hadn't visited for some time.  Just felt free, safe and that I belonged.  Totally the opposite from my first visit to the USA back in July.  Where, although I was presenting as male the whole time, I felt very out of place, limited in my movements and very vulnerable.  Maybe that could be something I should note and come back to in a future article.

For those few days, I was Tanya.  I did not take any male clothes and did not feel out of place or male.  I was a woman in London enjoying all the city could offer.

I had to return to work on the Friday.  Obviously in male mode.  It felt very, very weird to be there presenting as him and not her.  Which is very unusual for me as, firstly, I usually get fed up of the effort of presenting as female after a few days; and secondly, once back in male mode after a girl time, it just feels right knowing that I've switched boxes again.  That Friday, I really missed wearing my boobs; kept touching my chest during the day because I felt that they should *be* there.  Also the feel of the clothes and shoes felt wrong.  Misplaced.  It was very bizarre and, I think, was the first time I had ever felt that way at work.

Getting onto the fluctuations.  I know I am not alone in feeling out of place when presenting as an element of gender.  Sometimes I don't feel right when presenting as male.  Sometimes I don't feel right when presenting as female.  Sometimes I don't feel right when presenting as non-binary/gender fluid/agendered.

It is this that niggles me at this moment.  Frustrates me that I don't have the drive or the natural sense to be happy as a single entity.  I understand it is a very, very difficult situation for those who feel they are 'in the wrong gender' but having to constantly chase your gender fluidity around and find the details to make one feel comfortable with the internal movement, emotion and the external presentation I believe is just as difficult, frustrating and, in a sense, dangerous.  Today's society will generally accept men, women, trans or not.  However, presenting in regular opposing genders or non-binary can be confusing for most people.  Generally people like stability and not constant change. They like that knowledge there's a stake in the ground they can rely on and reference.  For some of us, that doesn't work.  We have our own stakes in the ground, but they may not relate to the gender we present or are expected to present.

Being winter as I write this, women can dress in a warm jacket, jeans and trainers and still look like women.  Yet, when I dressed similarly the other day, I just did not feel feminine. I felt lost and vulnerable.  And yet there are a few occasions when I am presenting as male and get taken as female.  Happened in a local convenience store the other night. Twice. By two different people.

I regularly cycle with a ladies cycling group when I work from home on Wednesadays.  Usually, I present as Tanya.  But even if I present as my male self in the group, I can get treated as female by others outside of the group; cafe, shop staff, etc.

My usual male image (usually at work) now is hair blow dried straightened, stud earrings, nail varnish (quite often bright).  Otherwise, dressed in shirt and trousers.  I am now pushing this work presentation envelope a little by wearing women's trousers and shoes (although looking like normal brogues). I need to get new shirts and a couple more pairs of trousers.  These will again come from women's clothing ranges.

I feel that I'm plugged into a number of aliases that are all still me from my perspective.  The aliases change with the environment, with the people I engage with, with my outward presentation.  I'm generally comfortable with this, but often the more comfortable I am, the more confused I can feel.

The questions. Not wanting to apply labels to myself or restrict myself to other peoples conformities, where does this leave me or even where does it place me now.  Can I be brave enough to keep testing my feelings?  Will my close society, my work environment, the outside world accept my need to experiment a little more?  Will the manifestations merge to a much more manageable entity?  As with much of this, it is not so much how we perceive ourselves but how others perceive us and our reaction to those perceptions.

I am feeling that this may be an opportunity to use that ubiquitous communication tool, Facebook, to tell others who may not be aware.  I understand that that is a door that may never be closed again.  But it could also be the door that may open many others.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Long time. No blog

Have been wanting to get back blogging for sometime but have just not been able to construct writings.

So this is a short post to say, I’m OK, still here yet battling on with the oncomings that life throws at me.  The past few years have been very, very difficult. Many, many highs. Many, many lows.  Some lows very nearly reaching the bottom.  So as you may understand, I did not wish to put the events down in writing at the time, although I may talk or touch on them in future posts.

I have some ideas kicking about in my head for some posts.  So bear-with; there may be some more scribblings coming.....

Saturday, 2 November 2013

I've finally finshed what I started.

It's been quite a while since I've written.  Again, not because there was nothing to say.  On the contrary, there's been plenty going on.  I have been unable to record it because of the written words have not flowed freely.  Checking the creation date of the draft of this prose, I have been writing this for 3 months!!

So what's occurring?

In April, we had a Leeds Last Friday night out as opposed to the regular Leeds First Friday night.  This was my first time out as Tanya since the fall.  With the body waxed and the hair done, I was ready to go but didn't feel comfortable being completely out as Tanya.  So I just took the kit for the night out.

It was a great night.  Much quieter than the regular outing but felt more open; less contained.  Must admit that I didn't feel the thrill or buzz that night.  Was just me.  But a little bit more glammed.  Despite the premier showing of a new Karen Millen dress....

I do regret not taking any day clothes.  The other girls wanted to hit the town and have lunch the following day, but I didn't bring any day clothes so went with them as him.  Bit weird really as I'm usually the one who spends all the time there in girl mode while the others revert!

The counselling....  Hmm....  For the most part it was good.  Once I worked out, with the help of the counsellor, that I would not notice any distinct changes.  She helped me take my mind away from finding logical, hard answers to finding my instinctive, more  emotional side of me.  Yet I still didn't find the answers to the conundrums that disturbed me.  For instance, why did I survive that fall and what do I do now?

What came out of the sessions was enlightening and at the same time disturbing.  The focus the counsellor wanted to bring across was to get the many different aspect of me (runner, worker, Tanya, son, etc) into a single entity.  This process was happening.  Yet it became apparent that the Tanya side of this life was more important than I viewed and expected.

For the last two sessions I went as Tanya.  To let her see first hand some of the things I spoke about but also to experience the session as Tanya and note any differences.  I'm not going to go into it further as it's too personal for this blog.  However, the experience was so dramatic, I experienced a few nightmares in the following week.  As Nick Ross use to say at the end of Crimewatch, don't have nightmares.  And I never do.  But these were quite particular.  Like most dreams I cannot describe the whole thing, but they ended with me having boobs, long hair, soft skin and full hips and rear.  I found this a little disconcerting and uncomfortable.  However the really scary part was knowing I was going to have surgery.  Although I am finding the girl side to be stronger than I imagined, I know from these nightmares that transition is not for me.

Maybe because of the counselling, I have made a conscience decision to be more open with the whole me.  I'm trying to keep it contained and under control, but I feel inside as if I want to shout, scream and let it all out.  I have now told a few more of his friends and have even gone out shopping with a very good, supportive friend as Tanya.  The next decision is whether to open up to the family.  I'm quite concerned that as I open up, hints will filter through to my brother via Facebook and if anything else does happen  to me, I don't want the family to face any major surprises.  I don't have a wife, girlfriend or kids.  So I can be as open as I want as my family isn't around me all the time, but I think that could make a surprise like this all the more dramatic (or even traumatic) for them if they stumble upon it.

Otherwise I'm doing OK.  Physically, I'm slowly getting back to fitness and as I get fitter, my recovery time shortens and I can get back to exercise sooner, get fitter, recovery shortening, etc…. The neck movement is still limited, but the actual movement is now smoother, more controlled.  The only major physical problem I have now is with my right foot.  It suffered a great deal of soft tissue damage in the fall.  When I started running on it again, it wasn't too bad, but I think I may have pushed it a little too hard at one point and now I'm getting a few niggles in the foot, due to the ligaments and tendons not being as free as they were.

Mentally, it's a different story.  Apart from the girl stuff described above, I'm still finding life difficult.  However, there is slight improvement and despite many up and down times, it is generally on an upward trend.  The cloudy confusion I have been fighting through is dissipating slowly.  It does come back with a bang now and again especially when I'm tired.  Talking of tiredness, I'm back at work more regularly and for longer now.  I've been working full-time (no, no. Not THAT full-time :-) ) since the beginning of the year, spilt between being on site and working from home.  I'm not sure if it's down to the early hours start, but a couple of months ago I started to get a fatigue that is quite overwhelming at times.  I didn't get it before; it virtually started overnight.  Even that is fading slowly over time.

However, I have concerns about my future.  What lays ahead but more importantly what do I want to do.  Before the fall, I was driven to just keep being busy and doing whatever I wanted.  Although I see now that it was just for the thrill or the buzz of it at the time.  Mountain running, motorcycling, work, dressing up or down, keeping fit, living in part as a woman, whatever.  There was no point to any activity except to amuse me.  Now I'm unsure if I've worded that in the manner it was meant, but I feel now that I should have a purpose to practicing life events, rather than just do them.

After a major life event like the one I've experienced, especially being laid up with little to do for some time, retrospection happens.  When I look back over my life, I have done everything I've wanted to do.  Anything I have been tempted to try, I've tried.  Some I liked.  Some I disliked.  Some just registered OK.  So when I look ahead, all I can see is a large, white wall.  And I greatly feel that I should be writing something on it but I just do not know what to write.  No ideas, no thoughts, no comments, no doodling.

A comment was made on a comedy show the other day, from a daughter to her 'useless' dad.  "You're just filling time" she shouted at him.  That comment hit hard.  I'm not useless but I do feel that I'm moving through life without a purpose; without a grounding.  Just filling time.  This wasn't something that I'd considered before the tumble as I was fit and active and kept myself busy.  Now I'm thinking what is the point of being busy again.  I'm not suicidal.  I have considered it, thought about it and looked at the scenarios and outcomes.  I've mentioned before that I have this 'brave' wanting in which I feel almost invincible and need to do something dangerous just for the hell of it.  A number of times this year, I've noticed a truck driving over the speed limit on the road towards me, and have felt a great compulsion to throw myself off the pavement into it's path.  Obviously, I've never taken that opportunity.  Nor even come close to it.  However, I am quite prepared that if a moment presented itself (like a car or motorcycle crash, another major fall), I will not fight death but accept it as a happy, satisfied gesture.  Like closing a book.

I was going to call time on this blog.  I just can't seem to form cohesive passages that are worthy of blogging, despite doing this for myself rather than thinking anyone is going to read this.  However, an event this week has changed my thinking a bit and I guess I will blog about it later.  The ripples from the event are still passing through my head.  It has made me a little happier and more relaxed with life although the writings above are still true.  Let's see what happens…..

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The lost unknown

I've been talking.  And writing.  However, not blogging.  I have been trying to make sense of this befuddling fog that has descended in front of my eyes.  I had an assessment with a counsellor but did not connect with her.  In fact, I came away from that meeting feeling worse than when I walked in.  With the advice of some very good, trusted friends, I sought out other counsellors.  The best advice I was given was to shop around. As with anything in this world, there are good counsellors and not so good.  After contacting a few and taking up initial consultations with a couple, I have decided on taking up a course with a counsellor I like and can trust.  At the moment, I still cannot see the direction in which I'm heading with this, but it feels positive and I'm sure the direction will materialise.

What hasn't help in my recovery is having a minor car accident a couple of weeks ago.  The driver of the other car decided that he did not want to stop at a crossroad junction.  I was driving the car, yet the motorcycle sixth senses kicked in.  My reactions were quick and my car control spot on with the avoiding swerve.  However, it was not enough and my car now sports some minor dents and coloured scratches along it's flanks.  It's now being processed by the insurance.  Yet, it has shaken me more than I'd ever thought.  Some sleepless nights.  Some tears.  Some drop in confidence.

I am finding bravery.  Occasionally too much bravery.  Working from home quite a bit at the moment, I like to keep a bit of girlness on me, which usually means painted nails.  Having my nails done one day, I wanted to have the clear polish with the iridescent sparkles but the bottle could not be found.  So I was persuaded to try a sparkly pink.  I wasn't too sure about wearing such a definite colour to work, but no one noticed (or at least no one commented).  It took bravery to keep the polish on but it worked.

The next brave step will be getting the hair coloured and to get a restyle.  I did consider going back to the bob, but thought I'd take the opportunity to try something different whilst the hair grows again.  With the assistance of my hairdresser, we are developing a new, edgier style similar to Frankie in the girl group, 'The Saturdays'.  Descriptively, it's an asymmetric, short style with a side parting combed across the head over, in my case, the left eye.  I still have a little way to go with the hair growth but in a few weeks, the hair will be coloured a nice chocolate brown with a few blonde and red highlights.  Although my hair was coloured before, it blended in with my natural colour so wasn't particularly noticeable.  This time it will be noticeable.

There's been a number of ups and downs over the last few weeks, so to get some feel good factor, one day last week I headed off to my favourite shop in Braintree for a couple of hours of retail therapy.  I had missed the big sales but after much searching of the racks, found a nice red dress and a pair of shoes to go with a dress I bought last year but never wore.  I also bought a couple of bras in another shop with lots of very generous advice and assistance from one of the shop staff.

Yet, in this expedition and previous outings this year, there has been something missing.  I initially thought that I wasn't finding anything I liked when wandering around the shops.  The couple of occasions I've been out dressed felt just normal.  Nothing more.  There has been no buzz, no thrill.  It hasn't felt special.  There is a deep want and need to dress and get out but if there's no buzz as the reward, then I may as well not put the effort in.  There is an element missing.  The 'unknown'.  The only way I can describe it is  that I think I have lost the passion.  The love of the thrill.

Whether this is a temporary loss or if it's a part of the mental recovery, I do not know.  It doesn't just affect the girl side either as there are a few other aspects of my life now that don't give me the buzz that I had before.  Maybe, as a good friend of mine told me, this could be the start of a whole new me  and I know need to find out who this new me is.

Now that's a scary thought.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

2013. Featuring the Pink Monolith.

Have you read the book or watched the film 2001 - A Space Odyssey?  I won't relate the storyline as it's a little complex.  The story (in my opinion the film is better that the book) features a black monolith that was a stargate or portal to other existences, worlds or universes.

Until I get enough energy and drive to tidy up my rooms then to be able to unload my girl kit from it, the large pink suitcase resides in my garage.  It too is like the 2001 black monolith.  A symbol of a gateway to another world.  A world of glamour and fabulousness, of good friends and late nights.

The Pink Monolith Calls

I have now returned home to Essex.  Well, it's not quite true as I don't consider Essex my home, as I never really felt at home in Essex.  It's more of a stopping point in my life's journey.  I don't know whether I'll ever find a place I could call home.

It's been quite tough being back.  I was away for nearly every weekend from the end of February until I tumbled so the place is a mess.  I just about kept up with the essential washing, cleaning and paperwork but everything else had to be left.  The Lake District trip was the final sojourn before being back up there for a two day mountain event and the interim period was going to be my sort everything out time.  So much for future planning.  There's a lot to do and I find myself tiring quite quickly at the moment.  I know it will come together for me in time.  I'm not back at work yet, although working from home is suiting me well.

The past week or so has been quite interesting in that it has highlighted some mental issues I didn't realise I had.  It seems that for a few 'structures' (for want of a better word), I have lost the connection between them. I first noticed this when I was driving back from Heathrow, to see if I was OK for long distance driving.  Although I know the M4 motorway quite well, I could not recall the order of a number of junctions.  I knew which junctions were which but could not recall which junction we were going to come across next.  Once I passed the junctions all was OK.  Also this week, I was sorting out bank statements and could not remember what month came after July.  The August statement was in front of me, but I had to check on a calendar to work it out.  After sorting them out, I had no problem.  It's as if some connections have been temporary disconnected in my head.

I'm not too worried.  I was in London on Friday for my fifth laser treatment on the beard area.  An eight month spacing isn't the recommended interval but I had no choice!  It was very good of them to increase the period in which I had to use the sessions.  It went well.  I used some Emla cream around the goatee area this time too as well as the painkiller tablets I normally take beforehand.  It seemed to work.  I have quite a high pain threshold and only had to ask for a break twice because I was tensing up.  After that I had a wander through London.  I know the city reasonably well but there were a number of times I questioned myself why I was walking down a street because I did not remember what street was next.  I knew where I was going, it was that disconnection problem again.  It'll be interesting to see what happens on my next trip to the city.

I've made contact with a counsellor now.  I've just sent an email because it was easier for me to construct what I wanted to cover rather than the initial contact by phone.  My brain is still a confused jumble when considering at getting my life back together although it's a better now that there are a number of things I can sit and concentrate on. I'd like to bring up the gender aspects of my life.  Don't know if there's any subconscious trauma bubbling about in my head, but it would be a good thing to probe and ask questions to see if there is.  Since I've been back in Essex, I have had a number off good friends say how lucky I am to have come through this fall intact.  Now although it didn't affect me before, this statement now makes me uncomfortable when I hear it.  Similar to a feeling of paranoia.

In other news, the year started well when I won £20 of voucher in my local clothes shop.  I get on with the owner quite well so I thought that she had arranged the win for my return back home.  It seems not and it was just luck that my name was picked out of the hat at this time!  Another shopping spree there beckons and I'm hoping to do it in Tanya mode.

And finally…. (I'm getting to sound like Sir Trev McDoughnut now) the 'Our Different Journey' website is now up, running and is being populated with personal stories of the experiences of our lives from the viewpoint of being transgendered.  Crumbs that sounds long-winded.  Best for you to check the site out yourself  - Our Different Journey.

Where is my diatribe, you ask?  Well, err, the dog ate it.  Damn, that won't work as I don't have a dog…  I have written a story.  In fact, I have written a few.  For some reason, I am just not happy with what I've written.  I don't know if it's because I'm constructing a frame around my response from the question posed, albeit a very open question.  Or whether it's because I'm not someone who dwells too much on the past and doesn't particularly reference events that much.  I will publish a post, and most likely will still not be fully happy with it.  Watch this space.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Restarting of Life

It's been a while.  I thought it was about time an update was posted about how things have gone, where I am and what the future holds.

The neck recovery has been progressing.  Slowly.  This hasn't been helped that there had been a mix-up with arranging the physiotherapy that delayed the rehab process by a few weeks.  Some days can be quite busy now.  A doctor's appointment first thing, then over to the physio for some jumping around and then over to the gym for an upper body session. The physio doesn't give me a 'hands-on' treatment.  He gets me to bounce on a trampette, walking and running on a treadmill, balancing on wobble boards and jumping then hopping over hurdles.  As I also walk to and from each appointment / session, it's can be quite a physically tough day!  The idea for the bouncing and running about is to condition the neck, shoulder and back muscles to take the impacts and jolts from everyday life.  Especially when travelling by road in a car or bus.

It has also been a busy time travelling around the country too.  I arranged a trip back to Essex for a day to sort out the enormous pile of post (OK most of it was junk mail).  I managed to catch up with quite a few people.  It was tiring but the trip was rounded up very nicely by meeting the lovely Sue Richmond for lunch.  All be it, I had to be in boy mode.  Although I did get to spend a little time with my nails painted chocolate.  The nicer colours were with my girl stuff, held in a suitcase by Carlisle police!

Talking of Carlisle.  I wanted to take a trip back up north to collect my fell shoes and the suitcase from the police and also to thank the people who helped and supported my family and myself in my time of need.  I really wanted to do the trip well before the Christmas rush so as soon as I thought I was fit enough for the trip, we were off.

We visited Newcastle first.  After collecting my fell shoes and visiting the hospital to say thanks to the nursing staff, we had some time to explore the city.  Having been there for a few weeks already, my parents were quite familiar with the place, but for me, I only had a very brief look around.  I really like the area and the people are fantastic.  I'm already considering another trip up there next year.

We then travelled across the country to Carlisle.  This was the part I was most worried about.  Having a large pink suitcase full of my girl kit in the back of the camper was quite bothersome.  I considered just telling my parents what was in the case and what I was up to the Friday before I fell, but I knew that for many reasons I shouldn't.  My parents are both quite inquisitive and as I couldn't lock the case because I couldn't find the other zip, I was concerned that one of them may unzip the case to look inside.  Once home, I did manage to find the other 'half' of the zip hiding in the hinge to put a padlock on it.

We pitched up on a quiet campsite just outside Keswick to use as a base for the northern part of the Lakes.  A visit to the Mountain Rescue Team and later to the Air Ambulance left me emotionally exhausted.  It was rewarding and enlightening. I felt a sense of closure.  Yet because I had no recollection of the tumble itself, the stories and talk of my rescue sounded like they were talking about someone else.  I must make a big mention of the work of the Mountain Rescue Team.  We briefly visited the area where I fell and how those guys managed to carry me on a stretcher out of that cove, I don't know.  The path in places was only about six inches wide and traversed a loose scree slope.

The rest of the week was spent in the southern area of the Lakes, catching up with friends and for the first time in a while, relaxing.  OK, relaxing for me doesn't mean doing nothing much except reading, eating and drinking.  I walked around the area quite a bit, found a long flight of steps that I could run up without causing too much impact on the neck and even managed a walk up the local big hill.

It was a very hard trip, both mentally and physically and didn't feel like a break at all.  Even after arriving home, it took me a few days to get over it.  And then after I began to feel back to normal, I was off to Essex again for an important meeting at work! It was good to 'break the ice' as it were and see a number of people there before a possible return to work in the New Year.

Which brings me to a realisation that my head is comfortably in the space of getting the body better and onto fitness.  Now this is not a bad thing, but it does indicate a single mindedness of returning to sport and getting back onto the hills.  Thus I'm finding current activities that have a large physical element to them, easier to focus on.  I have no problem with getting down the gym; ascending the steps of the hill, I found it hard to walk at times because it was easier to run.  Even driving has been no problem.  Driving my parents' car with the auto gearbox, I was left foot braking without due thought.  Driving my manual gearbox car to get to the MOT the next day, was again second nature.

Mental activities are another matter.  I still find myself crying at times.  Usually when out walking alone and being quite relaxed.  I still find concentrating on some tasks difficult, although it is getting better.  Also I'm finding that my personal space is much larger than it used to be.  I noticed that I stand back a little further when in conversation with people and close greetings like hugging and kissing can be quite uncomfortable.  I can find that I feel quite antagonistic at times and unable to control quick snaps of aggression.  This is not a major problem, just something I've picked up on compared to how I was before the fall.  Most likely, everyone around me may not have noticed these subtle changes, but I have.  All this could be why I feel apprehensive generally.  My logical thinking says that all this will resolve itself as I get back into normal life again.  Working, running, getting the fitness back, getting out with friends, living.  It could also because I'm so used to having endorphins flooding my body from the regular fitness sessions, my brain has been conditioned.  I hope it resolves in time, but I will be investigating some course of counselling when I'm back in Essex to calm my head with the questions that have been bouncing around it since June and maybe explore the gender side too.

This Friday was Nottingham Invasion.  I'm proud to have been there for the inaugural event, but it's such a shame I've had to miss the first anniversary event this time.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and here's to a fabulous, shiny New Year!

Friday, 28 September 2012

No longer angelic...

So just over fifteen weeks after breaking my neck, the sheepskin vest, the scaffolding and the Halo have now been removed and I am now wearing a hard collar for the next four weeks.

It didn't come off without a fight.  The scaffolding came off OK, the straps holding the vest together took a bit of work to undo by the nurse.  After a few X-ray checks, the Halo pins were unscrewed and the Halo literally yanked off!  It was very painful but at least it was brief.  The pins themselves looked quite scary.  Think of a headless bolt with the other end shaped into a sharp spike!  I was told that these Halo vest cost about £3000 and they are thrown away after just the one use as they cannot be recycled!  Little wonder healthcare costs so much.  Thank goodness for the NHS.

So I am now sporting two red, scabbed patches on my forehead.  I look like a cheap version of Hellboy.  At least now I am much cooler when it's warm, I can wear normal sized clothing and t-shirts and I can get in and out of the car without assistance.

The head still hurts and I have been up and down with regards to energy levels and moods this week.  Much the same as I've had over the past two weeks.  However, I now know this is the next step back to life.  Normality.  I think my time in the Halo had more than run it's course and I really needed another assured movement in the recovery to get my mojo back.  So although I've dropped into bit of a dip at the moment, the future can only be bright.

Had to visit the hospital again today.  Twice in a week!  This time my dad was having his bi-annual checkup.  All was OK but I found it very strange being there as a visitor rather than a patient.  Maybe now I have more mobility and have a better view around my environs, the hospital is no longer just a collection of corridors, double doors and waiting rooms.  I didn't realise there was a flower shop on site and one corridor was lined with aerial photographs of the hospital's development since the Second World War!

After the checkup, my mother needed to change a few items in M&S.  My dad left her to it in womenswear and ushered me upstairs to have a wander around the menswear section.  He was after some thick winter shirts but found nothing suitable.  So we just hung around.  It was so boring.  Brown, tan, grey, black, suits, shirts, trousers, shoes.  No colour, no wow, nothing tempting me to buy, buy, buy, no pretty stuff.  I found the cookware section eminently more exciting!

Yet my T-factor is still low.  I still have an interest.  I still appreciate ladies' fashions.  I still have a need to go for a night out when I'm over this malady.  I just find I'm reflecting on my times out as Tanya in a negative way.  As if it's all just a strange, weird dream.  I wonder why I need to dress-up, paint my face and slide into some heels (Yeah right!  More like wrangle my feet into them!) to have a good time out.  I reflect that I'm hiding behind a disguise, then argue against that statement by knowing I am still me, just glammed up.  I present in a different guise but I do not change personality or hide who I am.  I find it exciting and good fun at the time.  Think I need to be patient and wait until normality and independence returns to my life.

In other news, my mother has taken a shine to an iPad, so we may be visiting Bristol next week to purchase one.  As it's Fashion Week there, I may be taking a shine to other pretty items…