Thursday, 27 November 2008

Take A Deep Breath..

Take a deep breath is exactly what I said to myself this evening, to help control my nerves as I went into the hairdresser's to book an appointment for Saturday. In fact it was pretty easy and straight forward as (unexpectedly) the salon was empty, apart from the hairdresser herself. So we had a few minutes conversation discussing options for my hair without coming to any real conclusions. I booked to have my hair washed as well as cut and this will give her more opportunity to assess how best to cut it. Probably she will trim a little off the back to help level it up with the sides which are shorter. She knows I don't really want to loose any of the length. As my hair is thick, wirey and curly I think she will want to put some layers in as well to help stop it becoming too bushy. I will have to wait and see how the visit goes.

With my confidence topped up I had to get some timber from the local DIY store. It was dark, quite late and I knew the store would be very quiet so I decided to wear a pair of ladies shoes. They are a proper ladies shoe (UK size 9) with a 2" heel. Quite easy and comfortable to wear and very definitely feminine. I was wearing black ankle socks so nothing stood out from a distance unless someone was specifically looking and noticed the 2" heels. Fortunately the pink toes and heels of my socks were hidden inside the shoes.
Well to cut a long story short, no one seemed to notice anything and all passed off OK and I left the store. Walking out with some 2.4 M lengths of timber under my arm, I really felt that I had managed to reach another milestone - even if it was mainly about my own self confidence!

It had been raining earlier so I was aware of the rainwater puddles and the need to tread more carefully than I would when wearing men's shoes, an obvious but unexpected lesson to learn.


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Lazy Day

I had a days holiday on Friday and was at home on my own during the day. This presented an opportunity to indulge myself or rather my feminine self.

So, after I got up, I had a long lazy shower, washed my hair and spent the morning dressed up with a black skirt and a cream satin blouse. The blouse was thin enough to show my bra and looked OK. I also put on a suspender belt and a pair of "almost black" stockings. Although I would hardly recommend them as practical when compared with tights, socks etc, the stockings and suspenders do seem to portray the ultimate feminine image. I almost put my knickers on first but then realised how inconvenient it would be with the suspenders over the top, so the knickers went on last! In the afternoon when I had to go shopping I changed my skirt for a pair of jeans and put a pink jumper on. It was interesting that I didn't get anyone looking twice even though I left my coat open to show my pink jumper and the collar/open neck of the blouse.

Later I had to get changed back to my normal clothes as I had to complete repairs to our washing machine in the evening. A replacement inner stainless steel drum, new bearings and seals. Not bad as I have kept the machine going for 24 years! Now it is running again and it sounds really smooth. As I get older and the more my feminine side evolves, the more I struggle to motivate myself to do these jobs. The counter is the real feeling of satisfaction I get when the job is complete and a pile of scrap has been given a whole new lease of life. I hate to scrap out anything which can be repaired, it just seems so wrong.

Although I had changed back to normal clothes in the late afternoon, I kept the stockings and suspenders on underneath my jeans for the rest of the day. They didn't really show unless someone looked closely at my ankles. The whole day was another small confidence booster in trying to understand and define the gender boundaries here where I live. So much is gender polarised in terms of colour, style etc for no apparent reason other than tradition/expectation and without any real foundation in necessity. Fortunately I don't live in "Red Neck" territory I am glad to say, so I don't have any threat of physical abuse to worry about if/when I don't conform.

My next hurdle will be an appointment with the hairdressers in the next week or so. My hair continues to grow longer and is getting a little ragged. My target is to have my hair washed and a slight trim to remove any raggedness, also to discuss shortening the back a little to even up the length.

All small steps but definitely continuing to progress along my road to "who knows where".

While I am feeling good with myself having had the opportunity to exercise my feminine side, I was saddened to hear that a good friend is struggling alone with a very heavy burden of family responsibilities and health issues. I wish I could provide more comfort and support in her time of need, she certainly deserves it.


Monday, 3 November 2008

Autumn has arrived!

The snow has gone but the colder weather seems to be here to stay for a while. I hate the damp winter weather here in the UK. The cold is so much more comfortable and bearable when it is dry rather than damp. Putting the clocks back 1 hour from summertime to GMT doesn't help as it really makes it feel as if winter is starting,

Well the structural repairs to my daughters car are done. I need to touch up the paint a little on the edge of the wheel arch where the wheel had rubbed against it. I have removed the plastic liner so that I can access inside and outside of the wheel arch and paint both sides. When I have finished painting I will cover the underside of the wheel arch with waxoyl rust preventative before replacing the plastic liner. Not much more that I can do in terms of rust prevention - a necessary precaution here in the UK because of the damp climate. After any bump the seals between the body panels get cracked allowing the damp to penetrate and rust to start, so I need to do something. I also need to replace the wheel. After the impact she had I do not feel comfortable in using the old wheel again. It is alloy and might be buckled or have a hidden crack which could give way in use and at speed. So, I have bought a second hand replacement from eBay. Problem is that the only matching style was pick up only and 100 miles (160KM) away. Fortunately it is reasonably near to where my mother lives and I am planning to visit her this coming weekend, so I will work in the collection as part of the trip and save a special journey. I just checked out the address of where I have to go and used Google Earth to dry run the journey to the pick up point. Google Earth must have been updated as the detail is now awsome. I actually feel as if I have driven the journey and know all the local roads around the pick up point.

As I wrote in my last blog, I have been thinking about how I would like to style my hair ready for when I go to the hairdressers at the end of the month. Over the last six months I have progressively moved my parting up to the centre of my head but have come too the conclusion that it is better about 1inch (25mm) to the left of the centre. The comments on my last post where quite accurate and objective in pointing out some of the potential problems with a centre parting and I never felt comfortable with it there. The new position seems a good compromise, looks fine and is still much more androgonous than when I had a traditional male short back and sides. As my hair grows longer I think that it is becoming easier to manage, with the extra weight helping to pull it downwards so it no longer seems to be trying to grow outwards.
I think I will just go for a very slight trim to help level up the length and remove any raggedness. I will also have my hair washed and this should give me time to discuss future options with the hairdresser while giving her more time to assess my hair and what she thinks that she can do with it.

For the last few weeks I have been using a small amount of mascara and lip gloss when I go to work, just enough mascara to darken my eye lashes as they are naturally very fair. Last weekend I found some clear mascara which is fun. I can use it much more openly as it doesn't really stand out or show and it makes me feel good when I know that I am wearing it and pushing the boundaries.

Lots of little things which are continuing to carry me along my journey on the road to I know not where.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Today it snowed! - and it is still October and my hair continues growing!

It has suddenly gone cold here in the UK and today it snowed. Perhaps the winter this year is going to make up for the mild weather last year.
It is a little annoying as I am in the middle of repairing my daughter's car. Last week, the day before her birthday, she skidded driving home from work and banged into the edge of the pavement/sidewalk. This resulted in the front wheel being pushed back some 4 inches (100mm) and a severely bent lower suspension arm. She arrived at my house three hours later on the back of a tow truck, safe but cold and suitably contrite. From what I can see she has been extremely luck with no other obvious damage to the hub, anti roll bar, suspension strut or front sub-frame. So I have fitted a new suspension arm but need to finish off and tighten all the bolts to the correct torque. To finalise I will get the tracking adjustment checked as it will almost certainly be out of alignment and need adjusting. For safety I am also looking to replace the alloy front wheel because it must have taken the full impact and the tyre was split. E-bay is great for this but it takes forever waiting for the auctions to finish when you want something tomorrow.

As I have said before, I find it very difficult to motivate myself to crawl under cars any more. It is not just because I am getting older, it is just not the role that I am trying to develop. The only upsides are a very happy daughter and when I have finished, a long hot shower to get cleaned up with a change into something nice and satiny.

As a special sort of milestone in my life, at the beginning of the month I completed 40 years working for the same company - through the various company ownerships as we were bought out and consolidated over the years. I have lost count of the number of redundancy programs that I have survived and I often wonder if I would have been better off if I had been forced to take alternative employment and start a new career. This is something that I will never really be able to evaluate from a career point of view, but I know for sure that if I had moved employer I would not have met a special friend as a result or bonus of my travelling to the headquarters in Stockholm.

Well my hair has continued to grow and is now covering my ears nicely (I now have to wear a hat when I am working on the cars!!) but is getting to the point where it needs to be tidied up again as it is getting a little ragged. At times it seems to be growing outwards more then it grows downwards. So, it is time to plan a trip to the hairdressers again - real feminine territory and another major psychological barrier to overcome. Learning from my last visit I will start by having my hair washed but then I will then run into problems as the hairdresser will almost certainly ask me what style I want - and I really have no idea. I just what to enjoy it long and feminine or at least androgynous. As my hair has grown I have gradually moved my parting up from the side of my head (which was very male) to the middle which less definitive. I think that this gives me more scope with the hairdresser in the future. My hair is very curly and quite wiry so with "man think" I am not sure what options are really open to me, but with "woman think" anything becomes possible. I would even consider a perm if a good proposal was made and I felt it was right for me.


Monday, 22 September 2008

Busy Weekend

Well I think we have had the last of our summer with two nice sunny days over the weekend. Unfortunately this meant working on my daughters car for it's annual test. I am growing to hate this as it maintains the traditional male image that I am trying to loose. The only good thing was relaxing in the shower afterwards and getting into some nice lacy underware. Oh and the fact that I did not break any of my nails. They are currently very long on my right hand, to the point that my daughter was commenting on them.

Well, having found some ladies socks that fit, I have been trying to get into the routine of wearing them. Generally they are quite conservative so they do not raise any questions, I now need to try and buy some more which are perhaps more borderline to give me some choice in what to wear and when.

My hair continues to grow and I will need to plan another visit to the hairdressers. Ideally around the beginning of November so it has got a couple of months more growth since the last time. It will then be 13 months since I last had a man's haircut when it was cut very short. The problem will be trying to articulate what sort of style I want as I really don't know other than to keep it growing longer. This time I will also get it washed which will be another step along my journey. I am still not sure where my journey is taking me but I am continuing to develop mentally and in confidence with each step along the way so I know that I have by no means reached the end.

It is great to see Dee back on line safe and well with her gripping personal report of the hurricane. I cannot imagine having your home being blown away while you are in it as happend to her friend in Winnie. Also watching TH come back to life as power was restored in Houston.

Last week end I went to see my mother. She is 91 years old and lives on her own about 130m/210Km away. She is fiercely independent but fails to recognise how frail and vunerable she is. Well a month ago she had her handbag stolen and lost her glasses, bank cards and some cash. For once the police actually arrested someone - a girl! They were very lucky and found a fingerprint which identified her. She will be in court this week and I hope it will not be too much strain for my mother as she will probably have to attend to say what happend. As the girl had followed my mother into her house and used force to take the handbag, she has been charged with robbery which is a more serious offence and could (should) result in her being sent to prison. All in all my mother was very lucky as she was more shocked than hurt. However, it creates a lot of additional unwanted work in replacing the bank cards, insurance claim etc as my mother is not capable of doing these things herself anymore and I have to do everything remotely. Still, that is a small price to pay for her independence while she remains fit and alert enough to live on her own. I just hope I can follow her example.


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Dee is safe

Via the TH web site, I understand that Dee is safe and well. I have no doubt that it has been a very unpleasant time for her and everyone else hit by either of the recent hurricanes, Gustav or Ike.

There is no news about her home yet, so please keep your fingers crossed that it has suffered little or no damage. For me hurricanes used to be just an item on the news in far away places. But now, having friends caught up in the trauma has brought a stark reality to the situation.

Dee, we miss you and hope you will be home soon.

Dreamer ...........

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A Successful Week

Well last week had a number of positive highlights, not only in the journey along my personal road but in my personal life as well.

Well the suggestion had been made recently that I carry my cross dressing a little further by adding ladies socks to my wardrobe. Well this initially presented a problem with nothing being available over a size 8, when I was looking for size 9. Anyway I managed to buy two packs of three at the local supermarket which were labelled "One Size" with no upper limit - great. One pack is quite conservative in colour, they were labelled "Ladies Trouser Socks" but in reality were black lycra ankle high socks and almost like a thickish black ankle high stocking. Quite sheer and with a satiny shine.
Well I was travelling last week and I wore these socks through the airport security here in the UK and also at Schipol airport in Amsterdam. As you can imagine I had to walk through the metal detectors without my shoes and without any comment or double take by anyone - phew!
On another site I had previously reminised about an earlier search at Schipol airport which had resulted in a close frisking and an embarassed security guy as he realised I was wearing lacy knickers. So I am always wary of Schipol.

The other pack of socks were a little more daring, Pink with black spots, black with white spots and pink toes and heels, and plain black with white toes and heels. Well I thought I would wear the pink socks when I went to visit a really good friend who is very supportive and helpful. Well having put the socks on I was pretty comfortable leaving the hotel as they hardly showed. Then I got on the train and sat down and oops there they were exposed to the world. I ended up with a strategically placed bag to help hide them. Well the next day I wore the black socks with white spots and this time I was quite comfortable for them to be seen. Similarly When I flew home I wore the plain black socks with the white toes and heels. I felt quite comfortable in them even when I had to take my shoes off for security.
This has helped to build my self confidence. Most of our fears and worries are, after all, as a result of our own lack of self confidence rather than others. The main issue is recognising this and generating our self confidence.

While I was away I managed to see my friend and her children on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. This was the real highlight of my business trip.
I also tried to do three upgrades to her PC. So far only one of these upgrades has been successful, with a hardware problem on one and a software problem on the other. Hopefully we can resolve these problems easily and get the upgrades completed. This will add considerable functionality to her PC so it will be good to complete it.