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Fashion update

As I mentioned on a recent post, I managed to pick up some more bargains on a recent shopping trip.

From New Look I got a lovely jumper for £11 (in the sale) and a vest top similar to the blue one I am wearing in the woods but in wine for £2 (also in the sale). From Accessorize I got a pair of earrings for £6. The earrings are in a sort of belly dancer style, I guess, but they are something I have wanted for a while now. In Primark I got a skirt for £3, a necklace and earrings set for £2.50, a pair of 120 Denier tights for £2.50, a 3-pack of “Emergency handbag tights” for £1.50, with each pair in a very compact tear-off plastic bubble designed to stay in your handbag till you ladder the ones you’re wearing. Very handy. And, finally, a DVD (Kill Bill: Volume 1) which I got in Poundland for, obviously enough, £1. Total spend was £29.50 plus £1.60 parking. Not too bad I think.

You can see the jumper, the skirt, and just about see the earrings, in this pic:

Jumper, skirt and earrings

Jumper, skirt and earrings

And here is a better pic of the earrings.

Earrings

Earrings

Then, today, I went to an Antiques and Collectors fair. I managed to buy four Royal Doulton port / sherry glasses in the “Georgian” style for £11 (negotiated down from £14), to add to my existing collection of this style, and also a pair of silver earrings for the grand price of £4 (I didn’t have the cheek to negotiate those down. LOL.

Earrings

Earrings

 

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Wood you believe it

I’ve lived near to a common / Country Park with lots of bridleways and footpaths for over a decade now, but have never walked them. Earlier this week that changed, and I went for a nice long walk along them (about an hour or so). Then the next day (yesterday) I did it again but even further (about 90 mins or so). I’m not really an outdoors person but I really enjoyed the peace and solitude, the birdsong, and the change of scenery.
I took quite a few photos, and several things caught my eye as being suitable for a photo shoot, should I ever want to do one.

Well, it was nice and sunny again today and yesterday’s blog post was on my mind so I thought “why the hell not?” and got my make-up on and went out to find those spots again, armed with camera, tripod and wireless shutter release.

The first one is up on Flickr already, and some of the others may go up over the next few days (not sure which ones yet; certainly not all of them), but you get to see them now!
The sunlight was a little harsh on some of the pics, which did not flatter me, but on the whole I’m quite pleased with how they came out.

When I came back from taking these, I decided to change into something less “outdoorsy” and popped into town. I managed to pick up some real bargains, but I will blog about those tomorrow I think.

Anyway, on with the photos…

 

Posted by on 27th February 2014 in Diary, Out & About, Photos

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The final “pew pew” (for now)

Today I had my sixth and final full body laser hair removal session. That’s not to say this is the last time I’ll have laser, but it is the final session of the six full body sessions that I paid for up front in exchange for a discount.

Cynosure Elite

Cynosure Elite

For this session I was with a new girl who I had not had before, as the two that I had built a rapport with have both left for pastures new. However, this girl (whose name I did not get) was extremely efficient, professional, confident and quick. It look quite a bit less time than in previous sessions to do the whole body and the professionalism extended to having absolutely no hangups about zapping wherever I wanted to be zapped (*blushes*).

On the whole, it hurt a little less than previous sessions although the chest and tummy were still rather painful. And, of course, the face was really painful but a little better than previously. As with last time, we used the same 15mm spot size on the face as we used on the body, only she stretched the skin on my upper lip (the most painful part) with her fingers before zapping me, and also rubbed / massaged my skin with her fingers between zaps. This seemed to make a huge difference to the pain (or perceived pain anyway). I mean, yes, it still really hurt but it somehow seemed more bearable.

One little thing that did make me giggle was this little snippet of conversation:

*crackle* 
"Some of your hairs popped right out of their follicles"
"Um, that's good, yeah?"
"Oh yes!"
15mm

15mm

We finished up in record time; just over 90 mins I think it was, compared with the 2+ hours it usually takes. Yet I didn’t feel like this girl was rushing; she was just very efficient and confident. I did tell her so, and she thanked me for the compliment, although I’m convinced it all came out wrong and that I sounded like an idiot. Oh well.

Now that this course of six is over, I am going to take some time out to review the results and keep an eye on the regrowth. Then I can decide what areas need further treatment, and how often.

From shaving myself in the bath this morning, I can say that my arms and legs are pretty much hairless now apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. Certainly I would not need to shave them before going out, although for a special occasion I might carefully examine them and take off any stray hairs with a dry disposable razor.

My chest and tummy are likewise, apart from a couple of hairy moles which can’t be lasered. But. again, the razor will take care of that. My chest has been a particular success as before I was pretty much denied low tops as no matter what hair removal I used on my chest (I tried waxing, depilatory cream, shaving and an epilator*) I would end up sore, red, blotchy and, in some cases, bleeding. But no more. Yay!

My back was never particularly hairy, although hairy enough I would think twice about wearing a dress or top that showed it. No such worries now.

Finally, my face. Sadly my facial hair was a bit ‘salt and pepper’ (with maybe a hint of blonde) before and, whilst the laser has eliminated all the pepper, the salt is unfortunately still there. This means that although pretty much all the dark hairs have gone, I don’t have a smooth & hairless face. The inescapable fact is that I will need to have extensive electrolysis in order to finish the job and that is really going to hurt.

Would I recommend this to others? I would, but with certain caveats. The results will depend on your hair colour and skin type. I am very lucky in that I have dark hair and fair skin, so I am absolutely perfect for it. What would have been even more perfect is if I’d done this 10 years ago before I started getting any grey hairs, but there’s not much I can do there. But if you are suitable, and can afford it, then go for it. Certainly I have no regrets.

 


Footnote

* – I am of the opinion that the epilator should be banned under a special meeting of the Geneva Convention as a “cruel and unusual punishment” and banned from sale or use.

 

Posted by on 13th January 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

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Let your mind go and your body will follow

Regular readers will know that I tried going to Salsa for a while but for one reason or another, mainly confidence, I stopped going.

Since I’ve spent so much time and money on laser hair removal and Voice Coaching, I decided I may as well press on and address that too, and so I contacted my Salsa teacher since she is really nice in order to enquire if she does private tuition, and she does.

So today I spent an hour with her, just working on basic moves; moving to music and being encouraged to essentially do what the title of this post says (I’ll give you extra points if you can identify the film it comes from, but only if you do it without googling!)

Normally I have to be drunk to let go like that, and of course when you’re drunk you always think you dance better than you do. But something wonderful happened today – I was able to let go and just dance. And if felt wonderful. I was so pleased with myself and am going back on Friday for another session!

On the way back, I needed to call into Fleet to pick up some things I had bought online but with ‘Collect In-Store’ rather than delivery, and I just happened to see a little craft stall and fell in love with a pair of earrings, which I bought. Then as I passed Claire’s Accessories I recalled that it had been just over 6 weeks since I had my ears pierced there, so called in and asked if they would help me remove my starter studs. It proved quite tricky to remove them, but we finally got them out and we got the new ones that I had just bought back in. I’m so happy! I’d like to thank the staff at Claire’s in Fleet for being so helpful and nice; it’s so lovely when you get people going the extra mile to help you.

I also managed to get a really lovely jumper in New Look for over 50% off and which cost me £11. Bargain! I’ll not post a photo just yet – it can wait until a I take a pic of me wearing it.

I also had another go with liquid eyeliner when I did my make-up this morning and, as you can see from the pic, it came out pretty well. Yay!

 

Posted by on 17th December 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Social

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Zap, Crackle and Pop

On Saturday I had another session of laser hair removal, and since this was session 5 of 6, I wanted to see some real progress. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been huge progress already; far from it. My legs and arms are pretty much hairless apart from the odd little clump of hairs, or lone stray hairs, or soft downy hairs. On my chest and tummy there are more clumps. Nothing that is too much of a problem, but when you’ve made as much progress as I have then what is left becomes more noticeable and annoying. It’s the Law of Diminishing Returns, of course.

The one area where I really wanted to hit things hard was the face as it’s proving particularly stubborn. Last session I decided I could have taken more to the face and we were treading too softly. No pain, no gain as the saying goes. So this session I asked for the same 15mm spot size as we’d used on the body, and the same intensity.

“This is going to hurt”, said the therapist.

Well, no kidding. It was extremely painful. Imagine, if you will, being stabbed in the face with a heated needle. Now, imagine multiple needles in a 15mm disc and you have some idea of what it felt like. We had to take frequent breaks and I had to tell her several times not to turn the intensity down because it was clear it was *really* hurting me.

After we had finished, it felt like I had been slapped in the face several times and my face felt stingy, sore, and the skin felt taut. It was far worse and more intense than previous sessions, but that’s because we’d previously gone for a smaller spot size and a lower intensity.

Writing this on the following Monday evening, I still have some discomfort in the face and still have some red blotchiness, so it’s clear that I really got zapped far harder on Saturday than in previous sessions. Hopefully that will show some good results though.

 

Posted by on 2nd December 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal

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Brides in the Aisles

The Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity have now published their official pic for their “Brides in the Aisles” Guinness Book of Records challenge, which is the attempt to fill the aisles of Sainsbury’s, Hedge End with 1,000 brides on Sunday 9th February 2014.

bridesss[1]

To get involved, click here for more details.

 

Posted by on 2nd December 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

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She’s a model

I had a fabulous opportunity to be a model yesterday. My good friend Del is a photographer, and he had been approached by the Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity to take promotional photos for their “Brides in the Aisles” Guinness Book of Records challenge, which is the attempt to fill the aisles of Sainsbury’s, Hedge End with 1,000 brides on Sunday 9th February 2014.

The organisers had asked for girls of all types, including t-girls, so naturally he thought of me and asked if I wanted to be involved. Obviously I bit his arm off!

The lovely people of Brides of Southampton were involved, and they lent me the fantastic dress that you can see me in here. The dress was so comfortable that I didn’t want to take it off afterwards!

Brides in the Aisles

Brides in the Aisles

The vegetables were a little bit of silly fun because it is Sainsbury’s that is the venue.

Thai bride

Thai bride

These pics are not from the official pictures, as they aren’t yet available. They’re just ‘behind the scenes’ snaps that were taken at the time and published on the Facebook page of the Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity. I am reproducing them with their permission.

More pics as I get them.

 

Posted by on 21st November 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

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A little more real

I’ve had quite an epic long weekend!

I’ve had friends over since Thursday evening, staying over till mid-morning Monday, and I have been in girl mode for that entire time, which is the longest continuous period I have done that for.

I’ve learned several things. Firstly, it’s a bit of a palaver and I think if I were to go full-time, I’d probably be one of those girls who wears minimal makeup a lot of the time. But, also, I’ve found that I don’t actually need a lot either. Just my wig, my bewbies, and a little bit of mascara makes me look very feminine. Certainly feminine enough not to break the suspension of disbelief round the house at any rate.
However, I have also found that the wig really starts to bug me when I get tired. I can’t wait to get it off by bedtime. It’s also pretty warm.

I’ve also found my voice is all over the place at the moment. According to my Voice Coach that’s to be expected, but it’s quite frustrating especially as it’s hard to recapture my feminine voice when it goes. Particularly more so when I get tired. However, it’s been good practise and I feel very comfortable when ‘out and about’.

But this is not the reason for this post’s title. No, the reason that things have got a bit more real is that I have finally got my ears pierced. Now, I realise that is no big deal to many people, but it is to me. It is the first thing that I have done that is a permanent change that will be noticed by all, including my colleagues. Yes, I have been having the laser hair removal and I have long and well-manicured nails, but frankly those are things easily overlooked by colleagues (especially male ones). However, pierced ears are less easily overlooked, especially as getting your ears pierced at my age screams “mid-life crisis” in guy mode for those people who don’t know about me being transgender. Fortunately I’ve just finished my current job and am looking around for new work, so this seemed the perfect time.
I confess I very nearly bottled it, but two things caused me to go through with it. One was my lovely friends Nina and Tasha who encouraged me very gently; not enough to be coercion (I should stress) but enough to give me that little bit of encouragement I needed.

The other was this absolutely gorgeous necklace, earrings and bracelet set that I bought in Debenhams. I absolutely fell in love with it and realised how much I want to be able to wear earrings. Of course, it will be a while before I can wear them because I have to wait 6-8 weeks before the starter studs can come out, and then after that I can only wear simple post earrings for a while. However, it’s something to look forward to.

So, anyway, that’s my little step further along the path I have chosen. How exciting!

 

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Getting Friendly

I had an absolutely fabbo day on Saturday!

I was going up to London anyway as I had another Voice Training session, but about a week or so ago I started corresponding with a really nice guy and since it seemed to be going well, we agreed to meet up after my session. We both agreed we’d just play things by ear and when one of us had had enough, we’d part.

Well, 7 hours after we’d met up we were still together, so something obviously went right! But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The Voice session went really well. I can really feel a change in my voice, and have a lot more control over it now. I still think I need plenty more training but my teacher thinks I am getting to the stage where I could start attending group sessions rather than one-to-one all the time. It would certainly reduce the cost.

Somerset House

Somerset House

So, after the session was over I walked to where we’d agreed to meet and we soon spotted each other. And no wearing of Carnations or anything like that necessary. Isn’t the modern internet age wonderful!

After a nice coffee / tea (respectively) and a good chat, which lasted a good 45 mins or so, we decided to go for a walk which took us through Somerset House where he very kindly agreed to take this lovely pic of me. I’m so vain. ha ha.
As you can see, I’m wearing that sweater dress and boots I mentioned in my previous post.

Much of the rest of the day was a bit of a blur really, but I do remember doing an enormous amount of walking and although the boots are really comfortable and are made for walking (ooh I think there may be a song there!) they were pinching my toes a little and could do with being slightly wider. A pair of boot stretchers may shortly be on order I think.

It turns out I’m not allergic to the Angora in the dress, but boy is it insulative! Despite it being quite thin, I was absolutely boiling whenever we were indoors, even with my jacket off! I think Arctic explorers should be issued with them!

Things were still going really well, so we decided to have some dinner together. Whilst there I noticed from Facebook checkins that some of my friends were nearby so we agreed to meet up with them after, and my friend took us all to the most amazing bar. It was The Friendly Society in Soho and is all really kitsch with much of the ceiling covered with Barbie dolls and Sindy dolls, all attached to the ceiling with screws through their tummies (bit gruesome), and with disco balls everywhere, and wallpaper that looks like it should be in a child’s bedroom. I loved it!

kitsch kuddles

kitsch kuddles

After a while, my friends moved on, and my companion & I managed to grab a table.

I tried to take a nice selfie of us, but with that a really nice guy sitting next to us with his boyfriend leapt up and offered to take the pic for us. He was so nice. In fact everyone was really friendly there – I guess the place lived up to its name!
He took a pic both without the flash and with it, but the one with the flash came out really badly so this is the non-flash one. Please excuse the fuzzy pic; I did my best to de-noise, sharpen and lighten it, but there is only so much you can do.

Anyway, it was now getting on for 10pm and although I was having a really wonderful time, I really was wilting and I desperately needed to go as I was a good hour or more from home. So my friend, ever the gentleman, walked me to the tube station so I could catch the tube to where I had left the car and I started my journey home.

I had such a great day. As I mentioned at the start, we did a lot of walking. In fact, my feet were pretty sore by the end of the day and when I got home and got the boots off I discovered that one of my toes on my left foot was numb and half the big toe on my left foot was also numb. The next day it still was, and even today (Monday) it is still a little numb so I think I will need to invest in those boot stretchers. But the boots are very new and definitely need to be broken in.

On Sunday I spent most of the day pottering round the house, feeling sore and achy from all the walking on Saturday, and ended up watching a lot of telly. I’m such a lightweight!

 

Posted by on 21st October 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

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Pew! Pew! Swipe! Swipe!

A couple of days ago (ie. Saturday) I had another session of laser hair removal. Nothing much to report really – it hurt like hell as usual, and it took two hours as usual. I’m definitely showing progress though, with large areas of my body completely hairless now apart from annoying little clumps here and there. But my face, especially the upper lip, is still stubbornly refusing to die off although hair growth has been much reduced. But I can definitely see me having to have further sessions on the face beyond the six I pre-paid, and I’ll probably need electrolysis too in order to get the light-coloured hairs that the laser cannot get at.

Jane Norman dress

Jane Norman dress

Whilst I was in Epsom, which is where I go to for the laser, I did a little shopping. I don’t enjoy shopping half as much when in guy mode, but I’m confident enough in myself that I have absolutely no problems buying girl stuff when presenting as a guy. I find staff are generally completely fine with it; they either assume I’m buying for a girlfriend or simply don’t care. Besides, a sale is a sale isn’t it?

Anyway, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sweater dress in House of Fraser in the Jane Norman concession. Unfortunately it was full price and a little more than I would want to pay, as it was £32, but I absolutely adored it. I think it will look fantastic with a pair of leggings or thick tights, and knee length boots.

What I didn’t realise is that it is 10% Angora. I’m allergic to animal hair on the whole, especially cats, and also I don’t tend to wear wool as it makes me itch. So I’m hopeful that I’m not allergic to Angora hair or else this could be the only garment I own that requires me to take antihistamines in order to wear it. ha ha

Now, really I shouldn’t have bought that as I’m trying to cut back on my spending at the moment. So I certainly shouldn’t have bought my other purchase. But, again, it was one of those “I must have that” things. I went into Jones Bootmaker and I saw these Timberland boots and fell in love with them because they are exactly what I have been looking for.

Timberland Boots

Timberland Boots

There was a little bit of confusion with the member of staff when I asked if they had them in my size. She went away, and after a while came back with them in a box and moved as if to take me to the till. I said I’d like to try them on, and she apologised and went away again and came back with another one. Presumably those were the ‘trying on’ pair. So I thanked her as she handed them to me, and casually said that I knew I wasn’t really dressed for buying ladies stuff that day but the boots were so nice I had to. A little light bulb went on over her head, and then I tried them on and walked around the shop in them not caring what anyone thought about me.

They fit perfectly and were really comfortable, so a purchase was made.

The boots are waterproof (as you would expect from Timberland), and as you can see from the photo on the right, the lower part of the zip opening is sealed so stepping in puddles should not be a worry. With the weather we are having in the UK right now, that could be a distinct advantage!

The leather is heavily grained and feels very sturdy, but is also butter soft. I think it may be Nubuck from the texture of it and the way it’s almost suede-like when you stroke it. Naturally when I got them home I gave them several coats with Scotchgard-equivalent generic “Leather, Suede and Nubuck Protector” spray.

I adore the lace detail on the back, and also the fact that it’s functional as well because it’s not lacing; it is elastic. It’s a lovely little design detail.

Price-wise, they were equivalent in price to my DUO boots. However, Jones were running a £20-off offer which lessened the financial sting a little bit.

I can’t wait to wear both the sweater dress and the boots, and I think they will go really go well together. I plan to wear them this Saturday when I go up to London for another session of Voice Therapy.

 

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