Monday, 28 December 2009

That missing spare car key!

Go on, you all wanted to know whether I ever found the spare car key. Of course you did.

Well, I did find the spare key, and now won't be locked out of my car again. It was in the caravan where it should have been, but not in its ordinary place. It was down in a narrow gap in front of the radio/CD player control plate. Quite a good sneaky hiding place really. I don't see how it could have slipped into that gap, so I must have put it there. But I don't remember doing that, and I don't as a rule have 'safe' hiding places for things, because I invariably forget all about them. So it's a real puzzle what I did. And it can't be put down to Dru's amazing damson vodka, either.

At any rate, I won't now have to spend maybe £150 on a new spare key (they contain electronics and have to be 'programmed' at a dealer). Was I relieved!

Goin' Back - further thoughts

I was surprised that my original post elicited so many replies. I suppose it struck a chord with many people, and in a way that's reassuring: it's nice to know (at least now, after so many years) that your own experience wasn't unique and that there were many, many other people all going through much the same thing.

I don't know whether many of you felt my separateness and isolation to the same degree. Maybe you did, or worse. It was a bit strange. I wasn't ever lonely, and I was very well cared for and protected by my parents, as was my brother, but I felt inwardly as alone as if I were marooned on some desert island. And as self-sufficient. Mind you, I think that suited me more than I would care to admit. Meaning that you're supposed to be gregarious and people-loving, and socially well-adjusted, and not be a secretive soul or some kind of hermit. But I'm unrepentant about that. I was the person I was. The modern me is finally learning how to be different, and I think that something that was long dormant is finally having expression, because I do now seek out people and enjoy their company. That said, I will always want freedom and space; but I am getting intense satisfaction from my new outgoing life as Lucy. And believe me, actually meeting my online friends is an unalloyed pleasure to me.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Master Chef of the Year - not!

I have to confess to a little disaster. I browned the two duck legs, and put them in a pan in just a bit of fat, you don't need much, surrounded by ordinary potatoes, a sweet potato, carrots, and a dab of plum conserve. All of this in the oven. And I had some brussel sprouts ready to boil on the hob. I reckoned to check the oven after 45 minutes, and then get the sprouts boiling sometime after that.

Well I fell asleep, no idea why, and awoke to find Diana at my door, wanting to wish me a Merry Christmas. Of course I have her in for a little chat. Then I remember the oven. And it's been well over an hour now. More like an hour and a half. And...well as you can see it's the classic burnt offering. The vegetables are charcoal. The duck legs are just about edible, if you like dry, unsucculent duck that is. I thought to myself, you could instead knock up bacon and eggs in a jiffy, and there's some nice cold ham, or plenty in the freezer if you want to wait for it to defrost. I didn't want. I boiled up the sprouts and had a minimalist Christmas Dinner. I have to say it was better than it looks, but I've definitely enjoyed nicer meals in my time.

It was redeemed somewhat by a little Christmas Pudding with custard to follow.

I tremble to think what might have happened if I had been tucking into Dru's damson vodka. The fire brigade maybe!

More art purchases in Bristol

I revisited the Grant Bradley Gallery and bought two prints by Cath Read. Here's one of them, a night-time scene of Bristol houses. Sorry about the duck, she insisted on being in the picture, and in the end I had to give in and let her have a picture to herself.

My Christmas Day outfit

It being Christmas Day, I felt I had to wear red, and a short while back I bought this little number from Dorothy Perkins, which I wore over black leggings and a black mini. Very comfortable for just lounging around indoors, and cooking the odd duck and that. And for entertaining visitors. I had three. In the morning Jackie and Kevin from next door, and in the afternoon Diana from up the road. Not bad for a quiet Christmas on my own, I think.

Dru Marland's magnetic gift to me

I mentioned that I visited Dru Marland (of 'Flying Upside Down in Cloud', and the subject of Richard Beard's book Becoming Drusilla) while I was in Bristol. Well not only did she give me a meal and some chat and a tour of her rooftop, she gave me two gifts. One was this little magnetic picture, the cover illustration she did for a friend's bird book. The picture is now stuck to the front of my fridge. Thank you, Dru. The other was a bottle of her homemade damson vodka, but, silly me, I forgot to take it when it was time to go (no doubt the effect of the damson vodka I'd already inhaled). Oh well. I'm quite sure it found another home, you know, down someone's hatch, certainly by now. It was a pretty vodka, though, very appealing to look at, and it tasted very nice. You'll just have to make some more, Dru, and patent it perhaps.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Goin' Back

Dusty Springfield fans will recognise 'Goin' back' as the title for one of her most beautiful and evocative songs, about the simplicity of childhood and how in adult life we should live life without unnecessary complications, and absolutely to the full. Melissa has brought her to mind (see her comments on my last posting).

Childhood is a very sad subject for me. I usually cry if I reflect on it too much. I always felt I didn't experience it properly, and somehow lost the plot.

It began to go wrong pre-school, when I found myself avoiding the boy next door, who wanted to play rough games, and then later I didn't socialise at all well with the other kids at infants school and junior school. I just didn't know how to play; I knew no games at all; and I was wary of the other kids, suspicious of their intentions, except the pathetic wimpy ones who were even worse than me, although I felt an urge to protect them. How strange that was! Perhaps I felt that if we made a stand, we might get some respect. Mind you, I wasn't a pushover. For instance, on the first day of my junior school, my Mum sent me there in a red blazer, which was the colour used by the old infants school. Mum and Dad weren't well-off then, and she obviously thought that a serviceable red blazer would do for the new school. I mean, I hadn't grown out of it. The only thing was, in my new school, you wore a blue blazer, so I stood out. And kids being kids, they gathered round mocking me. Well, I wasn't having that. I clenched my fists and stood my ground, and in my desperation threatened the ringleaders with a terrible bloody death if they tried anything. I must have looked so fierce and convincing - an incredible contrast to my usual placid, try-to-hide nature - that even the dockers' kids backed off and let me alone. (This was at Barry Island in 1958 or 1959 and the school had a great view of the coal ships and banana boats and rough goings-on in Barry Docks) So I got my respect. And Mum relented, getting me a blue blazer without delay. But I was branded as a touchy, defensive, awkward individual you didn't mess with, and didn't play with, so I never made any real friends in that school.

It was the same at grammar school. It was all boys, no girls at all, never were in my time. First day again, I'm aged eleven, it's dinner time, and the class bully Keith Cox, a tall hulking boy already used to throwing his weight around, kicks me viciously under the table and tells me to do as he says. So I kick him back, a nice juicy kick too, and you should have seen his face! He'd been defied. I gave him my 'there's more if you want it' look. Talk about David and Goliath. Well of course as soon as we were outside in the playground he knocked me to the ground. Just a kind of shove. But he didn't do anything else. He didn't laugh. And he never bothered me again. We never became friends; that sort of thing doesn't happen in real life, but once more I saw that taking a stand paid off, and although I went through grammar school as a lone wolf, I was left alone and I wasn't bullied. But it didn't do me any good from the social point of view. I felt like an outsider and a misfit, and was. And there were all kinds of reasons for feeling odd and different, not just vague worries about not being like the typical boy. Academically I was good at classwork, but rubbish at exam time. My parents must have been absolutely ashamed at my exam performance. Until the sixth form, when I got three A-levels to crow about, in Art, English Literature, and Geography. I got a B grade for Art (only a B - well, I rebelled over the still life, and turned it into a cartoon); a B grade for English Literature (well, I hadn't read enough); but what would now be a marvellous A-star for Geography (despite a thin write-up of the Field Trip to the Isle of Arran in 1969, to study the geology - it was too physically demanding, all that serious crag-climbing, and I was appalled by the heights. I found excuses to go my own way, and remember a whole blissful sunny afternoon spent alone, just me and the wind, at Mid Thunderguy on the north-west side of Arran, gazing out over the sea at Argyll. I was at peace)

I digress. But if you get the picture of an entire school career, an entire childhood, at odds with school authority and wanting to be my own lonely self, and getting my way most of the time, then you have it right. And I left school defiant. I refused to fill in my university entrance application forms. I walked out of the grammar school gates in June 1970 with a feeling of freedom that I recaptured only in 2005 when I retired. And I'm not joking: I felt in 2005 that I was at last at liberty to resume a young life that had been interrupted by the need to work. Resumption also meant facing some other things too, that had been tucked away for years and years. You know what I mean. Not straight away, mind, but it had to happen.

At home, while I was still under eleven, I had loving and caring parents, but they couldn't see inside me. I recall vividly the eighth birthday party my Mum arranged for me. All the other kids enjoyed it. It had all the right ingredients. Lovely food, balloons, presents, funny hats, false noses even, lots of noise, parents there to keep a semblence of control, kids laughing and shouting and candles and cake. But I was out it, longing for my own company, and was found eventually upstairs hiding in my bedroom. I begged Mum never to throw another such party again for me. She didn't; my next proper party was my 40th, and I arranged that myself. I felt like an ungrateful misfit again. I couldn't explain why.

These are all pretty sad memories, but I do have a few that I cherish. And an abiding vision is one at Christmas, before Dad gave up smoking, when the aroma of cigar-smoke would drift through the air. In the hush of the late afternoon, I would sit in our front room, by the fire, in the semi-darkness, and gaze at the lit-up Christmas Tree, and the presents and things beneath it. I didn't ponder my life, or the future, or anything really; I just enjoyed the atmosphere, so magical, my favourite childhood moment. I dare say I had my teddy bear Teddy Tinkoes nearby, propped up in a chair to share the moment. He's presently (in 2009) propped up in my lounge, in an armchair, near my ceramic Christmas Tree, all lit up with a few presents from M--- at the foot of it. I shall be tearful in a minute, so I'll finish now. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Snowy Bristol

Two days ago I arrived in Bristol on dry roads and beautiful sunshine, but overnight it snowed, and because of the cold the white blanket has persisted. But I'm hoping for a clear run when I go home on Thursday. Meanwhile all is fairytale frostiness, rather magical. And provided you keep the heating on, it's snug and cosy in the caravan.

Socially I've done well. I'd barely settled in at Baltic Wharf when Dru Marland phoned and invited me over to her Victorian residence. She lives in a character property, no question, the heart of which is a large kitchen lined with an eclectic collection of Useful Pots full of goodies. During my visit, jars full of damsons and bottles full of damson vodka were particularly prominent on the central table, around which all revolves. Dru was very hospitable, and not only cooked us both penne with a bacon and tomato sauce (very tasty) but plied me with a two huge mugs of tea and a couple of glasses of the damson vodka (smooth and heartwarming). But the main business of the evening was the creation of Damson Chocolate, involving chopped damsons and an incredible amount of melted ('fondant'?) dark chocolate. The precise process is descibed on Dru's own blog. It looked yummy.

Having finished this, Dru suggested a climb up onto her flat roof to see the night sky and the lights of the city. So up we went, using a vertical steel ladder. There was a slight overhang at the top, and then we were up and out and able to admire the view. There were chimneys all around, as in the rooftop scene in 'Mary Poppins', but no Dick Van Dyke cavorting about! It was a good thing that I was mellow from the vodka and that it was dark - I suspect that in daytime the height would be vertigo-inducing! Dru of course is a seasoned hill climber, and intended to spend Christmas Day atop a Welsh peak.

And now today I met my aunt's son R--- in the Pizza Provencale in Clifton. R--- is very pro-Lucy. We had a late lunch and a lot of talk. It was the first time he had seen me in female garb and makeup, and I think I looked pretty good. Also the voice had come on a bit, and I was struck how different it sounded, compared to R---'s own deep voice, and to the voices of the five guys on the table behind him. (They paid no attention to me, by the way, even though I wasn't exactly whispering) R--- and I parted with a kiss on the cheek and hugs. He's a real gentleman, you know.

So let me see: Dee, Louisa and Sue at Salisbury; and Dru and R--- at Bristol. Five friends in a few days. And Brighton friends Alice, Rheya and Meta have kept in touch by text or email. M--- also: she actually phoned me, as did my aunt P---. I haven't felt lonely for an instant. Aren't I lucky to have such people in my life?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Meetup in Salisbury with Davina, Louisa and Sue

Davina ('Dee'), Louisa and Sue are all members of The Angels, as I am, and we arranged to meet from 10:00am in Salisbury. We had coffee, shopped, enjoyed a pub lunch after Sue had to go to work, and after Dee had to go, Louisa and I looked around the Cathedral. It all went so well. What lovely people!

Invitation to a Cervical Screening Test

I'm now away in the caravan, but just before I left home the postman delivered a letter from the NHS. It invites me to have my cervix scraped to provide a test sample of tissue for analysis. Just in case there is any abnormality.

The NHS thinks I am truly female!

I can't and won't ignore this. I'm seeing my doctor anyway in January for several other tests, and I'll deal with this one then. Isn't it nice, though, to know that The System has me on record under the correct gender?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Miranda Hart

Now this is an interesting find on TV. Miranda Hart is a 37 year old comedienne who has just completed her first sitcom series on BBC2. She does her own writing, which is impressive. I've caught bits of her show here and there, and then last night I made a point of watching the final episode in full. Now, I'm renowned for having a poor (or at least painfully slow) sense of humour, but I found that episode vastly amusing, and curiously fascinating. It definitely struck a chord with me.

Miranda happens to be 6 foot one inch tall, and has a physique to match. That said, she isn't in any way androgenous. She is clearly an attractive girl handicapped only by a somewhat oversize body, whose largeness she exaggerates a bit by playing alongside an ultra-petite character called Stevie. And although a certain amount of ungainliness is part of the humour (She gets called 'Queen Kong' by her svelte women friends) you notice that they too commit unconscious social gaffes just the same, and tie themselves up into such knots trying to be sophisticated and alluring that, in contrast, Miranda's own artless behaviour seems refreshingly appealing. And despite her insistence that men can't find her attractive, she is a contender with the rest. And not without some hope.

Now consider. Miranda Hart is larger and taller than the average female. She has big limbs. She has to wear big clothes and shoes. And if she can still be feminine, then I think there is something here to look into and emulate. I wouldn't want to put her up as a trans icon, and both personally and careerwise I'm sure this wouldn't be what she'd want either, but I do say this is a woman to watch and learn from. Of course she differs from the typical MTF trans person in some important ways. For example, she already has a pleasant female voice, nice hands, really good skin, no unwanted facial hair, and doesn't need her face reconstructed. But these differences can be be overcome. There are even ways of disguising large hands.

So I say this: don't despair if you are elephantine and at best can only be a matron or an earth mother. You don't have to be a slender whispy little thing. There is still the possibility of a fully-fledged female life in size 20 clothes.

Of course one thing I can't learn from Miranda is a great sense of humour; but I can laugh that off.

Kindness and good wishes from the Police and Coroner

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I'd locked myself out of my car, and couldn't find the spare car key that should have been handy. I still haven't found it. I'm not casual with keys. I always know exactly where they are. I must have done something untypical and highly unusual with this particular key, but I'm morally certain that I haven't forever lost it. It's just remembering what I might have done with it!

In my searches around the house, it struck me once again that I'd never yet come across Dad's driving licence or credit cards, nor a set of missing keys that the emergency people must have used to get in on the night he died back in May. So I decided to visit the local Police Station at Burgess Hill, just in case all these things were inside a plastic bag in a storeroom. I saw a nice woman officer who looked up the incident on the computer and found that, sure enough, a bag of items had been put to store at the Haywards Heath Police Station. She gave me their number and directions, and said she'd get the Coroner's Office to speak to me first. A nice man from that office phoned me back. That done, I then called by at Hayward's Heath Police Station for an interview with a very pleasant and sympathetic male officer. I sorted out my ID, signed for Dad's effects, and chatted for a short while about how things presently stood with me, with both parents gone.

Now bear in mind that I was all the time in female clothing, and trying to speak in a much higher-pitched voice than I'm used to doing. Despite these things, I was taken very seriously, and served promptly and well. The three police officers I spoke to at both Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath could not have been kinder, the same for the male Coroner's Officer. All of them gave me their personal best wishes. I was surprised but delighted at this reception. Either I happened to encounter four different law officers, one after another, who were naturally the epitome of humanity and tolerance, or else transgender training within the Sussex Police Force is very good indeed. In any event, what could have been an ordeal was instead something uplifting.

And it was nice to finally know what had become of those keys, and those missing cards. A little bit of closure.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Greetings from Melford Hall

I've had the mother of all colds during the last week, believe me. I must have caught something at that Wild Fruit Red Party. I dare say I'm quite susceptible - I live on my own, drive about on my own, and my public outings (though daily and sometimes prolonged) do not as a rule include hot, crowded atmospheres indoors. So I'm in a constant self-imposed quarantine situation, and don't have a lot of exposure to the germs floating about in public places. So I'm vulnerable as any islander would be. I thought I wasn't feeling too well by the time I got home from the Red Party. The limpness set in soon after I took the shots of Boy George doing his DJ thing. I sort of lost interest. Once home, I perked up after a night's rest, but as already recorded I had the beginnings of a sore throat when I saw Christella, and it just got worse from there. I had to miss the Angels' Christmas Lunch in London today, as I was still not quite well enough to venture out.

However recuperation at The Moated Grange (aka Melford Hall) has been tolerably comfortable, even full of good cheer, with the ceramic Christmas Tree glowing away in the half-light of the afternoon. I've plenty of things to eat and drink, plenty to read, plenty of unfinished photo things to attend to. Just as well. This will be the first Christmas without Mum and Dad, and it's difficult not to fall into tearful thinking. I fight it off. Nor is it clear whether M--- and I will get to see each other, even though we live only half a mile apart as the crow flies. I hope we do. I'm reserving Christmas Day for her, in case she invites me over on impulse. We have had a (mostly) upbeat phone conversation, and we will at least phone each other on Christmas Day.

I have a default home-cooked Christmas dinner lined up: I've got some duck in the freezer. I just have to remember to get more vegetables and the rest while in Bristol. Yes, I'm off to the West Country with the caravan in tow on Thursday, and I'm having two days at Salisbury on the way. On Friday I meet up with two (perhaps three) other girls in Salisbury, which will be fun. I'm not sure who I may see in Bristol, but if no link-ups occur, there is still a lot I want to see and do in and outside of the city. No sure about clubbing, though - if a visit would mean another cold, then no thanks!

By the way, that's not Melford Hall in the photo, but it's still a local house, just a bit up the hill.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Voice therapy begins

Yesterday I had my first session of voice therapy. I'm doing it privately with Christella Antoni in London. It went well. I liked Christella, and although I have some way to go to get my voice acceptably feminised, I am undaunted and intend to put a lot of time into this. Really, there is no choice about it: I simply must acquire a good, sustainable female voice.

So last night, despite a sore throat (fallout from the Wild Fruit Party no doubt) I gave myself two hours of practice. As you can see from the photo, I've invested in an Olympus digital voice recorder. With the earphones in, I can speak and playback with CD-quality sound, and tiny variations in pitch and quality are very apparent. I can upload any recordings I want to keep onto the PC for further analysis, and will build up an ongoing record over the months to come.

I did try the Deep Stealth voice DVD, but found that it didn't work for me. I needed the discipline that a formal therapist/client relationship brings.

Until now I have been using a voice that is different from my old male voice - higher-pitched and a bit nasal - and I didn't like it, but at least it wasn't like my old voice. But neither was it a female voice. Now I can see what is required. I intend to speak only female-style from now on. It will sound odd to begin with, but will improve.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Boy George at the Wild Fruit Red Party

Boy George was billed for the Brighton party yesterday evening, and we found him doing a polished DJ turn in one of the dance areas at the Oceana. That's him in the pink hat. He was very accessable, with only a low perspex wall to hide behind. It was adequate; he wasn't beseiged by paparazzi-style attention. But there was a constant retinue of fans wanting a shot or two. As you can see, I got in on the act as well. How silly.

Boy George has had a poor press on the whole since the 1980s. You can't overlook the heroin addiction, nor the odd erratic misdemeanour, but sadly the press does make matters seem worse. I have to say that on the night he was professional, relaxed, good-humoured and entirely inoffensive.

The little Leica struggled a bit in the very low lighting. I should have taken the Nikon.

Party girl

Well, here it is, that red Diane von Furstenburg party dress I mentioned in a previous post. This was for a red-themed party in Brighton. As you can see, I added a broad black belt, long black gloves, black tights, and black shoes with a buckle. It was all very comfortable to wear, although the neckline tended to edge upwards. In the ladies' loo a nice young woman called Karen, who said she was a dresser, tried to adjust it a bit. But it still rode up again. It must reflect the present imperfect state of my anatomy, I suppose! If I'd had big breasts to push it out, the neckline would have come down.

My ceramic Christmas Tree

This is my sole gesture towards Christmas. A ceramic Christmas Tree. Plug it in, switch it on, and the light bulb inside illuminates all those little brightly-coloured plastic 'cones', and the 'star' on top. Aaaah.

Mum and Dad got one years ago. They said these trees were imported from Canada by a South Wales firm. I said yes, I'd love to have one too, and so I was presented with it in time for Christmas 1992 - seems longer ago, but I don't think it was - and every year without fail I get it out and enjoy the glow.

I thought you'd like to see it as well. It is rather pretty, isn't it?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Crimbo bimbo

Another day, another dollar, and another evening meal at a favourite restaurant in Brighton! All right, I'll give them a plug: it's D'Arcy's Restaurant in the Lanes. They major on fish and I'd been tucking into a Dover sole. Yum. No wonder I was smiling. Cheers! Merry Crimbo! (Photos with my Leica, wielded with skill by friend R---)

More on the new shaver: it isn't great for everything

I'm still very happy with the new Remington shaver for my face. It shaves close and is so convenient. But I've begun to see that that it's not a perfect solution for every shaveable part of the body. Under arms were hard work, and the result wasn't as good as a wet shave. Ditto chest. Ditto nether regions. I suspect the same would be true of arms and legs.

I think that foil shavers must work best on the thick bristle-type hair on the face, and don't make much impression on longer, softer, finer, floppier hair elsewhere, which wet shaving can take in its stride.

One odd thing I've noticed is that when shaving my face the shaver leaves a light graphite-coloured deposit on the skin, so that I end up looking as if I've got rampant five o'clock shadow everywhere! This wipes off. But what is it? At first I thought that the coalface bits of the shaving head had been lightly oiled or otherwise lubricated at the factory, and that this would quickly fade. But it hasn't. I now believe that it's a smear of fine 'dust' from the shaved hairs. But not having a microscope handy, I can't take a close look and confirm. As I say, it wipes off, and is no bother, but I don't remenber this happening with any rotary-head or foil shaver in the past. Strange.

Friday, 4 December 2009

What lovely neighbours I have

After my Deed Poll name change, it became urgent to tell everyone who might be in contact with me who I now was, and what was going to happen to me. I had to tell my immediate neighbours especially: but those fortuitous moments when you might see each other (and then easily launch into an unhurried explanation) refused to happen. And yet I didn't want to knock on their front door in full Lucy, as if selling myself on the doorstep. Finally, I encountered the neighbour on one side, an older man who lived alone, when out in the front garden one rare sunny morning two weeks ago. I invited him in, and told him all. He was as sweet as pie, totally accepted what I said about myself, and we parted on the most cordial terms.

Phew. Could it be that easy?

Today it was the turn of my neighbours on the other side. I'd noticed that the lady of the house (henceforth J---) was 'in' the day before, when she accepted a parcel from the postman. I was about to drive off, and happened to see this. I got out of my car, rang her doorbell and asked if she was free for a chat. I was in my usual girl-about-town stuff. J--- said she had a friend with her, but we made a date for coffee in my house next morning. I got the impression that J--- wasn't surprised at my appearance, and welcomed the chance to hear my announcement. Well, next morning it went beautifully. J--- had been an HR manager in the past, and already had a clear idea of what a transsexual person was. I told her all about myself, what Mum and Dad had thought of it all, how I was placed at the moment, and what was going to happen in the future. We talked surgery, we talked attitudes, we talked clothes, we talked makeup, we talked weight problems. We also talked tree surgery and fences - ordinary things as well as the extaordinary. I felt I'd gained an ally.

Phew again! It was that easy. Thank you, J---.

Right, I feel encouraged to tell a whole boatload of people now.

And the day's nice moments did not end there. I had a noon appointment in Haslemere with Dad's solicitors, to effect a transfer of the interest in Dad's house into my name. The lady who saw me was kind and gentle, and at the end wished me well in my new life. I was on air. I felt like a good long walk under a sunny blue sky to savour the sweetness of life. Pity the sun went in, and it got cold! Never mind. I got home and had a nice cup of tea and reflected that although there may be murderous scumbags out there, most people I knew were fantastic.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Latest in Dorothy Perkins

It doesn't always have to be a mega-expensive fashion house. A couple of days ago I was in Chichester with G--- (my ex sister in law) and I got the above little numbers from Dorothy Perkins. Not that DP is 'cheap'. It isn't - well, not compared with, say, Primark or New Look or Peacocks or QS or Happit. But it isn't as pricey as, say, Ken or Ted Baker or Karen Miller. Or some of the little select intimate small-town boutiques I know. Not that I'm knocking them, either! I don't mind who I buy from, so long as I really love the garment.

I think that red dress needs a Santa hat...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

KS10 XXX and SC10 CUR

Now this is a subject which divides the nation somewhat, well the UK anyway: personalised number plates. Some think they're cool. Some think they're naff. And some can't see what the fuss is about, and would prefer to spend their money on other things. All points of view are entirely reasonable: it's a matter of personal taste. I happen to think that a personalised number plate adds a touch of individuality to that metal box with rubber wheels that sits on your drive.

The '10' registrations went on sale today. I've bought two of them. They're not for the battered hulk that I've been driving around in since 2002. They're for the new car I'll probably be obliged to get by the end of 2010. My ten-year-old Honda CR-V has done nearly 130,000 miles and although it continues to give good service, it is showing signs of age. If it breaks down, I shan't give it a further chance. As a vulnerable and feeble girly, I can't risk driving a car that isn't reliable at midnight on a snowy night; nor one that might burst a hose when towing the caravan up some hill. So new car, new fancy registration. Of course, it might happen that the randomly-allocated plate that my new car will come with may be an interesting one; but probably not.

So I've become the proud owner of KS10 XXX and SC10 CUR, which on the plate look just the same as KSIO XXX and SCIO CUR.

The first is 'kissio kiss kiss kiss' (please don't laugh). The second is of course Latin for 'I know why', which may intrigue a few people if they know any Latin at all (although I suspect that it's bad Latin). I hope neither intrigues the police!

I did consider some other registrations, such as PR10 RTY ('PRIORTY' - too expensive, and someone got in before me anyway), SC10 LEX ('SCIO LEX' - Latin for 'I know the law', except that it should be 'SCIO LEGEM' which you can't have with the UK system), and the uplifting and aspirational SC10 PAX ('SCIO PAX' - Latin for 'I know Peace', except that it really ought to be 'SCIO PACEM', which again you can't have).

Of course, apart from finding the cash for a new car, I still have to decide between kisses and knowledge. Now that's not an easy or obvious choice to make!