Admirers… are they worth the hassle???

Well, previously I got quite excited about the thought of having admirers… but when they appear to come on like an express train then it became rather less fun after a while… especially when I have so many things to worry about already being only part-time out as Andrea – especially changing job, fitting in at a new company… and then coming out.

IVAN

Well, when I met him on the walk he offered to meet up for lunch some time after one chat… and then within a week he had offered to take me to a classical music concert, have a meal out before a walk, meeting up to chill, and have quality time. All this after 30 minutes of chat and an email!!! And him married? So I put the breaks on, I had to say that this was all rather flattering but very unexpected, and I wondered what his wife would think. So over a couple of emails I think I have sorted him out, and he is very much looking only for friends, having become a bit lonely as his wife has health issues which means she gets weary rather a lot, especially as the day goes on. So, from some nice emails, I think he is sorted… although he then offered to come mow my lawns some time!!! Agghhhh.

ALAN

Oh deary me. Just over a week ago I sent an email to him saying I was slightly anxious about the flirtatious nature of comments he posted to me on my walking group profile, and he replied saying that it was just a bit of fun, and what was wrong with flirting… and then he kinda ruined it by saying he will be singing “You are always on my mind” while doing his next walk, which I wasn’t going to!!! Agghhh. So I sent another email, and I mentioned something about having worries and my life being a bit turbulent… and then he replied saying that his heart is turbulent every time he gets an email from me! Maybe I made a mistake sending him another reply (though, as always, it was only friendly)… and then the latest one I sent him he has said that last night he “dreamed about me” (I daren’t ask the nature of the dream), that when I reach my “grief-free horizon he will be there to meet me”, that he is “interested in me”, and in response to me mentioning dizzy spells he says that he has a cure and he said “Am I worried; Jesus I’ve just found you!!”…. and he too has invited me to a classical concert where he wants to dance with me! Oh good grief. So I have had to send him another reply saying that I have significant worries already in my life, that I can’t cope with any more worries, and that some of his comments make me feel like a frightened rabbit in the path of an oncoming car! I wonder if that’ll do the trick? I have tried to soften the blow, saying I look forward to talking about some other things, etc. We will see…

Do all girls have these problems????

Another first! Someone at work now knows about the real me.

Until Thursday nobody at work knew about the real me… even if my boss knows that I am going to counselling about ‘something’. But that has now changed!

There is a girl at work called Joan, she actually works for a recruitment company rather than my employer, but is responsible for all our recruitment needs, and is on-site much of the time. I have dealt with her a lot in recent years as I have been part of many recruitment drives. I chose her to come out to because I am thinking of changing my job anyway, partly because the future does not look rosy for my department, but also because my boss is a misogynist (so heaven knows what he’d make of me) and his rival gets rid of anyone in the department he doesn’t like, and although I have done lots of good work I know he does not respect the position I have attained. But as part of my career change, I want to pick an employer who is a bit more likely to be diversity-sensitive, and wanted a bit of insight as to coming out to an employer.

On Tuesday I had had a chat about opportunities elsewhere, and she does know I am not happy in my job. I had not got one post I had applied for, and she said “At least it was good practise, but it is not like you have a timeline to rush into something else…” and I said “well, I actually kinda do… and it is due to a sensitive issue, but that is something I would have to discuss in private” but she did take me up on it at the time. But on Thursday afternoon I had an email from Joan asking if I wanted that chat… and so we arranged for 5.00 in a meeting room. I choked up at the start and she got some water for me, then after I gave her an amount of apologetic build up about how heavy the conversation would be I told her I have gender dysphoria. She didn’t know what it was, so I explained it from my point-of-view (i.e. MTF), how it develops, then said I am a transsexual woman, and I deliberately explained to her the difference between this and a CD because it is important to me for someone to realise that this is an all-consuming gender issue for me. We talked about work options, gave me some advice, she asked one or two questions about how I feel….. and she was just lovely. I told her about things I have done, including walking group, and she said I am so brave! She was able to advise generally about equality guidelines, we talked a bit about the type of company that might be more receptive to a TS employee, etc. I talked about HR with her, she said they might have useful advice too.

She gave me a hug at the end, and said she is always there if I want to talk. I feel like a weight has been lifted!

Wednesday… is appointment day

Most Wednesdays I go to my local support group… but every four weeks just recently Wednesday gets a bit manic and this one was crazy, such that I hardly ate… and have suffered as a result with dizzy spells.

Owing to my appointments I was not in the office… though had numerous emails and calls to deal with as I transformed back into Andrea. At around midday I left home and, on the way to my first appointment, stopped at a couple of shops. In Argos I went to get Andrea’s new watch and matching bracelet adjusted, with a link taken out of each. Then went to Sainsbury’s supermarket to return a hat – I really don’t think I’m a hat girl… and it would attract too much attention.

So, my first appointment was with my Gender Essence counsellor, who I have been seeing for quite a few weeks… and this was the last appointment. I talked about all the lovely walks I have been doing, and my admirers… and she was amazed at my progress. When she asked how I felt about the admirers, that’s when the tears started – it is like it is the pinnacle of recognition for who I really want to be, and it makes me feel so special, something I don’t think I have ever felt in my life. Feel a bit scared too, my sexuality is pretty much in “No Person’s Land” at present. Near the end of the session the tears flowed again… as she handed over a letter to me that I will take to my GP, stating that I have been having sessions with her relating to gender dysphoria and she “recommends that I am referred to Dr Richard Ingram in Belfast gender clinic”. Wow!

After that appointment I popped into Tesco to go to the loo… and that was an experience in itself. Just in front of me as I went in was a younger mum with two daughters about 6 years old. She was a bit fraught with her daughters, and apologetic to me but I was patient. When I was done, I washed and dried my hands, and then I ended up having a chat with her in the loo! She looked so weary, so I said “don’t worry, it gets better when they get a bit older…” and then we started comparing my 12 year old to a 15 year old that she also has.

2nd appointment was my first at a hairdressers, the purpose was to get my duplicate wig styled, which I have not touched… and I had such fun there. Paul (Meekin), a hairdresser in Belfast, took me into his VIP room and we spent 90 minutes there, having loads of lovely chat as he gently-but-expertly snipped away. I was pretty happy with the result (though have to give it a proper outing), and he tidied up the wig I have been wearing since the start of the year too – the fringe is MUCH better now, and he has removed any lumpiness from both of them. Fab! So, from now on, I hope to have Paul do my hair – he’s wonderful at it, gave me great advice, I felt totally at ease… and he was very complimentary.

Went onto Tesco to get some groceries, where the checkout girl was really nice and we had friendly chat about the weather, then I stopped at a cafe and had a scone and cup of tea in the middle of the shopping centre floor.

My third appointment was for laser hair removal, which is done by Lynda, a LOVELY lady – if you need hair removal and live in Ireland, you MUST go to her!!! We always have really good chat. So I got my face lasered, and got her to put the setting up a notch, though it was rather painful. Then had the top of my chest done (which is visible above a camisole top), and then some of my back, all areas I got the setting put up. She showed me a video of her baby niece, and I showed her one email from both my admirers.

Then onto my last ‘appointment’ of the day, to my local support group. Firstly there was a committee meeting, where I raised the topic of derogatory posters of women being put up on the premises… much to the annoyance of the TV culprit who does not seem to empathise with someone who wants respect shown for women. Thankfully most left soon after that… to leave the three girlies to some lovely, relaxing chat.

All in all, a very busy day!

My admirers…. can you believe it???

I have only been properly out and about as Andrea for just over five months… and I seem to have acquired not one but TWO admires in my walking group! Can you believe it? Well, I certainly can’t. And although I am not looking for a relationship, I am enjoying the attention!

So, as per earlier posts, I encountered the first gentleman at my dinner out, and then the second one at the weekend walk just gone. So there has been a few emails and site replies flying around since!!

On Monday I had an email from each of them! The new one, Ivan, said this (abbreviated):

“…Any time u want to chill let me know and if free would love to meet up for some light hearted banter!”

And the original one, Alan, then said the following about Minnowburn, the next walk for the group that I cannot do:

“U must walk Minnowburn ‘cos I’m back with the updated BA version of the tango! For you and I to dance around the dolmen @ the Giant’s Ring!” and then added, to the other guy “But then why is my blood turning to green.”

Uhh….. gulp!

So, today I sent an email to Alan giving him a mild telling off for his online flirting in an attempt to flush out his sincerity, and also an email to Ivan about information for concerts.

Ivan emailed me back first. As regards my voice, he said this – “I was bowled over by it……..it was just so soothing somehow!” Wow, huh! Considering I have not had any voice training, I can’t be doing that bad. Can I? About the concerts he wrote this (well, a bit more) – “Andrea, *it would be lovely if we could do them together. Feel free to say no, but, I really do enjoy your company, well that is based on a 30 minute travel log, but you are an interesting person, I am sure of that!”. Probably wish he’d said ‘girl’ rather than ‘person’ but can’t have everything. And he signed off with best wishes and a kiss! Uh, more gulps!

Then Alan has emailed me this evening! He sounds rather sincere to me. I won’t paste the whole thing, obviously, but for example he wrote the following about me at the dinner – “I talked with a sophisticated and beautiful girl and I felt privileged to be so doing”! And in response to the walk I cannot go to he said “Yes, quite a number of people are walking Minnowburn; but a particular person is not. Well, as Joan Baez once sang, ‘Some days are diamonds, some days are rust!’ Rusty Minnowburn here we come?”

Am I getting good at this or what?!?!? Well, lots more to learn and achieve, but can’t be doing too bad, surely!

June 21st – My Magical Walking Day At Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is a small isle off the coast of Northern Island, very unspoiled, with protected areas for bird life. I have never been before… and am subsequently likely to go many times in the future. This place was the venue for my latest walking group outing… and I had such an amazing time, full of lovely chat with many nice people.

I was in a bit of a panic getting there by 11.00, as I am not a morning person and it is quite a distance from where I live… and I had a wardrobe malfunction, made worse by doing things in the wrong order. Got my face on, pinned my hair up (to prevent dishevelled hair on a blowy day), then put my white T-shirt on… only to find that there were stains on it, and I have never even worn it!!! So T-shirt off… and then wrecked hair! Aggghhhh!!! Eventually got out of the door at 9.15, two whole hours getting ready (not good).

Took less time to get to  Ballycastle (where the ferry departs) than I thought, was bursting for the loo and so popped into a local supermarket (with attached petrol station). Bought a banana there (for lunch), am not sure if an old guy in front of me was suspicious of me, as he gave me a couple of once-overs… or whether I just looked a bit odd to him in my walking boots. Anyway, otherwise fine, voice okay, everyone else fine including the guy who apologised when I nearly bumped into him coming out of the shop.

So, parked at the ferry terminal, queued for tickets where I met a couple of the walkers, then waDSCN0141ed1lked down to the ferry with the group leader (another Andrea) and another walker Kathleen who I ended up sitting on an outside seat next to. Had great chat with her – she is really friendly – also talked to another walker John who is keen on photos (who I let tell me all about filters and zoom lenses and played dumb, even though I know much about this), and to yet another Andrea; never met any of them before. Getting ready to start the walk, Kathleen met two other walkers, Ann and Susan, and the four of us spent much of the four hour walk talking to each other about all sorts of things, and I had just the most wonderful time with them, even saying things to them that made them laugh – it sounds such a simple thing, but to do that as Andrea and get such a natural and pleasing response is such an amazing feeling. Had a bit of chat with a few other people now and again as I walked around, including John (a different one, who I met at the dinner) who was very nice, and a girl who I gave up with as she was rather grumpy and whatever I said did not induce much of a positive response; she asked me if other walks were more moderate, and in her squeaky trainers I think she was struggling. We all had a picnic and Ann, with her Tardis-like coolder bag, shared an amount of food with Kathleen and I. The picture of me is one that Ann took of me, she just asked me if I wanted her to take a picture of me, so why not! Not the best I suppose, it’ll do.

Once the walk was over we met at a place near the harbour for the loveliest, light scones and tea with cream and jam. Yum! And I ended up chatting to another newbie – Ivan. He has travelled much of the world, and gave us an instant common area of interest. Once outside we all lounged around in the sun, and I had good chat with a married couple, Kathy and Michael, who I met at the meal, and several others, including a guy Mark who I did not recognise with his sunglasses on. (By the way, photo below right is taken on the walk). Queueing up at the ferry I ended up DSCN0137ed1talking to Ivan again, as he has a camera very similar to my Bob one (which I did not take). On the ferry itself I talked to him for the whole 25 minute journey, much of it about travel, also about jobs… and as his wife hates travelling and he often goes on his own, he half jokingly (or was it??) said to me that if I was ever stuck for a travelling companion then to ask him!! And then as we got towards port he said that it would be nice if we could meet up for lunch in Belfast (where he works) if I was ever there!! That is after chatting with me for only 30 minutes in his life!!! Surely, I cannot be making too much of a mess out of being Andrea if that has happened. can I? I also told him about my wardrobe malfunction, and he said that being a guy he can just throw anything on but it is different for me! Oh, you better believe it! And he made a comment indicating I was still well turned out. I wonder if I am doing so well with this group purely because I am in an arena where I can really be my true self… and the real me is really shining? Or maybe they are all just nice people, can see through me, and are able to accept me. But I really think that at least some of them don’t know! Perhaps I am kidding myself. So, goodbyes were said to various people, and after changing into ballet pumps and sorting my hair out I left.

As it was such a beautifully sunny day, I took a leisurely journey home along the north eDSCN0156ed1astern coast, and saw some stunning scenery; see right for an example, this is overlooking Cushendell. At my first picture stop a guy walked past me and said hi, at another stop another guy in a peaked cap with a cup of tea also said hello in a very friendly voice and asked how I was. After a while I had to stop at a petrol station for another banana as I was starving… and, just as I parked, a van pulled up and three young guys (late teenage/very early 20s) got out. I was momentarily disheartened, I thought, “oh no, here comes trouble”… but went in anyway… and NO trouble at all, the lad behind the checkout was really nice too, even if I should have queried the outrageous price of my 44p banana!

And then I drove home… half the time feeling a lovely glow inside at such a wonderful day, full of people that either had no idea about my gender-nature or alternatively fully accepted it. And by the time I got home I had already received a greeting from Ivan, saying the following:

Andrea, It was lovely to meet you today. What a wonderful, awesome place Rathlin is, I am definately planning a weekend there sometime. I hope you enjoyed the run home along the coast, I am sure it was so beautiful. You are a really interesting person to chat with, at least I thought so! It would be nice to have lunch maybe some time if you were free or even a walk should we get some good weather at weekends or some evening. I wish you well with the interview, fingers crossed. Again thanks for being part of my day. Ivan

“Thanks for being a part of his day”! And the possibility of a walk with him! Crumbs! I am half-tempted to do the walking idea, as I want to do stuff other than just shopping, and it is much nice to do things with other people. But I wonder how safe I would be (though he seems a gentle sort)…. and where this could go…

WOW! What a journey this is!

The clumsy twins go for coffee!

Had a fairly typical Wednesday evening – left work alas not early, took 80 minutes to completely transform back into Andrea, and left home just before 8.00pm. No time to shop before meeting Kirsty – good job I didn’t as traffic was a nightmare with Lisburn marathon. Met up at Costa Coffee for a drink and chat – I had a yummy strawberry milkshake (with a fancy name, and price to match) while Kirsty had half a coffee… the other half of it ending up all over the table and her handbag. I exaggerate… and there was me nearly knocking a stack of saucers all over the floor as we queued up! Anyway, the clumsy twins had a great chat for over half an hour, and all felt good.

I headed onto Tesco for some food supplies… and ended up with a checkout girl who couldn’t hear anything I said… and I started to wonder if it was deliberate as my voice started to deteriorate, even if her eventual replies following repeats were okay. Anyway, put the shopping in the car, went back in to go to the loo at the far end of the store, then onto my support group… and was pleasantly relieved to find only Kirsty and Michelle were left (the male-dressed persons had departed) so had a nice chat with them and eventually got home at 11.50pm.

No negativity at all with my little evening out… confidence probably helped as I was REALLY pleased with my appearance – wore a perfectly summery dress I had bought in Sainsburys on Sunday that I just LOVE, accessorised with red cardy, and nude shoes. Wish I had a picture of the dress!

Sunday 15th (shopping) & Monday 16th (FAB walk… and surely proof it’s not a fluke!)

Saturday 14th I stayed home, was rather tired after my night out… but it was great to wake up with my make up on and, look into the mirror all day and see the real me! Sunday 15th I went out just after 1.00pm… and was out over 8 hours. My voice was a bit variable, partly because I was still tired I think… but NO negative reactions or stares at all. Went to my local outlet. Firstly returned a cardy to Marks anDSCN0105ed1d got another in a different colour, got my chocolate supply from Thorntons (had good light-hearted chat with the lady there), went into Claire’s for a couple of things (where none of the teenage girls noticed anything different about me), onto Peacocks where I bought a couple of pairs of shoes, and then Trespass to buy more walking gear; the check out girl there was nice. Drove onto another centre and went into Argos where I bought a new watch, and had lots of good chat with the checkout girl… and then Trudi came over, who has served me a couple of times before, and said Hi, with a nice wee bit of chat. The girl who actually served me had more facial hair than me! But so what, she was nice to me, I was nice to her, all was fine. Alas I will have to go back to the shop to get the watch adjusted to have some links taken out… which is a good thing, more practise!!! Also went into B&Q for a bulb, and had to ask an assistant as I had no idea what fitting to get. Then drove onto Belfast Castle (see photo), had a wander around the pretty gardens and took some pictures, then onto a TS friend for a chat and dinner.

Monday 16th – walking day! Had a dreary, Bob half-day at work… and then home for a late lunch, a wee nap… and then transformation again. Took rather longer than it should have done, partly because I put my hair into a wee pony tail to try and reduce wind-disruption; see attached photo for new, more pulled-back hair look. I drove to Belfast, and then up to Cavehill Country Park for my walk. Got there slightly early, so time for final hair adjustments. Then parked, and walked up to the group. The leader, another Andrea, welcomed me, and we had a bit of chat then she introduced a new girl Fi… who I ended up chatting to for AGES when we set off, she was really nice, we haDSCN0119ed1d lovely chat, there was one point when I nearly lost my footing and she gave me a supporting hand. As we progressed, I then ended up chatting to an elderly lady Margaret who I had met before (who is very pleasant) and then Lisa who I met on my first walk – I had this worry that people I have talked to before would see through me and not want to talk again… but NO, they were both lovely, had great chat with them, and cracked jokes with the – it is wonderful to hear people laugh at things that Andrea says. We got t the highest point of the country park for great views of Belfast and the coast, then started a return leg to the cars… and I started talking to two girls, Kerry and Paula, who I have only met once before BUT as my male former-self in a different group… but they didn’t seem to notice anything (possibly helped by me having my shades on), they were lovely, had good chat with them; I mentioned to Kerry the type of work and employer for my job who I previously mentioned to Paula (as ‘Bob’), as they are friends I wonder if they will chat and the penny will drop…? Anyway, I also chatted to my admirer, had good chat with him, then all-too-soon the walk was over. Had chat back at the car park then had to go. I had to stop at a petrol station soon after setting off, and got my first ‘dozy bitch’ stare… as I drove in the wrong way (exit), made a meal steering my car to the pump, and the guy with the stare was not at all impressed. But all okay, paid, guy was fine at check out, a guy apologised at the doorway as I almost bumped into him. And then home… SO pleased with the evening, I think I am finally convinced that I am successful in my walking group now that I have had people talk to me again…. ….and, within 12 hours, I have had six people say they enjoyed meeting me…. AND my “admirer” sent me a message starting “Ah, Andrea, lines of poetry come to mind”; I am wondering if he is flirting with me…?

My walking group annual dinner

Last night, Friday 13th (unlucky for some… but not me it would seem) was my walking group annual dinner. I was a wee bit nervous! But need not have been. I am not a night-owl at all so it would not be normal for me to ever be up at 1.30am in the morning… fully clothed. But yesterday was not a normal day…. but another, special day. I only arrived back from my dinner out at 1.20am, and what can I say! OHHHH MMYYYY GOOOODNESSSS MEEEE!!!!! AAMMAAAAAZZIIIINNNNGGGG!!!!!

Tears of joy dangerously brim as I write about it! Four hours chatting with many people – women and men – who all treated me like a normal girl….. and I think I may have an admirer….. or he may just be a charmer of the nicest kind.

Anyway, I set off at 7.30, stopped at a local supermarket for cash from the machine, then drove to the centre of Belfast. I located the restaurant, Tedfords, but was a bit wary of parking far away as I’d likely be leaving in the dark (definitely as it turned out) but when I drove around the one-way system again I found a spot maybe 75-100 metres away. Phew.

Entering the restaurant a waitress with a really cheery demeanour met me, I said I was there for the group meal, and she diverted me downstairs to a bar where several of the group were already waiting… but I didn’t know any of them! Anyway, John, who has been a member for a while, struck up light conversation, and introduced me to a couple of other guys (Mark and Michael), and I talked to them and also two girls who he did not introduce (Christine and Cathy, both teachers). I bought a sparkling water from the bar, and after 20 minutes of chat we headed to the top floor which was reserved for us, with two long tables. I sat on the far one with 11 other people, four guys, the rest girls. Next to me sat a retired guy I had not met before, a new girl from London, Karen, was directly opposite, Mark next to me, Michael and his wife Cathy the remaining two directly around me…. and the whole night just had loads of enjoyable chat about all sorts of things. I could just write on and on about it!! As some people were leaving we talked about a walk we are doing next Saturday, to Rathlin Island which looks lovely, so we discussed things about that including the ferry, and they said they’d see me there.

So, my “admirer”, Alan! He is in his late seventies, has hearing aids and it may be that he is half blind… and I only say that last bit because he called me a “beautiful girl”! Wow, huh! Another time we were talking about Portugal, and I started to interrupt him, and he cupped my face very gently in his hands and gently said “listen to me, lovely girl”. He asked me if I wanted some wine but I said I was driving, so he called me a Good Catholic Girl (well, he was wrong about the religion, but that doesn’t matter). Another thing that I think is quite a compliment for me is that he said I talk a lot with my hands and wonders how I would cope if I had an accident and one of them got chopped off! There were other bits of conversation where I was also labelled as a girl… just like I want to be all the time. When he left for the evening, maybe half an hour before the last of us (including me), he was standing behind my chair saying goodbye to people, and his hands were gently caressing my shoulders as he talked, and finally to me he said “I hope that I may see you again”.

The girl Pauline, who I got on well with before at a walk, came over from her table just before she left to say hello – just to me and nobody else at my table – and we had some giggly chat. Even a guy who I was not sure about (owing to aggressive/opinionated posts on the walking site) shook hands (gently) and had a wee chat, and a girl Deirdre with him also introduced herself… and when the guy said some silly remark about not apologising to someone for not turning up to a walk he’d arranged with her Deirdre told him off and I agreed with her.

So at 12.30am, I was in the last group of four to leave the place! The other three were heading to another venue for more drinks, but I was driving and it was late, but I was glad they were walking in the same direction as me because we walked past a nightclub with some very unsavoury people outside, including a guy who looked quite stoned who made some comment to one of the guys with me. At my car we said goodbye, lightly shook hands, and headed off home…. feeling rather ecstatic!

11th june – coffee with the lovely (and tall) kirsty

Had to wait a whole week before proper transformation back to the real me was possible, intervening period was painful and I was so down. But it was worth the wait, had a lovely evening out. Failed to break my transformation record though owing to clothing and shoe indecision.

First stop had to fill up the car at my local supermarket, the guy at the till was really nice and friendly, my voice was reasonable and had good bits of chat with him. He wished me a good evening. Next stop m&s loos, all good there, and so happy with my reflection.

Met up with my lovely friend Kirsty… who towered over me in her moderate heels, while I was in ballet pumps; I am six inches shorter than her unassisted by shoes. Apart from a woman with a blonde mop giving us a curious stare upon entry, the rest of the 45 minutes was a joy, two girls having a nice chat, not a bother. Left in such a good mood.

I popped to a nearby supermarket for supplies, paid at a till with a woman I’ve used before, she was just as nice as the previous time, we had good chat. Then went to my local support group and had lovely chat with Kirsty and Michelle – stayed too long (but difficult to tear oneself away from such a fun evening out), did an experiment with my girly hair that I was happy with, and eventually left.

Next day my spirits were up after the evening…. but then I caught a reflection of my male face in a mirror…. and was repulsed – it’s just plain wrong, it’s not the me I now know.

 

June 4th – My second walking group meetup

Wednesday June 4th I went on my second walk with Andrea’s new walking group… and it was just FAB!!!

First of all – new world record for transforming, from start to leaving the house was 75 minutes. Still room for improvement…

Anyway, my walk was around a reservoir called Stoneyford, near Lisburn. I got there in good time, and at the head of the road where we were to park I got a nice welcome from the leader. Once out of the car had a bit of chat with a guy in the car next to mine, then followed him and his friend to where some of the others were, where I had a nice little chat with two ladies while waiting for everyone to congregate. Once the walk started I ended up latching onto a lovely girl called Pauline who was taking one of her driver’s dogs a walk round the dam… and I ended up chatting to her for the WHOLE 50 minutes about all kinds of things; halfway round, the group of walkers that I was in took a slight wrong turning and ended up having to cross a stream – two guys helped all the girls to cross… EVEN me!!! The guy took my hand and helped me to the other side! So, we got back to the start where the cars were, and chatted with a couple of other girls for a while until everyone came back. Then someone complained that the walk was too short, so I said “So why don’t we go around again?”… AND three girls decided to come! Couldn’t believe it! So, off we went, had a lovely chat with them all, also met some fishermen along the way who didn’t seem to see anything strange in me, and further along a nice woman with a puppy who was really chatty to us all. One of the women was over 70… and even she seemed to accept me. Everyone treated me like any other woman – I have no idea whether anyone or everyone thought of me as anything other than a normal woman. Admittedly my hair was a real mess, as it was rather windy and I ended up putting on a baseball cap in absence of a woolly hat.

After the walk I went to a supermarket for a few things after changing footwear to ballet pumps and no socks – all okay there, no bother at all, including nice little chat with checkout girl. Then onto the support group with some friendly chat, and nice to see Kirsty again.

So, a pretty good evening!!! The true test will be another walk where I hopefully talk to some of the girls I have already met; one of them gave me a “like” for my comment about our walk. Am looking forward to going again. (On the group site I had three people say that it was good to see me… including the retired lady).