The morning of Monday, October 20th, was just slightly subdued, as the main part of my holiday was coming to an end… even if there was more to come. As usual, I was the last down to breakfast… and what a sight it was – lots of blokes on seats where on previous mornings there had been girls. And THIS really hit home the MASSIVE difference between them and my friends and I – many of them seemed totally agreeable presenting as both female and male… and yet the thought of me doing that just would fill me with utter horror, and would be something I avoid at all cost, which is why I changed the arrangements of my journey so that I could do 100% of it as Andrea. However, such is the nature of the TG spectrum… but I was thankfully able to sit at the breakfast table in a different seat than normal and was facing away from the majority of the “Bob’s”; I caught quick, unfortunate glimpses of a couple of them and I then had to avoid all glances around, it was just awful and NOT right… at least for me.
So, readers of my previous posts may have gathered at this stage that I am just a teensy bit particular about what I eat, and so far I had been most disappointed with the total lack of agreement to cook any mushrooms to accompany my cooked breakfast… so when the waiter arrived I asked him if mushrooms were possible for breakfast, and once again it was a “no”. I asked him why not, was it that there were simply no mushrooms available, or what? Anyway, cheeky madam that I am, I produced my little bag of mushrooms that I had bought the previous evening and asked the waiter if he would kindly ask chef if he could cook them for me – he looked a little uncomfortable, but went away with them. Before too long my breakfast arrived, WITH my mushrooms which were perfectly cooked and delicious – chef was apparently not happy at all, probably because he had had to face the significant and unusual challenge of cooking fresh produce at the hotel, so I thanked the waiter profusely and when he cleared the plates I asked him to tell chef that the mushrooms were lovely. Once we had finished breakfast I tipped the waiter for looking after us, and he cheerfully bid us goodbye.
Up in our room we packed the last of our belongings, though before I was done I received a text from Ruth saying that she had to depart, so I rushed downstairs to say goodbye… and when I saw her in the lobby I fell in to a hug and burst into tears! I was SO sad to have to say goodbye to Ruth and I blubbed my farewells and said how wonderful it had been to see her – the past two days had been such a marvellous time with Kirsty and her, it just seemed SO sad that it had to end. Ruth joined in with a few tears, and I don’t think to just sympathise with the emotional wreck that was hugging her. Eventually she had to go and, after a chat with Jaye from Transliving who has helped me a lot with advice, I returned to finish packing; Kirsty helped me with my luggage to the car and, after goodbyes to the organisers Stacy and Shane, we headed to the car and set off on the next part of our adventure.
We had a long drive ahead of us, with lots of motorway, though thankfully the traffic was rather lighter than on the arrival. We stopped for lunch at a Starbucks at a service station, for a toasted sandwich and a mocha, and then carried on until we reached our afternoon tourist spot, a huge house with 10,000s of acres of land called Charlecote Park. The weather had deteriorated since our departure from Eastbourne, and so I changed into leggings and ankle boots in the car – it was a little reminder as to how convenient it us being a girl, being able to change from skirt to trousers or vice versa without any indecency at all! We went through the ticket office, Kirsty paying and me with my National Trust card; the staff were very nice there, and showed us the main attractions to see on the map.
We walked along the lengthy driveway, through an elaborate gatehouse, and reached the immense house where a nice lady greeted us, relieved us of our umbrellas to avoid them dripping all over the precious furniture and carpets, and let us proceed. In summary, we went through quite a good number of rooms of the house which were all very interesting… but I can honestly say that it was the most enjoyable National Trust visit I have ever encountered, and I think that it was because I interacted SO much with staff in pretty much every room, I really could NOT shut up! And that is SO not the person I used to be, but it is SO me now – I have really come out of my shell, and I feel have started blossoming. I think my voice was reasonable, and I asked SO many questions – about art work, furniture, history, and so on – and the conversations were just SO enjoyable and fulfilling. With some of the guides I shared humour which genuinely seemed to be reciprocated – it makes me feel SO good to make people laugh as Andrea, it is like the icing on the cake of a communication which seems to show genuine acceptance… and that is supposing that they even realised I was not a biological girl. Kirsty also talked more to those around her than I have ever seen her do before, and that was very pleasing to see. In fact, we showed so much interest that we were the last to leave the house. We had a wander around some of the outbuildings, a quick browse of the NT shop (that sold pretty much the same items as any other NT shop), and then Back along the driveway to return to the car.
Our journey continued Northwest, as did our chat. We stopped at a service station as the darkness quashed the day, and got a hot drink from a Starbucks. We continued into Wales, on roads sadly bereft of toilets which does not suit a girl like me at all! We stopped in one small town and found toilets at a car park, but there were some lads larking about outside, and the girl in me told me that it was not safe enough and so we carried on. After an eventual loo stop, where I almost burst, half an hour later we reached our destination for the night, our B&B at Betws-Y-Coed in Snowdonia, called Dolweunydd. I had texted Paul, the owner, an hour earlier to let him know of our late arrival, and he answered the door and seemed very nice and welcoming – we registered our details, had some chat with him about where to eat, and then he showed us to our rooms, carrying our heavy bags for us; it was nice to hear him calling me Andrea too – I KNOW it’s my name, but I DO like people using is. As it was approaching 9.00 we quickly checked make up and set off, walking through the rain into the town.
We dined at a place called the Stables Bar at the Royal Oak Hotel. For a wet Monday evening it was really quite busy; we sat at a quiet table well away from the sports TV, browsed the menus, and then I ordered food and drinks at the bar and we returned to our table. After a while it became obvious that we were getting quite a bit of attention from a late-50s guy a few tables away – nobody else was paying us any attention whatsoever, even people passing close by to go to the toilet. I gave him a long pointed stare at one point, and he looked away. Our food arrived, which turned out to be rather uninteresting… although perhaps the attention didn’t help. But as we talked about it we started to wonder about the guys attention… and concluded that it was not because we were TS at all, it was because my BF was displaying quite an amount of hosiery-clad leg below a fairly short (though not remotely indecent) denim skirt. and her admirer had not had so much excitement in some time. So it seemed as though it was our first lesson as girls in getting an excessive amount of unwanted lecherous attention, but all the same I didn’t like it a lot.
We returned to the B&B and after a quick chat with Paul relaxed on the sofa in the living room and had a hot drink and biscuits before retiring to very comfortable beds.