Following a very busy, people-filled Saturday, Sunday I had all to myself… but I still had a pretty good time – the morning I pottered around, doing some wardrobe sorting out, including gathering more male clothes to bin, while in the afternoon I went out. Firstly I went to my nearby outlet shopping centre and bought some chocolates, as well as browsed for clothes. Then, having had such an enjoyable time at the Ulster Museum a week ago with my best friend Kirsty I decided to go again – unlike me, Kirsty has lived in Northern Ireland all of her life and thus knows the history of the country pretty well and seemed to voice a view that she didn’t have a desire to see that section of the museum, especially the one concerning the ‘troubles’ in the latter half of the 20th Century. So I decided to go to the museum’s history section myself, although upon arrival I firstly went to the coffee shop – the girl behind the counter said “Can I get you a hot drink Madam?” and so I ordered a mocha, as well as a nice piece of carrot cake. Once in the museum history section I walked through, heading back in time to start my visit at a point where the troubles seemed to have historically started… and that took quite some time, because it turns out that the friction can be traced as far back as the 11th Century if one investigates sufficiently… as I was told by a nice museum guide who stopped beside me to ask if I needed any help, so I had an interesting lesson with him. I am sure I have taken very little in, and will have to go again, to read more about how Ireland’s history was affected by the reign of James II and Charles I, how the harp symbol was introduced on Irish coinage by Henry VIII, the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the Easter Uprising in 1916 which is about as far as I got on this visit. Many of the displays were quite interesting, and the picture to the right and the caption that i read caught my attention – this is actually a picture of a boy, apparently in the 1600s children of both genders wore dresses until they reached the age of six – how revolutionary! Towards the end of my visit, I took a break from Irish history (as there was far too much to do in an afternoon) and went into a room with general history exhibits aimed I think a bit more at younger visitors… but I enjoyed what I saw, including a cabinet of toys and baby accessories… including the Sooty plate in the middle of the picture there, which I have in my own house, which I used as a baby and then Tara did… and has done until very recently. Then alas, at 5.00, it was time to go, but I didn’t want to return home that early and so went clothes shopping on the Boucher road, and went into a large ‘Outfit’ store where, after a good browse, trying on a few things in the changing room, I bought a pretty dress from the ‘Apricot’ label – the girl on the till was nice enough. I popped next door to Sports Direct and looked at running shoes, a youngish male shop assistant gave me some advice on what I should be looking for. Then it was time to go home… but it was a good end to my 100% Andrea weekend.
I forgot to mention that at the end of last week I rang my solicitor to tell her two things:
- That, owing to a change in circumstances for both my ex- and I, I am now agreeable to paying half of the fee required to progress our marital separation to decree absolute and full divorce, rather than just be legally-separated. Several years ago I had previously refused my ex-‘s request in this respect because of the way I was treated by her during our separation and the way I was ejected from the family unit.
- Secondly, I told her about my gender dysphoria and discussed what areas she may need to assist with… including, possibly, further child access arrangement if my ex- decides to formally restrict my access to my daughter. Anyway, for now she will just help with updating my will. She was really nice during the call (as always), and totally fine with the news about my gender… and so a week on Monday I will see her as Andrea and sign my new will.
On Tuesday I went around to my ex-‘s house to see how things were; generally she talks a lot without imparting an awful lot that is informative, so all I seemed to gather was that daughter is still not sleeping that great; alas my daughter made no appearance while I was there.
Of more note on Tuesday was that I came out to two managers in my department, one that I used to work for for many years and the other who is the head of the whole department. Both were great, but especially the latter who used to be a bit of a joker, he was REALLY understanding and empathised well with what I was going through in my life despite having had no experience. I think he will be very supportive.
However, my lovely mum and dad continue to surprise me. In a previous blog post I mentioned that they have been quite complimentary about my appearance as a woman having asked, and received, a few photos… and in their latest email they tell me that they have printed one of the pictures, framed it, and have it displayed on the dining room sideboard! Aren’t they the best!!!