As I even start writing, I wonder how long this post will be, for the weekend just gone I haven’t really done anything at all new (albeit with a couple of name-changes)… but it all includes the same, general enjoyment of life that never existed until I started going out as Andrea and living my life.
Once away from home on Saturday I spent almost half the day in a shopping centre, and not a very big one at that! Connswater centre to the east of Belfast city has a reasonable number of shops, though it is hardly the biggest shopping centre in Northern Ireland… so how I spent four hours there is a bit of a mystery! Part of the reason is that at the weekend, not commuting or bustling with work, sometimes I like to take things at a slower pace. My first task at the centre was a name-change one, to get a member of Halifax bank staff to sign a copy of my Deed Poll that was then faxed to another bank… and once that was done, shopping commenced. Firstly a visit to a Clarke’s shoe shop (with a net-negative spending experience, returning two pairs and buying one pair… which once home I decided were not for me), and then quite an amount of clothes browsing, but weariness eventually set in and so I retired to the Relish café-restaurant for a club sandwich and a mocha. After more shopping, where I tried on four different dresses in the same size to get the best fit in Peacocks – it’s just the way I am – and ended up having lots of chat with the checkout girl who struggled with the new experience of processing an e-giftcard, I drove to Lisburn where I knew there was a post office open into the afternoon so that I could post my V5 form… so that, in a short while, my car will be owned by ME and not have ‘his’ name attached to it! On the way back to the car I popped into a boutique where I bought my most expensive dress yet, at £55 – once I tried it on, I just had to have it! In the ladies toilets at Sprucefield (special mention, just for my friend Ruth) I changed into a velvet top and smart trousers and then drove to The Parson’s Nose restaurant where I met my BFF Kirsty. We had a lovely meal, with delicious food (apart from a lacklustre side order of veg) and numerous occasions of being addressed as ‘ladies’, and then headed onto the cinema in Kirsty’s car (as it can be really busy on a Saturday) to see a film called Kingsman, a spoof spy-training-type caper which was on the whole enjoyable… though I did shrink a bit at one scene where there was an awful lot of aggressive violence; I wonder if I would have done that a few years ago, but having found the woman in myself some time ago I do feel that my tastes have changed. Kirsty drove me back to my car and we parted with a little hug.
During my time with Kirsty we talked about dreams – she admitted that if she dreams with herself participating then she usually is in them as ‘Bob’… whereas I am the other way around – I am either an observer or neutral participant where it is not obvious what I look like (generally more action-type dreams), or I am Andrea, my true self; for some time I have not dreamt of myself as the ‘him’ that I was stuck in the world as for too long. So, it was with some coincidence after that discussion, that during my sleep on Saturday night I had a HUGE amount of dreams… and in all of them I was Andrea, and they were either positive, somewhat emotional dreams or alternatively I was a confident woman in them. Of perhaps some disappointment to you readers, I am not able to impart most of the dream content, though two snippets still spring to mind:
- I dreamt I was with my parents and we were preparing for a celebration… for goodness knows what, but a pale sky blue colour was a strong theme to whatever it was. I was getting dressed and ready with my mum, and I had a mass of long, frizzy hair and was wondering what to do with it. My mum produced a long ribbon in the blue colour and I could see myself in the mirror as my hair was tied.
- I dreamt I was in a meeting with my boss and in the middle of a point I was making he interrupted me. So, in a strop (very unlike me), I stood up, and said in front of everyone that if he didn’t have the manners to let me speak then I would go and do some work back at my desk. So he went all meek and apologetic, and so I sat down and launched back into my conversation, with him not daring to interrupt again.
Sunday I had a lie-in, and then took my time getting ready, blogging and emailing as I went. I pottered around the house for a while, converted my clothes basket into a dual-colour one (so there is a section for whites and one for dark colours now – as I am full-time, my dirty/worn clothes take up so much less room), and then headed out, shopping (again) though only for an hour, where I bought a pair of shoes (oh no, another pair), and perused a Next-outlet store where they have a good new range of summery clothes that some time soon i am sure I will buy a few things from. I also day-dreamed yet again, as I paused in-front of the wedding dress shop where I saw a lovely, white lacy dress that made me a bit tearful… and I suppose the fact that I took a picture of the bloody thing, and even feel an emotion stirring as I have just cropped the picture and zoomed into the detail, means I got it bad! Or maybe I’m just a soppy romantic! I drove to Lisburn, where I picked up Michelle, and headed onto my second friendly dinner of the weekend, this time to one of our old favourites, Il Pirata; the food overall was reasonable, but a bit salty I found… and more than ever I frown at the appalling toilet facilities there, a very cramped Ladies… with a metal, utilitarian sink and no shelf for make-up for heaven’s sake! I had a good time out though, and it seemed as though I would have an early night as I had no desire whatsoever to go to support group HQ… but that all changed when Kirsty called to say that she had returned there from her book group and had home-made chocolate brownies with her! Yum!!!