Week 12 of my new life was a fairly normal working week, albeit with a couple of social high points with valued friends.
Monday 20th April – work-wise, Monday was the best day of the week, due in part to my being on a high after my parents visit at the weekend (previous post) and great chat with an assortment of lovely ladies at work about it. Fiona was the first person I told the news too… after she first said to me “Wow, you look fab”; I love her compliments, as she always dresses well herself – I was wearing a skirt suit which is black with small creamy white polka dots over a sheer top. I told her all about the weekend, the things my dad said, and my brother still having issues with me – she said when my parents report back and “tell him how great you look then maybe he’ll come around”. Aww! Later I had a nice chat with Natalie and Liesa who were both excited and pleased for me that my weekend went so well; Natalie said I have a wonderful Dad… and of course she is right. After lunch I bumped into Breda who said “How much you spending on your wardrobe”? (Don’t ask). Then she said “You’re looking great” (will have to wear that suit again) and when I told her about my weekend and my brother she said that it is probably easier for my parents now that have seen how I am so obviously happy and glowing.
Tuesday 21st April – the only problem with my weekend was that with all that chat, and a speech therapy session on the Friday, by Tuesday my throat was really feeling strained. But my mood was buoyed by Liesa who, as well as having a nice chat with her, said my Wallis top (creamy white with butterflies and plants in pinks and reds with greenery) was “stunning”. I walked over to my main office to get a sandwich and on the way back passed a guy in his garden wearing no shirt, bearing his chest – he had a reasonable figure, but the sight of that flesh just made me ill; I’m still trying to work out why. I had a chat with the homeless couple I normally see on the walk bridge across the Liffey, the girl is 30 today and not looking forward to it.
Wednesday 22nd April – more voice struggles today, with it sounding somewhat croaky to me as the day wore on. Liesa liked my Shamballa necklace and when I told Nuala and her that I got it for about £2 on eBay they couldn’t believe it, Nuala said “She always gets bargains, I don’t get any!” In the evening, after getting to Newry at a decent time, the weather was gorgeous – sunny and warm – and so my BFF and I met at Hillsborough Lake and had a very pleasant walk around it. About a quarter of the way round we were passed by two mid-teenage girls on their bikes and the older one said to one of us “Hello Lucy” in a cheery tone. Lucy? On the assumption that Kirsty and I don’t have an invisible friend, it was nice for one of us to be mistaken for one of their female acquaintances. After the walk we met up with Michelle for supper at the M&S café nearby; it was nice enough… but at a table nearby was a woman trying to break the Guinness Book Of Records for loud conversation dominance with her friend, and it really started to detract from my enjoyment of our own get-together after a while.
Thursday 23rd April – apart from some nice pronoun usage of me by guys at work I don’t recall anything of interest on Thursday; alas the train was delayed by a slow/broken down train in the evening so I didn’t get home until 9.00pm.
Friday 24th April – on the train journey to work I was sitting at a pair of seats diagonally opposite a total hunk, very handsome indeed… though his stubble would probably scrape half my foundation off if he kissed me and it’s probably not great if one’s boyfriend is prettier than oneself. Had quite a chat at work with Nuala about the unpleasant banter that we have to listen to from the dinosaur senior males from a system vendor company who are on-site during its implementation; they frequently make misogynistic or racist comments, and use an amount of vulgar language too – one is a Muslim, so that’s probably partly a sad reflection on how he treats his wife in their culture, but it’s totally unprofessional and Nuala and I will be lodging a general complaint at some point. I said to Nuala I am worried about hitting ten stone in weight, and she said to stop worrying about something that there is no need to worry about, especially when I have so much going on in life just now; she’s right I guess, I appreciated the chat though. I also appreciated the lunch invite from Kenny, who I have lunched with a couple of times before, so we hope to meet next Friday as the one just gone was out… as I had a dinner date with my friend Lynda who, for those who have not read my older posts, is the lady who did some facial hair removal treatments, and now we are meeting as friends. Before I met her, I got off the train feeling a totally nervous wreck, because on my carriage was a girl called Debbie who I have chatted to and occasionally sat with for years and years, but I had not met her as Andrea and she did not know the news; on a couple of past occasions I had tried to pluck up the courage to talk to her, but one time she didn’t exit the station with me but went to the toilet (and I could hardly follow her in there!) and the other I was too far behind to catch up. But today I was right behind her as we went out the station building, I was a total bag of nerves and voice all over the place, but I did summon up the courage to converse and this is roughly how it went at the start:
A: I don’t suppose you recognise me
D: I’m afraid not
A: Well if I tell you a couple of things then maybe you’ll know who I am, but I feel very nervous telling you. Anyway, I don’t know whether you remember someone who used to always wear a red coat… and has a daughter called <name>? Well, that’s me.
D: Oh, I do recognise you now (she said, looking closely), wow, you’ve had a bit of a makeover! I saw you pass me on the train going to the toilet but I didn’t recognise you…
We talked a bit more, she asked when I had started living as me and when I told her since end-January she said she had not noticed me the whole time… though maybe that is partly as we are on different trains quite a bit, but also she was not looking at someone she recognised. She asked about my daughter, and I told her things weren’t great, but she said it is a difficult age. Anyway, so I have made contact, and she was very pleasant (as always)… and hopefully the next time we bump into each other my voice will be better and conversation more natural.
So I headed onto dinner, and Lynda and I arrived at Hillsborough at exactly the same time; when we were out of the car and we had had a friendly hug she was all excited, which was nice… and I do wonder if I half ruined the meal because I was so frustrated with my voice which was affected by getting so unnecessarily worked up about meeting Debbie but also much conversation over the past week; she said I looked unhappy, which I did not feel, but the frustration obviously showed and I am disappointed in myself for that. She cheered me up no end though by giving me a gift, which I was not expecting – my friendly hairdresser Paul has been emailing Lynda copies of my blog, so Lynda read that I got my ears pierced and so she bought me some earrings! They are lovely, little dangly ones with a Celtic design. We ate at The Plough – as usual the food was brilliant and delicious, and the company lovely, though the service was slow and we ended up passing on dessert… partly also because our table was next to a radiator and we were both melting. We went onto the cinema and watched a film called Insurgent, a futuristic story with a thin plot-line that was half-lost on me, but great effects (typical American cinema, in my opinion)… though one good element was that a girl was a hero-figure of the story which is rare, even these days. Still, it was an enjoyable evening for me, and great to meet with Lynda again.
So, overall, a good week… though my voice continues to worry me – not due to me thinking it is rubbish, as I don’t – it is reasonable enough to get by in life, even if there is room for much improvement – but more because I worry that I am straining things and I may lose my voice… which would be a disaster for forthcoming holiday breaks.