Owing to my long weekend away with my best friend, detailed in the last three posts, it was a short working week…but quite a fun one too. I had a nice afternoon and evening out with my friend Michelle too on the Saturday.
Wednesday – it’s nice to treated by a lady… so when, carrying my breakfast in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, it’s nice to have a guy interrupt his conversation with someone to walk across the kitchen to open the door for me! The previous week I had asked for a place on the company’s girly event, and an email got sent to several women, including me, saying “Hi ladies, you are all invited to…” and it was just nice to be included in that group address. At lunch time I went to HQ for lunch and, after getting my wrap at the sandwich bar, on the way out I stopped at a table as Fiona, my colleague, said ‘hi’ to me and we chatted about our weekend – she was in the company of a girl called Amanda, who had met ‘him’ last year a couple of times but not the real-me, and so Fiona said to her “Do you know Andrea?” and Amanda said that she didn’t think so… so good to not be recognised!
Thursday – I was late into work as I went to see my solicitor… to go through, and sign, divorce papers! Alas they were in my old name, but that is because all marriage documentation is as such, and it doesn’t really matter as I won’t have to attend court, only my ex- will. With time to spare before catching my late train, I popped into my local VW dealership to book my car in for getting its brakes changed… but first I got them to change my name on their system, which went smoothly without the woman batting an eyelid. I got to work about 12.50pm… and the office was absolutely boiling, very warm, and so I took off my cardy and so just had my white floaty top, with much lace above the bust-line, on over a camisole top… and during the afternoon I had a nice email from friendly-Natalie saying “I meant to say about 10 times today the white is lovely on you”! Ahhh…. so I had to pop over to her for a chat and a catch-up, and it was great to see that she was well on the road to recovery after being knocked off her bike. I left work about 5.45… but not to return home, but to go to the first event organised by my company that I have ever been to… a totally girly fashion & beauty event at a hotel near Trinity College in Dublin! I arrived on-time, and was made very welcome by the lady from my work who had organised it, and then chatted to a couple of women for quite a while, over glasses of prosecco (note – not at all good for my girly voice), until we were ushered into the suite where the event was being held. Essentially it was two sessions of cat-walk modelling, split by a make-up talk, and it was all pretty good fun – the cat-walk stuff was interesting because the girl running it, a fashion journalist and advisor, talked through all of the outfits, how they could be accessorised, and where the clothes came from… and quite a few items were from Primark, M&S, or Primark! The make-up talk was interesting to – the lady conducting it had made-up half of a girl’s face, and then talked us through making up the other half, with an assortment of tips covering most areas of the face. At a jewellery stand I had a good look at the chunky items on offer… and the girl selling the stuff said she ‘loved my top’. After the event snack-food was served, and I had a nice chat with Joan (the recruitment girl that I first came out to at work) and Rosin, the HR girl I have dealt with since starting my full-time female life; after a while Rosin wanted to go out for a smoke, and Joan and her beckoned me to go out with them… and even though I don’t smoke and never will I went out for the chat; Roisin said I ‘always look great’ and when I tried to play down the compliment she said something like ‘No! You always look like you’re wearing designer clothes, something expensive’; well, I do try and make a good effort with my appearance… so it’s good to have genetic girls recognise it, even if an amount of my wardrobe comes from Tesco and Primark! Eventually the two of them left to go home, and I returned to the suite to grab my coat… and ended up having a little chat with the journalist, asking her a couple of tips, and saying how great I thought the event was; she said it was nice to meet me, and I then thanked the event organiser who said it was good to see me as well… and then I walked to my hotel for an overnight stay, normally I wouldn’t bother but I SO wanted to go to that event… and as my work colleague, who stays at this hotel, gets such a good rate there, which he got for me as well (€55 instead of €169) then it was worth it, especially as it saved me four hours of commuting… and had quite a good night of sleep too.
Friday – can’t remember much about what happened on this day, apart from fashion event catch up with my neighbour work-buddy Nuala and a couple of other women.
Saturday – in the morning I had the brake pads of my car changed… as well as the discs, once the guy had rung me to say they were badly worn… and it all went so normally, just as any car-maintenance work has done in past years despite me now being a girl; I had a nice little chat with him when I picked up the car. While it was being worked on I went shopping, had a nice little bit of chat with a teenage girl in Exhibit who served me when I bought a dress, and had brunch at M&S where the guy said “There you are madam” when he brought the plate to me; the compliment was nice, but at that particular café it wasn’t up to all that much. In the afternoon I had arranged to meet my friend Michelle and, just after 2.00pm, she came across me at Sprucefield… thankfully, as I left my mobile phone at home. We had a lovely afternoon at a National Trust property called Rowallane Gardens… which, as it turned out, looked better than I have ever seen it, with splendid displays of rhododendrons in particular. As it was warm and sunny, and I had not put on sun cream under my SPF 15 foundation I thought I would play it safe and wear my sun hat, first time I have worn a hat (of the non-woollen variety) away from home. Before we set off around the grounds, we shared a pot of tea and I ate a brownie (not as good as my BFF’s), then we headed firstly to the walled garden before covering much ground around. We got back to Sprucefield quite early, and so had a hot drink… where Michelle got addressed as Madam by a pleasant girl who quite often serves us. Michelle retreated to the BBC to change while I headed to Sainsburys for a small shop, and then changed there myself in their ladies loos. We met at Hillsborough just after 7.00pm and ate at The Plough, one of our favourite restaurants where, as usual, the food did not disappoint and the staff were very nice and so obliging; as we left Michelle saw a guy looking me up and down as I passed him… which was perhaps due to my dress being 2 or 3 inches above the knee… or maybe coz he thought I was pretty! Rather than head straight off Michelle suggested a quick walk around the block, and I happily obliged, enjoying the cool air… so much so in fact that I suggested going around again, and I am glad we did because we soon passed an elderly guy tidying up his hedge sheering who said “Goodnight Ladies”! Ladies, that’s us!! J
Sunday I had a very quiet day, and even did some ironing… which was rather blighted by family health issues – my daughter had been admitted to hospital very early in the morning, for constipation issues yet again, and then when I phoned my parents in the afternoon I was told that my dad had passed out a couple of times that week and, following a hospital visit, has been diagnosed with a heart condition. I am rather worried…