Monday 6th July
Had a really good day at work – I am deputising for my PM who is on hols for a fortnight and I think I did pretty well; I went to a meeting in the morning and in the afternoon went to hassle a manager who was holding things up. Later I had a lovely chat with a Spanish girl in my department who I have not talked to since going full-time-me, she said “I’m sorry I didn’t say before, I had seed seen you going backwards and forward and you look gorgeous!” Gorgeous, moi?
Tuesday 7th July
Left work early to pick up my first prescription of hormone patches, and then with the intention of meeting a small meetup group going to the cinema. Alas my train was quarter of an hour late and, although I picked up my hormones, I got to the cinema late such that the group had already gone in without me… and so I ended up watching Terminator Genisys all on my own – of course, with Hollywood as it is these days, short on writers and new ideas, it was largely a rehash of the first two movies, although I quite liked the lead actors playing alongside Arnie.
Wednesday 8th July
I set off to work with my first hormone patch applied! I was wearing one of my latest clothing purchases, a navy dress with a beige leaf pattern that Mary said was lovely. At lunch, when I passed a paper bag I had brought for re-use to a woman who had just made my lunch at the restaurant, she said “Good woman” 🙂 I had a nice chat with Audrey later on, she is a good listener and gives good advice; she also said my dress was beautiful and my shoes were a good match… although they are a terrible fit (bit too big) and very uncomfortable. I left early again, as I was meeting Michelle, and had a nice moment in Sainsburys – along one of the aisles near the entrance are shelves of kitchen crockery, which I parked my trolley by to choose matching plates, and so on, and presently a lady came up pushing a trolley with her toddler son in it, he said to her, pointing at me “Is that my Aunt Ann?” and the mum said “No it isn’t, she looks very similar but it’s not her.” I had a nice chat with Michelle over toasted sandwiches and sald before heading home.
Friday 10th July
I had an early lunch with a guy called Mike who I last saw over a year ago when his contract ended at my company; in recent months he found me on Linked In, saw the last name that he recognised along with my company name, and put two and two together. We ate at a place called Hugos, which is nice enough; I had tempura cod with fries and salad leaves, when it arrived the waiter addressed me as ‘madam’… just as I like. Mike had quite a few questions about my journey, which I didn’t mind answering… although he wasn’t very discreet with the volume of his voice. At one point he said “you look better than you did”… which is only-just a compliment, I’d have been gutted if I didn’t look any better, but that’s as far as his ‘compliments’ went. But he also said “It’s good to see you happy, because when I left the company I could tell that you weren’t”… and that is what this journey is essentially about, being happy, in life and in oneself! Once home I found my new M&S credit card waiting for me in the post, my first card that I have applied for as a woman.
Weekend 11th / 12th July
Saturday was quite fun… and a bit different! No disrespect to my BFF, but the highlight was actually my meetup event, because I really wondered how much I would enjoy it, but it was really interesting – I met the other seven people of the event as Ulster Museum, which was organised by a professional artist… and within 10 minutes we all split up and went around the museum looking for things to draw or paint… for it was an artistic meetup. I have not drawn anything much, apart from the odd scribble or painting helping my daughter, for over twenty years, but I really enjoyed it – in the end I sketched four different things, and the best one in my opinion is shown here, a drawing of a stuffed bird of prey attacking a wild cat; while I was drawing that, sitting on the floor of a glass corridor opposite it, a family came by, with a girl pushing a pram with her little sister in it and her mum said to her “Watch the lady, she’s drawing”. After two hours we all met up at the café and, over coffee and cake, chatted for an hour and assessed each others ‘works of art’ too. A few people left then, but the organiser suggested popping to Queens University to view an exhibition by a Korean artist, and so I went along too… and there were some rather interesting pieces – it was all photo-art, much of which I think is a reflection of the trials and tribulations of her life – I took a photo of one, which is shown here. I said farewell to the remaining three group members at that point and went shoe shopping at New Look… and came away with rather more than I had planned! I met Kirsty in Hillsborough, planned only the day before, and ate at The Hillside – the service was very slow at first, allegedly due to a malfunction with the ordering printer, but eventually we had our starters and very soon after our mains; the food was very good, and the service friendly. We went on for coffee and a bun at Costa, and then to the cinema to see Jurassic World… with good special effects and a woman in an indestructible pair of what I can only assume to be very comfortable nude heels – must facebook her and find out where she got ‘em!
Sunday was quiet, at home with a mixture of gardening and a bit of tidying up… though, as usual, I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to; I was tired, so took ages to get going… though that’s what the weekends are for I suppose, to take things easier. A couple of hours ago I typed an email to my brother in reply to his own email… and ended up sending him the contents of my last blog!! This is because, with long emails or blog posts, I type it in Word first, and then paste / send… and my last blog post and his email were in the same temporary document… so now I am wondering what he is thinking; his last email was a little disappointing because, although he is writing to me, I mentioned a couple of things about future eventualities (including any anxiety he has over meeting me, which would be countered by my own about what he thinks of the new-look me, and also me going over to Wales) and he didn’t respond on either. So much for an open mind…