Monday 13th July
I had a good little start to the week on the train when, after popping to the loo, on the way back to my seat the guard stepped aside and said “Go on ahead, madam”.
At work a new guy started on my team, he’s called Florent, from France… and as the week wore on it seems that his English is not great… well, he doesn’t understand mine very well anyway, and it made me nervous conversing with him. A guy who I feel mis-gendered me last week made up for it when he came to my desk and, seeing me in the middle of an email, said to my neighbour “I’ll talk to her when she’s stopped being busy”. A bit of a low point in the afternoon was when a girl talked to me about a system requirement that had been raised ages ago and showed me an email trail which started in 2014… and it showed my old name! Agghhhh… I felt sick seeing it and indicated as much to her, and looked away. She asked me to forward something to her relating to it, which I said I would do, and when I had not done so within half an hour (because I was busy with something else) she forwarded the very same email!!! I thought this was a bit insensitive, and rather out of character – I told her (by email) that it upset me, and asked her not to forward anything with my old name again… but got no response from her… which was disappointing.
The high point of the day was receiving an email from my old friend Shirley – back in January she sent me an email to reassure me that she wanted to be friends, but as she was in the middle of intensive studies she needed to wait until after her exams before absorbing my news and contacting me again… and that is what she did. It was a long time waiting, for me… but it was worth it, as she suggested meeting up in Dublin at the weekend!
Tuesday 14th July
As we were arriving in Dublin, I walked up the train as it was late in order to get off closer to the station exit and passed a young boy who said to his mum “Where’s that lady going?”. That’d be me!
One thing that I have noticed is that going to the loo at work is rather a more sociable thing as a lady! Quite often I go to the loo now and see someone in front of a sink and, even if I don’t know them, they usually say hello and sometimes I end up in conversation; at one point today I saw a girl that I have known for a while, and we ended up having quite a long talk about work and holidays; she said “It was nice chatting to you” as we left.
Wednesday 15th July
I had a nice chat with a new girl at work called Susan about clothes, we have very similar views about how clothes for work and for play/social should be separate, so even though Jult and August are smart/casual months at my office we both tend to prefer smarter attire apart from on Friday. I was wearing a new dress, which I really like, and she said it was lovely and couldn’t believe that I got from New Look (though it was one of their concession labels); she said it looks “very high end”. I ordered a book from the work book club and went to collect it from HR – it is called “Fat free cooking” and when one of the women there saw it she said “You’re so thin already!”… though alas I have put on a few pounds recently, and a bit round the waist.
On the journey home I had to stand most of the way, as the train was packed, and I half-wished I had not bothered leaving early… but it was nice to see Kirsty and Michelle at M&S, and I indulged in afternoon tea again, which was served in record time.
Thursday 16th July
In the morning I went to my doctor’s surgery to get my first testosterone blocker injection; I had to wait well over an hour to get into the nurse, and then wait some more while some bureaucracy was sorted out between the nurse and my doctor. The needle was quite a complicated affair, and the nurse had to read the instructions, and then I received the injection… in the bottom!
Today I wore my first pair of culottes! I used to wonder what the point of them was, thinking that they looked like a skirt, but with two legs… but, oh, to me now they really are an item all to themselves and, at least the pair I was wearing, from Warehouse, were absolutely lovely! They felt really feminine, with every step – a must-have for the summer, in my view.
Friday 17th July
I arrived at the office and Susan said to me that my top was lovely (although it was a dress, but she couldn’t see my bottom half over the office partition) and then said “Andrea, you’re always the height of fashion” – HOW nice!!
I had lunch with my favourite work girls Nuala and Liesa. We went to the Alexander Hotel where I had a vegetarian panini-type thing with a mini Caesar salad, which was nice enough. We had a good old catch-up, especially over Liesa’s recent holiday to South Africa, where she is from.
At Dublin station there is a guy in is sixties who always says hello to me; today he told me that he wouldn’t see me for three weeks, as he is off work; he also gave me his paper to read on the train!
Weekend 18th / 19th July
No lie-in for me Saturday, as I got the same train as usual to Dublin; getting ready was a bit of a trial, as I was rather nervous about meeting my old friend Shirley, and kept dropping items of make-up on the floor. From Dublin station I walked along Talbot Street to Henry Street, one of the main shopping streets, where I got a text from Shirley saying that they had arrived at the Jervis Centre, one of Dublin’s many shopping centres; five minutes later I was walking up to them from behind and said ‘hi’… and it really was a normal time spent with them! Shirley took a few seconds to take in the new-me, and then we walked off with her boyfriend, who was alas not well, talking as we normally would have done, and went to a café for breakfast where we chatted for an hour. About the only things different from any other time I would have met her was that, firstly, I was happy in myself, and secondly after we ate we went clothes shopping in Forever 21 together!! An hour later we said goodbye, with promises to keep in touch; her boyfriend, a nice guy, placed a caring hand on my arm as we said goodbye… which he certainly didn’t do the last time we met… when I had to present as ‘him’.
Then I clothes-shopped by myself… for nearly four hours!! Welllllll, Jervis Centre does have some stores that I have never been to before, ones that are only in Dublin, and some big cities in England and internationally, such as Bershka, Only, and Stradivarius, the latter being my favourite of the three where I bought, in their sale, a lovely top and a playsuit… which I will convert into a top, I just had to have it because the pattern was so beautiful, but I think I am too old to wear playsuits. I bought an assortment of things in a large Penneys for my forthcoming holiday, and a pretty jacket in a boutique sale where the checkout girl gave some wise advice – “if you can’t carry any more bags that means you’ve done enough shopping”!
Sunday was, as is becoming typical, quiet, at home with a mixture of gardening and a bit of tidying up… though, as usual, I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. I had my usual phone call with my parents where, for a change, my mum didn’t mis-gender me… though, perhaps due to the conversational nature, I wasn’t addressed by name or by gender. And so the weekend ends far too quickly, yet again… sigh.