Monday 3rd August
I had planned with Kirsty to have a day out… but with my face still a mess after the treatment mentioned in my previous post, and me also in earnest starting with the flu, all plans had to be cancelled… which was a good thing because by the afternoon my body temperature was up and down like a yo-yo and my limbs and back had succumbed to typical flu-aches.
Thursday 6th August
By Thursday my face was starting to improve, after two days at work with thick foundation covering my moon-surface chin. For some reason, I felt awful when I got up, with literally zero energy and legs like jelly… but half an hour later, after a banana and a shower (though not together), I was just about okay for work… and, as typical as life can be sometimes, I got on the train at Newry and found it overflowing with people such that I had to stand all the way to Dublin, for 75 minutes!
When I got into work Fiona said “Oh, you look so pretty” (how nice), and that is how I felt, in a white dress with a subdued pink and purple floral pattern, white cardigan, and white shoes. I asked her if she thought the shoes were too bridal, and she said not… and then jokingly asked if she could borrow them. Alas, on top of the train calamity and my uggy feeling when I woke up, my lunch out with a colleague was also cancelled by her; overall, not a great day.
Friday 7h August
After a short day at work I got to Newry at 4.30 I drove home to quickly smarten my appearance for an evening out. I met my new friend Lynda for a meal at a place called Deanes Deli… which turned out to offer somewhat mediocre food, the main was nice enough, but the dessert was rather odd, with fingers of shop-shortbread chopped up in lumps, mixed with berries and topped with some posh custardy thing. But then the evening improved as we headed into Ulster Hall for a classical music concert with beautiful pieces by Brazilian composers played by the Ulster Orchestra, with an amazing young pianist featuring for a piano concerto. We sat next to a couple of Lynda’s friends, who we talked to before the music started and in the interval; they were really nice, and didn’t seem to either notice I am a transsexual woman or be bothered by it; at the end one of the women reached across and squeezed my hand as they headed off a bit early. Overall the evening was very good, and it was nice to see Lynda… even though the poor lady that day had to have her beloved 16 year old dog put down owing to ill health.
Saturday 8th August
I had a lovely walk with my Meetup group, which started at Belfast zoo and went up the top of a very windy Cave Hill; I had good chat with a number of people, mostly women a usual, especially a nice lady called Nuala who I seem to get on really well with – when I told her that I was going on the walking group holiday in November to Tenerife she said that she “was delighted that I was going”! After the walk we all went to a nearby bar for lunch, a very good value soup and scone/jam with tea affair – I took the opportunity to change into smarter clothing suitable for shopping, and when I emerged from the ladies a lady called Maria said I looked really well, and then outside Nuala said my top was beautiful and Maria said “She’s too nice looking for them to be walking with me”. In the afternoon I shopped in Belfast, including a visit to the Shoe Heaven floor in New Look.
Tuesday 11th August
I had three health appointments today, taking over four hours in total, with over two hours of driving altogether. I was pretty tired by the time I got home.
Wednesday 12th August
In the morning I visited my solicitor to re-sign some divorce papers that had been issued with errors the previous time. After we went through the paperwork she asked about one or two things, including my daughter, and I asked of her too. She said she had always wanted to go to Austria, and I gave her a couple of tips for places to go… and then she said “Good Man” – Good Man??? Oh please… even if she may not have even realised she had said it.
Thursday 13th August
I got madam’ed on the train again by the guard.
In late afternoon I went to a church service with my project manager for the mother of a nice guy who we deal with regularly who died earlier in the week. The service was for the removal of the remains, the day before her funeral; after the service, we went to give our respects and shook hands with him and all his sisters and brother – they all seemed like a really nice family, and the guy from work held my hand warmly as we chatted and thanked me very sincerely.
Friday 14th August
I woke up, showered… and shaved with incredible ease in only five minutes, after only one laser session the results are incredible, with only patches on my chin still having that grey, beard shadowy tinge… and that seemed to fill me with confidence as I headed off to the train station, where I ended up chatting with two people I have never seen before about the train delay. Then once on the train a marketing person sat next to me and asked if I minded taking part in a survey – not at all, he asked me loads of questions, I joked a bit, especially when he asked my age, and on the next page of his survey he automatically ticked ‘female’ for my gender… and why wouldn’t he!
In the evening I went on another walk with my group, a beautiful stroll along the coast east of Crawfordsburn Forest Park, with lots of good chat, especially with my friend Nuala… who, at the end, gave me a big hug and wished me a good holiday for next week.
Weekend 15th / 16th August
On the Saturday, after a supermarket shop, I met up with Kirsty for a good meal at The Hillside in Hillsborough and then a cinema visit to see Man From Uncle, which was pretty good. Sunday I was really busy at home, gardening, washing clothes, and getting all of my holiday clothes laid out ready to pack… a very different packing experience from ever before!
This post is dedicated to Lynda’s dog Sophie, a cute wee thing who brought lots of happiness and will be much missed; RIP.