Journal

Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

The post commenting scripts are back up

Posted by Anna at 22:26 on Thursday, July 31, 2003
Just a quick note to say that the commenting scripts are now working again. I didn't realise it, but the recent revamp of Blogger broke them...but fortunately a patch was available.

As a quick note to one of my friends - Mark, this means your comment didn't get posted, so I haven't got your email address either. If you read this please feel free to try to post again - it should work this time and you can tell the world what a tart I really am! If not, I'll give you a call soon to get your email addy to pass on to Gaynor.

Paarrrrrtttttttyyyyy!!!!!

Posted by Anna at 22:50 on Monday, July 28, 2003
Well that was some party! The hangover lasted until mid Monday (ow!) but it was well and truly worth it. I don't think I've been that drunk in quite a while!

I think in total there were 21 people there (from all around the country), including some I've known for a while (but not met face to face) and others who may well become new friends. One girl in particular has helped me a lot in the past, and it was wonderful to meet her at last. She knows who she is!

Of the lot of us, there was only one guy, so you can imagine he got wound up pretty mercilessly (and somehow I think he rather liked it).

From the conversation the day after I gather I made a bit of an impression, although I'm not sure whether that's because of the rather gothic outfit I turned up in, my odd sense of humour or the fact that I was briefly* wandering around naked (apart from a g-string) in the morning...

* No pun intended. Honest.

As virtually everyone there (bar two, I think) were transfolk and some are living "in stealth" I'm afraid I can't publish the pics, but I can tell you it was one helluva party, and it's done wonders for my self-confidence.

The one pic I can show you is my own. This was taken about an hour after I arrived (and while I was still sober):



It looks like I'm off clubbing in London this Saturday. Woo!

Return to Tewkesbury

Posted by Anna at 23:13 on Tuesday, July 15, 2003
I'm back!

The weekend was amazing. I drove down to Kazzy's place in Weston as planned on Friday night, and arrived at about 10:30pm which gave us plenty of time to chat and catch up with everyting that's happened since the last time we saw each other in May. After a lazy Saturday morning we headed off to Carol's place (which is near Gloucester) in the afternoon. An added bonus was that we arrived (just!) in time to meet Fran and her partner, who also were visiting Carol. Both Kazzy and I were stunned by her flat - it's in a converted mill, rather isolated (which I know can be painful at times) but the views there are just simply breathtaking. Talk about getting away from it all.

After a fun Saturday evening chatting (and playing a rally game on Carol's Playstation!) we all finally crashed in the early hours of the morning, with a long day ahead the following day. Getting up at 8am hurt a little, but that was more than made up for by Carol's cooked breakfast (something I've not allowed myself in a long while!).

We arrived at the Fayre just as it opened, missing the queues of cars that formed later. It felt very strange to me at first - and odd mixture of fear and anticipation. Everything was familiar, and yet very different. I was so nervous.

As well as the usual mixture of unusual stalls (everything from clothes to armour and weapons, taking in spiritualism and mysticism along the way) the thing that stood out for me was the mixture of people...so called "normal" members of the public, re-enactors in costume, two witches (!) and the occasional goth (although I do like wearing black it's a bit much when the temperature is above 30 degrees). Kazzy was in her element going round all the stalls, and Carol and I were enjoying looking around too.

Eventually the heat got the better of us and we headed in the direction of the beer tent, grabbed a drink each and went to look for a space to sit down. Fate being what it is of course, the spot we headed for turned out to be occupied by friends from my old group (most of whom I haven't seen for 5 to 6 years). That was a huge surprise I can tell you!

As has happened before when I've met old friends, I was made to feel very welcome and it was almost as if nothing had changed...certainly it has helped me to overcome more of my fears, and I'm very glad I went this weekend. I'm now sure that I will go back onto the re-enactment circuit, if not this year then next year when my FFS and more facial hair removal make it easier. I'll try to resist the temptation to join in the fighting for a while though, as obviously I'll still be healing.

One of the girls I was talking too (Angie) even told me she had a spare medieval dress that might fit me, which would help hugely as I don't have the time or space to start making costume at the moment. I had an invite to visit the group's camp but unfortunately didn't manage to find it...the authentic campsite this year was huge.

Just before we left the beer tent I rang Lisa to see where her and Carolyn had got to, and found they were on site already. We met up half an hour or so later, and again had a wander around the stalls before heading for the main arena to watch the display. It was absolutely baking out there in the sun and we didn't stay to the end. It also confirmed to me something I've heard before - that taking part in re-enactment events is even more fun than watching them!


Afterwards we wandered around again for a little while (and Kazzy and I found some real bargains on one of the clothes stalls!), before heading back to the car park for a group piccy. Lisa told me she had something for me which turned out to be a teddy bear who immediately got christened "Tewkesbury"!

After we said our goodbyes Carol, Kazzy and I headed back to Carol's place for a little while, before Kazzy and I drove back to Weston. I had Monday and Tuesday off work so there was no rush to leave. Kazzy and I went into Weston on Monday (it was even hotter than Sunday!) and went shopping (more bargains!). We spent Tuesday recovering from the sun, before I headed back to Basingstoke in the evening.

Well that was our weekend. I'm a happy bunny right now!

If you fancy a laugh here are more pictures from the weekend.

I really need to get out and have some fun...

Posted by Anna at 19:19 on Friday, July 11, 2003
What a week. The last couple of days at work have been absolutely awful - the isolation I feel there is so stifling that at times I just want to walk out of the place and never come back. Of course I can't at the moment, so I keep trying to hide the pain and cope with it. Working in an exclusively male environment is just not me.

Fortunately, I'm off now until Wednesday...I'm just sorting out my packing and hopefully I'll be leaving for Weston in an hour or so to meet up with Kazzy, then on to Gloucester to see Carol-Nerise on Saturday. On Sunday we're all heading off to Tewkesbury for what should be a fun day where I'm rather likely to meet up with people from my past on the re-enactment circuit...it should be pretty interesting.

Time to go and have some fun!

A new passport, and an absent friend

Posted by Anna at 20:53 on Thursday, July 10, 2003
My new passport has arrived! The pic doesn't look at all grim either...

Last night was fun, although Siobhan wasn't there and I missed her. On the plus side, it was the first time I've actually had a lift there rather than driving myself, so I was able to freely sample the wine!

Oddly enough, getting up was painful this morning.

Pain, but balanced by hope and progress

Posted by Anna at 17:26 on Sunday, July 06, 2003
I've been rather quieter than I usually am recently, and thought it was about time I talked a little about it, and where things are taking me at the moment.

The painful stuff first. First and formost many of you know that I'm not able to see my kids at the moment - something I try not to think about too much because it's cripplingly painful when I do. I cry very, very easily, and when depression takes hold as well it takes me quite a while to get on top of it again.

Unfortunately I can't help but think about it at the moment, as their birthdays are this month. I won't be able to see them, and that really hurts.

Add to that stress and isolation at work, loneliness ( there are people I love, but I don't see them anywhere as often as I'd like) the lack of any real social life, and the isolation from my family...well it all builds up, and over the last week in particular it's got worse and worse. I've spent a lot of time in bed crying. On top of all I managed to royally screw thing up with a local friend with the other night when we had a blazing row after an evening out in a local pub. More tears.

As ever there's always some good somewhere to counterbalance the pain.

For one thing, my surgery is in the process of being arranged...I've been in touch with the Suporn clinic and know exactly what I'm letting myself in for and how much it's going to cost. I'm just waiting for them to open their scheduling for next year....by the end of January I'll be in recovery.

For another, last week I had the pleasure of being able to introduce several friends to each other, two of who now seem to be firm friends. Being able to do that is so special.

I've also had a message wishing me well from an old friend I never expected to hear from again (not through lack of acceptance, just being out of touch). I think he lives here in Basingstoke, but I don't know where. One day soon I hope we'll meet again.

Finally, I've just found out there's another trans woman in my town (we're the same age too). We've just had a chat and hopefully we'll get an opportunity to meet up soon.

So I guess when you look at it all together life's not really that bad. There's no shortage of love and laughter in my life, and that's what gives me the strength to deal with the loneliness and depression when it hits me worst. Sure it hurts - and I may cry and shut myself away for a while - but I'll always come back.

I'm getting there...it just seems rather slow and painful at times.