25 September 2010

An odd dream

I had a fairly short dream last night. I don't remember all that much of it, including where it was set, but I guess it's relevant to my upcoming trip to Canberra.

In the dream, I arrived somewhere whilst en femme, knowing that my inlaws, who had never met me en femme, were there. I walked in and my father in law began a conversation with me as if I was un homme (that's what google translate says is the male equivalent of en femme), without even a raised eyebrow about my appearance from anybody present.

I wonder if my subconscious is trying to tell me something... :)

24 September 2010

Long lost photos

Way back in January, I mentioned having been out and the staff at the local Lifeline op shop having taken photos of me. The second photo attached to that blog post was the one taken using my phone. I didn't get copies of the other photos back then.

With the aid of a powered USB hub that I bought from that same op shop last week, I was able to connect the memory card from Bev's camera to my internet tablet and download the photo that she had taken with her camera. It's only a 640x480 image, but after auto-adjusting the colours with GIMP, I think that it's a far better photo than the one taken with my phone.

Sadly, it appears that the photos taken using Brenda's phone have been deleted by someone else while playing with her phone. I'm still happy to have got the above photo.

I find it interesting looking back at that earlier blog post and realising that in less than 10 months, I've gone from referring to the shops and staff very generically to using the names of the shops and the names of the staff that I know. Also, I subsequently found out that one of the ladies in the Samaritans op shop that I went to first did recognise me, but didn't say anything.

Coincidently, a couple of days ago I was looking through work related photos when I stumbled upon a series of photos that I've obviously taken after a cafe night in 2008. I've since moved them into my personal photos. I guess since I counted outings based in photos, I've underestimated how many times I got out in 2008 by one.

I might have to spend some time scanning through my work photos in case there are any more long lost photos in there.

Not that it makes a lot of difference. I still aim to average once every 5 days this year, and right now I'm about 3 or 4 outings short.

23 September 2010

I have a waist!

While I've been losing weight, in spite of losing 10kg (22lbs) in 12 weeks, I haven't really seen myself as having changed all that much. I still have a spare tyre fat roll around my waist, so I've still got more weight to lose.

On Tuesday night, however, I wore a skirt that I hadn't been able to fit into for about 18 months. Not only was the waistband actually loose on me rather than just fitting, but when I looked at the group photo from the night and got past the wind having blown most of the fringe of my wig back over my head and actually looked at myself, I was amazed to realise that I'm finally able to see myself as having a waistline.

While most people would probably look at this photo and think that I don't need to lose any more weight, the reality is that I use hip and buttock padding to give the illusion of feminine curves including making my waist look smaller, plus a body shaper to slim my waist even more. While I'm actually fairly happy with how my body looks en femme now, I know that I can do better, and that if I get to where I want to be, I might be able to shed the body shaper in time for summer. For those in the Northern Hemisphere who might not realise it, the seasons are opposite between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, so summer here is December to February. With any luck, I'll be able to wear halter tops and dresses for the first time this summer.

And no, I'm not going to have some chocolate to celebrate. :p

I'm actually curious as to whether my weight loss will slow as the weight comes off. If I don't weigh as much, surely it doesn't take as much energy to walk, run, etc, so I should have to eat even less to keep losing weight at the same rate. I guess I'll find that out over the next few months.

20 September 2010

Not so weighty, but oh so sleepy

Back at the beginning of August, I mentioned that I was starting to make an effort to get my weight under control, and that I needed to work on my sleep pattern.

12 weeks after starting a very simple diet of replacing lunch with a skim milk shake and cutting out all food between meals, I've lost 10kg! I get some exercise throughout the day at work, and I knew that I didn't have time to exercise specifically, so I made the conscious decision that I wanted a diet that was the minimum possible change to my routine and didn't rely upon exercise that I inevitably wouldn't get.

There have been a couple of setbacks during that time, and last night when I stepped onto the scales, I really didn't expect to see that I was down to 76kg. My goal is to get rid of the spare tyre fat roll around my waist, or down to about 65kg, whichever occurs first. Starting at 86kg, that means that I might already be past half way, but I won't know that until I get to the weight or shape that I'm after.

I'll have to go through my wardrobe and see what fits again. I'm sure that there are things there that I haven't worn for a few years that will again fit. I'm looking forward to getting to my target weight. :)

Sadly, my sleep pattern hasn't improved much. I made an effort and got to bed before 1am for about a week or so, then there was work waiting and it all gradually went back to how it was before. Sadly, that means that I'm short on sleep again, and less productive at work, which means that I'm staying up late trying to catch up... It's a vicious circle that I'm finding remarkably hard to break. :(

19 September 2010

Op shop consolation

As I mentioned on Thursday, I missed out on getting out on Friday due to having to work, and had hoped that a shopping trip on Saturday might still go ahead. Sadly, it wasn't to be. The friend that I had hoped to go out shopping with isn't well, and I was exhausted yet ended up not getting to bed until after 3am. Add in a large work paperwork backlog and I know that I won't be getting out en femme on Sunday either.

After a rather late start, I went out op shopping at local op shops in boy mode, to try on things that I'd seen on Friday but hadn't been in the mood to try. At one shop, the dress that I had spotted was no longer there, so I proceeded to the next shop, where I wanted to try on 3 halter neck tops. When I arrived, the 2 sales assistants were women I'd chatted with and shown photos to several weeks ago.

As soon as I arrived, one of them showed me a dress that she thought that I'd like. I found the 3 tops that I wanted to try, and took them plus the dress to a dressing room. Before I'd even had a chance to try anything on, she'd brought another dress and another top. As I tried things on, she continued to bring more for me to try. I ended up giving her some of the ones that I'd already tried, so that she could return them to the racks and make space on the hooks in the dressing room.

In spite of being an unpaid volunteer, she is enthusiastic about finding clothes that people might want to buy, and it makes shopping a lot more enjoyable. When I said that I was looking for tops, she wanted to know if I also wanted to try some skirts. Without hip and buttock padding, it would really have been pointless so I declined.

I lost count somewhere along the line, but finished up trying on 2 dresses and about 9 tops. I bought 3 tops, including 2 halter necks, one of which was one of the 3 that I went there to try.

I'm thinking that within the next few weeks, I'm really going to have to try to get to that op shop en femme on a Saturday. :)

17 September 2010

Packing girly stuff to travel

After my recent blog post about travelling with family, I stopped and thought about the practicality of what I'd like to do and realised that I haven't even considered how I would pack everything that I would need to go out en femme while away from home.

I've done this only once ever before, when I went to the Seahorse Ball back in 2001. On that occasion, both my wife and I wore wigs and I don't remember how we organised them. We probably left them on foam heads and covered them with satin while travelling to avoid messing them up. I'm not sure if that would work amongst all of the other luggage that we'd have in the car, and even though I've looked around for years, I've never found a suitable box to convert into a wig box, like RuPaul's converted drum case.

For now, rather than concentrating on whether I'm going to go out en femme while I'm away, I think I'll start by trying to figure out how to pack all of the things that I would need. Clothing including shoes and undergarments are obviously fairly straight forward (aside from deciding which ones to take!), I have a cosmetics case that should be right for all of my makeup, cleansers, moisturisers, etc. My breast forms and adhesive bra are in packaging that would probably be okay if correctly packed into a suitcase amongst the clothes.

This leaves just 2 things to sort out properly, my wig and hip and buttock padding. Both could be packed into a suitcase, but the wig would need extra effort to prepare before I could wear it and the padding could be damaged, as I have discovered the hard way in the past.

Packing a wig in a bag with some padding inside the cap to prevent it from folding and damaging the skin top, and taking a travel wig stand would certainly be the most space efficient way, but the wig may get creases in the fibres that take time hanging on a stand to disappear, and the travel stand is nowhere nearly as good as a foam head for brushing the wig, which is going to be needed after unpacking and after wearing.

The sponge foam that I use to make hip and buttock padding is the sort of stuff used in furniture such as lounges. It's easy to shape but is also quite easily damaged. Just getting it on and off several dozen times will see some little bits being torn out of the edges, making them wavy. Years ago, when I needed to transport some padding, I rolled it up tightly and rolled a trouser sock over it to keep it rolled up. I only did that a few times, as the tight rolling rubbed and damaged the surfaces inside and out and getting the sock on and off did even more damage. Ruling out rolling up leaves a couple of options. Either way, I'm thinking about putting the padding into some satin pyjama pants first. If a suitcase was big enough, I could put one end of the padding in, pack clothes on top then fold the other end over the pile.

The other option for the padding is to buy or make a round case suitable for fixing a wig head into the middle, then placing the padding around the inside of the perimeter of the box. To fit one of my normal length wigs, the box would need to be about 60cm tall and 30cm diameter. Ideally, it should have the top and sides as one piece that attaches somehow to the base. I guess I'll have to start looking at how I'm going to make it because I don't see myself finding something like that pre-made!

16 September 2010

Not so happy Friday, maybe Saturday

I had planned to take this Friday off, like I did 3 weeks ago, to go out and do some op shopping and generally take it easy because I've been pushing myself too hard at work and am having problems with headaches and exhaustion. Spending time en femme helps me to relax, which relieves the headaches.

I put it in my diary just after the last day that I took off, and was really looking forward to it, until I had a call from a customer this afternoon basically demanding that I go to look at something for him on Friday before 1pm. Well, that's the end of the day off. I've done the usual family Thursday night shopping outing, have a migraine and am so tired that I am having trouble concentrating. There's no way that I can get some paperwork done as I had planned tonight, so Friday is now a complete write off.

I have also tentatively organised with one of my friends to go out shopping at Morisset Mega Markets on Saturday. I'm still waiting to see how my family will out manoeuvre me to make that one impossible...

15 September 2010

Debuting yet another dress

I wore a new dress for the first time on Tuesday night, and nobody noticed!

I bought it from an op shop several weeks ago, but hadn't worn it because it has short sleeves and the weather is still a little cool (it's early spring here in the Southern Hemisphere).

A few weeks ago, I realised that I had a light wrap jacket that I also hadn't worn before, and I wore it over another dress that I've worn several times. I have worn that combination of dress and jacket a couple of times, as shown in the photo from the Happy Friday shopping trip that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

On Tuesday afternoon, I looked at the new dress and realised that it would go well with the jacket, so that's what I wore. The dress also went well with the brown shoes that I blogged about in September last year. While I was unhappy about the scratches in those shoes when I bought them, they polished up okay (and I've polished them again recently), and they're now the second most worn shoes in my femme wardrobe behind the sandals that I wear when I drive.

The dress that I wore is Tightrope brand, the same as three others that I've had for some time and have worn many times. They are all wrap dresses, and this one is a size 14, which fits better around the bust than the other three, which are all size 12.

When I commented that it was the first time that I'd worn this particular dress, one of the other girls that I was dining with assured me that this one was familiar, and that I had worn it before! Evidently it looks so much like my other dresses that nobody realised that it was a new one. I'm not sure whether that means that I'm getting into a rut or whether it just fits my clothing style so well that it looks right on me.

11 September 2010

Travelling with family

In a few weeks, I will be taking my wife and son to Canberra for a few days to allow my wife to compete in sport. While there, we'll meet up with my wife's parents who, as I've noted before, I'm certain know about me but have never said anything. My role is primarily as chauffeur for the trip there and back and child minder for my son for most of the time while my wife and her parents are busy competing. On other occasions when my wife and son have travelled with her parents, I have stayed home and they've kept him occupied without me so realistically, the only part of the trip that I'm really required for is the driving, because my wife will not drive through road debacle that is Sydney. Her parents are going to be there for several days longer than we will, meaning that travelling with them isn't an option.

I'm not aware of there being any specific events that would be suitable opportunities for me to go out en femme, but I'd like to get out while I'm there. I've come to realise that I've been thinking the same thing year after year. We'll go away somewhere so that my wife can compete, and I'll wish that I could go out en femme but not really have any idea about what I'd do or where I'd go while I was there. The result is that all my femme stuff stays home while I spend the entire time away in boy mode. Sadly, at this point I expect that to be the case for this trip, too.

The only time I've ever been even close to crossdressed in Canberra was going to a Seahorse NSW meeting in Sydney years ago, cleaning off most of my makeup and changing before leaving the meeting, stashing my clothes and wig in the car for the duration, and having a shower in Canberra upon arrival (at about 2am) to remove the last traces of perfume and makeup.

I'm still considering my options, but suspect that when the time comes, I'll leave all my femme stuff at home and spend the time twiddling my thumbs in Canberra. Given that we're supposed to be travelling home on a Tuesday, I hope that I'll be home early enough and feeling well enough to make it to the regular Newcastle cafe night.

09 September 2010

Attitude adjustment

My work took me to the nearby city of Cessnock today. I didn't have a lot of time to spare, but stopped to look in op shops between jobs. Obviously, that means browsing dress racks in boy mode.

I walked into an op shop and went straight to the dress rack, which happened to be close to the front counter. One of the 2 women at the counter asked "are you going to a fancy dress party?" I smiled and looked at her somewhat quizzically, which confused her a little, and she repeated the question, adding a comment about the fact that I was looking at the dress rack.

I smiled again, and got my internet tablet out of my bag and said "I'll show you something." While I was waiting for it to boot up, the other woman noticed my nails and commented "Look at his nails! They're beautiful." I loaded up the above photo, which was from last week's Central Coast cafe night, and showed it to them. It took a couple of seconds for the penny to drop, but they suddenly realised that the photo was of me, and asked a few of the usual questions like did I do drag shows (no), how did I get that cleavage? (an adhesive bra and mastectomy breast forms), was I homosexual or heterosexual (heterosexual and married). I mentioned that most of the crossdressers that I know are heterosexual and many are married.

There was more conversation along the same lines, during which I showed them a few older photos in which I was wearing auburn wigs. Both women complimented me on my appearance. When I got to a photo in a black wig (the one in my earlier blog post My holy grail of bras), the woman who had started it all asked if the photo was of my wife. "No, that's me." She apologised for her original quip several times during the conversation and made it clear that until then, she had assumed that all crossdressers were gay.

So in the space of a few minutes, I'd not only outed myself to a couple of shop staff but I'd educated them about crossdressers. When a customer brought something to the counter to pay, I alerted the women to her arrival and went to browse the dress rack. As I worked my way along, I found 8 dresses that I wanted to try on. Knowing that the normal rules for this chain of shops was a limit of 3 items in the change room, I told the woman at the counter that I had found 8 dresses that I'd like to try and would it be okay if I took all of them into the dressing room. She again apologised for her earlier comment, and assured me that it would be fine to take the 8 dresses in and try them.

Obviously, it took me a little while to try them all on, and some were good and others no good. By the time I'd finished, I'd decided that I'd like to get 4 dresses including a halter neck evening gown that I have no idea when I'll get an opportunity to wear it. It was tagged $10, while the other 3 were all tagged $7. Without me asking, the now quite chatty and friendly woman put them all through for $5 each.

Having spent so much time in that one shop, I didn't have any time left to look at the other 3 op shops nearby. I returned to my car and continued with my work day. When I got home, I showed the dresses to my wife, who was uncommital about the first 3 that I showed her, and quite interested in the final one. That probably means that she'll be trying it on soon and if it fits her, she'll borrow it from time to time or it will find its way into her wardrobe and I'll have to borrow it back. :)

As a follow-up to my last post (Frankening), I bought a cheap pearl white nail polish tonight, so I'll be doing some more Frankening and re-doing my nails very soon (probably tomorrow night).

08 September 2010


I learned a new neologism a few days ago. I have been looking for a nail polish that is very close to the natural colour of my nails, but opaque enough that it would reduce the contrast between the tips and the part on the nail bed. Something that I can wear as an everyday polish, in girl mode and in boy mode without being too obvious. Very few people say anything about my long nails, so maybe, like getting my ears pierced, I'll eventually find that people don't care and I'll wear bright colours all of the time but I'm just not ready to try that yet! I want to work my way up to it.

To that end, I bought a cheap light pink nail polish last Thursday night. I tried it on Friday and was disappointed to not only find the polish didn't flow or apply well (poor consistency and a poor quality brush), but that it was too bright and pale to look natural, as can be seen in the above photo.

I then looked at an orange nail polish that I bought some time ago, that is far too orange to look natural, and too transparent. It flowed and applied really well, but gave my nails an orange tinge that reminded me of the stained nails of a smoker. Yuck!

What I really want is a shade between the two, that goes on as well as the orange one but is more opaque. Now, if I was to add some of the pink to the orange...

Since the orange polish had only been used a few times, the bottle was still fairly full. I added pink until the bottle was full to the bottom of the neck, shook it up and found that it was a more apricot shade and looked more opaque in the bottle than it had been, so I tried applying it and found that it's still a bit too orange and a lot too transparent.

Tonight, I topped up the bottle with a little bit more pink and applied it again. It's still too orange and far too transparent, although not as bad as before.

One of my friends on Facebook suggested adding some pearl white polish to the bottle to make it more opaque. Guess what I'll be looking for when I'm out shopping tomorrow night. :)

When I made a comment on the Beauty Heaven forums about having experimented with mixing nail polishes to try to get the result that I am after, one of the other posters responded by pointing out that mixing nail polishes is called frankening. A quick google search indicates that the term is derived from Frankenstein, in reference to putting bits and pieces together to make a monster. :)

01 September 2010

Online shopping and chopping


Back in January, I commented that I was looking at buying some more wigs. A few weeks ago, I finally did it. I bought 3 wigs from internationalwig.com/. They are all the same style and length, Alicia by New Look, in the standard length the same as the two red ones that I already had. One is actually a replacement for my favourite wig, which is getting old and the net is stretching out of shape. The others are replacements for the black and blonde wigs that I previously mentioned that I wasn't happy with. All three need their fringes trimmed to length, so I haven't worn them yet, but the purchase was quite straight forward and they arrived within about 3 weeks, which was the timeframe predicted on their web site.

Encouraged by the good results of buying wigs on line, I decided that I really wanted to get some lace patterned tights in colours other than black. I've searched locally over and over again without success, but not found what I was looking for. Google, however, turned up a brand called Jonathan Aston, in a style called Sweet Roses.

The first site that I looked at buying these from was a little strange. In spite of them being in the UK and me being in Australia, the site insisted in showing prices in US dollars. They also didn't have what I wanted in stock, and indicated that it would take a couple of weeks to get them in. The colour options shown were black, chocolate (the one I wanted) and ivory.

I subsequently found a different site, uktights.com that not only showed their prices in UK pounds, indicated that they had what I wanted in stock, and had an additional colour, shark grey. While browsing their site, I spotted some cute tattoo print tights, so I ended up ordering 2 pairs of the chocolate brown tights, one pair in shark grey and 2 pairs of the tattoo print, and getting a free pair of (obviously rather cheap) plain pantihose thrown in. The order shipped the same day, but showed as "part shipped". Several days later, I got a refund because apparently they didn't include one of the pairs of chocolate brown tights! I wasn't very happy about that, but the order was shipped within literally a few hours of ordering, and only took about 10 days from the UK to Australia.

Delivery was a problem, though. The sender had marked it as signature required, and instead of trying to deliver it, I watched the postal parcel delivery contractor put a card in the letterbox, which told me that I had to go to the post office to collect it! I rang Australia Post and told them what had happened and that I wasn't happy, and I told the woman at the post office when I went to collect it and she assured me that she'd let the delivery manager know.

I've had a look at the tights and I'm absolutely rapt. They look beautiful, and as soon as I post this, I'm off to get ready to go out. I'll be wearing the chocolate brown tights tonight. :)


I've been active on quite a few online sites, and up until recently that included flickr. Not long after I joined flickr, I had a few experiences that made me very dubious about the site. I made comments about it, and other people encouraged me to stay. I did, but to make it more tolerable, I started blocking people whose photos or behaviour was offensive to me. That included people who added me as a contact or favourited my photos, but whose photos showed genitals, profile indicated that they were tranny chasers, etc. The last straw came a couple of weeks ago, when I got an abusive message from a tranny chaser who was livid that I had dared to block him after he favourited a couple of my photos. He apparently had at least 2 accounts, and when I blocked him on one, he used a different account to send the abusive message.

I've now virtually departed from flickr. I haven't deleted my account, but I've deleted many of my photos (mostly close-ups) and those that remain are visible only to my friends. At some point in the future, I may decide to return, or I may decide to delete my account entirely but for now it's effectively inactive. Having made the decision to do that, I've realised that I can feel some relief from stress that I wasn't aware that I was experiencing.

Happy Friday

I did something last Friday that I've never done before. I took a day off work, as flexitime and went out to a few op shops and a couple of shopping centres. Visiting shops where the staff already knew me was fun, including Lifeline Cardiff where one of the staff realised who I was and sent another who didn't to have a look at me. When I turned around, there was a surprised exclamation of Oh, it's you! I was just admiring your hair. :)

I also wandered around the newly reopened (refurbished) bottom floor of Charlestown Square, as it opened on Friday. I remember when I used to be scared of going out, but now I'm finding it easier and easier to just blend into crowds and have virtually nobody take the slightest notice of me. Probably the only place that worries me now is near my home and work, for fear of harm that could occur to my family or to my work if someone particularly negative was to make a fuss.

As I was leaving Charlestown, I remembered that I was getting low on the apple tea that I can only get at Kotara, so I went there too. On the way back to the car, there were a couple of people (a man and a woman) with a little stall in the middle of the shopping centre, trying to sell skincare products or some such, and offering samples. The woman stepped forwards as I approached and I smiled and shook my head, and she stepped back. The man then started to move towards me, but I think that the woman said something to him and he also stopped. As I walked past, he complimented me on my hair. Even if it was just a sales ploy, the seemingly random compliment was quite welcome. :)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there were 6 cafe nights in August. Adding the outing on Friday means that my average for the month was better than one in 5 days, so my overall average for the year has improved. Of course, with there will only be 5 cafe nights in September, including the Central Coast one that I plan to go to tonight. It's a 30 day month, so one more outing would make for an average of once every 5 days, but my goal is to get to all of the cafe nights and at least 2 other outings, as I'm still behind my target for the year. I'm already planning another day off.