31 December 2010


Happy new year. Well, it's almost here. :)

I think that I'm slightly in shock. I didn't expect to achieve my goal, but I did it. I got out shopping today, meaning that I averaged an outing every 5 days for the year 2010.

There's a lot more that I intended to say today, but time is against me, I'm expected elsewhere this evening (by some of my wife's relatives, in boy mode) so I have to go and turn back into a frog now. Hopefully I'll do an introspective year in review and plan for the one ahead tomorrow.

30 December 2010

So close

As we get close to the end of the year, a couple of other things have also been close.

Yesterday, I got out for the 72nd time this year and unless I'm mistaken, I think that I came close to bumping into my father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law (and possibly her husband) and nephew while out shopping. I was walking along in Charlestown Square when an older guy pushing a pram looked over his shoulder and looked straight past me. I only glanced at him for the briefest moment, but I'm pretty certain it was my father-in-law. Given the direction that he was looking, it probably means that the rest of them were in a store behind me. I changed direction slightly and continued to a different part of the centre.

Given that they all know about me but don't talk about it, I thought it best to avoid creating a scene. I have no idea how any of them would behave towards me in that situation.

I only need one more to make my target of 73 outings and hence an average of once every 5 days over the whole year. That 73rd outing was going to be today. I asked my wife a few days ago if she had anything planned for this week and she said no, so I planned to change my nail colour from the green and red Christmas colours to something different, then go out to the cafe night Tuesday night, then shopping Wednesday and Thursday.

I had all of my nail polishes out on Monday, trying to find a suitable colour to go with some of my pink outfits. When my wife saw them all out, she got hers out as well, and I found a very suitable slightly purplish pink, which I applied on Tuesday afternoon. Sadly, it didn't harden properly so after getting home on Tuesday night, I re-did my nails with the same colour before going to bed. Again it didn't harden and the nails were a mess. My wife then informed me that she was given that nail polish in about 1988!

While I was out Wednesday, I bought a few new polishes including a similar shade, but I later decided to go with an entirely different colour for a few days, so I'm now sporting a Revlon beige colour called Putty. The 1988 polish will probably go in the bin today whether my wife approves or not!

When I mentioned last night that I intended to go out again today, my wife informed me that she was intending to go to a Zumba class today, meaning that I had to either have our son with me, or stay home with him. Given that I don't want to force him to go out with me, and that I will be expected to go out shopping with the family tonight in boy mode, it left me with too little time between her class and this evening to go out and do the errands that I wanted to do. instead, I took my beige nails out today and did some boy errands, making sure that I was back before my wife left for her class. Nobody appeared to notice the colour of my nails, but that was part of the reason for choosing the colour. It's a bit more subtle than the dark brown that I considered wearing in boy mode recently.

I also made a phone call to confirm that a Bella Bodies body shaper that I want to buy (to replace a worn out one the same) is in stock at a shop about half an hour's drive away. The lady confirmed that they have them, and when I asked about the price she also informed me that they are on special until the end of tomorrow. It looks like I'll be going out en femme tomorrow instead of today, which means I might make my goal after all.

If I was out crossdressed past midnight tomorrow night, would that count as an outing for next year as well? :p

PS don't ask me why I had my hand spread across my belly in the above photo. I don't know, and think that it looks silly but the photo shows a top that I hadn't worn before, which emphasises my relatively slim waist and I didn't get a photo without my hand there so I'm stuck with it.

PPS yes, I'm now making it a habit to watermark photos used on my blog and in forums because some have been used without permission.

27 December 2010

A little problem

I have a little problem.

I've now spent 2 days in boy mode with my nails painted alternating bright green and bright red. Very Christmas colours, but on nails that are clearly too long and shaped for a guy. I've only been around people who I know - my wife's relatives one day, friends the other.

The problem? I've had a taste of having brightly coloured nails for a couple of days and don't want to go back to the drab pale pseudo-natural finger nail colour that I usually wear.

Yesterday, I considered that we will again see some of my wife's relatives on Monday night and I wondered about leaving my nails as they are until Tuesday. Then I considered taking the colours off and reversing them to see if anybody commented. :)

Last night, I even started looking at tops or dresses that would go with these nail colours so that I could leave them as they are and go out during the day on Monday and again for the Tuesday evening cafe outing. I found a couple of tops that didn't really match both colours but could work okay during the day. The only evening outfit I found was the one that I wore last Tuesday and a fortnight earlier, which I don't intend to wear again this week!

The most likely outcome is that I'll stay home during the day today, visit relatives tonight, change polish to something chosen to complement whatever I decide to wear tomorrow night, then have to try to convince myself to revert to a drab colour before we go shopping on Thursday night. I can see myself looking for a drab-ish but slightly brighter colour to replace the present drab colour...

Unfortunately, the likelihood of making my target number of outings for the year is looking less and less likely, as I'd have to get out at least 3 times between now and Friday and I'm not sure that I'm really up to that. Tuesday night is virtually a certainty but the rest of the week is quite uncertain. Part of my problem is that I don't actually have any specific places that I want to go to or things that I want to do, except that I want to do it wearing bright nail polish! :)

26 December 2010

I like your nails. Very colourful

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn't sure what sort of reception I'd get with my nails painted red and green. Even yesterday morning after my blog post, I was still considering taking the colour off and going back to neutral because I looked at them in the bathroom mirror and was worried that the colours really draw attention to how long they are.

I wandered around to hand out Christmas cards to my neighbours before driving to the inlaws' place, and the first couple pretended not to notice, the second couple chatted about them because they already knew from facebook, and the third said nothing but already knew because they'd seen them on Christmas eve.

I then drove the family to the inlaws' place, where only one person said anything. Interestingly, it was the person who made a rather strong unapproving remark some time ago. On this occasion, the comment was "I like your nails. Very colourful." I responded with a comment about them being Christmas colours and left it at that. My 2 year old nephew was quite entertained by them, particularly when I waved my fingers around.

In the evening, we went to a larger gathering of my wife's relatives, which included all of those who we had been with at lunch plus several more (including the cousin that I almost bumped into while out shopping at Easter last year), and none of them said anything at all.

Today is boxing day. I haven't taken the nail polish off yet, and am considering visiting a couple of friends today, as I did on boxing day 2008.

25 December 2010

Christmas nails

Merry Christmas. :)

I'm planning on doing something today that I wimped out on last year. I've done my nails in alternating green and red, in colours approximating the traditional Holly leaf and berry colours, and I plan on going to my inlaws place for lunch, then to a larger gathering of more inlaws in the evening, in boy mode, with my nails like this.

I have approval from both my wife and son to do this, although my son preferred a lighter shade of green. I applied the red to one middle finger nail and the 2 greens to the nails either side of it and wore them like that for several hours yesterday while trying to choose which green to go with. When I put them against the shirts that I have to choose from, there was no contest as the lighter green simply didn't work with any of them.

If I survive the day, I plan to post a follow up tomorrow. :)

24 December 2010

That's me

After Wednesday evening's outing to Charlestown Square, I noticed that I'd torn the edge of one of my nails over the nail bed, up past an acrylic patch that was done last week. When I removed the nail polish that I'd worn since Tuesday afternoon, I realised that I had tears on the edges of 3 nails, not just one. All were on nails that had been patched in the past 2 weeks, and when I went to use my nail glue on them, I discovered that the bottle was stuck shut.

Fortunately, I managed to make it to Thursday morning without making any of them any worse. I realised that my son had received some money with Christmas cards at my family get-together on Sunday, so I took his building society book with me when I went into town. I went to the salon first to see if I could get an appointment later in the day, and one of the women there had time to do full overlays on those 3 nails straight away. While there, I chatted with a couple of older women who were getting their nails and hair done. I got my internet tablet out and loaded the photo from Wednesday ready to show the woman next to me, just as she got up from the nails area and went back to the hairdresser's room.

When they were done, I left the salon feeling quite self conscious of my nails. They were all either bare or clear coated, the 2 extended nails were visibly different to the rest, and the lengths varied from 8mm to 10mm past the nail bed.

I walked into the building society branch, and one of the regular tellers was free. I got out my son's book and decided to add some more cash to the deposit. While I was getting the money out, the teller complimented me on my nails and asked how I managed to keep them looking so good. I replied "I make a lot of effort", then, remembering that I'd left the photo on the screen of my internet tablet, I pulled it out and showed it to her, saying "That's me." She smiled. I scrolled through a few previous photos. I think that she said something like "You'd never guess." We had a brief conversation about it. Some of the usual questions. Yes, I'm married and my wife knows and is fine with it, etc. I also asked something that I've been wondering for years, whether I could get a Visa debit card connected to my existing account, with a different name on it. The answer, sadly, was that years ago, I could have, but the recent APRA (Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) regulatory changes have probably made it impossible.

Knowing what places like the building society branch are like, I expect that all of the staff will know fairly soon. I might soon be able to start doing my banking while I'm out en femme. :)

23 December 2010

Recognition? Probably not - part 2

I went out again yesterday. I had a full loyalty rewards card from Salvos op shops, which would have expired at the end of the year, so my first 2 stops were Salvos stores. After using up the card at the second one, I went to a lingerie shop that used to carry Bella Bodies body shapers because the current one is about due for replacement. They don't carry the brand any more, and only had a few leftovers that didn't include what I was after. :( After that, I dropped into my local Lifeline op shop then did some shopping at the local Woolies.

When I got home, I just couldn't convince myself to change. In the evening, I decided to go out to Charlestown Square to see if I could find a replacement body shaper. I tried all the places that I could think of and drew a blank at all of them, but had a bit of a look at costume jewellery while I was there. While wandering along between stores, I had an almost heart stopping moment when I realised that a work customer and her late teen or early 20s daughter were walking directly towards me, just a few metres away. There was no way that I could turn around without drawing their attention, so I just looked past them and kept waking. Unlike my wife's cousin last year, there was no double take. No hint of recognition. I didn't look back to see if they looked back at me, but from what I saw in my peripheral vision, they didn't pay any attention to me.

The funny part is that I stopped and chatted to this customer for about half an hour in the same shopping centre while in boy mode less than a week ago, and her daughter was present at the time.

It took a little while for the adrenaline rush to wear off. I considered doing a few laps of the centre to see if could find them again, but thought better of it and left. :)

19 December 2010

Recognition? Probably not

As I mentioned yesterday, there was a family get together today. This was something that I had been anticipating for a few weeks, as it was the first time that I'd seen my sister-in-law since I went en femme to the op shop that her mother (I'll call her E for convenience) volunteers at.

Given that nothing was said by my sister-in-law about E recognising me at the shop, it's almost certain that E has said nothing to her about it. There's still a remote chance that E recognised me but chose not to say anything, but I don't really think that that is her style.

For now, I'm thinking that it's probably more likely that she didn't recognise me than that she did. A lack of comment doesn't prove anything either way, but certainly shifts the odds towards probably not. :)

18 December 2010

Do you think anybody would notice?

Last night, I did my nails in a nice dark brown colour in anticipation of going out en femme today. Then I ended up getting to bed so late that I got up too late for that to happen. There simply wasn't enough time between when I got up and when I'd be expected to go out for dinner with the family in boy mode to dress (including makeup, etc), go out for a while, then change, including removing makeup and showering.

So there I was, in my pyjamas, looking at my nails wishing that I could just leave them as they were and go out in boy mode. Nope, not going to happen with such a strong, obvious colour on such long nails.

I jokingly asked my wife and son if they thought that anybody would notice. Both were quite positive that people would indeed notice, so I reluctantly removed it and re-did my nails in the frankenised neutral colour that I usually use during the day.

With a family get-together tomorrow, that means no en femme outing today or tomorrow. I've also still got a backlog of work related paperwork to be done before I can really start my holidays. I can see myself falling even shorter of my goal than I had previously anticipated. :(

17 December 2010

A basket case

Today, I decided to drop into the salon that I went to last week, to see if I could get splitting and cracking on the edges of another 2 nails patched up. This time around, the owner of the salon greeted me by name. She was just finishing with another client and was able do it for me straight away. By getting the edges repaired as soon as possible, I hope to be able to avoid damaging any of my other nails while I grow out the nails that have acrylic and gel on them. Even bare, the ones that have an acrylic repair on an edge are hard to pick from the ones that are completely natural.

Having finished there, I wandered around the nearby op shops. One was having a 50% off sale, and had a cane basket outside the front door for $3. It has a little damage here and there but overall it looks okay. I immediately thought of my need to make or buy a travel case for carrying a wig on a stand, foam padding etc. and decided that for the price, the basket would be worth the gamble on whether I could make it do the job or not.

I had a closer look and I measured the basket after I got home. I found that the basket has a sturdy timber frame with metal hinges on the lid, and that it is 320mm square at the top and 580mm high inside. Considering that I was generously estimating that I needed about 300mm round by 600 high, it's pretty close. I'm not sure when I'll next be travelling that I might need or be able to use this case, as I'm already committed to staying home to work next time my wife and son go away, but I'll be looking at how to modify it to do the job very shortly, so that it is ready when I am. :)

12 December 2010

A little down

After noting that I was going to fall short of my target for how often I get out over the year, I realised that I might still be able to make that target if I was able to get out once a week in addition to the planned cafe nights. I got out last Saturday, and even took this photo with the Newcastle landmark Nobbys in the background. It was also the day that I realised that I really need to make an effort to find my female voice again.

Logically, it would follow that I should have gone out again this weekend to have a chance of making my target. Sadly, it was not to be.

I went out to a Christmas party in boy mode last night, and ate too much. Since the one night where I was down to 72.5kg a few weeks ago, my weight has been steadfastly remaining at 73kg. It was the most stable that my weight has been in years. Instead of floating across a range of about 1kg from day to day, it was the the same day after day until last night, when it jumped to 74.5kg. I expect that it will be back down close to 73kg again by tonight, but I'm disappointed that I still don't have the self control to avoid overeating like that.

I also planned to change my nail polish last night before I went to bed so that the polish had time to harden rather than applying it in the morning and having it messed up before I got out the door. After getting home from the party late, I should have had a shower then removed the old polish before I sat down in front of the computer, and applied the new stuff while I was sitting there, but I didn't.

As usual, I lost track of time and didn't get to bed until about 2am and then didn't get up until 10am. I was resigned to leaving my nails in the neutral colour that they are, but planned to dress and go out this afternoon. Then I tried to decide what I would do and where I would go. In spite of having vague ideas about going to Morisset Mega Markets or possibly wandering around some suburban shopping centres, I simply didn't have a definite plan and so many places are closed on a Sunday that I sat down in front of the computer for a while. An hour later, I still didn't have any real idea where I would go and realised that with the time having got away from me, I didn't really feel like pushing myself to go out. It is, after all, supposed to be an enjoyable experience. There's no point in pushing myself to do something that I don't feel like doing.

Around about then, I was playing with the Friend Finder on Facebook and one of my wife's relatives who had been one of my friends came up. In other words, he has made a conscious decision to remove me as a friend. I think that it was inevitable, as he has never commented on anything that I've put on my wall or interacted with me. Removing me as a friend gets all my stuff off his news feed, which fits with knowing about me but choosing to say nothing. I guess he doesn't want my photos and blog posts being stuck under his nose.

On the upside, the decision not to go out today gives me a chance to concentrate on paperwork that has to be done for work. Some really needs to be done today and some needs to be done within the next week to hopefully clear the backlog before I start holidays. If I don't get it done, I'll have it hanging over me while I'm on holidays over Christmas, which will either lead me to doing it during my holidays or leave me stressing about it not being done. I should also try to mow the grass today, as it has been left unmown for too long. I guess today is turning into an opportunity to remove obstacles to getting out later in the month. Making my target looks unlikely but it's not impossible yet.

09 December 2010

From bored to happy in seconds

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had repaired a nail by gluing it back together. I'm happy to say that the repair held long enough for the nail to grow so that the tear was past the end of the nail bed before falling apart so badly that I had to trim and file it back. That left me with 8 nails that were fairly long, one with about half the overhang past the nail bed of the others and one that was right back at the end of the nail bed.

Of course, I didn't want to cut any of the long ones back, and the most obvious solution was to get acrylic nails done just on the 2 that were short.

With that in mind, I wandered into a local salon in boy workday mode yesterday afternoon and asked about getting a couple of nails done, and a couple of damaged spots on others fixed. It took a little convincing for the rather bored teenage daughter at the front of the salon to go and check with her mother on whether it would be possible for me to get them done. The mother came out and informed me that she was busy and running a little late but if I wanted to come back at 4:45, she could do them then.

At the appointed time, I walked back into the salon and sat down in the waiting area. The daughter still looked quite bored and entirely disinterested in talking to me. Within a couple of minutes, the woman finished with her previous customer and was ready for me. As I sat down at the table with all of the nail gear on it, she asked me why I wanted my nails done. Was I a musician? I said "No, I'm a crossdresser" then took out my internet tablet and showed her a few recent photos, starting with this photo from the previous night's cafe outing.

It's amazing how positive some people can be towards crossdressers. The daughter's attitude in particular changed very rapidly, from bored to interested and happy. Both were obviously surprised that I was so open about it. A asked the woman if she would have guessed from the pierced ears, long hair etc. and she shook her head and said no, she wouldn't have guessed. The conversation then went onto some of the usual questions like when did I start crossdressing, how did my wife feel about it, and when I mentioned that I have a son, how did he handle it. Part way through, the mother had to go and do a spray tan on someone else, and while she was away, the daughter told me about a couple of her gay friends at school who are struggling with their non-accepting parents.

The conversation covered a remarkable range of topics, from whether I used a different voice when in girl mode (to which I responded that I used to and need to practice, and told the story that I wrote about a few days ago) to whether I had trouble walking in heels (I explained that I often wear 12cm heels and have no trouble walking in them).

While she was doing my nails, the woman asked if I normally wore colour, as the acrylic nails are more white than my natural nails (which are showing some staining from previous nail polish). I haven't been using colour much lately but after I got home, I cleaned off the old clear coat and I've now put a couple of coats of the light opaque nail polish that I mixed up some time ago onto my nails. It's pale, a little bit too pearl and a little bit too reflective, but it's translucent enough to be able to see through the tips of the nails and makes the colour difference between the nails less obvious. It'll just have to do. :)

05 December 2010


I really need to work on my female voice.

Somewhere along the line, I've overcome my phobia of using lifts (elevators) en femme, but using one yesterday led to the realisation that my voice is quite a problem. I use the lifts in the new section of Charlestown Square fairly often and know what the various levels are called. On the way up into the centre from the car-park, a couple of women entered the lift on level 1 on the way up to level 2. They looked at the buttons and looked confused. The levels from bottom to top are P1 (P for parking), P2, P3, 1 and 2. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that there are 3 levels inside the centre, but the bottom one is called G (ground floor) and doesn't extend to where these lifts are. I think that the women were expecting to go from level 2 to level 3.

To help them out, I explained that they had entered on level 1 and were going up to level 2. There was a clear "oh right" reaction, closely followed by a double take at the incongruity between my appearance and my voice. I'm guessing that I had passed on appearance but my voice just didn't fit with my appearance.

I have previously spent time working on my female voice with some success, but tended to find that I was overly self conscious about practising it around the house and would only whisper when anybody else was home, so I've never really been confident in using it in public. I didn't have a convenient way of recording myself before, but have recently discovered a sound recording program for my internet tablet, and it works quite well. While I'll try to start practising this month, I think that it is going to be another goal for next year. I want to develop a voice that is consistent with my female appearance.

03 December 2010

Falling short

I could blame my work. I could blame other people around me. I could even blame the phases of the moon but the truth is that there is only one person to blame for the fact that I'm unlikely to make my target of averaging one outing every 5 days over the whole year. Me.

I just keep doing self destructive things all of the time. As I type this, I'm lying in bed with a migraine after midday on a Friday that I took off work because I had planned to go out. The headache started on Wednesday night, on the rather late drive home from the Central Coast cafe night and has steadily worsened as I've continued to do stupid things like sitting in my office until after midnight trying to do paperwork but getting little or nothing done. Of course what I should have done was to was to go to bed early to try to relieve the headache and be more productive later, but I didn't. It seems that my hindsight is far better than my foresight.

I'm still going to try to get out a few times this month. I only got out 7 times in November, and I've been out once so far this month, which means that I need 8 more outings (including 4 planned cafe nights) this month. With the headaches and increasing backlog of work, I'm pretty much resigned to falling short of my target.

I've been considering my target for next year. I'd love to aim for once every 4 days but I doubt that there's any real chance of getting out that often. The reality is that the reason why I'm falling short this year is that I had several months in the middle of the year where I fell short each month, and it's those missed outings that I'm trying to catch up at year's end. My target for next year, then, is to not only average better than once every 5 days, but also to have a minimum of 6 outings including at least one daytime outing every month.

This year, I've prioritised cafe nights over other non-crossdressing events. I may not be able to do that next year. If I have to miss a cafe night, I'm going to aim to make up for it with another outing the same month.