Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Better Late Than Never

In my last post, written a month ago, I promised a report on Transfusion in Sydney. This is one of the big events in the Aussie tranny calendar, so it would have been rude not to go. So I went.

Of course, I was limited in terms of outfit because my stuff still hadn't arrived from the UK, but I eventually settled on a sequined minidress that I just happened to have with me, and spent a happy afternoon scouring Wollongong for accessories.

Letty (see previous post) offered to drive me up to Sydney, and back, thus alleviating the need for me to take the train. And Letty was going to be en-femme all weekend, so I decided that the time had come for a new adventure and followed suit. By some standards 30 hours is not that long, but it's the longest sustained time I've spent as Rachel. And in the Aussie heat it was long enough as well.

So, we drove up to Sydney, and Letty showed me the sights of Newtown - loads of little shops and cafes, many of teh former selling gorgeous vintage clothing, which I resisted (aside from one skirt which I tried with a view to buying, but which didn't fit). After lunch in one of the aforementioned cafes we headed for our hotel so that we could change for the evening. Since so many girls were staying at the same place we were having pre-event drinkies on the roof, so we needed to get ready fairly briskly. After all, it takes forever to look as good as we do, doesn't it :-)

So here I am at the hotel:

Hotel Balcony

I changed. I headed for the roof. Somehow I failed to find it and, much to my embarassement got stuck in a fire-escape stairwell. Fortunately a quick call on my mobile alerted Letty to my whereabouts and she opened the door to the roof and let me out. A good start to the evening.

Up on the roof:

Waldorf Roof

The venue laid on a bus for us, so transport was easy. The return was either the bus (at an appropriate time) or taxi.

Transfusion - it was fun. Great to meet so many Aussie t-girls in one place. The music was OK (as good as you get at any tranny event in the UK), the drag act was typical of its genre and the food was average. But I danced like nobody was watching, and chatted to the usual interesting cross-section of people that inhabit the tranniesphere. I'm going again next year.

So, the event drew to a close, and the club (ARQ), was opened up to 'real' people, mostly muscular and (seemingly) shirtless gay men. Not my thing to be fiar, but I decided that the night was still young and that I'd hang about and get a taxi back, rather than taking the bus back to the hotel. Eventually I tired of the club, and met up with a couple of other girls (and a partner) in a next-door venue, The Taxi Club. This is closer to a pub or cocktail bar than ARQ (similar to The Philbeach, say, but without the hotel bit), so it was easier to sit and chat. And it was fascinating watching the few tranny-chaser's eyes follow every girl that walked past.

It was 2am by now, and I decided to head back to the hotel. Now, I knew its name, and knew it was nearby. It was a Waldorf (still is), so I reasoned that it wouldn't be too hard a destination to find.

I was wrong.

I'd headed out of The Taxi Club alone, knowing that I could pick up a cab outside. But none of the drivers I stopped knew where the hotel was. And, I realised, neitehr did I. I knew its name, but not what street it was on; Sydney is a foreign city to me still, and I was, to put it mildly, a bit buggered. Eventually a nice couple used their mobile internet to look up the address for me (thank you, if you ever read this), so I had a street to give the next driver. But still they seemed reluctant to try and find it. A lot of them obviously spoke little english, that was clear; getting a taxi at gone 2am in Sydney was proving harder that I thought it would be. And, for the first time when I was out as Rachel, I could feel my confidence slipping. I was basically alone in a strange city and I was en-femme; I won't say I felt scared but I did feel a little vulnerable and was staring to consider what options I had.

At that point a driver puleld up who did know where I needed to go, and I was rescued. He opined that it may not have been geographical ignorance that he other drivers displayed but the simple fact that they didn't want 'one of you' in their cab. Transphobia, or geographical ignorance? Who knows. Anyway, I was saved, and returned to the hotel by about 3am, ready for sleep.

And up bright and early so that Letty and I could head into Sydney city centre for breakfast. Which we ate at a pavement cafe, before heading to the glorious Queen Victoria Building for some shopping and sight-seeing. I didn't buy anything femme, but did get a card-game from the local games shop. Which I haven't played yet.

And here I am in the QVB:

Queen Victoria Building

And then back to Wollongong, where I was genuinly glad to throw off the trappings of Rachel, and slob out in male-mode.

Thanks to Letty for being my escort, guide and chauffeuse for the weekend.

I was back in Sydney a fortnight later, with my family this time*, as we went to see 'Priscilla: The Musical'. See it. I have spoken. That is all.

Oh, and our stuff turned up from the UK a couple of days after Transfusion. It's only when you unpack things that you realise how much of your wardrobe is taken up by each persona; in my case Rachel takes up more than twice the space of my bloke self. For clothes that are worn less than 5% of my time. Daft, really.

Anyway, have a good Christmas, and I'll probably be back in the New Year. At present I'm in a 'not bothered aboout trannying' phase, but the urge will return I'm sure, and I'll be ready when it does :-)

*And me 'en-bloke'.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Life as a tranny seems to be made up of a series of milestones; first time out dressed, first time in the 'real world', first chat-up line*, and so forth.

This week saw me deal with two more.

Firstly I managed, quietly, without any fuss, to nudge open the door towards going public. That is to say I posted a picture of me as Rachel on my male Flickr stream. I've done this once or twice by accident (and vice versa with Rachel's stream), but this was a deliberate act. Since moving to Australia we have a new life to build, and new contacts to make. These people will have no expectations about us, and may as well know about us properly from the word go. When we were living in the UK we had a constant worry about neighbours or people from work 'finding out'. We have decided that this no longer applies. For better or for worse I am a crossdresser, and people will have to deal with that.

That's not to say that we are forcing it on them, but neither are we taking any special measures to hide Rachel from the outside world. We have discussed it with the children and they are comfortable with it as well, and to be honest it was them that mostly drove a lot of the discretion in the UK anyway.

Anyway, those who know me in bloke mode will know that I have been doing a daily self-portrait project on Flickr. Over the last year I have found ways of introducing Rachel into this without bein too blatant about things (although I've done it enough that I know several people suspected I was a tranny). However the other day my self-portrait was of me as Rachel. Any suspicions anyone may have had were confirmed, and anyone who cares to look at my stream and who doesn't know I'm a tranny will do so now. I haven't, as yet, associated my male stream with that of Rachel, or, indeed Rachel's stream with my bloke one. That's a step to be taken at a later date.

So far responses have been positive. But the genie is now out of the bottle and we'll take what comes.

And the next milestone?

Since we arrived in Oz I have been in e-mail communication with a local girl, Letty. We decided that it would be good to meet up sometime, and last night we did so. However as meets go it was pretty momentous. Letty invited me to her place for a meal, but extended the invite to Mrs Rachel and the children as well. Now Mrs Rachel has been out with me enough for this to be a non-issue, but this would be quite a big step for the children. However we discussed it with them, and they were quite happy to join us - the first time that they have ever been out with me as Rachel. Also the first time that they had met another crossdresser in girl mode. Anyway, we all had a very pleasant evening, and, when our stuff finally arrived from the UK, we will return the favour. There are many times that your children make you proud - last night was one of them; they were brilliant.

Anyway, I'm off out again next weekend for the Transfusion Christmas party up in Sydney. Report and pictures when I get back.

*A year ago. It was roughly 'My mate really fancies you.'

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Rachel Steps Out Again

Fresh from the success of my shopping trip to Shellharbour a couple of weeks ago, last night I went to my first tranny social event since arriving here in Oz eight weeks ago. This was a restaurant night in a suburb of Sydney, so required a couple of hours' driving there and back. But it was worth it; Mrs Rachel and I met three girls, two of whom had their partners with them, and we had a very pleasant Italian meal. And, just to rub it in to those of you in the UK, we sat outdoors :-)

I'm out of practice in getting ready for these things, and we were late leaving home because I was still putting my face on when we should have been in the car. Add to that the fact that we don't really know our way around Sydney (which, we think, covers a larger area than London, despite only having half of the poulation) and got lost, it was no surprise that we were late turning up. However no-one had ordered, so we didn't disrupt things. To balance things out we also got lost on the way back home as well and, just as we finally found the correct route out of the city, we got caught in the mother of all thunderstorms; lashing rain and bright sheet lightning all the way down to Wollongong and beyond.

Anyway, thanks to Jan, Caroline, Karen and their other halves for making us welcome. I'll see some of you in just over a week at the next big even - Transfusion.

I wore some particularly high heels for the evening and to get used to them spent a morning wearing them around the house. Which led to the bizarre sight of me, in full bloke mode, playing competitive Guitar Hero against my son whilst wearing 5" stilletos. It actually seemed to improve my ability to play.

And it was my son who, whilst we were getting changed at the local swimming pool this afternoon, notcied that I had forgotten to remove the raspberry pink nail varnish from my toes last night. Oh well.

Friday, 31 October 2008

My Aussie Debut

Well, The Urge finally caught up with me, and I decided that I had to get frocked up and have some kind of outing or I'd go spare. Since we arrived in New South Wales a couple of weeks ago I've not been shy about trying things on in shops whilst in bloke mode, (and buying some of them as well), but it's not the same is it?

The downside is, of course, that it's too bloody hot for trannying a lot of the time. So I bided my time until we had a relatively cool, overcast day and then went for it.

In fact it wasn't an exciting outing - I just went shopping in the local mall (Shellharbour Stockland) - but it was my first time in not only a new area, but a new country. I have no reason to assume that urban Australia gives a damn about the odd tranny wandering around, so I wasn't too worried, but I will admit to a few butterflies as I parked up and started to get out of the car.

For those that like to know these things I wore some leg-flattering cord trousers from Next which I bought in Staines the day before I flew out here, my New look dolly shoes and a lovely loose flowing tunic top in cream with lace trim I picked up in a vintage/esoteric clothes shop in Wollongong earlier this week. Here's the ensemble.

I can report the best thing one can always report after an outing into the Real World - nothing happened. A few people did a double take, anyone who stared got my winning smile and most people didn't notice me or ignored me. Just what I'd expect. Shop assistants were, on the whole, polite and helpful and seemingly unfazed by a crossdressing Pom spending money like it was going out of fashion. The only place where I noticed a reaction (definate sniggers as I left) was the local games shop which I'd been into to see if they had a release date for the new Guitar Hero game for the DS. Perhaps it was my taste in games they were laughing at?

I did every clothes shop I could find in the mall, and tried on things in several of them. In none of them did I have any problems doing so. Looking confident always pays off I guess.

Anyway, I came away with a new iPod FM thingy for the car, a new bra and a lovely 50s style floral dress which I now need an excuse to wear.

Next time I go shopping it's going to be Wollongong city centre - there are heaps of lovely clothes shops there just waiting to be explored. And I shall have to work on the next outing as well; there's a nice Thai restaurant just down the road from where we're living which could be a possible venue.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Made It!


Just a short note to say that I'm in Australia now. Actually I've been here for a couple of weeks now, but we started with a two week holiday in Northern Territory and it's only in the last couple of days that we arrived in New South Wales, where we intend to live.

I have tried to maintain some tranny credentials. On the day we flew out of the UK I bought a new pair of shoes, and on my first day in New South Wales I tried on a nice looking black pinafore dress in the local shopping centre. Didn't buy that one, though; I wasn't sure it suited me.

Look out for new pics and adventures when i get myself properly organised.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The End Of An Era

The Last UK Outing

Last night I went out as Rachel for the last time in the UK. In less than two weeks I, and my family, will be emigrating to Australia and waving these shore bye-bye.

Appropriately, and coincidentally, I wore pretty much the same outfit I wore last October on my first major public trip out - a meal with my wife, brother and sister in the centre of Birmingham. This time I was going out with Mrs Rachel again, but meeting up with the three work colleages who know about Rachel. Oddly enough they were all people who, for various reasons, were unable to make it to my official work leaving-do on Friday, so it was a proper chance to say farewell to them. But it was also the first time they had met me as Rachel, which was an odd experience for all of us. They'd seen photos, of course, but the real thing is always slightly different. Better, I hope :-)

Anyway we had a meal and a drink at a nice pub/restaurant in Ash. They were also fashionably late, which meant that Mrs Rachel and I had a panicked few moments wondering if we'd got the right night or the right pub even. We even both ambled around the place looking to see if our friends had turned up through a different entrance and were sat somewhere else. Guess which one of us attracted the most attention there ...

The last couple of weeks has also seen my last Transdoori curry-night and my last trip to the Surrey Swans. Thank you to all of the friends we have made over the last year. Your support has been invaluable, and we will keep you acquainted with our adventures Down-Under via this blog, my photos and all of the usual forums. But that's it. In a few days 'Rachel' will be packed up for transit to Australia and there will be a (brief) break in her activities. Maybe, if there's space, I'll pack a 'stripped down' Rachel in my luggage, but otherwise she's going in the crate with the bulk of our other possessions, and making a long slow sea journey. So, until she catches me up, bye for now.

The Last UK Outing

Monday, 1 September 2008

A Year On ...

I realise that it's over a month since I last posted, and I have allowed a couple of personal anniversaries to pass by unnoticed.

At the end of July I should have marked the passing of the first year since Mrs Rachel first met Rachel. Although I had come out a couple of months previously, we had left the actual presentation of me in femme mode until we were both settled and ready. And when we could find some time away from the children.

So it was, at the end of July, we went into London where I had a session booked at Adam & Eve, twith Mrs Rachel as an observer. The idea was that instead of just seeing Rachel appear 'fully-formed' (and, remember, at this stage she had never even seen a photo of me dressed), she would see me transformed bit by bit, which we hoped would reduce some of the shock. Obviously it was a nervous time for both of us; neither of us knew what the reaction would be.

I think you can guess, from the fact that I am writing this, that things went well. Mrs Rachel didn't freak out. Yes, it was hard for her. I think it still is. But she coped and we realised that should could live with me appearing, from time to time, as The Other Woman. We even went out for lunch together at a local cafe. More importantly we felt confident enough to invest in something I didn't have at that point - a wardrobe at home. We hauled off to the infamous Doreen's where I was able to pick up my 'look'; all the basics I felt I needed to be Rachel. This was the point where I stopped being someone created, in part, by a dressing service and took full control of my appearence.

Needless to say that my wardrobe has expanded somewhat since then. I'm a tranny. It happens.

With that milestone out of the way we started telling family members. The big one was telling the children, who accepted it with little problem at all. They knew that we had some kind of issue that was being resolved, but not what it was, but when they finally found out they were accepting and understanding. They saw me, pretty much in bloke mode, trying on a skirt. They had a play with my wig and boobs. And then, towards the end of August, we put aside a Saturday evening and Rachel came to tea. The children saw me fully dressed for the first time. And they didn't freak either.

Obviously there's more to these tales of acceptance and understanding than I've written here, but that would make this post far longer than it needs to be. Suffice to say that, thanks to a wonderful family, I have been able to happily and comfortably express myself as Rachel and, I hope, have been a better person because of it.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Security Breach

So there we were, playing 'Rock Band' on the X-Box; my daughter, her friend and I. It was first time, and my daughter was explaining (badly) how I selected my character. As I fliundered around the controls a woman popped up and I decided to give up working out what I was doing an use her.

"Yeah", says my daughter "That seems a good choice, given what you are."

I flash her a warning glance, taking in her friend (who seemed oblivious), and indicating that the Tranny Thing was a no-no in the present circumstances.

"Oh, it's OK", says the fruit of my loins, "She knows."

Cue Rachel in bloke mode sitting there open-mouthed.

"I told her."

Even more open-mouthed.

Her friend still seemed oblivious, and I gave my daughter a special "We'll Talk About This Later" look (I'm good at looks). Then we murdered whatever song it was we chose to murder.

And she had. Told her. Weeks ago, apparently.

The thing is that whilst I am not strictly closeted, I do maintain a certain level of secrecy about being a CD in my local area, precisely because the children were concerned about it getting out at school. Now, fortunately, this friend of hers goes to a different school, so we have something of a buffer in that respect, but they both go to the same Guide group as people who do go to my kid's school. Really it's not a matter of if word gets out, but when. For my wife and I we'll live with it. Indeed if I no longer have to conceal my trannying from the population of Staines I can shop a little more freely and worry less about being spotted when going off to various events. My daughter has made her own bed, and will have to lie on it. But my son was the most concerned about word getting out, and now she's potentially blown it for him. We'll see. All being well we won't be around these parts much longer, so it may all be academic, but if word does get out, we'll know the source.

Kids. Who'd have them?

Monday, 21 July 2008

Magic Theatre IV - And A First

Magic Theatre IV has come and gone, this time with the magic transferred to a new venue. Previously held at the Rivoli Ballroom somewhere in SE London, this time it was held in Blomsbury. The new venue was interesting - a 1930s ballroom - but we didn't think it had the charm of the Rivoli, and the bars, though less busy than the Rivoli were far more expensive. Central London prices I guess. Parking was fine; we managed to get on-street parking for free only a couple of minutes walk away.

I went with Mrs Rachel (of course), and also my brother and his wife. Despite my annoucement of a few months ago I did go as Rachel; the chance to dress up was too strong, and with the way our life is panning out at the moment (more on that in a later post perhaps) I need to take any dressing opportunity I can at present.

So here's my outfit, with the added bonus of a brief glimpse of Mrs Rachel in the background:

Magic Theatre Outfit

However Helena Love took a much better picture at the event itself, which can be seen here.

What few pictures I took that came out can be seen here. My camera wasn't up to much in the low light of the venue; whilst the flash gives you an image you can see, the auto-focus can't see anything to focus on, so you get a well-lit blur.

The format of the event was as you'd expect; fabulous costumes, dancing to a varied selection of music and a few cabaret acts. Whilst all of the acts were good, top marks went to
The She-Creatures
; great music, a great show and wonderful costumes. I liked them enough to download stuff when I got home.

When I got home, eventually, that should be.

Driving into Central London on a Saturday evening took a while, but no longer than we expected; just over an hour to do the 20 miles or so, and that was taking into account some roadworks in Earl's Court. We thought he journey home would be quicker. After all, it was going to be 1am; just how busy could it be? The answer was very busy; Central London was utterly gridlocked so far as we could see. We were heading west from Bloomsbury, and it took us more than an hour just to get as far as the Natural History Museum. It certainly took us over two hours to get home which, when you're tired and (as I was) fully trannied up, is a bit of a strain. All things considered we enjoyed Magic Theatre at the new venue (was the dance-floor extra slippery, though, or was that just me?), but we'd have to consider how we are going to travel there next time or, at least, consider an alternative route.

As I said earlier, my brother and sister-in-law joined us, having come down from Birmingham earlier in the day. On Sunday, after we emerged tired and danced-out and ate bacon sarnies, we headed back into London (on the train this time) so we could pay a visit to Camden Market. And what a great time we had; there were just far too many shops for us to deal with, just as we remember from our last visit (about 15 years ago!). I was in bloke mode, but was in the market for Rachel stuff. Which meant that there were plenty of stall-holders who saw me browsing clothes and asked what size I was looking for. "Oh", I'd say, "I'm a 12" (I was looking for skirts). As my wife has said before, I might as well hang a sign around my neck saying 'I Am A Tranny!'. But the thing was I was in an area where people have seen it all, and it wasn't an area where I needed to be discrete. True I had the children with me, so I tried to avoid anything that would blatantly embarass them, but I was able to happily admit to people that I was a crossdresser, and enjoy shopping for clothes and other bits openly and happily. Which gave me a new tranny first; seeing a skirt I really liked in one of the shops I went and tried it on; my first time trying Rachel clothes out and about whlst in bloke-mode. I didn't come out and model it in the shop, it's true (the children didn't want me to and, frankly, I'm not sure I would have been a good advert for the shop's wares in a pretty skirt with stompy boots), but try it on I did. And I bought it; a lovely brown/maroon hippy skirt with floral motifs on it which I think I will wear to the Surey Swans next week.

I say my children had the possibility to be embarassed, but not enough that they wouldn't back me up. On one stall I was looking at a nice skirt whilst my daughter was with me. The lady asked if I liked it, and we negotiated a price before I considered trying it. "You want to try it on?", she said. "Yes please", I said. "Oh," she said, "Is it for a party?". "Oh no," I replied, "It's for me. I'm a transvestite". She looked at more for a second, then turned to my daughter; "Is that true?", she asked. "Oh he is, yes", said my daughter, and for a brief moment her eyes said 'And don't I know it'.

The skirt was too small.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Not For Public Display

So, it's just about a week to go until Magic Theatre IV. Because of a potential tranny drought in the near future I have decided to abandon my plans of going en-bloke and will frock up for it. I start chosing outfits, even to the extent of ordeing a possibility from eBay.

The Plan: By tomorrow (Saturday) I should have a choice of frocks and shoes. Indeed I know which shoes I want to wear, and am merely deciding which frock I want to wear with them. Easy. It's Saturday. I can spend the morning trying on the outfits, and then decide which is to be The One. I can then head out to the shops and accessorise. By the end of the day my outfit will be chosen, and I can then relax and enjoy the run-up to the event. Easy.

The Reality: We put our house on the market, and are informed that we have at least four viewings during the course of Saturday. It is felt that me parading around the house wearing pretty frocks, high-heels and a beard (I save shaving for tranny-nights only) is likely to put off potential buyers. Tomorrow Rachel will be locked firmly in the closet. And the accessories I need will stay in the shops I won't be visiting.


Saturday, 5 July 2008

Musings On Wimbledon

I don't follow Wimbledon these day. To tell the truth I've never really followed it that avidly, although I did once skive an afternoon off school to watch the Ladies' final once (in the days when it was played on a Friday afternoon).

Anyway, I don't follow Wimbledon, but I did catch a few minutes of BBC2's coverage of it last night, when I switched on for the finale of 'Heroes'. They were previewing the all-Williams final, and showed various shots of them playing. Now I don't know which sister it was, but one of them was wearing the most enormous hoop ear-rings. And all I could think was, "How does she play tennis in those?"

Even when I manage to drag myself into the Mysterious Blokey World of Sport, I can't manage to do anything more than comment on ear-rings ...

Monday, 30 June 2008

Trace Elements

This morning I was making my lunch, as I do on any work day. I'm organised like that; make sarnies in the morning and I don't have to forage for food at lunchtime.

Anyway, as I was buttering my bread I looked up and saw my wife gazing at me with a lovely smile on her face.

And I smiled back and thought: "What a lucky guy I am."

And then I saw her eyes moving over my face and I said: "You're checking me for residual make-up, aren't you?"

"Yes," she said.

What a lucky guy I am.

Yes, I was off out trannying last night, and managed to do another cliche. Strictly it's one I've done before, a long time ago at a dressing service, but that's one best left forgotten, far back in the mists of time. This time I did it well. And Mrs Rachel did it too. No pictures of that, though. Not for you lot, anyway :-)

But to return to the original theme of this post, there's no residual makeup, but both Mrs Rachel and I still have red staining on our fingers from the nail varnish we wore. We really are going to have to find a better quality red varnish. I can't use the "I've been painting model soldiers again" excuse every time ...

Friday, 20 June 2008

Best Wishes From ...

Last night I went to the June Transdoori and had one of those minor, odd experiences that you have when you're a very part-time tranny.

We're all sat down to eat, and cards went around the table. Not playing-cards - this was a curry night, not a bridge evening - but 'sign your name' type cards. One was a Thank You card for a lady who used to run a restaurant and had been particularly supportive to the local T-community, the other for someone who was in hospital for an op. You know the routine - sign your name - 'Best wishes from ...' - and pass it on.

Anyway when the first card got to me I went to sign my name and realised that, well, I'd never done it before. Oh yes, I've signed cards plenty of time - as a bloke. But this was the first time that I had signed my name as Rachel. You see, even when dressed I use my bloke credit card, and that not often. And, anyway, with chip and pin who signs their name for that any more? Sure I've filled my name out in the 'visitors' book at clubs, but even that's not the same*.

No, this was the first time that I could informally scribble 'Rachel' on something. And it was very odd. After nigh on 40 years writing my bloke name it's developed into an unreadable squiggle which, whilst distinctive, is barely recogniseable as a name. Last night I ended up printing 'Rachel' very neatly. Somehow it looked wrong, like it didn't seem to be a sentiment from me.

Perhaps in 40 years time Rachel will have her own signature as well ...

*Although I have appended my real surname to Rachel in at least one case, giving a bit of a lie to my 'just plain' soubriquet.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Book Meme

I got tagged by Pandora on this one:

The requirements are as follows:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Locate the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing…
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

I'll skip '5', as most of the people who are likely to want to do it have already done it. Indeed I've already done it, years ago, on my bloke blog. It was a different book, of course.

So, the nearest book is grabbed and we get:

"When the steam engines and oxen failed to do the job, another method was used, known as 'cabling'. The locomotive was uncoupled and driven several hundred yards up the slop into a specially dug pit. A hawser was then attached to a drum on the engine and Mimi and Toutou were drawn up."

From 'Mimi and Toutou Go Forth' by Giles Foden.

It sounds like a right sissy book really, but it's actually about the British expedition to seize Lake Tanganyika from the Germans during WWI; a small, bizarre but ultimately very successful campaign in all respects. However the officer in charge, Lt. Commander Spicer Simpson-Simpson did include, amongst his many eccentricities the wearing of a garment that was quite obviously a skirt. So there's a bit of a tranny connection there really.

Worth reading.

Monday, 5 May 2008


Today is a special day of sorts.

It's a year ago today that I sat down with my wife and said those potentially fatal words:

"I have something to tell you ..."

At the time I was a thoroughly closeted tranny. I got to dress once, perhaps twice, a year if I was lucky, through dressing services. And to do that I had to resort to subterfuges to get the time away. Lies, basically.

Things had come to a head a couple of weeks before, when I made my first visit to 'Adam and Eve' in East London. This was the first time I had been to a dressing service where I had the chance to actually go out dressed, and I jumped at the chance. And why not? I looked and felt fantastic, and wanted the world to see me.

And it did. Just for twenty minutes or so, as I strolled up and down Brick Lane buzzing with happiness.

There was no going back. Rachel was truly alive, I knew that I wanted more of her, and that once a year wasn't going to satisfy it. But to do it more often than that would mean more lies and more deception. I couldn't do it. Which is why, a couple of weeks later, I sat down with my wife and had The Conversation.

The next few days were not fun. The day after was especially bleak as, to put it bluntly, our marriage teetered on the brink. But we got through it. We started talking. We arranged to have counselling. We worked hard to keep our relationship together. A few months later we went back to 'Adam and Eve' and my wife saw me as Rachel for the first time. We started telling people; family at first, then other friends. Other people knowing helped relieve the burden on us but also helped make it what it should be; a normal part of life.

And, a year on, we seem to be succeeding. Oh, there are tensions and worries, of course. But no more, perhaps, than in any other relationship. Coming out and being able to express myself as Rachel has made me happier, healthier and more confident than I have been in a long time, which has been of benefit to all of the family. Indeed it was obvious that the suppression of Rachel for such a long time had been subconsciously grinding me down and making me unhappy. Now my biggest worry is wardrobe space ...

I didn't ask to be a tranny. If someone could wave a magic wand and make it go away, that would make things so much easier (although I'd miss the social life). But the reality is that I'm stuck with it, so I make the most of it, in my own way, and get as much happiness and enjoyment out of it as I can. I'm lucky. I have a supportive family and, for now, I am content with who and what I am.

Various people have helped us in various ways over the last year. Indeed some of you will be reading this. To all of you I say thank you.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Tranny Cliche #6

Well, I've done PVC, Bride and Sissy. I've even done Schoolgirl and French Maid in the past (although those pictures are so horrible that they aren't fit for human consumption).

So it was only a matter of time before I found my way into a Victorian Maid uniform.

Here is the evidence:

Maid Rachel - 5

That is all.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Rachel In Trousers Shocker!

Exclusive! Blurry photographic evidence has been found which suggests that obscure Staines-based crossdresser Rachel (just plain Rachel) has been seen in public wearing ... Trousers!

Crossdresser in Wearing Trousers Shocker!
Crossdresser in Wearing Trousers Shocker!

Eyewitnesses in the Earl's Court area of London state that she was seen leaving an hotel in the area, in the company of a friend (a conventional crossdresser, in a skirt), and entering the Thai Princess restaurant where she consumed a rather tasty meal, including pudding.

Sources close to Rachel confirm that this case of trouser-wearing really did take place, and was brought on through a combination of her acquiring a couple of pairs 'the other day, from a friend at work', and the realisation that she still couldn't find a suitable skirt to go with the gorgeous green Chinese blouse she wanted to wear yesterday evening. They also confirm that the trousers made her 'bum look nice'*.

And unfortunate incident involving an electrical failure in the hotel and a need to catch what has been described as 'the last train home' meant that a post-meal photo-session to garner clearer pictures didn't take place as planned.

Further incidents of unrepentant trouser-wearing are expected in the future, and may be reported. Or not.

Some semblance of normality was maintained yesterday, however, when it was observed that a crossdresser matching Rachel's description was seen in the vicinity of the Victoria and Albert Museum - in a skirt.

Hippy Chick Out And About

Rumours abound concerning pictures of Rachel in and even more stereotypical crossdresser outfit, but these have not yet been released to the public. Further news on this as the pictures are tracked down and processed.

*Source: Mr X, whose opinion on these matters may be considered biased.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Rachel, Queen Of The Desert

Tonight I ticked another tranny box; I saw 'Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert' for the first time. Loved it!

It has a certain resonance for me, of course. As you may know (or may not - you will in a second), the Family Rachel are hoping to be leaving these shores and going to live Down Under. Indeed, had there not been some kind of appalling cock-up with parts of our visa application we hoped to already be there by now, but that's a whinge for elsewhere. So trannying in Australia is going to be a reality for me, I hope. Although I think I'll stop short at a thong-dress.

Now, whilst we will be aiming to live near Sydney, one of the things we hope to do when we get over there (When? If?) is to take a holiday and drive around the Northern Territories. Darwin to Alice Springs is our main plan. In a great big camper-van.

I have been forbidden - FORBIDDEN, I tell you - to ride on the roof of the van with a huge scarf trailing out behind me.


Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Going For Bloke

In my last post (and elsewhere) I mentioned the possibility of going to a future Magic Theatre in bloke mode, and this seems to have provoked a little bit of interest. So let me explain.

Since I came out last year I have acquired much more of a social life than I had before. Indeed, I have pretty much acquired a social life where I didn't have one before. Since she likes to be involved, so has Mrs Rachel. However, as much as she enjoys the events we've been to, she has said that she's like to do some of these things without Rachel; she wants to do some of these things with the man she married, not the woman he likes to present as sometimes. Which is fair enough.

But, let's face it, a lot of outings are more fun as a girl. I don't know why, but they are. For example, as a bloke I get very self-conscious about dancing. As Rachel I love it. I'm odd that way.

How to compromise? Well, Magic Theatre offers that possibility. As I have said elsewhere it was the first event I've been to as Rachel where I spent as much time admiring the male costumes as I did those of the girls. There were some great efforts, and I looked at a few of them and thought 'I could carry that look off'. This wasn't an evening of gorgeous girls and boring blokes; this was bloke-wear you could get excited about. This was costume and, let's face it, as a 'Weekend Princess' that's what a lot of my trannying is about - my dressing is, in some ways, a costume that lets me become Rachel more easily.

So yes, with the right costume, one that made me feel 'dressed up', I could do an event like Magic Theatre in bloke mode.

And bits of Rachel would still be there. It's amazing what girl clothing you can slip into a male outfit if you try. Many years ago, when I was deeply buried at the back of the closet, I went on an extended trip where we spent the whole time in Victorian costume. Those with money had proper reproductions made (oh, some of the frocks were to die for ...); the rest of us improvised. Most of the clothing could be easily sourced from modern male equivalents. A few things (frock coats and the like) required a trip to Camden Market. But some accessories needed more imagination - the modern male equivalents just didn't look right - which I why I ended up with a hat and some gloves purchased from the ladies' section of our local departmenst store. Indeed I still have them, and have subsequently worn the gloves as Rachel.

I got married in a lady's waistcoat. The cut's the same as a bloke one; it's just which side it buttons that's different. And no-one notices that. Oh, and I borrowed a pair of socks from my sister as well. Long story. So in some respects I trannied when I got married. But I was still a bloke.

Suffice to say that even in bloke mode it's possible to tranny, if the costume allows for it. I already have an idea for a bloke costume suitabel for Magic Theatre, and can do most of it using elements of Rachel's wardrobe. So even if I lack the wig, makeup and boobs, I'd still be a transvestite. And since that's what I am, and am happy being, that's good enough for me.

Monday, 31 March 2008

No Tranny Apathy Here

In my previous post I pledged that on or before the 29th of March I would fight tranny apathy and take a picture of myself in girl clothes.

So I did. Twice.

My first go was at the newly reinstated Transdoori evening in Chiswick on the 19th March. A number of us t-girls got together, along with a few partners (including Mrs Rachel) for an Indian meal and a chance to socialise. It was good fun, and it appears that there will be another in April. I hope to be there.

Anyway, here is a pic of the outfit I wore (although not full-length, so you can't see my lovely blue suede shoes):

Blue-Grey Dress

And here I am in the restaurant:


And last night Mrs Rachel and I were off out again, to Magic Theatre III, held at the Rivoli Ballroom in SE London. It's a stunning venue in its' own right, being a 1950s style dance-hall, but add to that the sheer range, quality and variety of costumes on show and the whole thing was quite overwhelming in its splendour. I took a few pictures of the evening itself, but so far have only uploaded the ones of me. So, as my main contribution to the attempt to end tranny apathy, I present my Magic Theatre outfit:

Indian Dress At The Magic Theatre

Indian Wedding Dress

It's a lovely Indian wedding dress, which originally belonged to and was given to me by my sister-in-law. The original top didn't fit me, so I sourced an appropriate replacement from eBay, then added jewellery also sourced from eBay. It wasn't the easiest outfit to wear - the gold thread embroidery on the skirt and shawl makes it very heavy, and in order to deal with the skirt's length I wore my highest (and least comfortable) stilletos - but it was worth it; I felt like a million dollars. Towards the end of the evening I ditched the heels and danced barefoot, which was quite liberating, and an interesting experience in a skirt that length.

Anyway, if there's a Magic Theatre IV I think Mrs Rachel and I will be back. But, shhh, a confession. I might consider going in bloke-mode. After all, I often get a chance to dress as Rachel (although not in an Indian wedding dress, which is why I took the opportunity to wear it last night). But I rarely get the chance to really dress up as Mr X; Magic Theatre offers that chance and I'm tempted to take it. But we'll see closer to the time; the lure of the frock is a strong one.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Tranny Apathy - It Stops Here

Support Gillian's fight against Tranny Apathy. Read about it here.

So, following Gillian's example:

I Rachel, being a transvestite of sound mind and sexy body (most of which is kept in a drawer under the bed) do hereby commit to posting a picture on Flickr of me wearing girls' clothes on 29th March 2008, said pic to be taken anytime in the preceeding two weeks.

Oh, and since I'm promotng things on other people's blogs (always a lazy way to do blogging), this tickled me pink. Pinker.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Praise Indeed

On Saturday night I went out clubbing. I got myself all glammed up, got my bits together and came downstairs. My son was sat on the sofa, doing whatever it is 12 year-old boys do on a Saturday evening (watching TV or chatting to his girlfriend on MSN or something). As I collected my car-keys he glanced up and looked at me in my mini-dress and boots.

"Dad," he said, "You look the business."


Monday, 25 February 2008

Raining Me In

One of the things about being a relativly newly out-and-about tranny is that you get to do a lot of 'firsts'. First time out on your own, first club, first time on public transport, first wolf-whistle* - that sort of thing.

Back in October I drove by myself as Rachel for the first time. It was the evening of the Surrey Swans' Goth Night, and Mrs Rachel couldn't come along with me as my daughter had to be collected from a party. So I drove from Staines to Ash and back by myself; not a considerable journey (a 40 mile round-trip) but, at the time, quite an adventure. Needless to say I was a little nervous as I started my journey and hit the main roads. At which point, of course, the heavens opened and it poured with rain - really poured, turning an already nervous driving experience into, well, a more nervous one. But I survived.

Fast forward to last night and another Surrey Swans meeting. I have a pair of flats I use for driving, but I'd put on the high-heel boots I wanted to wear for the meeting and foolishly decided that it wasn't worth taking them off. They were comfy, and the heels aren't too excessive and I was happy I could drive in them if I took it carefully. And Rachel is, if nothing else, a much less aggressive driver than Mr X. So off I went - my first time driving in heels. I was nervous, but coped well, and soon got into the swing of it.

Halfway into the journey, the heavens opened and it poured with rain ...

*Not yet.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Secret IDs

On another forum (unrelated to trannying) I was challenged to take the 'Which Super-Villain Are you?' quiz. The results were illuminating:

Your results:
You are Poison Ivy

You would go to almost any length for the protection of the environment including manipulation and elimination.

Poison Ivy
Dark Phoenix
Mr. Freeze
The Joker
Dr. Doom
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

The top three were all female, and one of those spends a lot of time pretending to be other people (although far more convincingly than I manage the one extra role in my life) . Of the two blokes that made it into the top five one of them wears rather too much makeup. It's strange how these things work out.

(On an unrelated note, I have no idea what those enormous gaps in the post are all about. They seem to defy any attempt on my part to eliminate them; they aren't there in the HTML. Probably something to do with that table of results or something.)

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Cloverfield - A Tranny Perspective

Mrs Rachel and I went to see 'Cloverfield' this afternoon whilst the children were out of our hair. This is my review. Contains spoilers.

Beth's gold sequined party dress was fab; I was quite disappointed that it didn't feature later in the film. Lily's frock was OK as well, as was her ability to run around New York in those gold high-heels. No other outfits caught my eye. There was a monster. It attacked New York. The film was quite exciting. We liked it.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Oh Yes!

Another first. My daughter has asked if she can borrow my mascara. Apparently the one I have is better than hers.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Following On From Yesterday ...

... there's a good chance of other people knowing you're a tranny when you leave a pair of high-heels lying on the back seat of your car all day at work. Oops.

I did it once, but I think I may have got away with it ...

Monday, 28 January 2008

You Know You Are A Tranny When ...

... you find a pair of slingback sandals on the bedroom floor, and have to look and see what size they are before deciding whether to put them in her wardrobe or yours.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

I Could Be A Bond Girl

Well, I have a similar hairstyle to Gemma Arterton, anyway - see the second picture in this article. I never saw myself as a trend-setter before :-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Angel Dust

So I did Angelic. More to the point, I did Angelic with Mrs Rachel.

Yes, having done the Philbeach in November and WOC in December, I did another tranny venue, Pink Punters, this weekend. And, having offloaded the children on a Scout camp or my parents (depending on which child you are thinking of), Mrs Rachel and I were able to go together.

And we had a great time. It's true the music was a bit average (and not easy to dance to in the middle of the evening), but the company was good, and the whole weekend went smoothly. An added bonus was meeting up with my TS friend Kirstie for a meal at the Campanile beforehand.

And the title? Well, Mrs Rachel decided that her outfit was best enhanced with spray-on glitter (and she was right; she looked lovely). The problem with spray-on glitter is that it sprays on. Everything. Including much of our hotel room, and some of my bloke stuff. On the night I sparkled*, but I'll be glittering for weeks to come.

*Yes, it's the Next dress I got on eBay. It was a joy to wear**.

**A woman at the club was wearing the tunic version. She said she thought I looked better in mine than she did in hers. Which was quite a boost.

Friday, 18 January 2008

That There London

Well, today was the day I went for another adventure. I decided that I'd like to just go out for the day as Rachel; not to a TV venue or other 'safe' environment, but just out into the 'real' world. In the end I went into London. Not really the 'real world', but close enough.

The Plan: Go to Adam and Eve. Get dressed. Go out. Have lunch. See museum. Do some shopping. Back to Adam and Eve. Go home.

And basically it worked.

The idea was to use Adam and Eve as a base, not as a dressing service. So I took my own stuff and was going to do my own makeup as well. Which is good, as Josie wasn't available on the day, and just left me the key.

Yes, I had a whole dressing service to myself. Analogies about kids in sweet shops sprang to mind. But I was very good, resisted temptation, and just did what I was supposed to do - made myself up, got dressed, went out.

This is what I chose to wear:

Brown Dress

Add a coat and scarf, and this is how I looked when I headed out onto the streets of London:

Ready To Go Out

Did I pass? I don't care. I was comfortable, looked good and, most importantly, felt I had made an effort to pass. I can honestly say that I oozed confidence as I went out.

And the day passed as I planned. I went on the Tube (my first time on public transport dressed, if you exclude a late night taxi in December). I browsed in some shops. I had lunch. And I did the National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square. I know I was read a number of times, but who cares? People treated me exactly the way that most other people get treated in London - with utter indifference. And that's good enough for me.

Eventually I headed back to Adam and Eve, where I did give into temptation and try one teeny, weeny outfit. Just for the fun of it. I present - this:

PVC Cheongsam

And then home again.

What did I learn?

(i) Being a tranny is much more fun when you can share the experience with someone. Let's face it, I'm a social tranny. I can, and will, dress on my own for my own amusement and satisfaction (no, not that kind of 'satisfaction'), but it's much more fun - more satisfying - when there's someone else to share it with. I was on my own all day, and it did put a bit of a damper on the experience. I'm not sure I'd rush to do it again soon; not on my own anyway.

I suppose that what I'm saying is that the day gave me an insight into why I dress and what I want out of it. Which is good.

And, let's face it, if you're on your own, who is there to take photographs?

(ii) Wear shoes that you are used to. I wore shoes I thought were practical and comfortable. They were the former. They weren't the latter; they rubbed my feet, and what seemed like a minor annoyance for the first part of my expedition turned into unpleasant blisters for the latter part. Ouch.

(iii) Am I a real tranny? I went into plenty of shops, saw a number of things I like - and didn't buy anything. I am ashamed.

And that was my day, really.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Six Word Stories

Today I have mostly been trying to write Six Word Stories. These are, as the name suggests, stories in only six words. There are lots of them around, if you look.

Apparently Ernest Hemmegnway started them, with this poignant narrative:

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

And others have followed, mostly miles behind. My personal favourite is Alan Moore's:

"Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time"

Anyway, As I say, I have been trying my hand at these, and it was inevitable that, in trying to make them personal, I ended up doing some tranny ones. Since I'm not going to post them anywhere associated with Mr X, I thought I'd stick them here. After all, it's not every day you invent a new literary genre - six word tranny fiction. Except, of course, that strictly it's not fiction.

I managed three that I thought were worth sharing. Together they form a sort of narrative of their own:

"His trousers hung next to his dress."

"The mirror showed him Rachel's reflection."

"Satisfied, he hid her away again"

I know; not that good. But as creative as I get.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Had a weird experience on Saturday ...

For the last few months I have been chatting online to Sarah, a local t-girl. Sarah and I seemed to have much in common with regard to personal situation and attitude to dressing, and we had considered the possibility of meeting up for wine, nibbles and a proper chat. A possibility that became reality on Saturday, when, having her place to herself, she invited me over for the evening.

Now, I have certain self-imposed restrictions on being dressed locally; I try not to do it. If I do dress and go out from home, it involves a quick scuttle to the car, and I leave the area as quickly as possible. I don't go out and about around here. Sarah, of course, lives locally. So, how to become Rachel without compromising my restriction?

Sarah had offered that I could change at hers, but I thought that turning up there as Mr X, the disappearing off for an hour to get ready was a little unsociable (albeit practical). What I decided to do was to dress as much as I could at home, and trust to my coat and the darkness to hide me from casual inspection. Then I could quickly finish off at Sarah's.

What I went for was this: I could wear my undies and shapewear, obviously. My coat was baggy enough to hide my boobs. I wore flat shoes which wouldn't be too noticeably feminine (to casual inspection). The only makeup I put on was cover, foundation and powder. I chose a nice pink sweater I hadn't worn out before, but that would be under my coat, and put the skirt I had chosen in a bag with my makeup and wig. I wore my male jeans. Upon arriving at Sarah's house all I had to do was put on my wig and skirt and do a quick eyes and lips job, and I was done. Easy.

So, I got ready. And looked in the mirror. Which is when I had my weird experience.

The makeup softened my face, and made I look, well, not like me. It was neither Rachel (whose facial shape is as much defined by my choice of wig than anything else) or Mr X staring back at me, but a strange combination of the two. The sweater is fairly close-fitting, so my body was as I'd expect it to be when I am dressed - boobs and a slim waist - but the jeans made my legs look male. Except near the top, where they were filled with the unfamiliar bulge of (artificial) hips and bum.

I looked odd. Not unpleasant, but somehow not me.

Even driving to Sarah's was strange. I could feel that I was dressed, and yet wearing familiar Mr X trousers and without my wig I felt 'wrong'. Again, it wasn't unpleasant; it was just strange.

Those shoes, though. They may have been flats, they made far more of a click-clack noise as I walked. I bit too obviously girly for my subterfuge to be anything but cursory. Oh well. It's a good job I didn't meet anyone between my car and Sarah's house.

Epilogue: After a very pleasant evening (thanks Sarah for your hospitality) I travelled home dressed; it being after midnight I had decided that the chances of being spotted by anyone I knew were minimal. I did have to pass through a small group of chavs on my way back to the car, but survived intact (and seemingly unremarked upon). I then had to scrape ice off the car, so I'm glad I packed - and wore home - my warm winter coat (Dorothy Perkins, via eBay). Got home all safe. Time to plan the next trip out. And what I have learned? Against all expectation, I reckon Rachel might look OK in trousers. There. I've said it. But not just yet.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Not So Plain

When I first went online as Rachel (so long ago that I can't remember when, but I'm guessing a good three years or more) I needed a Yahoo ID*. So I started setting one up. I knew that my femme name was Rachel (I had flirted with others before this, but Rachel was the one for me), but didn't have an identity beyond that.

But Yahoo wouldn't let me have 'Rachel' as an ID; someone had already got that. And I didn't want to be 'Rachel' with an arbitrary number after it. But neither did I want to use my real surname. Or invent one; giving myself a new first name was strange enough; a whole new surname was just too weird**. All I wanted to be was 'Rachel'; just plain 'Rachel'. So that's what I went for - Just Plain Rachel. justplainrachel.

You'd be surprised how many people think I'm doing myself down and that it's a comment on my looks. It's not. Frankly I think I look pretty good; not plain at all. Big-headed? Oh, yes. But I do. Aside from the nose I'm pretty happy with how I come across. And even the nose will do at a pinch. Still, it's nice when people do get the wrong idea, and tell me that I'm not plain. So don't stop doing it on my account, please. I love it.

Anyway, it's now my online identity. JustPlainRachel, that's me. And you're stuck with it whether you like it or not.

So there.

However the night of the Christmas meal at the Criterion saw a major change; a 'first', relevant to this whole thing. It was the night I had to phone for a taxi. They asked me my name. "Rachel," I said, "Rachel MyRealSurname***". And, arriving at the Way Out a while later I had to sign in, and without hesitation I wrote 'Rachel MyRealSurname'. That was the night that Rachel stopped being just plain 'Rachel'. Some of the time, anyway.

*It was to dump some photos in the now dead Yahoo Photos. Because the first thing you do as a tranny, when you've got yourself dolled up all nice and lovely, is to get some pictures taken, then dump them on the internet. Mine are really bad. And you're never going to see them.

**Oddly enough in one place I did create a surname for myself, probably because I had to. We'll pretend that it doesn't exist, because it tends to defeat the whole point of this post.

***I guess that you realise that MyRealSurname isn't my real surname. It's just something I made up. Rachel isn't my real name either. Well, it is sort of. But it isn't. If you get my drift. Trannying really makes for a complicated life, doesn't it.