Inspired Destiny

Another dark evening. The houses now decorated even more so with December rushing in like a wave on a long winter beach. Some delicate white lights tastefully still in garden hedges and some dancing like a disco in the 1980s. Some gardens and windows lit with minimalism and some with a glowing snowman and reindeer bright enough to attract landing planes from the US.

The cool air brushed past my face and condensation grew on parked cars that would be breathed on by frost over night. December really felt it was here and despite feeling pretty rubbish all day I had forced myself to go for another short run around the village to see if it would improve my sleep and make me feel just that bit better the next day. Give my mind a chance to rest from Christmas present thinking and the usual gender thing daily obsession.

The gender thing can be an obsession in the sense that while things are being sorted it’s a constant thought process weighing things up back and forth. This week, during clearing things in the house, I decided to sort through the small basket of makeup that has been sat in my bottom draw for years. Different eyeliners and lipsticks came and went, well they came, but much of the time they didn’t go. Only a handful of dried up nail polish bottles have ever been thrown out and so it steadily built a little. Some had even split in two like oil and water but clear varnish and hardened colour; they are always the oldest.

I pulled the basket from the draw and placed it besides me on the bed. The basket itself was a bit battered with twigs of weave falling into the carpet waiting to be forgotten and stab me in the toe later on. I clawed through the contents. Mascara, open lid symbol with ’36 months’ written on it. Well I’ve not bought mascara in the last 3 years so that’s out. Ink black wet eyeliner, ‘6 months.’ I’ve had that longer than the mascara! Out it went.

A chrome lipstick tube with at least a quarter of lipstick. I remember buying it and I remember the evenings years ago that I used it on nights out in Bristol City. A green nail varnish, a dark purple varnish, a sky blue one, ‘True Blue’ — “that’s completely dried up, out it goes, I don’t care what the memories are.” It seemed so easy that day to throw things even though many had links to the past for some reason or another but I guess that was a mark of progress.

This wasn’t purging. This was clearing the deck. Washing the branches up the beach to the shore line and leaving it there at the tide line. Purging, as some will know, is that dreadful time in the early days of dealing with gender identity where either guilt, denial or both take hold and you decide throw everything away and ignore it, hoping that it goes away forever. That is until it returns and then you have to start all over again and feel terrible about all those nice things you threw away.

This was not that. I only ever had a real purge once in my life in my early twenties and there were reasons behind it that felt right at the time but it was with a vision of starting again rather than of leaving it all behind. This was sorting and keeping things that I thought I may use again or wanted to hang on to a little longer until I was sure.

Much like clearing out my old makeup clutter my running clears my head a little. It’s medication without the prescription and having a clear small collection of things like makeup, having less to think about, is itself cleansing.

It’s about baggage and reducing its load but not necessarily letting go of the memories so we can experience new things without that weight holding us back. I’ve spent this year trying to experience new things, as well as my gender identity progression, and being able to let go of some of my past without actually destroying it feels much more free.

As I approach the end of the year and feel the count down to twenty-twenty I see something of change. I don’t know what that change will be but a letting go of some fears and finding myself in a different way that I have in the past. Less trepidation and internal embarrassment and more taking the lead of my life.

When I see people who I feel influence my life that I see as a kind of role model I also think about those transgender people and which of them I feel is a role model for me. I could name people who are famous for being transgendered from the early years of gender identity coming to the forefront of the public eye and their bravery in hard times or the new set who have made themselves public that were famous for their career and suddenly told the world who they really are.

While they are incredible people I think about “Tom”, the young barista at a cafe in the city. In his early twenties serving me my drink with politeness and without a flinch of whether he feels accepted or not, for me he is my role model. In a new world of gender identity he has decided to become male and even though female to male role transition has its differences to male to female, in the few times I have met him and the little I know about him, I feel in awe of that confidence at that age with their future ahead of them compared to mine that is so many years late.

With just that little amount of information about Tom it is enough for me to find some comfort, hope and positivity from them without even talking to him about his issues. I’m not so clueless to realise that things might well be extremely difficult and challenging for Tom but sometimes ignorance really is a bliss for me and to see someone from behind the counter is the gloss on gender identity that I need.

Until next time.

Hannah x

What does it matter?

The nights were already setting in dark early with September upon us and added to that it was nearly midnight and the London streets were just a cast of shadows with stark street lighting in the square mile. That time of night the streets are quiet anyway, apart from adhoc bits of traffic, the financial district is more or less closed on the weekend. Just the odd pub or bar that might spill out onto the litter free clean pavements of the city.

I had, as I usually do, spent my time around the Westend, Covent Garden and Soho when in London but that one particular night seemed like a bust. The bar I wanted to stay for the night had, unusually, been a bit quiet and the music was, well, poor. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to leave the noise of the Soho streets and head back to the financial district, grab my camera and take some night time photos that I had so wanted to but didn’t want to break a nice night out to do it.

I carefully wandered the shoreline of the Thames that cuts through the life veins of the city with its currents fighting the tide, covertly covering my camera and staying as much to the busier pavements of people staggering home as some of the surprising early pub licence times expired for the night. I had reached The Shard and stared up in amazement at it’s tall stance in such a small plot of land and taken back at how more difficult the cuts of glass at the top were to see the closer I got to it’s entrance.

I wrapped my white stripe scarf around my neck again to protect from that slight coolness that had set in and headed across one of London’s many bridges. I returned to the north side of the embankments and headed back towards the hotel, taking photos as I went whenever something seemingly mundane would appear starkly different in the greyness of street lamps and empty office lighting.

An anonymous high street of endless office blocks placed somewhere not far from The Bank of England, devoid of traffic due to road works and just a couple walking hand in hand away from me some hundred yards or so away and a drunk man in a light grey suit in front, swaying on the spot and seemingly unable to workout how he was going to get home.

Just as I approached him I noticed a great photo opportunity. I stopped short and crouched down to focus the camera quickly; keeping an eye on Mr Swaying.

“Are you okay?” He blurted out.

“Fine thanks, just taking a photo.”

I continued on realising that I should be quick and move on, it was still very quiet apart from me, a phone box and my new drunk friend.

“Oooooy!” I heard behind me. Sounds like my drunken suit clad white collar worker had found his girl friend or something. “Ooooooooy!” He continued.

“Ooooooooooooooy! You.” I turned and looked, he was stooped over looking at me and shouting for an answer from me. “Oy, you. You a man or woman?”

I thought for a split second, which was probably a life time to our new found friend. My thought was straight to indignant. “WHAT DOES IT MATTER?” I replied snappily. I finished up and walked on quickly heading back to the hotel.

It had struck me that his thought was probably, given his eye sight was too beer goggled to see I had a camera in my hand, that I could have been a damsel in distress and was going to save me, or if I had answered “man”, he wouldn’t have given a shit and moved on or may be something else?

I got back to the hotel easily and that was that. Navigating through the corridors of this complex hotel I arrived back at the room and entered, locked the door and sat for a moment kicking off my shoes.

That was when it hit me. My indignant natural reaction could have been something much worse. May be I should have used intellect and talk my way past the situation as I normally do. “I’m fine buddy, see you later.” It struck me then how, for the first time ever, I found this character not just some drunk bloke that seemed quite funny but now someone a bit creepy. I don’t know what was so different and the feeling didn’t clear until the next day. I suppose I didn’t know his intentions and may be I dropped my guard more than I should have; I said what I said because that’s how I felt at the time and I don’t regret it.

— ❤ 

It was just a small part of my time in London. Those few days were full of places and treats. Visiting glossy shop fronts for the rich, dining amongst vibrant people in a small vibrant restaurant and treating myself to that perfume I kept putting off buying for the last two years because it was about time I did.

While I feel a little defined by my concentrated break away at home I’m finding even my presence on the Internet defining me and slowly changing. We’ve all experience the way we are categorised on the Internet. Whether it’s a highly targeted advert on Facebook or Instagram just because you once browsed something on some retail shop.

These days I’ll get an email from Newlook or Under Armour and four in five times I’ll be promoted female clothes and running tights or the latest sports top. They almost have me to a T (or crop sleeve T?) While much of the time the targeted marketing can become overwhelming as all those shops I’ve signed up to on my last purchase fight it out for that slither of my attention, it does sometimes raise a smile when I suddenly feel a little validated. It seems crazy to be validated by an algorithm but then we are becoming automated.

Until next time.

Hannah x

Eve

I opened my eye this morning to Christmas Eve and the sound of rain lashing against the window. I really did want to go for a run to clear my head despite the enticing tray of tea and toast in bed with Nutella and marmalade; on separate slices of course. By eleven though the sun broke through the clouds and sliced in through the gap of the dark curtains with a promise of at least a two hour break from the rain. I flipped back and forth as to whether I would go or not but it was unlikely I would run Christmas Day or Boxing Day and I really want to make an effort to keep up my exercise. I grabbed my three-quarter-lengths and decided that despite the sun shedding it’s winter pale that I would also wear my waterproof running hoodie. Earlier in the week I got soaked mid-run and as elating as that was I didn’t want to get wet for a second time.

There was a short shower of fine rain that was refreshing on my face and a bridge half-way provided a two minute breather from both the run and the rain. As I started on my second leg of the run along a countryside road lined with typical British recently trimmed hedgerow the sun broke from what little cloud was left in the depths of the blue sky. It’s low winter light caught the still wet tarmac strobe bright in a pleasant blinding to the road ahead. Little flicks of water sprayed my calfs from my trainers as the road rose uphill.

At the top of the hill the road surface was almost dry as the strong refreshing breeze blew across a break in the hedgerow that leads to a gentle long concaved field. I don’t know if it was the salt in my sweat on my upper lip but the wind smelt of the seaside. The breeze and my run swung my ponytail back and forth producing the sound of tinsel in my head. It was like Christmas Eve itself had decided to give me an early Christmas present and allow the sun out for a bit. Just half an hour after returning home and finishing some cool down stretches on the decking the clouds returned with heavy hail and the promise of a grey afternoon; but you never know.

Until next time.

x

Another Day

It was three months ago when I dragged myself up the stairs of the office first thing in the morning. I knew what I was going to do but didn’t know what I was going to say. I walked between the open plan rooms, it was early and those enthusiastic employees that had started super-early hadn’t yet switched the lights on and so just a glint of early morning sun lit the room through the reflected grey of the clouds in a dull lacklustre fashion. It wasn’t through laziness that they hadn’t switched the office lights on but through some kind of geeky cocoon they create so it’s just them and the screen. No morning chitchat just the glare of the flat panel and the contrast of pixels feeding the mind. I dumped my hoody on my chair, headed to the bank of switches by the door, and lit the room to a reply of groans from the few that were in woken by sharp neon tubes.

It was first on my list of things to do. A meeting with my line manager who had, over the weeks,  delivered varying quantities of disagreeable commands from those at the top that hadn’t understood the situation on our office-equivalent of the shop-floor; and I disagreed. The thing is in my career many of those are people I work with are in their twenties and tend to shut up and put-up. They’re being well paid and doing something they find interesting and so rarely question the motives behind decision made by management and even if they want to it’s usually to their colleagues in the form of a moan over lunch or whispers over the desk. I’m older and more outspoken now and there came the clash and this particular day everything had come to a head.

My line manager, Justin sent an instant message over, ‘You ready for the meeting?’ People don’t phone each other in that company, there are hardly any phones on any desk, and hardly anyone ever seem to use their feet to communicate. I headed to a small new-media style meeting room. Floor to ceiling white board that allows staff to scribble designs and ideas all over the wall which usually works until someone picks up a permanent marker and the wall has to be repainted in special paint – or someone writes on the wrong wall. Funky chairs made from dull brushed aluminium that give the sense of something contemporary from Habitat if it weren’t for the fact they looked like wooden school chairs of the seventies but brush-painted silver. The windows look out into a high street that should be busier considering it’s size but is just a funnel for city buses, the odd taxi and loud motorbike. A few old trees lining the other side and enough of a distracting when meetings get boring.

Justin came in and took a chair, as he sat he asked “So how are things going since we last spoke?” I didn’t need to think or construct any kind of planned way of saying it. I didn’t need to deliver it in some kind form or choose my words carefully. My head just went automatic and I spoke how I felt, “I’m done.” I said with a genuine sigh, “I’ve had enough, I’m handing my notice in today.”

Of course he was surprised. Surprised I’d made that decision rather than fight my corner another day or found some middle ground but he did know why. In fact I was more surprised myself when a few weeks after my departure I’d heard that Justin had also resigned. It just happened to be a chapter in my life I had to bring to an end. If there was one thing I didn’t need in my life right now given everything that was going on, all that thinking I, like many, have to do, stress from the workplace was not one of them.

Over the weeks I found myself free to do what I wanted. Work on my own work and take time to decide what I would do next while burning what little savings I have. It was expected though. I didn’t quit my job on a whim but months and months of thinking and one-more-chances.

– ♥ –

A couple of months later, another day like most, checking for jobs, doing bits of a project and chatting to my best friend over email from time to time. It was just one of those days that were perfect for being caught unaware. My mind on other things, not just the here and now but my future. I’d been doing things around the house and returned to my laptop that had been sat on the dining table around an empty plate of lunch crumbs and half a cup of cold tea that had been reheated twice. An e-mail had come in from my friend – a long e-mail. A very long email.

My heart raced as he described how he’d found my blog about me. I’d been having problems with my e-mail the night before and I remember it coming up with a window saying, couldn’t contact server or something like that and to choose another, the list had two entries, Google Mail or Google Mail. I picked one and thought nothing of it until the next day when it appears that I had been chatting to my best friend via a ‘Hannah’ account. An email address that I barely even use had simply given away something I had kept to myself the entire time I had known him – most of my life.

I had even felt physically sick by the whole thing just from the sheer nervousness of what had happened. If there was anyone I would find hard to tell it would have been him because we’ve known each other so long and having been through so much; one friend I didn’t want to loose. I wouldn’t publish here what he said in his email, it’s private after all, but what he did say was that of a real best friend, one of the few that I could count on my one hand and not all of those fingers are reserved. Supportive and to some extent not that surprised. Him and his wife knew something was up and it was probably just a matter of time. I didn’t pull the plaster off myself in one quick rip, my laptop did that for me. I should have known better. Being one of the most intelligent people I know I shouldn’t have expected anything less.

We batted a few emails back and forth, he was even practically on the edge of rushing over to make sure I was ok. The one thing I do take from this, other than the fact that our friendship hasn’t changed at all, is the feeling I felt about myself the next day. I remember the exact word that came to my head – disarming.

Until next time.

x

Odds and Evens

It was a weekend like any other with the exception that it was a bank holiday. One of those long weekends that I look forward to during the week with so much planned but when it actually comes I spend more time procrastinating about what I’ll do with the days that before I know it most of it has passed. By Monday I realised I’d been in the house, more or less, the whole weekend. It wasn’t just Hannah that wasn’t getting air-time but I haven’t been proactive in enjoying my spare time. Everything had become a ‘one-day I’ll do that’.

Trying to force summer into bloom I had the need for a feminine day out. To express myself more so than most days. You know what it’s like jeans all week, no matter how feminine, eventually the cycle of the woman takes its troughs and peaks and this weekend I’d peaked wanting a summer dress and visit a music festival catching as much sun as I could whenever it decided to show. Sadly the only dress I had was black and spaghetti strapped. It didn’t quite hit the mark; besides it really wasn’t that warm yet. What were my options, denim shorts over leggings? It just seemed mad fretting about these stupid simple things and so on went the ripped jeans, a dark cotton camisole and a pale plaid shirt blouse. It would do and besides I was going out for the music. It might not fill the void of wanting to display saturated femininity while I felt that way but at least I wouldn’t spend another hour switching clothes and wasting time.

The crowds were fluid from food stand to grass patch. Plastic pint glasses squished out of shape holding lager or some local cloudy ale with farmland exotic names. Children played around an old flaccid piano under old trees and the boom of indecipherable music came from the large big top tent around which the rest of the festival was tethered. I took to a can of over-priced lemonade and stood at the free stage waiting for the next performance. I was amazed at how many people would just start talking to me. Whether it was about the shagged out piano on the lawn or talking about some of the more experimental Jazz bands that most people just agreed that they didn’t understand. With the beauty of socialising with strangers aside my mind suddenly hit a strange disconnect with my body image like never before.

While strolling around the winding paths between the patches of grass picnics there would be occasions where the odd person here and there would look at me confusingly. Not quite like in the public toilets where not dress specifically female but men would still stop, turn and walk out, then walk back in when they reread the sign on the door. That in itself it confusingly satisfying that a man would think he was in the wrong toilet after looking at me. But walking freely when someone looks and I just don’t know what they’re thinking other than some look of confusion. Just at that point I felt like I was now female on the outside, but male at the skin level and female at the core.

It was as if the clothes were saying female but my face and hair were just not. It was as if someone had placed the mask of a man on me and I had to wear it for the day or that I been made to grow a beard. I don’t think I’d ever felt it like this before. Doubt set in like the clouds towards the end of the afternoon and I just felt like I need to revisit what I thought of myself. Who am I.

It didn’t spoil the day, in fact the rather strange man at the back of the audience who insisted in clinking a pair of spoons together in a four over four beat as if he was listening to something totally different to what the band were playing, was probably the only thing that did spoil it. Well that and not having a dress to wear and not wearing one. And probably wearing my hair up when it would have been nice to have a day with it down. The things I do to protect the feelings of the general public.

When I returned home and got through the front door, dropping my bag on the floor and briefly looked in the mirror, I saw someone else. A woman. A woman with her hair in a pony tail with a little bit of eyeliner left on the ridge of her eye lids. Suddenly I realised that this now didn’t match the body image that I had in my head at the festival. All that worry feeling that I was looking like a man with angular facial features rather than curves were completely different to what I was outwardly showing.

This is one of the major internal conflicts I have as a sufferer of the gender thing but never has it been so multilayered – and to think, it was all in my head. Once I had got my dinner on I went back to the mirror just to double check I’d not imagined it. Confidence had been gained from a lack of confidence. I just need to have a little more faith in myself. I may not be quite where I want to be, I want a new hair style and hair removal to be fair and the only fringe at the moment was the festival, but I should at least for now not be quite so hard on myself.

Until next time.

x

Innatism

The card came around the office. “Congratulations on your new baby.” it said. I rubber-stamped the usual message amongst the various scrawls from co-workers and people I don’t even know; at least not by name. I passed it on like a hot cake. Only one week later yet another card landed on my desk and I didn’t even realise they were having a baby. I tried my hardest to vary the words from the last card but the message was much the same. ‘Well done.’ just seemed far too involved and inappropriate. It almost felt like it said, “oh well done on your sexual intercourse. Please do tell us the details.” I reverted to the jazz standard of birth cards, “Congratulation! All the best for the future and further sexual encounters.” May be not the latter part. I dropped the card on the nearest unattended desk and allowed someone to take it’s postal responsibility.

I cherish my lunch hour like annual leave, it’s my time, but walking one of the back lanes to the high street I bumped into an old friend from a previous workplace, Carole. “Hiya Carole!” I said brightly. I have time for Carole, she is nice, gentle and yet gets things done professionally. It was nice that she had time for me and so I stopped to talk.

“How’s things?” I enquired, “How’s the baby, congratulations by the way.” It wasn’t just that it had been a week of babies just popping out from everywhere but it was the one major thing I could remember that had happened to Carole since only keeping disconnectedly in-touch over Facebook.
“Oh great thank you.” she said, “It’s been seven months now.” she said.
“No way!”

There was no escaping baby news. ‘Don’t — get — broody.’ I told myself firmly while she spoke. She talked about how things are with her new bundle. ‘Look how well she looks. Concentrate on that.’ I told myself while trying to focus.

It didn’t happen though. I walked on and it didn’t hit me. I surprised myself. I’d only have to catch the eye of some blue eye’d bundle of a boy with sugar clear goo dribbling down his little chin in the arms of a mother at the cafe and I’d be complete mush. I’ve never understood where my broodiness has come from. It’s always been there in some form even when I was young but in my thirties it really took hold. Today though it didn’t. Broodiness was simply a state that only happened when the planets aligned, flowers had bloomed and when Tesco have Shredded Wheat Bite Size on special offer.

I headed straight to the park to clear all thoughts of babies, broodiness and there lack of; just in case. I took the one of the narrow strips of grass in this small ornamental park in the city. Surrounded by short iron railings and centred with gravel mazes and shrubbery islands of flowers in full bloom; the park attracted white collars, call centre groups and sometimes the odd drunk at lunch. It’s multi-culture of people sat on the grass and the few benches is what makes it so vibrant and yet quite peaceful.

I pulled out the Kindle and continued reading, briefly flicking back a page to work out what a television programme would state in an American accent, ‘Previously on…’ I know I am a bit of a purist when it comes to most things, including books, yet since starting with the Kindle I’ve soon realised it’s the words that matter and I still enjoy it exactly as I would from a pile of paper pages. I stopped reading for a moment and thought about the fact I’d seen this book for half price in Waterstones the day before. I came to a decision that I would probably end up buying it for the book shelf as well.

I re-adjusted my bum with only my hoody separating my jeans from the grass and began to read only to notice a man walking behind me lightly humming and singing a song in a foreign language in a falsetto pitch. He sat several feet away and laid down for a moment. I thought for a minute he was about to do sit-ups when he pulled himself up again and pulled his t-shirt off and laid back on the grass in the sun. Not quite the ‘city’ thing to do but feel free all the same. I continued to read and then his phone went. Possibly Polish. Reading was obviously going to be a little bit piecemeal this lunch hour, but baby thoughts had since long gone.

–♥–

I saw James again this week. We sat on the bench over looking the sandy bay with late evening joggers and a pair of horses kicking up spray with their legs on the shallow waves of the waters edge. It was peaceful. The copper tones of the summer sunset made everything slow down so much that the only passage of time noticeable was the incoming tide. It made a change from the monotony of the after-work evening of tea, washing up, the dredges of television and then bed routine.

“Do you reckon you could run the length of the beach?”, he asked before taking a mouth full of some strong ready made orange-squash-in-a-bottle drink he’d just bought in one of the quiet convenience stores that was still open. He winced at the lack of dilution.
“What… that. Where that jogger is?”, I said surprised. “ Yeah, of course, no problem.” To me it really didn’t seem that far but after second thoughts it might have been far enough that some motivation would be required.
“You reckon?” he said.
“Yeah, why not.”
“I think I’d probably work up to it bit by bit.”
“I reckon you could do it.” I said encouragingly. “It’s not that far, I think once you were going you could do it. Put an iPod on and you’ll go far.”

What came next I didn’t expect. James has always wanted to get back to exercise but with his busy family life it’s hard for him to make time for it, and after a nine-to-five day at work it’s hard to get the motivation and a lot easier to sit in front of the TV with desert.

“Would you like to start running with me?” It was almost like he’d led up to the idea. “It looks lush down there along the waters edge.”
“You could get some new running clothes to fill your newly acquired space.” I joked knowing that it would be unlikely that he would use female running gear so close to his home. “I wear my three-quarter length running trousers, bit like those.” I said, pointing to a pair of girls that were strolling away from us after their own run on the beach.

We sat for a moment in thought still looking down the beach to the waters edge and mulling over how we could be those joggers on the edge of the tide on a warm summer evening. “I really want to get rid of this.” he said, cupping his belly with both hands that really isn’t very noticeable under his t-shirt, “I want to get into a size 14 again.”

“I know what you mean.” I said as I remembered one specific item of clothing that I, annoyingly, cannot wear comfortably at the moment, “I’ve got this grey skirt I bought from H&M years ago. I wore it a couple of times and then I put weight on and haven’t been able to wear it properly since and I really like it. It’s my challenge.” I bought the skirt some time after the Bridget Jones era, it was similar but, disappointingly, not identical to the one in the lift scene, “It’s a proper size 12 if you know what I mean.” I added giving my excuse.

The fact is I’m not terribly over-weight by any means but I am at least a stone more than I want to be and used to be. When I get to that ideal weight I’m always just a little bit happier about my body. Clothes feel right, rather than tight. Whether I can get there is another matter. I seasonally jog and run when I feel well enough but if I’m ever run-down it halts like a train at the station, brakes slammed tight and I hit the chocolate in the fridge. This is now my new challenge though, to get back into my exercise routinely and regularly, with or without James though really looking forward to sharing the salty sea air in my hair. Besides, it’s another thing to keep me occupied that is positive with hopefully a positive out-come (being able to get back into the H&M smart grey skirt) and feeling a little more healthy. In fact being able to run means I can wear my three quarter length jogging bottoms which in turn, being out running in my jogging bottoms, encourages me to go running. A vicious cycle of energetic cross-dressing. Eugh, even writing cross-dressing against myself doesn’t feel right. Just at the moment I think, ‘no, they’re just clothes, my clothes. My clothes that I bought for me that I just happen to wear.’ That’s my confirmation that my inner female gender is genuine because it just feels normal that they’re my everyday clothes; even if I do feel a little happier than I should running in those black bottoms.

James is planning on buying what he needs to run in the next few days and then we’ll be arranging our first run. I doubt he’ll be wearing anything remotely female. We shall see.

Until next time.

x

Dandelion Seeds on the Sea Breeze

I brushed past a few tufts of salt air hardened grass on the sandy coastal trail that twisted it’s way from the busier tourist fill beach. Red Rock Bay, further on, was normally much quieter given the walk to get there. It was also early evening but even so the sun still followed me precisely with it’s soft unforgiving patch of heat on my face carefully chilled by a little sea breeze. I reached the perfect spot. There was only a couple walking a dog along the waters edge and no more.

I stepped down from the remaining walkway onto the stretch of large pebbles that created a wall protecting the coast from winter storms. With the tide reclaiming the beach there would be little time to enjoy what was left of the sand. I hobbled my way down and left the borders of the pebbles. I dropped my bag and removed my trainers and felt the cool sand make its way between my toes. I’d finished my blog entry that Saturday afternoon but the header needed a new image and for some reason a replacement looking across the sea at the end of a hot day flew into my mind quicker than I could think about it. It wasn’t long before I was in the car and gently making my way along the motorway. There was more to it though and it was an excuse to take some time on my own as me.

I set the camera up and left it to take a walk to the waters edge with ten seconds to compose myself but at that moment the sea water came around my feet in small waves measured in nothing greater than centimeters. I didn’t even hear the camera click. After a few goes I felt a greater need to spend some time for myself and so packed the camera away. I walked along to the rocks that collect pools and sea creatures from the shore when the tides recede. I climbed, walking over the rough edges of rock barnacles beneath my feet, until I found a comfortable spot looking out to the horizon where the hills of England sit beyond the haze of greys.

I took a breath. The smell of ozone rich sea air filled my body, my head clearing. Everything suddenly made sense and all that mattered was that moment. I was who I was and enjoying the moment for what it was, the only thing that was missing were other people, the ones I love. My problems seemed to have been taken away by the breeze like seeds from a Dandelion. There would, no doubt, be moments where I would have solitary times like that day and may be next time I’ll take a book to read or something else to occupy my time while enjoying the breath-taking natural setting. I may not be able to feel this way each day but I am getting close.

I got home and looked at the photos, ready to crop for the blog. I thought for a moment how the red on my back and near by white skin had looked like I’d caught the sun and chuckled to myself. Later than night I took a shower and caught a glimpse of my back in the mirror; tattooed with sun bleached strap marks from my beachy vest top. Whoops.

Until next time.

x