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It has been a while since I did a post about what I have been up to when I’ve been out and about, usually on Wednesday evenings.  In reality it has only been 2 weeks since the last one, but it feels a lot longer.  So I’m going to use this post to update you on what I have been doing, as well as providing a bit of a record for myself.  Everything I do as Kirsty is still so new and fresh that everything seems to be of great significance, no matter how banal it may appear to the outside observer.

Three Wednesdays back, on May 21st (yes I am that far behind!) I had arranged to meet up with Andrea prior to going to the Butterfly Club, and the two of us were planning on going for a coffee together.  As usual, I had gone for a bit of general window shopping and browsing beforehand.  I was enjoying being out and about, and generally feeling like I was passing most of the time.  I was feeling particularly happy with what I was wearing.  The previous week one of the other club members, Adrianne, had been wearing a denim mini skirt which I though suited her really well.  Adrianne is a similar age and height to myself, and so I thought if it looks good on her, maybe one would look good on me too.  So I had gone down to my local Tesco (as Bob) and bought myself a denim mini skirt.  True to form, my wife said it was tarty and was something a teenager would wear, but I didn’t let that put me off.  I had a long pink 3/4 sleeve jumper which i just couldn’t get to work with anything, but the denim skirt just set it off perfectly.  Casual supermarket chic. IMG_1603

I was enjoying myself casually browsing round some clothes shops without a care, feeling great about myself.  I had just gone into Boots for a look to see if they had any make-up I fancied on offer, when I looked down the aisle to see none other than Andrea coming sashaying towards me.  I managed to catch her attention, and it was a lovely surprise to be out as Kirsty and suddenly not be on my own.  Andrea picked up a few bits and pieces for herself, and we departed to meet up at a coffee shop.

It was very busy at the coffee shop, we looked in the window and couldn’t see a table free, but as we joined the queue we realised that there were one or two places where the two of us could sit.  But even more than our trip to the restaurant a few weeks earlier, this was very crowded and there was no hiding place for us.  Andrea ordered the coffees and a bun for herself (but not me, still on a diet) and we took our seats.  And it was all fine.  More than fine in fact.  Nobody bothered us, we didn’t overhear any adverse comments, people just didn’t seem to care.  Andrea did mention that she saw one person looking over a few times, but more out of curiosity than anything else.  Maybe he fancied us!  Before we knew it, we had been there for an hour and were nearly the last people there.  We picked up our bags and left, with a friendly goodbye from the cheery barista who had served us earlier.  A lovely lovely experience, just a couple of girls out for a coffee and a chat.

The following week there wasn’t much time for coffees beforehand as I had a committee meeting to go to.  Now I come to think of it, I somehow managed to omit the fact that I had been co-opted on to the committee of the Butterfly Club the previous month.  I couldn’t help feeling under-qualified having only been at this for a few short months, but I can’t deny that I felt very honoured to be asked.  Our committee meetings generally take place on the last Wednesday of each month, so there was no time to sit about in coffee shops when there was important business to be discussed, and following my co-option the previous month, this time Andrea was being brought on to the committee too.  I’m hardly going to produce a set of committee minutes here, but along with Linda (our club president) and Michelle (another good friend although more closeted than me so I tend to just see her in the club), we had a really interesting talk for well over an hour.

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, Andrea and I had arranged another dinner date.  Well it took place last Sunday 1st June and yet again we had a wonderful evening, despite what was probably my first negative reaction.  Last time we went out, I chose and booked the restaurant so this time it was Andrea’s turn.  I have mentioned before how much better then mine her female voice is.  Well, she called to book the restaurant and got “madam”-ed on the phone.  No danger of that happening to me any time soon, I’m more likely to be mistaken for one of the Pythons (think Terry Jones as Brian’s mother in Life of Brian).

It was a very pleasant Spring evening and so I had finally been able to break out the summery white blouse and blue skirt combination that I had bought in Marks & Spencer a few weeks earlier, with natural tights and my little spotty ballerina flats.  I felt very demure – my wife said I looked like a librarian, but I like to think I was a bit more stylish than that.  I suppose I looked like a stylish librarian.

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On my way to the restaurant

Our restaurant of choice this time round was Maze, in Wellington Place right in the centre of Belfast.  The problem with it being right in the centre was that we weren’t sure where to park, so we arranged to meet in a car park just outside the city centre and then travel the remaining mile or so together.  As usual, Andrea was looking great in a dress that managed to combine casual with formal in one garment, judging the occasion perfectly.  And covered up with a gorgeous little back cardie with a lacy surround that tied across the chest.  Anyway, once she had swapped the flat shoes she wore for driving for her tallest heels, we set off.  We actually drove right past the front entrance of my office on our way to the restaurant – now THAT was an odd feeling.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I will ever walk through the doors of that building as Kirsty.  Probably best not to dwell on that thought for now.  We finally got parked about 200 metres from the restaurant and walked there with little fuss.

We arrived and were greeted by a very friendly, very smiley waitress, from Eastern Europe judging by her accent.  She showed us to our table.  The restaurant decor was very stylish indeed, very modern and just right up my street.  It was by no means full, but considering it was a Sunday evening they were doing a reasonable trade.  Another equally friendly waitress came along and took drinks orders while we settled in to our table.  The food was good, not spectacular, but good. Actually, my dessert (chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream) was amazing, but the savouries weren’t quite up to the standard of the Potted Hen – not that they weren’t nice, they were very enjoyable and I would go back again.

So the meal was good verging on great, the company was better, and we had a great time for a full two and a half hours.  There was only one reaction to us during that time; Andrea noticed an older couple who kept looking round at us.  I didn’t see them until they were leaving the restaurant when the male half of the couple indiscreetly craned his head round towards us as he walked past.  He obviously couldn’t keep his eyes off these two gorgeous women.  There can be no other explanation.

As the bill arrived I felt the call of nature and so for the first time had to venture into a ladies’ loo.  Apart from the lack of urinals, it was remarkably similar to a well-kept men’s toilet.  I’ll not feel so worried next time. (Actually, now I think about it, it’s not strictly speaking the first time I’ve gone into a ladies’ loo.  I once drunkenly went into the ladies’ at a work Christmas party, although the occupants directed me to the men’s pretty sharpish.)  But I digress.  I was very pleased that it had been so uneventful, although I must admit it felt so much better to be going into the loo with the be-skirted figure on the door for once, particularly since I was a be-skirted figure myself.

So meal eaten, bill paid, it was time to go.  And this where things went ever so slightly awry.  As we were leaving, the friendly waitress said “Bye, guys”.  We looked at each other as we left and wondered if it was a jibe.  I think on reflection, probably not.  She had been so nice to us all night and gave no indication that she had any problem, plus English was not her first language.  I think it was just “guys” as a general purpose word, similar to “folks”.

We went out on to the street and noticed that there was a crowd of around 10 young men on the street just in front of my car, and if we wanted to take the shortest route to the car we would have to walk past them.  We agreed this was not the best way and agreed to take a more circuitous route.  As we went off to cross our first pedestrian crossing, a figure approached in a hoodie.  Swaggering along the pavement, hood up, cigarette cupped in one hand, he looked about 50 and was probably about 20.  I didn’t notice anything, but according to Andrea just after he passed us he immediately looked round at us both, exclaimed “Fuck!” and continued crossing the road, only to look back again after he had reached the other side.

I mustn’t be very observant, because after completely missing Mr Hoodie and his charming grasp of vocabulary and sentence structure, I then had to be informed by Andrea again that at the next lights we were being observed by a carful of giggling teenage girls.  I started to get a bit panicky at this point and just wanted back to the car, which of course we reached completely safely and with no further incident.  If the worst that ever happens is an obscenity and some giggles, I think I can probably live with that ok.

It’s my turn to pick the venue and book it next time.  I’ll need to look carefully.

And finally, on to last night.  I’m not going to dwell on the events in the Butterfly Club, enjoyable as they were.  I’m just going to mention my worst “Oh Shit” moment since nailvarnishgate.  I was out shopping as Kirsty (in the pink jumper & denim skirt combo again) and I walked into Boots.  As I came through the door, I looked to my right and there not ten feet away from me and facing in my direction, was a work colleague.  Not someone from my team, but more someone with whom I would be on nodding terms in the lift.  My pulse instantly doubled and I walked on down to the other end of the shop, trying to keep my walk as relaxed as possible.  The person in question is quite a tall woman, so it was easy enough to pick her out from a distance, but I am also quite tall so I couldn’t risk her seeing me.  I must have looked quite comical, ducking down between the rails of make-up and periodically sticking my head up over the parapet like some kind of trans* chad.  Finally she left, and I was able to exit the store, checking very carefully both ways before I actually walked out the door.

Well that was lengthy, but I’m up to date at last.  And for once, I already know what my next post is going to be about.  I have even written most of it!  It’s a blog about this blog – very meta!

Until next time

Kirsty

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