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Previously on Kirsty’s World…

I had gone to my friend Andrea’s house for the weekend, and had lots of fun mainly shopping, eating and chatting.  There was so much good stuff that I decided to split my account of the weekend’s events over two blog posts.  You can read the first one here, and now here is what happened on the Sunday…

I awoke shortly before 9am in a lovely comfy bed in Andrea’s spare room.  Blearily, I opened my eyes and immediately saw my deep pink painted nails.  Well that didn’t take long.  The smile was back on my face again.  I went to sleep a woman, and I woke up a woman.  Although practical considerations took over rather quickly.  Nature was calling, and so I had to do a dash to the loo and hope that Andrea wouldn’t see me.  I certainly wasn’t going to do my hair or makeup just to nip across the corridor for a wee, but I was terrified that I would be seen looking less than my best – and I mean a lot less than my best.  I scuttled across, realising that thankfully Andrea’s bedroom door remained shut, and did what comes naturally.  

After returning to bed for a little light snoozing, I resumed my scuttling activities before 10am.  For the first time, getting ready in the morning involved not just the usual shower, but sorting my make-up too.  Then I was able to get dressed straight from my lovely girly pyjamas into a nice white blouse, black tights and spotty skirt.  It simply felt right, like this was how it was supposed to be every day.

I finally made it into the kitchen and “good morning”-ed my hostess.  A quick breakfast of pain au chocolate and coffee, and then a review of the previous day’s shopping.  I said yesterday how Andrea had already been out shopping in the Next sale before I arrived, well I got a sneak preview of her new outfits.  Top marks!  I took a pic of her in one of her new outfits so she would have something to illustrate her own blog, and it’s here along with her own (rather shorter) account of this weekend’s events.  

I said yesterday about how we all have our own style, well this was a perfect illustration.  Everything Andrea had bought was very much in keeping with her image, and looked great on her, but I would wear very little of it – even if I could fit into a size 8 skirt.  I’m still feeling pretty good about fitting into a 12!  And I don’t say any of that in a negative way, like I said she looked great in just about all of it, but just as an observation about how we all develop our own styles.  I can’t imagine her wearing my denim mini skirt for example – I don’t think she can imagine it either!  However despite that, she had bought a denim skirt of her own in a completely different style from mine, and she wore it as we set off for a little outing.

The beautiful lake at Hillsborough Forest

The lake at Hillsborough Forest

It was approaching 1pm when we left the house, and as time was pressing on and it was nearing the time when I would have to return to the family and the life of Bob (the unmade Monty Python sequel), we decided against an earlier plan to go to Castlewellan Forest Park and instead headed in separate cars to Hillsborough Forest, somewhere I had never been before.  It had the added advantage of being on my way home and close to the shops at Sprucefield, so we would be able to grab a late lunch together afterwards before going our separate ways.  We arrived in a packed car park at Hillsborough forest, and got on our way for a walk round the rather beautiful lake.

There were a lot of people out for a Sunday afternoon stroll in these idyllic surroundings.  It was a little overcast, but it was warm and there was no wind, so it was a perfect day for a leisurely walk.  We walked along, chatting and taking in the views, passing many other walkers as we went.  Parents, grandparents, kids, pets, young couples arm in arm, all life was here and we were just part of that.  There was no overtly negative reaction from anyone as far as I could tell, and one nice older lady gave us a very friendly “Hello” which was returned in an equally friendly manner by both of us.

IMG_1700Realising that I have very few pictures of myself taken anywhere other than in my house or at the Butterfly Club, we stopped at a small clearing at the edge of the lake where there was a little more light so Andrea could take my picture.  I took hers too, but it’s my blog so you get my picture.  That’s the price of admission.  I think I look really happy in this picture, and that is simply because I was.  A full day spent as my real self with a dear friend, in beautiful surroundings.  What more could a girl want?

Before too long we finished our walk and arrived back where we started at the car park.  A quick 5-minute drive up the road took us to Sprucefield, where nature called again and I had yet another first in this weekend of firsts.  My first visit to the ladies when there have actually been other women in there.  In fact, it was packed and I had to stand waiting.  And as has been the case so many times before, I had no problems whatsoever.  I did what I came in to do, and left without incident.  Another notch off my “haven’t done that yet” list.  It seems like a ridiculous thing to regard as a triumph, but it felt quite intimidating beforehand.  In reality, of course, it was just a loo.  And I felt a lot better in there than in a men’s.  But let’s not talk about that.

Off we went into the M&S cafe for a quick sandwich and coffee lunch, then finally the major theme of the weekend raised its head again.  The Next sale!  We went into a packed shop, had a good browse round and finally I found the stripy jumper I had been hoping to find that in my head went perfectly with my new jeans and sandals.  I went into the changing rooms to try it on before buying.  Being a busy sale, there was a bit of a queue for the changing rooms so I just waited my turn.  As I stood at the front of the queue, the curtain on the cubicle facing me swished opened and there, looking straight at me, was a woman who works in the after-school club at my daughters’ primary school.  A woman who looks after my kids.  A woman who sees Bob at least three times a week.  She didn’t even flinch, walked straight out of her cubicle, and straight past me.  I don’t think she even registered that I was there.  A little weak at the knees, I went into the cubicle she had just vacated.  The jumper fitted fine so I went and bought it, and had probably the most chat I have ever had with a sales assistant.  I even managed to crack a joke – not a very good one admittedly, but I’ve never before felt that unselfconscious in a conversation with a cis woman while presenting as female.  It’s almost as if having been this way for slightly over 24 hours by this stage, it was just the new reality and my personality was coming to the fore again.

I found Andrea still browsing round, and told her that very sadly it was time for me to head for home.  I say sadly and I mean just that.  I had spent a full 24 hours as the woman I know I am, and going back to being Bob is so hard and feels so wrong, but just knowing that I can do this, and having this new level of self-knowledge is undoubtedly a good thing.  I am so grateful to Andrea for putting me up (and putting up with me), particularly since I am highly unlikely to be in a position to return the favour.  But it won’t be the last time.  I can be sure of that.

Eventually of course, I did have to wipe off all the make up and change into male clothing before returning home.  I walked in the door to find Mrs Kirsty shocked at how much eyeliner was still visible (I couldn’t see it!), how much I still smelled of perfume (I couldn’t smell it any more!) and how visible the lacy seam of my blouse was at the neck of Bob’s jumper (well ok I could see that).  I didn’t mind, I was still smiling.

As I look at the title of this and the previous entry, I can’t help thinking of what Gene Pitney almost certainly never sang;

It was only 24 hours of Kirsty
Only one day away from my Bob

Till next time

Kirsty x