Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Riding the little trains

    Transition is a funny business. You get on with your life, but at risk of stating the bleedin' obvious it's not the same as it was before. Sure, you go to work, do your shopping and everything, but your boundaries are a lot closer. It's a whole new set of social conventions to learn, so you watch your back, there are fresh dangers you didn't have to worry about before.
    Take my weekend for instance. A yearly outing for the Ixion motorcycling mailing list, for reasons too complex to explain we hire a train on the Tal-y-llyn railway in Wales and have a barbecue. A chance to catch up with a group of friends I've known for a very long time, and in a beautiful location. I even had a chance to use a bit of my rather halting Welsh, though I couldn't find anyone who'd sell me a bara brith (best described as the Welsh take on fruit cake) to take back for my colleagues.
    On the whole, not a lot to worry about. Among friends, and rural Wales is hardly threatening. But it was a first for me since transition, staying on a busy campsite full of families on holiday. Using communal washing facilities, being rather visible among a field of tents. What if somebody takes exception to me? One's imagination runs away with the thought of angry campers.
    In practice of course I was fine. I have no illusions about stealth but I don't present or behave in an unusual manner, and wrapped in a big stripey sundress on one of the hottest days of the year I found myself fitting right in. Chatting about the campsite badger - has a habit of raiding people's food - and even subject to a rather amusing conversation about the obsessions of menfolk for machinery. To my great surprise, I fitted in among complete strangers on holiday.
    OK, so my worries were groundless. But that doesn't make them any less valid, we all know there are people who get into trouble not of their own making. But as I drove home through the beautiful mountains of mid Wales I did come away feeling I'd extended my boundaries slightly. Which is yet another small step along the path of transition.


  1. The biggest journeys start with the first step. I hope the steps you take in the future will be as easy. Sounds like you've had a wonderful break Jenny, I like bara brith by the way!

    Shirley Anne x

  2. It's a strange lesson we have to learn, there are many things that as a man I just took for granted, that I now find as a woman are not so easy. Certainly my whole approach to personal safety is different.

  3. As my therapist said to me one time: Is this really the same person who bolted from the house to the car so that you would not be seen?

    I still have +/- 0 self confidence, but it is at least nice to be able to look back and see the advances made.

    Well done, I'll be honest and say I am not sure I could cope with a campsite right now!