Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pick myself up, dust myself down

I'm still feeling a bit down at the moment.
I think a few things have come together at the wrong time for me and its hit me harder than I expected.

At work I'm involved in a project that I have wanted to do since I first heard about it. That's the good news. However, it does mean that I also have to do some other things, that I don't mind doing, but which for some reason have knocked me somewhat.
I'm doing a task which is fairly repetitive, not exactly challenging. I queried one aspect of the task and got told what to do. I quite happily got on with the task and completed the initial work and explained what I'd done. At that point I found out that I'd misunderstood the bit I'd queried and have had to spend an afternoon redoing some of the work. Of course it's going to look great that I'm having to redo a lot of work that I'd completed and checked into our configuration management tool.
On top of that some work that I'd done on the project I wanted to work on is raising some queries. Some of them are good because its correcting things that I knew but which it seems have changed. Other things are simply depressing me because this year I've been ever so careful to document what I'm doing but it still seems like I'm making mistakes and not having all the information to hand that people want.

At home things are a bit stressful because I've got 3 birthdays that happen in July. On top of that I've had to sort out my son going away for a weekend in September and the family are disappearing for almost two weeks over the next 4 weeks. The break will be nice but the bashing that my finances are taking at the moment is not helping. I also seemed to be struggling to find the energy to go and do some exercise.

And finally, a friend introduced me to a guy that she knows a little while back. We've met twice now. He's single and isn't looking for a relationship at the moment. Last week we met up for lunch and spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and chatting. For some reason whenever I think about him I get a tingle. He's charming, funny, intelligent, good looking and I think very fit. I know I'm married and shouldn't be like this but I'm smitten with the guy. I've asked someone to find out what he thinks about me but from recent conversations I'm coming to the conclusion that he's not interested in me as anything but a friend.

So things are not going well at the moment. I'm very much aware of the little dark figure that hovers in the background whispering to me that there is a way out of things. I've listened to them before but I've grown a lot stronger and able to resist those thoughts.

I'm feeling a bit down but I will bounce back. There are things that I can't really do much about at the moment but there are also things that I can do something about. Its time for me to pick myself up, dust myself down and focus on the things that I can do something about.

Next time I'll aim for a more upbeat post. Promise.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

One score years ago

20 years ago today I met the woman that would be my wife and the mother of my son for the first time.
We'd met through an introduction agency.
I'd just come out of a relationship with someone and decided I needed to start dating and not sit around waiting for someone to turn up in my life.
The agency had sent me the details of several women. I'd already met two of them. One was too young for me, the other I'd hit it off with but not in a romantic way.
Then I rang my other half.
We arranged to meet up at a pub in Portsmouth.
That evening I stood outside the pub waiting for her to turn up. I looked at each woman that walked towards the pub and then walked past, none were her.
Eventually I saw a young woman walking towards me and the moment I saw her I knew that it was her. I was right.
We went inside and I bought her a drink. We found a table and sat down and talked and talked and talked. Eventually the pub was closing so we grabbed our coats and I walked her home. She didn't live that far away.
That evening was the start of a loving relationship that has been battered by so many things. We've managed to weather things that other couples wouldn't have managed to cope with. Its not been easy and there have been rough patches. Still 20 years is a long time and its been one that I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Not quite a model

Several weeks ago a post came up in one of the groups that I'm a member of on Facebook. It was advertising a makeover and photographic session at a photography studio in Bristol. The moment I saw it I was interested and so I emailed them and left it at that. Not for long though as within a few hours I received a phone call from someone at the studio and before I knew it I had an appointment booked for a Tuesday evening.
The session was roughly 3 hours in length with the first hour being the makeover, full make-up and hair. After that would be the photo session and at the end I'd have the chance to look over the pictures that had been taken and selected any that I wanted to buy.
All I had to do was turn up on the day with up to 5 outfits and wearing no make-up.

I've wanted to do a burlesque themed photoshoot for a while. Having someone do my make-up and hair for me was a dream come true so I selected two costumes that I've worn when I've performed and a third which was the costume I'm working on for a routine I plan to perform in the future.

Before the shoot I had a few preparations to make so that I looked my best. First I paid a visit to the salon and had a bit of waxing done, my eyebrows included and my eyelashes tinted. On the Monday evening I made sure that any other body hair was removed and painted my finger and toe nails bright red.

I'd hoped that I could find a nice white bra to go under the dress I was planning on wearing for one of the outfits. Unfortunately the one I bought I discovered was too small and so I decided to make a quite stop at a shopping mall in Bristol before I went to the studio.

Of course I now found myself hitting a slight snag. I was going to be trying to find a bra while wearing no make-up and more importantly no breastforms. Now usually that wouldn't be a problem but today I was clearly wearing nail polish and that would draw attention.
As Baldrick from Blackadder always said "I have a cunning plan". I could wear a pair of running gloves. Nobody would see my nails that way and I could get a new bra without drawing undue attention to myself.

The trip to Bristol was quiet and I soon found myself wandering around the mall. The first shop I tried didn't appear to have anything in my size so I tried one of the department stores. Fortunately I was able to find something that was perfect.

With the last of the items I needed in a bag I made my way back to the car and headed to the studio, arriving with literally minutes to spare. I found a parking space outside and popped into the studio to ask where was a better place to park as the streets only had an hour parking limit. The assistant that dealt with me pointed me a nearby car park and I headed off there.

When I arrived back at the salon I had a questionnaire to fill in about the sort of look I wanted with make-up and hair, backgrounds and various other things to do with the photos.

With the form completed I sat and enjoyed a glass of orange juice until I was called through to have my make-up done.

The lady that did my make-up was wonderful. She started off by asking me about the style I wanted and after we'd gone over my preferences she gave me a mini facial. With that out of the way she began to apply my make-up.
I immediately began to wonder what she was doing as she started working on my eyes and applying eye shadow to them. I was expecting her to apply foundation first but nope, she began working on my eyes. It crossed my mind that perhaps she had taken me for 100% female. I decided to wait and see what happened before asking about foundation. My worries were unfounded because as soon as she'd finished working on my eyes she applied foundation to the rest of my face before finishing up with blusher and lipstick.

One thing that had made me a little bit uneasy when I'd arrived was the fact that the area where they did the make-up was just off the waiting area and although not in full view of everyone was large enough for 3 people to have their hair and make-up done at the same time. While I was having mine done the only two people that had anything done to them were to young children who were there to have some pictures taken with their parents.

With my make-up done it was time to sort out the hair. I'd wanted something with some wave to it. Again my wonderful make-up artist did me proud. Using a hair straightener she managed to curl the hair around it and get some waves into it. Getting the most of my hair looking right was fairly easy, getting the last few curls at the front and side ready was a bit more difficult but worth it in the end.

After about an hour my make-up and hair was done and after apologizing in case I mussed up my hair removing my t-shirt I sat back in the waiting area for the photographer.

Before long the photographer came through to collect me. We wandered down a corridor, where I collected the bag I'd brought with the outfits I planned on wearing and my props, to the studio.

I was quite impressed. There was a small curtained off changing room, a large space for various standing shots, some blocks that looked like they belonged in a children's play area to sit on, a bed like affair for more seductive shots and a table with some reflective sheets that could be used for head and shoulders shots.

I put my bag in the changing room and we went over what I was hoping for, which was a burlesque themed shoot. We then went through my costumes and props.

Now that the photographer had a good idea of what he was working with I was left to get into my first costume, the one that I wore to do my True Love fan dance. Getting into my costume took a little bit of time as I had nobody to help me into the corset. Eventually though I was ready and made my way out of the changing room.

The first photos were close-ups of me sitting. There was a mix of shots with me wearing my glasses and without.

I had thought about wearing contacts but I'm still a bit insecure about my looks without glasses. In the end for the majority of the photos I wore my glasses.

With the close-up shots done we started on pictures of me with my fans. I held my fans above me, to the sides, behind me. It was great posing with them. We even did a couple of poses without fans.

I have no idea how long the first batch of pictures took but soon it was time for a costume change.

The second costume I'd brought was a variation of the one that I'd worn for my burlesque performance. A black corset, stockings, gloves and a feather boa.

The second set of poses and pictures started off with me standing up. After a few of these we moved across to where the bed was on the floor and I was asked to lie down in a variety of poses.

Looking at those pictures afterwards I thought some of them were very sexy and seductive. I would never have thought I could look like that in a million years.

Back off the bed and I did a few more poses standing up, a couple of them leaning against the wall.

Finally it was time for the third and final costume change.

The last outfit I'd brought was a white dress, red cape, very reminiscent of Red Riding Hood, and a pair of silk fans.

This time all of the shots were done standing up. No lying around for me this time.  Silk fans make a wonderful fire effect and we made the most of that. Once again we did a few shots where I was leaning against the wall and also some where I had the fans draped over me. All too soon though it was time to get changed out of my costume and back into normal clothes.

With the shoot part over I went back to the waiting area where Jo who was going to show me my photos told me that she would be a little while and I was free to help myself to a drink while the pictures were uploaded and she played with them a bit.

While I waited I decided I'd pop back to my car and drop my bag off. This killed a bit of time but I still had a little bit of a wait until she was ready.

The viewing was in a small room with a large monitor. Jo started a slideshow of all 55 pictures that had been taken. Normally a photoshoot is between 40 and 50 pictures. I'd had more than that so was quite happy, until I saw the pictures.

Well what can I say. I was stunned. I'd hoped that there would be some really good pictures but there were so many of them. It was going to be really hard to chose which ones I was going to buy.

After all of the pictures had gone by Jo and I went back through the pictures while I tried to whittle them down. After the first pass I had 15 pictures. That was the easy bit as there were some that I didn't like the way I looked. All 15 picture I loved the way I appeared. Now came the really hard part, selecting just 3 pictures.

After a bit of deliberation I picked 3, one of each costume. With my choices made I paid and finally it was time to leave. My photos would be with me in about 5 weeks.

After nearly three and a half hours at the studio I finally left and headed for home. I'm so glad that I went as it was a fabulous experience. I'll definitely do it again, maybe not just yet but definitely when I'm more confident about my looks without my glasses and also once I've developed enough up top to not have to wear breastforms.

Ever since I started with burlesque I've wanted to do a photoshoot, I've also wanted to try some burlesque modeling and maybe even something a bit more risque in the fetish arena. Having done the shoot I know that its definitely something I'd like to explore more in the future.

Anyway after telling you all about the shoot I suppose that its only fair if I let you see the photos I bought. Well here they are.

Large Fans (True Love)

Pensive (Stoned Soul Picnic)
Red Riding Hood (Moon River)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Feeling down

A couple of months ago I sent off an application to perform at the Bristol Burlesque Festival in October. If accepted then it would have been my first performance in front of an audience that wasn't at a Pink Kitten showcase. I'd really hoped that I'd get accepted with my True Love fan dance.

The deadline for hearing was at the beginning of July and I received an email telling me that there had been some hiccups and that I'd hear once those had been sorted. Today I received the email telling me whether I had been successful or not.

I hadn't.

There had been a lot of applicants and all the acts were very high quality. Mine just didn't make the cut. Someone else I know also didn't make the cut so I know that I'm in good company. Still it has left me feeling a little bit down.

At the moment I'm not sure where my burlesque is going.

The Advanced lab that I was attending at Pink Kitten is no longer running and there currently isn't anything to replace it. I'm not in the position to commit myself to doing a 4 week Intermediates class at the moment and I've not heard anything from the one place that runs a class locally. I really need to chase them up.

I've been thinking about developing my burlesque character a bit. I've been doing some work filling in her background. Now might be a good time to do some of those things I'd planned to do as part of developing her character. Some serious work on toning up my figure is on the cards as is refreshing my memory of, and expanding on, the Russian I learned at school.

I might be at a bit of a low point with regards to my burlesque at the moment but I'll bounce back with a much fuller and better developed character.

And then I'll feel a lot happier.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Do It Yourself Breast Reduction

I've been offline for a few weeks, my laptop once again had to go off to be repaired. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on you point of view, it couldn't be fixed and has now gone off to that great computer scrapheap in the sky.
In its place I now have a new HP laptop to while away the summer evenings installing updates and software on.
The last couple of weeks have been busy at work, I'm now working on a project that I've wanted to be involved with since I heard about it. Its going to be interesting and if things go the way that we expect then I might be having to help with a demo to our customers customer which is going to be a very interesting experience. I'm definitely not hiding myself away and hoping for a quiet transition, which is what I'd planned when I first started planning to transition.

The highlight of the last couple of weeks was a makeover and photoshoot that I did one Tuesday evening. I'm not going to go into it in detail as I want to write about it once I've received the pictures from it and scanned them in. All I will say now is that it was really good fun and I just wished I'd had the money available to buy copies of all 55 pictures that were taken during the session, 15 of which I selected because I liked them when I was whittling them down to the 3 I ended up buying.

The other thing that has happened is while I was making my way to the venue for the session I'd stopped off at one of the shopping malls in the area. As I was making my way down some stairs I realised that without a bra on my breasts were bouncing about a little too much. To solve that problem I popped into the local department store where I usually get my bras from and asked to have a bra fitting. My first ever bra fitting in fact.

The lady that served me was really good. After a bit of confusion as to the size I was looking for due to me wearing my breastforms, I was soon trying on a selection of bras for those times that I didn't want to wear my forms. Well it seems that I'm an A or B cup depending on the bra. All of the ones that I tried were padded which is great as I've not got anything to fill the one cup while having enough to fill the other cup.

After trying on about half a dozen bras I eventually selected 3 that were on sale, a great bargain.

After leaving the store and driving back to work I decided that after the weekend I would stop wearing my breastforms and would resort to what nature has currently blessed me with. Well my forms are a C cup, which is definitely noticeable or so you would think. Without them my bust is a lot smaller. In the week since I've had my homemade breast reduction not one person has commented. I'm not even sure if anyone has noticed the difference. I've definitely noticed the difference as its lovely to be able to do things without carrying the extra weight of breastforms around especially with the current warm weather. One thing is for sure though, I'm going to have to find somewhere to put a drawer full of bras until I'm big enough to fill them again.