This is a terribly long and self-indulgent blog-post. I know, not selling it…. There’s some funny stuff at the end, if you can make it that long, but if you can’t just look at the piccies. But if you want to know just how fate can screw you over when you get over-stressed and over-complicate stuff, please stick with it……
Don’t worry. This won’t be me ranting and raving at the world – I’ve gone beyond that, to a wonderful place where everything that goes wrong, and there’s a lot of it, just makes me laugh. Maniacally. Because sometimes you just have to laugh. Or cry. But laughing is easier and, on the whole, way more healthy.
But stay with me, because there’s a lot to laugh it at this one. Most of it is self inflicted, in a nice first-world kind of way. And yes, there’s lot of mentions about cross-dressing and the joy, and utter delight, it gives me, but there are swings and roundabouts. And bloody roller-coasters as well.
So why the rant? Well, I had a lovely Xmas present lined up for myself. I’ve been working *seriously* hard, and I’d sorted myself out a wonderful session plan at the gorgeous Cindy’s, three days of wanton femininity and giggles, topped off with a comfortable hotel. Everything was planned to the last minute, as I normally do. And everything went to pieces in a spectacularly firework way.
Quick spoiler alert – I *did* get to do the session, albeit a reduced one, and part of it involved a frankly hysterical series of farce-like events culminating in me standing in front of a touch screen at the hotel, while in drab, unable to use the screen to checkout because I, err, had beautiful long red nails on my fingers under mountaineering gloves. And gloves don’t work on touch screens….. Stick with me over the next 3000 or so words, it’s worth it for the utterly insane moment at the hotel…..
If you’ve been reading the blogs you’ll know I’ve been suffering from a bit of middle-aged stupidity lately, too much exercise, too taut aged muscle tissue, the usual. And because I’ve got a stubborn streak the size of a small country I refuse to listen to the bodies messages and try to do dumb stuff. Like walking across London to see if I could walk off a torn back muscle (short answer, stupid idea). But anyway, I’d been planning for this Xmas session for *months*, loads of wonderful and sexy outfits prepared, trains booked, hotels booked, all non-refundable. It was going to be perfect.
And then my other half’s body decided to not play ball. Long story short, she developed gall stones which screwed up her gall bladder. Lots of pain, swelling, and a family history of cancer following on from untreated gall bladder issues meant that she got terrified quickly.
Around the same time I tore some connector tissue in my back. Snowboarding, of all stupid things. On a company outing to an indoor snow zone, in Milton Keynes. I decided to throw myself into it, and in doing so, when sat on the snow slope having toppled backwards, rotated my lower back by spinning up and sideways, digging the board into the snow and pivoting on it so I was back up on my feet. Twenty years ago it would have been perfect and cool. Now, I ended up on the board, the right way, but with a searing pain in my lower back from the rotation. Unbeknownst to me I’d torn the connector tissue between the butt muscle and the vertical muscle on the spine.
So what has this got to do with my other half’s gall bladder? Everything. The company runs a private health scheme which has a specific treatment plan around buggered backs, so I contacted them to sort physio. Turns out, due to an administrative error, that my private health care was invalid (not my fault), so the company sent me paperwork to fill in.
And this is where is starts to get fun/go wrong. Paperwork had the magic words on it, ‘ignore medical history’, a little gift they gave me as they had messed it up. And when filling the form I noticed they allowed for…..spouses. DING! Clever plan time.
So I added my other half to the policy. So she could get her gall bladder removed in a comfortable hospital with a wine list. Because I’m nice.
Now, fate has a wonderful way of rewarding good intentions with a swift and sharp punch to the testicles. And it did. The private medical care came through for the back, and my other half had been added to the policy. She immediately phoned up and asked if they could fast-track her surgery, which of course they could. Yay! Everything is cool!
Well, not quite. Because they booked her in on the first day of my session.
Now, on one hand, I’d booked my session two months in advance. On the other, what kind of human being would I be to let doctors pull pieces out of my other half while I posed in multiple outfits 200 miles/three hours away? A pretty damn poor one, to be honest, even though I’d bent over backwards to get her the private surgery.
Now, this was a couple of weeks in advance of the session, all of which was pre-booked and, aside from the wonderful Cindy who was happy to reschedule, all other aspects of the trip were non-refundable. And the surgery was keyhole, in and out on the same day, minimal impact even though it was relatively major. So I rationalised that it would be OK for me to go, I could save this thing! My other half talked to her best friend, who would fill in for me in the drive to the hospital, pick her up, stay the night with her after the op at home to make sure she was OK. All was kind of well, I could suck up the guilt and feel bad after, when looking at my pictures and having had the release I need to keep me sane.
But noooooo, fate picked up on the stress I was putting out and decided to have a little fun.
48 hours before I was meant to jump on a train to London my other half’s best friend came down with the flu. Suddenly she had no way to get to the hospital and back. So, like a gallant knight I volunteered to miss the first day of my session so I could take care of her, get her there and back, make sure she was OK for the night after the op and then jump an early train to London. So I booked another train, writing off the fifty quid or so for the one I would have taken and the first night in the hotel, and sent a text to Cindy saying I’d be there at 10:00am the second day, missing the first.
Now, I thought long and hard about cancelling the whole session. I mean, it’s just cross-dressing, right? Wrong. This was my Xmas present to myself, a safety valve in a weird landscape of feminine urges that I needed – the black dog was gathering strength, my urge to feel my feet constrained in heels, my body wrapped in a frock, my male self subsumed and Sarah, who is a far better person and knows how to have fun, and, being honest, someone I find myself wanting to be more and more nowadays, growing almost to the point that I could focus on nothing else. I couldn’t put it off, I’d planned and looked forward *so* much to it that if I did sacrifice it it would be setting an ominous precedent for what was important in my life.
So, instead of three relaxing days sipping whatever alcoholic tipple I fancied in between sessions of Sarah time, I had to get my other half to the hospital, wait by the phone while she was under the anaesthetic, wait for a call to tell me she was OK and out of the op, wait for a call to say she could come home (because there was the possibility that something would go awry, that she would have to stay in, and the entire session would be lost). And then, after getting her home, I’d need to stay with her for at least 24 hours to make sure she didn’t get complications from the op.
Ahh, f*ck. I’d forgotten the 24 hours.
So, bought another train ticket….. three so far, with two non-refundable. Instead of leaving at 4:00am to get the 6:00am train I’d need to stay until at least 9:00am, meaning I could get the 11:00am train and get to London at, say, 12:30pm. So day one was completely screwed, day two could possibly kick off at 3:00pm as opposed to 10:00am. Lots of numbers, lots of stress.
Now, we’ve had a lot of words so far without any mention of feminine stuff. I did get to the session and, wow, Cindy went above and beyond in the looks we did. The pictures in this blog are all from the 20 odd hours we squeezed in. Thought I’d mention that to deflect from the stress….
So I took my other half to the hospital, sat with her as she had her bloods done, stayed long enough to get in the way of her nurse, her anaesthetist, before heading home to try and shave the body bits in advance of going to London the next day. Operation went well, they did it keyhole as intended, and all was hunky-dory.
Until she couldn’t pee.
So, my entire sessions were dependent on my other half managing to have a pee post-op. My train was at 11:00am the next day, this was 4:00pm. 5:00pm. 6:00pm. 7:00pm. 8:00pm. 9:00pm……..
9:22pm, phone goes. Other half has peed, I can take her home.
Cue drive through freezing fog to the hospital, picking her up, driving gently (which is tough in a sport-spec Audi TT) all the way home while she quietly vomits three times. Get her to bed, make sure the heating is on, cook her some of my home-made chicken soup, get her to sleep.
Finally, it’s 2:15am and I get to bed. Due to the worry about her op and whether or not I’ll actually get to be Sarah I’ve slept a total of, ‘yay’, four hour in the last sixty four.
9:00am the next day, she’s feeling much better and I can start the trip to London – with an order to her to text me *every* two hours and a promise that I’ll drop everything and get back on a train if she feels even slightly unwell I head off to rescue what I can from the booked sessions.
And that’s where it starts to go…..mad 🙂
Manage to get to the station an hour earlier than expected, so I buy *yet* another train ticket (that’s four for anyone still reading or keeping track) and jump on the earlier train. Get into Euston, rush to the underground with my heavy bag of frocks and accessories, get to the hotel.
Now, I’d booked two nights in the hotel but hadn’t managed to get to the first night. I’d pre-paid, so I expected I could just wrack into the room, quickly shave the werewolf level of fuzz off of my face and yomp over to Cindy’s.
Not that simple. Turns out even if you’ve prepaid for a room if you don’t show up by midnight the room is let go. Even if you have the next night booked as well. Cue me standing, mildly fuming while I go just one more degree insane, while they fix the booking. Again, little spoiler, but they didn’t get it right, which led to a moment of hilarity involving myself in full drab with the most beautiful long red nails barely hidden by gloves trying to work a touch-screen with my wrist…..
Finally got the room, got into it, dropped the seriously heavy frock backpack on the bed and got the shaving kit out. Ran a sink full of hot water while texting Cindy to tell her I was in town and would be over as soon as I possibly could, then texting the other half to make sure she was OK (she was). Liberally applied shaving foam and dipped the razor into the water.
CLICK. “Housekeeeping”. GET OUT!!!!! I’M HERE!!!!!
In the room for five minutes, trying to get my femm-mojo on, and a maid walks in unannounced. Oh, come on fate…..
Kick the maid out (politely, I’m not that much of a dick). Finish scraping the face fungus off without too many serious wounds. Rush across to Cindy’s, pausing only to buy a bottle of red wine, bottle of Prosecco for Cindy and Vicky, bananas (yeah) and cigarettes – no, I don’t smoke, but they make a great prop for some of Sarah’s looks. Finally get to Cindy’s, around midday. Pay her for the sessions (I can’t relax unless I pay in advance. Plus, it gives me the option to chicken out and bail if I need to with no guilt).
And she does her usual magic, even better than normal. Although I’m running on sociopathic levels of sleep deprivation, and drinking red wine straight from the bottle because, well, stress has made me a quivering wreck of a human being at this point, the session is utterly sublime. We do some looks that blow my mind. And we go for ten hours, even though we started late.
Get to the end of the session, copy the pictures to the Mac, decide to leave the beautiful red nails on. I always get Cindy to use glue rather than sticky tabs, which bonds seriously strongly, and it means we can dive straight into make-up and frockage the next day. As long as I can stand wearing the nails overnight at the hotel.
See, I hadn’t thought this through. After all the machinations, the planning, the messing about, the prep, the worry, the panic, I thought a night in nails would be easy. Hell, I’d be back at Cindy’s at 10:00 the next day, what could go wrong?
Pretty much f*cking everything 🙂
Firstly, trying to text your other half every two hours when you’ve got nails on? Pretty much impossible. Having a shower? Put it this way, I stabbed myself in the nose four times while trying to wash my hair.
And the kicker. Minimal sleep for seven days, serious stress and worry about the other half and getting things done on time, getting to places, even just getting into stockings and a bra…… you end up straining muscles. And my back was shot to start with.
3:00am I wake up in the hotel and I literally *cannot* move. My back has gone into spasm and the connector tissue, already at breaking point, just gives. I cannot get out of the hotel bed. Combine that with long, albeit beautiful, nails, and I’m lying on the bed like a beached turtle that can’t get up.
Thoughts rush through my mind – was it the posing (yes)? Will I have to call for an ambulance? If so, what will they think about the nails? What about the second day of the session? How will I get home?
I’d like to say I relaxed, the back clicked into place, I could easily get up and everything went swimmingly. But fate wasn’t smiling on me at this point. Cue four hours of panic, trying different ways to simply get up, which I did eventually but found myself unable to stand without shooting pains in my spine, glutes and thighs.
Standing on a wooden floor in a hotel room at 4:15am in the morning, unable to straighten up, 160 miles from home, with red nails super-glued onto your hands. It’s an enlightening moment. One of those epiphany points where you would either spiral off into a mental breakdown or……..
It was a defining moment where my mind just went ‘fine, fate, fine. Let’s have some fun’. I relaxed, lowered myself to the floor, lay with a rigid back for 40 minutes until the pain subsided to a level that I could function. Hot shower, stretches, constantly testing the muscles and pushing them further each time. And slowly the body responded, and my mind, oddly, shifted from ‘how the hell will I get home’ to ‘yes, I can spend 10 hours dressed in female clothing, tight corset pulling me in, stretching my body in unnatural ways for the some superb photos’.
But then, before the last day’s session (which was utterly wonderful, courtesy of codeine/paracetamol, gritted teeth and moving *very* slowly and gently between poses), we had the fun of the ‘checking out incident’.
See, in all the rush of stress and fun, the ‘hell, a night in nails can’t be that hard’ I’d forgotten one major issue. Because we’d cancelled the first day and first night of the hotel I’d got a little confused. I’d forgotten that I needed to checkout before I went to the second, and last, day of dressing.
The hotel I use has an automated check-in and check-out where you don’t need to talk to anyone, just use the computer terminals. Which are touch screen.
I’d forgotten I had nails on. My plan had been to wear some thermal climbing gloves, very thin, which completely hid the nails. But you can’t work a touch screen with gloves on.
So I’m stood at the terminal, backpack on my back, wearing a hoodie, with gloves on, trying to work out how the hell to type on the screen.
Long story short (again, too late), you can use your wrist for typing on a touchscreen. I had to type my email address, put my credit card in, type the pin on a very small keyboard and pick up my receipt with my wrists. Of all the stressful stuff in the two days, this was the most stressful. And oddly exciting, but that’s a different story 🙂
So, as we are approaching almost novella length in terms of wordage, I’ll cut it short now. The two session were utterly lovely, some of the best we’d done. My other half is fine, recovering and much better now she’s got rid of the gall bladder.
And me? Well, the back was totalled – over the Xmas period I could barely get out of bed, couldn’t find a comfortable position and my physio will give me hell when I get up the courage to talk to him – but hell, it was worth it. And I’ve booked another session at the end of January that really, really should be less stressful.
But why do it? Just because. Look at the photos I’ve used in this post. That’s why I do it, that’s why the pain, the stress, the first-world problem madness of it all, it’s all worth it. I love Sarah, and I will go through all of it again for a chance to be her.
Stay beautiful, safe and way saner than me, sweeties…..