It’s been a while since I wrote a blog; during the pause I’ve had two sessions, both a lot of fun, taken a new job (which to be honest has been the thing keeping me off of Social Media for a little bit; ten years in the same role and I needed, badly, a new challenge and this one is a doozy), had up and down health ‘entertainments’ (we tend to forget about the other winter ailments because of the dreaded ‘C’ word (not the one that equates to TERFs like JK Rowling, the disease one) and all in all have been a bit, well, off colour physically and mentally.
Now it’s under a week to the festive holiday, so I’ve been doing the usual rush about for food and gifts. I’m pretty organised but on top of everything else it’s been just mayhem. Throw in constant f*ck ups to my plans by Trade Unions of various flavours and 2022 has left me a little, well, grumptastic.
Pictured – I had to hop three trains to look like this. Worth it.
So it’s time to wipe the slate clean on 2022 and look forward to 2023.
But looking back on 2022, I’ve done a number of quite important, to me at least, firsts. I went to a public event and spent over ten hours in full retro 1940’s wear. I had a date enfemme. I messed about too much with hormones. Yet 2022 has still felt immensely flat; whenever I write or type the date I’m still convinced it’s bloody 2021. 2022 was….. unpleasantly forgettable.
Which is a shame. I had some serious fun, found a new dressing service that does a way different Sarah than the one I am used to. So I thought I’d do a quick ‘chat’ blog and revisit some of the fun from this year and try to improve my perception of the year that was(n’t).
Remembering….. Date Night
Looking back this was huge but at the time I was just a little stunned so it didn’t sink in until later just what I’d done. And it wasn’t a date as such; I tried another dating service which was brilliant, and the owner was delightfully nice to offer to cook me dinner after. I call it a date because there were two people, one male, one, well, me.
Pictured – the exact outfit I wore to the dinner date (after we’d done this shoot). I’d like to call it a husband/wife dinner engagement because just typing that gives me a thrill.
I wore one of my favourite Unique Vintage dresses; a green, floral patterned number, high neck (because I wanted to be demure). I’d never eaten food enfemme before and manipulating the cutlery and varied glasses with inch long red nails was entertaining. Also delicate small bites of food so as to not mess up my lipstick.
Having someone cook a meal for me was delightfully fun as well; Sipping champagne after, legs crossed demurely under the table, enjoying a 1-2-1 conversation, it all felt delightfully normal, which was a thrill in itself. It was so easy to slip into the role of the girl.
Nothing untoward happened. I’m not going to kiss and tell because there isn’t anything to ‘tell’ about. There might have been a kiss though….
Remembering…… a different kind of Sarah
I started going to Wowgals in Manchester, partly because they have a BrewDog hotel (and it’s a good one, especially if you like the concept of beer in bed, beer in the shower, beer pretty much everywhere) and partly because although I utterly love Sarah as created by Cindy at BWBG, I fancied seeing if there was another Sarah I hadn’t met yet.
Pictured – and this Sarah looks a little like the gorgeous Cindy Darling from the 1970’s….
And there was. I’ve done a number of sessions there this year, two retro, one modern, one costumes (including an arty pregnant shoot). I’ve always thought I’m a bit of a canvas when it comes to makeovers; Cindy has done some stunningly different looks, and the looks that Patti does complement these. The output is two very different women yet still little old me.
Pictured – other Sarah seems a little bit of a goer. Know what I mean. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
I have a lot of really fun candid pictures from those sessions, and it’s always nice to experiment with new looks. I’m planning to go back in the new year, but I’m also planning to do some Cindy sessions – due to the issues I had with my eye I missed three sessions (the sty is still there but can be easily hidden by makeup now), so I’m off back early January to re-discover my inner housewife, retro-girl and whatever else we fancy doing. Another reason it will be nice to see the back of 2022.
Remembering….. being out and about for ten hours
Goodwood Revival was an odd one, being honest. It’s very expensive and very busy, and I was struck, at least on the Saturday, how few women dressed up for the event. The ones that did were magnificent, and myself and my sister-in-arms got tonnes of genuinely lovely comments from other retro dressed women during the day, but I had really thought it was going to wall-to-wall Vivien of Holloway frocks and Victory Rolls, and it was t-shirts and jeans for the most part.
It was a long day. For someone who’s exposure to the outside world has been limited to a very occasional walk around the roads near Cindy’s, or an evening in a T-pub or a fetish club, being out in the sunshine around families and, well, ‘normal’ people was an eye-opener.
Pictured – remarkably calm looking woman. I may have had considerable wine by this point….
What struck me most, looking back, was this; no-one batted an eyelid. I stand 6ft 3in (being modest, probably a couple more inches if I’m honest) and no-one screamed, waved a pitchfork, or even looked twice at the obviously terrified transvestite. Some people have complemented me on the pictures I put up around the whole ‘passing’ thing but believe me, I didn’t. For a start I was terrified of annoying a TERF so it was a Gent’s toilets for me, which was a hilarious/terrifying (delete as applicable) experience. The entrance way into the toilets was long and not overly wide; stopping and stepping back against the wall in heels and a tea dress to let someone else come out of the toilets and him saying ‘thanks, miss’ as he walked by was one of, if not the, oddest yet satisfying moments of my life.
Downers? being dropped off by the taxi on the far, far side of the parking fields when we arrived. I have never walked on grass on heels before and it’s a serious chore. About a quarter of a mile of tip-toeing, handbag grasped tightly and vigilant against being tipped over as the grass grabbed my 3-inch court shoes was a lot of exercise.
Pictured – man, I do ‘prim and proper’ quite well if I may say so myself.
It was a superb experience but I don’t think I’d do it again. I also forgot to take many photos so the only real memories are in my mind. Consider a bucket-list item ticked.
So, that was pretty much 2022. Unremarkably remarkable, but it suffered a lot from being ‘the first real year after Covid’; I have found myself much worse in terms of the way I interact with the world in general since Covid. I find myself stressed a lot more, things I did as second-nature seem hard and scary. Chuck in a really bad year from other perspectives (the loss of the Queen hit me a lot harder than I thought it was; I hadn’t realised just how much of a foundation she was to pretty much everything I remember from my childhood onwards) and it wasn’t that great a year.
Next year? I’m considering formalising my relationship with the hormones. Even though I’ve been on and off of them my body has definitely changed and I like those changes; I don’t feel testosterone-ally stabby or rage-y at all now. I feel peaceful, things don’t send me into an angry spiral. Down side is I definitely have breast tissue and at some point I won’t be able to hide it; I already have the tell-tale milk-duct masses and my fat distribution is different. I am starting to get hips and lose fat around the midriff, giving a figure, when I look in the mirror, that makes me feel warm inside. I go in under the ribs, then out above the hips. My skin is softer (and drier, way less oil) and my hair is very different. When I go and get it cut my hairdresser, bless her, is saying ‘wow, your hair condition is amazing’. Cough.
Pictured – they’re not that noticeable. Cough.
At some point I need to decide to stop sneaking the stuff and talk to a doctor about it. Thing is, I don’t want to transition. I just like being in-between (tending more towards the feminine).
The other big thing next year is whether to act on some of my more raw fantasies. You know the ones I’m talking about. I have an option to be a weekend wife with someone if I get the bravery up. I think I’m reaching that point where if I don’t, I won’t ever. And if I don’t ever I’ll always wonder what it feels like.
I was talking to a friend over some beers and my argument was ‘I’ve spent 53 years dreaming of doing it, what happens if I try it and it’s terrible? What will I have as my ultimate fantasy?’. And she said ‘but what happens if you try it and you love it?’. And that’s an interesting question……
I’ve just broken a trend of ten years of inactivity and taken a new job. Maybe 2023 should be the year when I open myself up to my fantasies. Given most of them require me to be on my knees it could be a lot of fun.
Stay beautiful, enjoy the festive season, and hopefully 2023 will be an eye-opener on so many levels for you.
Pictured – perhaps my favourite picture of the year. Patti has a cat and drab me loves cats. Seems cats can detect that, and Sarah is officially a ‘cat lady’.