Sometimes we neglect things at our peril. We have all probably heard stories about people who have ignored advice concerning their health and regretted that decision later. Our health is our greatest asset and if we don’t look after it we may suffer the consequences. Many times I myself have been told I should take things easy and not to undertake too much work or at least give myself a break from it. It is so difficult to give up on doing those things we love to do. For me that means being actively engaged in my work at home whether that be a project or simply household and gardening chores. I try my best though to take the advice I am given for the sake of my health and well-being. Today is Sunday (4 th Nov) and I have started the day a little later than of late by allowing myself some extra time in bed. It is going to be a day of rest with a complete cessation of manual activity other than preparing meals. I owe it to myself to relax and take time off from my usual routine. I am not even going to use the gym equipment which I might normally do when not taking a walk. I don’t go for walks every day but usually every second day if time permits. So I may be neglecting my normal routine but not my well-being. Look what happens if we neglect something..

Okay I am not a building but I am easily broken if not tended to! Tomorrow will be different, I will be active once more, well I have work to do!

Shirley Anne


One thing or another

A Different Kind of Pain
A Different Kind of Pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s always something going on in life as the saying goes though at this time those ‘somethings’ are not exactly what I have in mind. Another day passes by without anything further done on my projects but still I am active though in a different way. Yesterday we had bright sunshine and it was reasonably warm, only kept cooler because of the breeze. Today (Friday 11) it is quite cold, overcast and windy, a complete change. I would have taken a long walk in the morning but for the fact that I had to drive E to the hospital for her to keep another appointment. Instead, I spent time exercising on the gym equipment before breakfast and waited for E to be ready to go out. This time she was having steroid injections in her left foot in order to alleviate pain in some of her toes. Next week she has further appointments so now I have to plan my work, if I am doing any, around those times. Everything moves at a snail’s pace if I am out with E these days whereas years ago I sometimes had difficulty in just keeping up with her! Strange at it may seem her spinal problems (spina biffida) don’t appear to be causing her as much pain as the other problems she has. Until she contracted the back pain, shoulder pain and problems in her feet she managed to get around quite well. To be honest I don’t know how she would cope if I wasn’t around but I suppose she would somehow. It’s not all doom and gloom though, just something we have to cope with in our lives. I often wonder how we as human beings manage to survive the many health problems many of us face during our lives. If it isn’t one thing it’s another which strikes us unless we are very lucky though some of us are more vulnerable than others I guess.

Shirley Anne

Out all day……

Not me, it was E  Apart from going for a walk and popping in next door to fix my neighbour’s light I remained at home. I was up, showered, dressed and eating my breakfast before nine o’clock just as E was coming down the stairs. I ate a breakfast because going for a walk had been deferred for an hour or so. I usually don’t eat a breakfast now if I am taking an early walk but just an item of fruit, most often a banana. I had promised my neighbour I would see what was wrong with her light so after breakfast that is what I did. The problem had been caused by the old tungsten lamps originally supplied with the fittings and over the years the heat produced by the lamps affected the electrical circuit between the lamp and the contacts. Modern LED lamps produce little heat whilst providing the same amount of light. I carried out some adjustments until finally the light worked. I returned home and prepared for my walk. Meanwhile E received a telephone call telling her that her mom wasn’t feeling well. She said she would most probably be late returning and I was to go for my walk. A couple of hours later I returned home and the phone rang. It was E letting me know that her mom had been taken to hospital again. She had been in hospital a couple of times in the last year or two. I ate lunch then went into the garage, the one where my van is parked and where we store the scaffolding tower, cement mixer, wheelbarrow, mower and numerous other things like bicycles. At the moment there are some wooden pallets and I was about to start dismantling them for the timber. Have you ever tried breaking down pallets without destroying them? With the best intentions I dismantled just the one but unfortunately couldn’t salvage some of it. Still, I managed to salvage about twelve pieces of usable timber each about a metre in length. Once that was done I stopped for the day. It was then three-thirty. I will do some more when the moment seizes me. As I wrote this at six-thirty in the evening I had still not heard any news from E and I feared the worst. It is now Tuesday and we received information that E’s mom is back home after the doctors gave her a clean bill of health. She is today (8th) 90 years old and still going strong.

Shirley Anne

No apparent reason

Honey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had another restless night on Tuesday through to Wednesday broken into three sessions by visits to the little girl’s room as they say. My sleep was very shallow and as is often the case my thoughts were all over the place. I seem to be good at thinking things through when I ought to be sleeping instead. I hastily point out that for the majority of times I do sleep well. I was wondering therefore why it was that I’d had a restless night having worked hard during the day. Very odd but I guess I had more on my mind than I thought I had. There seemed no other reason for my experience. I went to bed in good health but found I had a bit of a sore throat in the morning. Could it be the onset of a cold or even worse, the ‘flu? Having said in a recent post that I generally enjoy good health it proves that these conditions can affect anyone at any time. The sore throat wasn’t severe and didn’t get any worse during the day. In any case I was taking honey to sooth it. I often use honey as a sweetener in coffee which I drink a lot of during the day so I suppose that extra honey helped. My only electrical work for the day was to replace a faulty room thermostat in a house across town so I was back at home around ten o’clock. I wanted to get into the garden though only to dig out the bluebells I had seen the day before, those which had revealed themselves in ground I had already worked weeks before and had obviously missed. There will be more. The morning was fairly damp so I put off doing that until the weather improved as I didn’t wish to aggravate my sore throat or encourage the onset of something worse. I decided to do a little baking so I made a rock cake. I use the singular because I baked the cake in slab form rather than individual cakes. It is an easier method and allows cutting a slice to suit your desire. The rock cake recipe is very similar to that of scones but I think they taste nicer than scones because they are cakes and sweeter. Neither scones nor cakes last long in our household as both E and I love them. She almost never bakes at home these days but she sure eats whatever I bake. Well I was just about to have lunch when I received a call to check a couple of suspected faulty lighting switches in a house two miles away. I put lunch on hold and went to do the work. I was back home a half-hour later. E was eating her lunch and I joined her. As I was parking the van in the garage I noticed there were another two bluebells in one of the front flowerbeds! I had removed quite a number of them only recently. After lunch I put on my gardening clothes and dug them out before returning to the rear garden and digging out more, the ones whose positions I had marked the day before. There were four positions with a number of bluebells in them but the fourth and last position had much more, around thirty of them. How I missed them first time around I cannot say. As I have said, it will be an ongoing task checking for bluebells for yet a while.

Shirley Anne

I could never understand

Frances Benjamin Johnston (right) poses with t...
Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time, sounds like a story coming up but no, not today, today I want to talk about transvestitism. The dictionary description: the practice, especially of men, of wearing clothing usually associated with the opposite sex for psychological gratification.

When I was very young I always wanted to dress as a girl and I never lost that feeling for the rest of my life but as I grew into my teens I realised that what I wanted was not so much to dress as a girl but to be one. Throughout my childhood I desired to be female but knew nothing about it ever being possible. In reality I was already a female but was in the wrong body as the cliché goes. Dressing up for me was a way of fulfilling who I was as far as I could make that possible. Fear and self-denial, circumstances and situations prevented me from taking matters any further. In later life when I eventually became serious about transitioning I discovered many other people in the same boat but I also became aware of people for whom dressing was simply nothing more than a self-gratification and that gender identity wasn’t an issue for them. By far the majority of cross-dressers that I met were male but I did get to meet female cross-dressers too although in their cases they were all gender dysphoric, they were men in women’s bodies as I was a woman in a male body. For the male cross-dressers it seemed to me that dressing up was more of a hobby and as I said, self-gratification, whether that was of a sexual nature or not is irrelevant. I could not understand why anyone should want to do that but it showed a lack of awareness on my part that there are indeed many different people in the world all with differing views, sexual urges, fantasies, persuasions, call it what you will. Even though I now know these things I cannot understand them which brings me to the point where I realise that people who are not transsexual do not always understand that condition either. Ultimately education and time will correct this but I feel there will always be those who will not accept those who are different from themselves. All I can say is that I do accept that people are different for whatever reason even if I do not understand sometimes.

Shirley Anne


Not noticed and I like it.

Next week, on the 14th, I shall be eight years old! It was on that day, which happens to be the birthday of one of my brothers too, in 2002 that I lay in a hospital in Chon-Buri, Thailand, undergoing my GRS or gender re-assignment surgery. I prefer to call it ‘corrective’ surgery as that is what it essentially is. I was simply born a woman in the wrong body! That is something many people will not understand and this too  is quite understandable! They have not been in the same predicament. I say predicament because that is what it was and is for those in similar situations. Imagine, if you are a woman, being trapped inside your brother’s body for a few days (or your sister if you are a transsexual guy) and have to live up to the expectations of those who know your brother and expect him to behave as the guy they know he is! The experience would be horrible and that is the way it is for the transsexual but they have to live that way all their lives unless they can change their physical appearance and live as the gender they really are. So it was with me. It is a well-known fact that most transsexuals go into self-denial even for years, thinking that all will go away but it doesn’t. Events in their lives thwart any hope of resolving their problem and they get dragged away by peer pressure from friends, colleagues and family commitments. I wont go into any further detail here but if you wish to know more on the subject there are some good links below and on the right here under ‘Transgender’.

Anyhow, when I first transitioned, physically that is, I had some difficulty in ‘passing’ as a female for many reasons. Nowadays though it is much better and I find that I am not noticed as anyone special or out of the ordinary. I like it! People, being as they are, can make life difficult and I can do without the hassle. Now I am just another woman on the block. My life has been good over the last couple of years after many years of  being trapped. Thankfully those days are gone and  the future remains bright.

Shirley Anne