Thursday was the day I finally decided I was going to go, that left me with two nights to book, pack and prepare. As my girlfriend was already going away this weekend, we had to wait and see if the vet would give our cat the all clear so I wouldnt have to stay at home and cat sit, before I could even consider going out anywhere. While the cat is still not perfect, she was ok enough for me to spend a night away. So, Thursday night I found a hotel, Friday night I booked a last minute coach and panic-packed, Saturday morning I was on my way to London.
I had been meaning to get together with L for some time now. Weve chatted on and off on tvChix for ages and never quite got any of several plans we had come up with in this time off the ground for one reason or another. At the last minute however we found an opportunity and seized it. After booking the hotel I didnt sleep properly for the two nights before I was due to go, less than 5 hours sleep per night. I was worrying, worrying if I had everything I needed like a decent outfit and all the makeup I would need, worrying about meeting L since I know I struggle sometimes if I dont click with someone, worrying about going outside again in public. I dont know, once id booked the hotel there was no anticipation, only trepidation. What had I let myself in for?
Packing was a struggle, my girlfriend had taken the decent case and we only had massive airport ones which I didnt fancy dragging around London. So I packed a large backpack and large holdall to carry, but had to compromise on what I wanted to take. Still, I managed to squeeze in a day outfit, a night outfit, a few different pairs of shoes as I couldnt decide what to wear, makeup, wig, boobs, and toiletries. Whatever I didnt have I would have to get in London, there was no time to buy anything before leaving.
Saturday morning was horrible, a 6am start to get up for the taxi followed by three and a half hours on a coach. Then traversing London and the underground half asleep carrying heavy bags to get to the hotel. I had booked into the Hilton DoubleTree Tower Hill Hotel, specifically chosen because it was very close to where L was staying. I arrived hoping to just drop my bags off so I could go away and do things before the 3pm check in time, but the room was ready which was excellent. Not only that, but they gave me two complimentary chocolate cookies as well which were delicious, especially after travelling all morning. The room was clean and tidy but nothing special, although bizarrely it had an iMac as an entertainment system. I only needed the room for sleeping though so the room served its purpose.
So after dropping my bags off I made my way across to Trendco as I had been in desperate need of a new wig for a while and decided it was time to get a nice one. It wasnt close and took me a while to get there, but I still ended up there almost an hour earlier than my appointment time. Thankfully they were quiet so they could see me straight away. I was led to a private fitting room at the back of the salon and after describing the kind of wig I was after (straight hair, my natural colour, about shoulder length), he went away and brought in 3 wigs. After trying them on he got two more and then we went round and round whittling them down until I was settled on just one. One looked comical as it was just so big, one I really liked the style but it was very straight and had a straight fringe that would not have looked good with my square face, and while I hadnt even considered having a bob haircut I really liked it, but it was a little more expensive and also my girlfriend likes her hair that length at the moment and I didnt want to be accused of copying her, so I didnt go for it. But, with a little help I did still find a new wig I was really happy with. If you need a wig I would happily recommend them, the guy was really friendly and helpful and as it is a salon they will also happily trim or cut your wig for you too, although I opted against this with mine.
It took about an hour to find a wig, by this time it was mid afternoon and I made my way across to Oxford Circus to meet L who had just got into London but hadnt been to her apartment yet, so still had all her bags on her. We had a quick sandwich and chatted for a little bit before going our seperate ways until later on. I got my eyebrows threaded at the brow bar in John Lewis, the same one I went to last time. I bought some makeup essentials in two seperate Boots and chatted to the girls in there about what I was after, and they never batted an eyelid and were very helpful. I also bought some sparkly ballet flats from New Look as I had chickened out of wearing the heels I had brought with me. Now, I have a suspicion that they thought I was up to no good in there for some reason. I had a good look around the shoe section trying to find the wide fit shoes, then when it came to trying them on annoyingly there were men sat on some of the seats. I chickened out of sitting next to them to try on my shoes so did it stood up in the aisle, and around this time a lady with a walkie talkie just casually walked slowly around where I was, while looking at the racks on the wall. Maybe I was just being paranoid or self conscious, but the timing felt off to me. No matter though, I wasnt getting up to no good and I bought my new shoes for the night.
I was actually really happy with how my makeup turned out for a change. Annoyingly the pump on my camouflage cream broke and I almost didnt get
enough out to cover my beard, but apart from that I think I looked
pretty good! I went horribly wrong with the eyes, I used one of those 3 colour sets which had a glittery pink, silver and black. As per the instructions on the box I used the pink all over the upper eye area above the crease and then the silver on the lid, but there was not enough different between the two and I just looked like I had gone overboard with glitter. So after putting on the black I just wiped off the pink from above the crease with a face wipe, realised that this actually looked good so I left them like that. I also didnt bother with putting eyeliner on my upper lid either as I know I am terrible at it, and didnt use mascara on the eye lashes on the bottom lid because there are so few of them it just makes them look worse. So I just used eyeliner on the waterline on the bottom lid and mascara on the top, and it seemed to balance out.
Then off out we went. By this point it was llpm so we really didnt have long. After a bit of initial trepidation I was fine being outside, although im sure the cover of darkness helped massively. We accidentally took a more scenic route and realised on the way that as
we had been in such a rush to leave I had forgotten to put my jewellery
on! It was too late to go back, so we kept going and after a bit more wandering we
eventually found our way to Wayout Club at the Mineries. Ive never really been a fan of any of the trans-specific events or club nights ive been to up to this point, but Wayout is probably the most tolerable ive been to so far. It was smaller than we both expected it to be, it has friendly staff, a dancefloor with a DJ playing the usual pop-dance remixes you find in any gay club across the country, and also seating areas that were away from all of that so you could actually speak to people. Bizarrely they were also showing sports including wrestling.
As we got there so late we went straight onto the doubles, found somewhere to sit and just chatted. Initially we sat outside but it got too cold for us and so we went in. We didnt venture onto the dancefloor which is a shame as I wanted to see L's legendary dancefloor clearing moves, but I didnt get her drunk enough in time! :) I really enjoyed L's company though, we had plenty to talk about and I wish we had a bit longer to be honest. After a few hours Wayout closed and we went back to L's apartment to take a few photos. She had an amazing view of the Shard from her balcony so we had to take advantage of that while we were there. After that, it was time for me to get changed, pack, and go back to my hotel to try and get some sleep before coming back home the next day. I considered getting dressed in my day outfit and walking back to the hotel dressed, but as it was so late that wouldnt have been wise.
Considering it was all very last minute, I had a really good time and would love to do something again soon. While there was so much intense stress and preperation in such a small space of time leading up to what was only a few hours worth of dressing up time, it was totally worth it, and has given me an appetite for more. The question is though, what next? Ive said before that I dont want my trans-life to revolve around trans-specific places, but im fussy enough as it is as a guy.
In other news, im still trying to think of a new name. At this point im trying to think of one that reflects how I feel about myself, I kind of like being in the middle right now, so I was thinking of a name that works for or has a nickname that would be the same for both genders. As an example, Alexandra - Alexander - Alex. Theres a few that come to mind, one of which is a name that has popped up before, so I might decide to use that. Its so difficult trying to come up with something that I know is a name I want to use for the rest of my life. No pressure! :)