Thursday, 29 December 2011


There is alot made of these terms and they carry an awful lot of emotional and psychological baggage which is likely not entirely evident to someone who isn't going through this process. Thankfully I am now in the "post-op" camp and feel slightly more able to discuss, at least some, details at a highish level which is a great improvement over the time immediately before where the very idea of discussing things with all but my closest friends was abhorent.

I think I'd like to go through a list of "things that scared me" and hopefully this might give an idea of how someone approaching the same surgery might feel:

Stopping Hormones

All hormone treatment has top be stopped 6 weeks before surgery. As I understand it this is mainly for safetys sake as estrogen increases the risk of blood clots and I guess any medication in your system can potentially interfere with anesthetic or other drugs you may be given during or immediately after surgery.

You'd think that stopping taking pills or sticking patches on your body would in some way be a relief (I can't say I miss Spiro pills - they are huge) but the implication is that your hormone levels return to a point they were at before. This was a horrifying prospect for me as I it was so important to me to have the 'right' hormones in my system, it made me feel like "me" and I hated the thought of giving them up.

I'm not sure of the chemistry/biology involved but just stopping medication didn't actually have an immediate affect (apart from me not liking the thought of it), it did take a few days, possibly a week for me to start to feel any different. I know some people have said the increase in testosterone makes them feel irritable or angry, given my pre-HRT level was barely into the normal range I wasn't too worried about that and certainly it didn't seem to happen. I did feel quite frantic, and kind of paranoid. Also I really withdrew alot and found it harder to talk to people, kind of like a loss in confidence.

Also my sleeping pattern got completely wrecked; normally I'm fairly consistent with sleep and can easily feel when I'm too tired and go to bed early and get up early for work. I kept waking up and not being able to settle again, or if I slept through I didn't feel rested and was way more tired then I've ever felt. That and possibly other things really affected my concentration and my attention span. I remember one odd implication of that when I was trying to pick a film to watch and couldn't decide on anything, just nothing felt right and when I finally picked something I stopped watching it after a few mins and just couldn't settle on doing anything. All very weird and disconcerting.


I'm not sure how true this is but I read/was told that testosterone affects libido in both men and women so one of the things that actually did scare me is that suddenly I'd have an uncontrollable sex drive which I would find extremely distressing. I'm sure many people won't understand this or even find it quite funny, but it's not, it's something that makes you question who you are and made me feel very uncomfortable and upset.


I've never had an operation with general anesthetic before, and the thought of being forced asleep did really upset me for quite a while. When attending the GIC and talking to my the specialist there he commented that I was a bit of a control freak (he is right) and I definitely saw being anesthetised as a huge lack of control. I was really worried about being allergic to the anesthetic to or having a reaction or not waking up, etc, etc.

As it turned out it didn't even hurt when they put the needle in and I just drifted off quite quickly and came round afterwards reasonably fast too. Several people, my Mum in particular, commented that they work out the amount of anesthesia so accurately these days and the whole process is so precise that there isn't much in the way of feeling groggy or half-asleep anymore.


I've never had major surgery before so have no idea what to expect; so I started imagining the worst possible scenarios! I definitely worried that I wouldn't wake up afterwards or have something serious happen like a blood clot that affected my brain! My imagination did run riot for a while and there were times that I was very scared but strangely I didn't worry about this worst case as much as I thought I would. I think I was more concerned about surviving but having complications.


Knowing about certain potential complications just made me worry about them. Some aren't particularly serious in the grand scheme of things but they are things I just didn't want to go through. I had a few nightmare scenarios in my head and it's always easier to worry these will happen rather think about it rationally.

It's very easy from this side of the surgery to see that I was worrying about nothing and that's maybe how other people see it. But I really was very scared, worried, pre-occupied and apprehensive about the whole thing. The affect of stopping hormones was very definitely real and not pleasant at all (and my ability to write about all of this in a quite open and honest way is testament to the fact I'm back on hormones and this has started to level my thinking out, even if it's just psychological rather that phisiological at the moment).

As I was told before I left hospital, this is major surgery, it does take time to heal and recover and it is a big deal for many reasons. Anyone going through this is going through a major change in their life (for the better) and it isn't easy at all. And all of this is something very hard to explain to anyone else who isn't close to you, very few people have a frame of reference in which they can understand what you are going through.

The problem that I found was that the last thing I wanted to do was explain any of this to anyone. Talking about it before surgery meant to me that I would be labelled as "pre-op" and I absolutely hated the idea of anyone knowing that. This is again maybe something hard to understand if you've not gone through it but it just became a real concern of mine that my surgical status be kept absolutely private.

Now, I am much more relaxed about so many things, I commented to my partner just today that a whole load of my inhibitions have just disappear and, aside from the fact that I really need to get a load of exercise and tone up, I don't have any hang-ups about my body anymore. I might not be the most attractive person in the world, but I'm really me now and that is all that matters.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Packing and Panicing

Well, I'm now down at the hospital and my surgery is tommorrow at 8:00am! Not feeling too bad at the moment but I'm distracting myself lots from reality by watching movies and processing images! When I stop and think about what it coming up though I do get nervous.

Sunday consisted of what the title says in equal measure. I packed loads of stuff and tried to remember everything I needed to as well as trying to tidy the house ready for my return in a weeks time. It was all rather hectic and frantic.

I wanted to try and write something to my son as a "just in case note" (I'm sorry, I'm really scared by all this, never had an operation before and everything is going around in my head about it) but couldn't think what to write. There is so much I want to say to him, like I'm sorry I've put him through the past few years and how I wish it could have been different. I want to tell him he is such an amazing person to have dealt with it all so well and I am incredibly proud of him and love him so much.

I just want to get through tomorrow and the next few weeks/months of recovery so I can see my son again and we can get back to doing all the fun things we did together (need to plan another trip to Legoland).

I think I'm going to go back to watching films (and listening to the ridiculously loud and dangerous sounding wind outside - it's blowing a gale) as writing things about my son is really emotional at the moment.

I should also say a huge huge huge thank you to all of my fab friends that have been so supportive and just plain fantastic. I am very very luckly to know so many wonderful people and I really couldn't have go through what I have over the years without your help.

Right, time to watch another film, going to watch Paul I think as that is suitable silly and distracting :)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Counting and Caterpillars

This is slightly out of date now, but when I came up with the title for this blog post it was very relevant. And yes, it's been way too long since I updated this blog, particularly as I've had so much I could have written in it, both good and bad. Maybe I will get a chance to keep up the updates over the coming days, I certainly hope so.

To explain the title: I'm currently counting down the weeks, well now days, until I have surgery. I am not going to go into what I'm having done since I don't feel I want to disclose and discuss that. What is significant is that I've never had an operation before, well, not one where I have had a general anesthetic. Of all the times I have been in hospital before I have been pretty-much on edge and freaked out by the whole experience; I do not deal with medical stuff well at all.

I am pretty much completely petrified by the prospect of my operation, which is now, as I write this, less than a week away. I'm constantly going over it in my head and essentially worrying/fretting/thinking about it all the time to the point where it's making me dizzy sometimes. I suspect that this will only get worse the closer the actual date approaches. I'm normally fairly switched-on, quick-witted (well I like to think so), and vivacious, but I'm just so preoccupied that I'm none of those things at the moment. I can't concentrate on anything nor do I feel like doing that.

None of this is helped by the fact that, in preparation, I had to stop all medication which meant that I went slightly nuts for the first week or two until a temporary injection kicked in and restored the balance somewhat. Generally though I've not felt that good off my normal meds and while I'm sure it can be worse for others in a similar situation, I will be very glad to get back on track after my operation.

So, not a fun time, though certainly could have been worse and I'm equally definite that, if all goes well next week, this pain, and the discomfort ahead will be worth it in the end. I have to admit to some degree of excitment at getting things sorted out and the, hopefully, positive impact it will have on my life. I just have to get through the next few weeks and months and get myself back to normal, or, better than that in fact.

Oh, yes, the caterpillar thing: I spent a week or so not sleeping very well and constantly waking up feeling like I was wrapped in a pupa of bed sheet! Sadly I think there is no metaphor here; I'm not likely to emerge as a beautiful butterfly, but I'll be happy enough to be a more relaxed and together caterpillar :)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Moving ...

Goodness it's been ages since I've updated this blog and I really haven't got time at the moment for a big long essay on what has been happening in my life, suffice to say that the past few months have been incredibly manic and busy but so much fun, mainly thanks to the many fantastic people in my life - thanks all!

This post is, unfortunately, rather a boring one to inform anyone that is insane enough to read this blog that it's moving (back) to the following address:

The reason for the change is that it's so easy for people to use when they mean to refer to my photography website, which actually makes alot of sense given that I'm in the UK! So, rather than try and correct everyone it's just easier to redirect the to the .com address :)

Right, I best get on with other stuff that needs sorting out, I promise I'll do a proper update here again soon :)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Photos everywhere!

I'm really pleased, in fact over the moon, that some of my photos seem to be making it to other sites and even real publications!

The first of these was Drapers magazine - the two pictures in the top left of the page are from the Fashion City York catwalk event and from the collection of images that I took there.
I also get to say that one of my images is in Vogue next month but that's just because it's being used in an advertisement for the fabulous Notice My Name; Jo who owns/runs the company (and makes the tea) was kind enough to send me a proof for this:
I also just did a shoot for the new products she's adding to her website so hopefully those images will be appear there soon (when I've got them processed).

Websites that I know about that are using my pictures include the following

If anyone knows of any other websites where my images are being used I would love to hear about them!

Just a word on copyright: if I get paid for images then things are fairly straight-forward; I still retain copyright (unless I get paid lots and lots :D) but essentially you can do what you like with the images.

Since this really is just my hobby I do almost all of my photography for free and for fun but this is where really the rules need to be followed. All the images are covered by a Creative Commons license (the exact details can be found on my website) which essentially says you can still do anything you like with the images but you MUST give credit and link back to my website. This seems a fair exchange for free images :)

Friday, 27 May 2011

Apparently it *IS* all about gender

I've been on Plenty of Fish for about a month now and not really had much success, though I'm not going to whinge nor get upset about that in particular (I still like a friends assessment that a site like this is a good way to "kiss alot of frogs").

My profile didn't, until recently, mention the fact that I am trans, I honestly and totally believed that this was patently obvious from the pictures I'd uploaded. There are two very clear shots of my face with no editing or clever lighting, and I thought these should be enough for me to be read.

Apparently I was wrong (which is in many respects a good thing) and I've had two slightly upsetting reactions from people when they have realised, though really I shouldn't have been surprised as the old adage about "if something is too good to be true, it probably isn't" definitely applied in both cases.

In the first incident the woman concerned simply stopped chatting, no explanation, no "sorry, I'm not interested", just disconnected!

So, I added a paragraph to my profile explaining that I'm a trans-woman but that I don't make a big deal out of it.

When someone then started chatting/flirting with me after that point it didn't occur to me that they might not have read my profile so I just assumed they really did like me (well, okay I still had some doubts, I have never in my entire life had anyone just declare that they thought I was hot or attractive in any way). But, no, just another case of me not being read.

I can understand someone not liking how I look, or my hobbies, personality, in fact any number of things. Certainly for on-line dating you're pretty much just going on looks and I really don't think I'm stunning enough in any way to attract lots of people to read my profile. Again, I don't have a problem with this, I make exactly the same judgements on people I look it.

I think what is upsetting is when all of that seems fine; someone has looked at real pictures of me and decided they do like what they see. Then they chat a little and like what they hear (or read I guess). Everything can be fine right up until the point where you say "I'm trans" and then it's all different. That hurts. Nothing else matters from that point on, it's all completely over-shadowed and there's that awkward silence where I just know the other person is trying to get away as fast as possible.

What a horrible and insensitive way to treat someone.

Thankfully not everyone is like that so I have had some quite nice chats with people and I'm very grateful for that. I'm also immensely thankful for the wonderful and supportive friends I have - you're all fab!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Even more photography and other stuff

Okay, I'm still a little swamped with shoots that I need to process and have been busy all weekend so have not got anything done at all!

I'm hoping this week is going to be more organised however as I intend to make a concerted effort to get into work much earlier, having got things ready the night before.  This should mean I can get more things done in the morning (when it's cooler in the office for a start) and then leave slightly earlier so I can feel less rushed with all the stuff I have to do at home.  Well, that's the theory anyway :-)

Should also help in the coming weeks as there are several events on in the evening and getting back earlier means I can get, myself sorted for them - the cycling thing means lots of changing and showers which is immensly time-consuming!

Anyway, hopefully I can get into a nice routine and get some proper, regular sleep as well, rather than the mad, lat nights I seems to have been having - all sounds rather boring and routine but it make sense, trust me :-)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Lots of Pictures!

I've come to the conclusion that the photography is really an all-consuming and quite serious hobby and it's something I've enjoying more and more. I should probably also say that the more I learn the more I realise I have more to find out and try. Which is fab because I have so much fun with it all!

Anyway, I've had lots of opportunities for photography over the past month or so, I'm still processing two sets of pictures but for now I've uploaded the ones from the corset shoot in the Museum Gardens in York and also the several hundred pictures from the York Festival of Vintage event.

It's Not all about Gender

It probably looks like I just spend my life moaning and whinging about how unfair everything is and that I'm hard done by, and that my entire life revolves around my gender and everything related to that.

Really, it's not like that at all. I don't think about it, I really don't want to talk about it, there are far more important things to be doing with my time than obsessing about who I am. That is now a done deal, it's been figured out, and, short of ongoing treatment and everything related to that, it's a minor consideration now compared to so many more interesting aspects to my life.

Lots of Knocks

While I have done some really enjoyable things over the past month (photography at the Fashion City York catwalk show, my birthday party, Legoland with my son, more photoshoots, the Festival of Vintage) I seem to have had a few knocks as well which really have left me feeling a bit down.

I was prompted to write this post now after my son didn't want to speak to me on the phone. I hardly get to talk to him as it is and when I can call is so limited given everything he does and the times when he's 'busy'. I think what gets to me is that him not talking is so 'acceptable'. Not wanting to talk to me is 'understandable' and that is something I have to accept. Of course it's my fault after all.

It's much easier to justify certain behaviour when you can allocate blame: if I'm in the wrong that makes me bad and others actions are 'good' by default. This kind of reasoning is typified by the premise that I have 'done' something - I have made a concious decision to be 'bad' and therefore all consequences are to be expected and accepted.

None of this take into account my feelings and how upset I am. Nor does it really do anything to deal with the, quite complicated, reality of what has happened. There are only so many times I can apologise for the way I am, this really isn't my 'fault', it's something I ultimately had no control over.

My partner and I split last week as well, amicably and by mutual agreement but that kind of thing still upsets and hurts. Last week just seems to have been a horrible week with me feeling down about the split and lots of other things that are bothering me.

I guess everyone has ups and downs and there are lots of things I am very grateful for I could just do without my confidence and emotions being knocked about so much at the moment.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Fashion City York!

Well, it was an amazing weekend which I would love to write more about at the moment but I desperately need some sleep! So for now I'll point everyone in the direction of the Fashion City York website, and my page of photos from my site.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


February 26th was the finale of the 2011 York Viking Festival and the first time I've actually got to see this event (I missed it the previous year), I'll certainly be attending the 2012 one as well and would highly recommend that to anyone.

It just so happened that this was the day I was to see my son also so it was a perfect opportunity for a day (and evening) out in York. It also meant that he ended up visiting me house again, albeit briefly so I could get the sandwiches ready before going into town on the bus. It's only the second time he's been there (usually easier to just see him near where he lives) and it was lovely to just be able to sit and chat to him at home for a little while ... well until the game on the Wii loaded and then he got engrossed in that. Still enjoyed watching him play on the Lego Star Wars game as that was something we use to do before I moved.

We had a really good day and, thanks to a fantastic friend, also an absolutely wonderful evening at the finale event since we were able to get into the VIP area and had a great view of the "warm-up" (quite an apt description of Flame Oz) act (shown above), the final battle, boat-burning and amazing fireworks display.

[ Note: The event is really well organised and I suspect that almost everyone had a really good view of what was going on, there seemed to be plenty of space for everyone to see the main arena anyway ]

It was a long day and my son was very tired by the end of the evening and fell asleep on the way back to his house, I only managed to stay awake on the trip back home back singing along to the CD (Glee and other music as I recall) at the top of my voice! So, very late back home and tired myself but happy that we'd had such an amazing day.

For anyone interested, the rest of my Viking Festival pictures are on my website.

"Are you a he or a she?"

This was the question posed to me by a child, probably around about 10yrs old, who happened to be scooting past my house. There are quite a few kids on those collapsible metal scooters whizzing around the estate where I live, they generally don't do any harm and seem quite absorbed in what they are doing.

But I think sometimes they do look at what's going on around them and I had a feeling that a few of them were looking at me when I arrived back after cycling home. Only this one kid seemed brave or curious enough to ask anything, while stood there on his own.

I wasn't annoyed or upset by the question, quite honestly I looked a mess after cycling over 5miles at some speed, I also had my hair completely tied back so it's quite possible that there are many women that wouldn't look entirely feminine in such a state.

"I'm a she", I answered simply and he looked for a few seconds longer then scooted off as I turned away to go into the house.

I saw him glancing at me a few more times as he went past the house but no other comments or show of interest from the friends he was with, so I'm assuming this really was just the curiosity of one kid and nothing to do with a group wanting to poke fun or anything. In that respect, I'm quite impressed to be asked such a sensible and non-offensive question.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

VMPlayer: kernel.sched_compat_yield not set

Since my desktop machine at home has now had a bit of an upgrade I'm now running several VMWare instances (Windows 7 - more on this in another post - and Ubuntu 32bit - avoids pesky problems with Flash and some other tools not being available/stable in 64bit versions).

I've kept getting the above error in a dialog every time I start VMWare Player so I had a read of the upstart documentation (the replacement for SysV init) and also found the script that is meant to be reading the values from /etc/sysctl.d

# procps - set sysctls from /etc/sysctl.conf
# This task sets kernel sysctl variables from /etc/sysctl.conf and
# /etc/sysctl.d

description "set sysctls from /etc/sysctl.conf"

start on virtual-filesystems

cat /etc/sysctl.d/*.conf /etc/sysctl.conf | sysctl -e -p -
end script

The issue turned out to be because the file added by VMWare Player doesn't have a .conf suffix so never gets picked up by the above script, fixed this with a link to that file with the appropriate name, 30-vmware-player.conf which should pick things up properly from now on.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Fiona's Boots

I don't think I've ever explained the name of this blog, or for that matter the ID "fionasboots" that I use almost everywhere for e-mails, twitter, FaceBook and my other website.

I think I've only ever been asked once by a friend if the reason for having such an identifier is in some way related to a footwear fetish that I might have! I guess that's an obvious conclusion, but no, I do not have such a fetish; in fact I have none that I am aware of - I like lots of things but don't have the energy for fanatical devotion to them.

I do LIKE boots and shoes and awful lot and that is the rather boring and uninspiring reason for picking "fionasboots". In 2006 when I first used that identifier I certainly had invested in some rather nice maroon suede boots (which I actually still have today, though don't wear a great deal any more) and that was the ultimate reason for the choice of online moniker (I even had a nice picture of me wearing said footwear).

I did briefly go through a phase of wanting to get the ever-so-slightly fetish-worthy thigh length boots but never did because ultimately there aren't many that are that good quality unless you have a lot of money and a genuine desire for such things.

I have just recently bought a few more pairs of boots, from Duo (love their boots and the fact they fit perfectly), to add to my 'collection' - all for the cause of fashion and me trying to look good (not sure I succeed but I have fun trying nonetheless).

So, there you go, unfortunately a rather boring explanation :)

[ Update: Just remembered one of the reasons I've always liked boots, again it's rather practical and boring: given my height (and cough, splutter, weight, cough, cough) little strappy shoes aren't really for me unfortunately, I need footwear that is going to not flap around on my feet or dig into me. So boots are a rather practical solution for me :) ]

Stop and Think

With one thing and another recently I've had quite alot going on and much to think about. While alot of the thinking has either been preoccupation with something that has been bothering me, or distraction to avoid such reality, I've also had a few moments of relative clarity.

Looking back I never could have imagined that my life would be as it is now. So much has changed in the past two and a bit years and it is hard to really see the huge changes completely objectively, for a start there are many things that I regret and that upset me; the distance from my son being the most obvious one.

I generally try to keep everything under control and avoid dwelling too much on the past, I guess the distractions, good and bad, of recent times have helped in that respect and I generally like to keep busy. Things do get past my defences though. A few weeks ago I received by decree absolute, something that I knew was on it's way and that really is only the final piece of paperwork to confirm the end of my marriage. I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't, it was still incredibly upsetting.

My son has a busy social life; I always joke that it is much better than mine which may actually be completely accurate (and not entirely a bad thing for him). But this means that he's often got more interesting things to do then spend time with me, or is not available to talk. This really, really is fine and perfectly normal, I so want him to be getting on with things and enjoying himself, I don't want to stand in the way of that. I still can't help being a little upset by it sometimes. I guess this is a purely selfish reaction on my part but nevertheless it's something else I try not to think about.

There are many other aspects of my life and the journey I have taken to get here that I am reflecting on at the moment. One of the reasons for thinking a little deeper than my usual superficial silliness is that I have an appointment in a few weeks for a second opinion from a specialist. I'm likely to be going over all of the same questions that I have been asked before and explaining how I feel and who I am, so naturally this has made me cover the same mental ground as well. The second opinion will hopefully be what helps me move onto the next step in this process, for example, I'll be able to apply for my GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate).

So, lots to think about, not all bad, some of it is even interesting and also surprising but there are also those bits that really will always remain as regrets, albeit, tempered with recognition of how lucky I am and a degree of pragmatism that things can get better :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Squeak Squeak!

First of all I should say I'm fine, all clear and nothing to worry about. Now, to explain what I have actually been worrying about over the past month: I found a lump in my breast.

I am terrible with anything medical-related, I am a total hypochondriac and am also pretty much nervous/scared of hospitals and lots of things associated with them, e.g. I *hate* needles. So when I found a lump I obviously thought the worst and got quite worried (understatement) about it, enough to get me to book an appointment with my GP.

My the GP was fab (I should say all GPs I have ever had/seen have been fab, I'm sure it's part of the job description) and after my burbled explanation had a bit of a prod around and declared that it was likely that I had a "breast mouse"! I believe that the more formal, medical description is fibroid adanoma (excuse spelling or medical inaccuracy here).

[ I would provide a link to some information about this but I'm not going to searching Google as I'll only likely find something else that might freak me out - if anyone has any good links (Jen, you had one :) ) please post them in the comments for others to find/use ]

Anyway, I was assured that this is perfectly benign and nothing to worry about but, as a precaution my GP referred me to the breast screening clinic to get it checked out. I was obviously quite pleased to know it was nothing bad and promptly forgot about it until I got the letter asking me to book an appointment - the NHS now have this choose and book service; not the worlds most swish website but it works really well and is a fantastic system (Note to NHS IT department: honestly the website is fine, please don't try and modernise it and put swishy AJAX and things in it'll just complicate matters :) )

I finally sat down to book the appointment on Sunday and got it for 10:10 this morning - and there were plenty of other alternatives as well. I guess this may not be the same for busier hospitals but it's still fantastic being able to choose days and times.

Very nervous and distracted this morning, in fact have been since I booked the appointment - obviously thinking about things too much (ignorance really is bliss sometimes, for some of us anyway). Got there in time and parked (that's a miracle for most hospitals! Wish they wouldn't charge for parking or at least make it easier to pay - "No Change Given" pay and display is a bit cumbersome).

I got seen by the consultant within, what seemed like only 10mins of getting there. Explained everything about the lump, the hormones I take, other pills (spironolactone in my case), and how far I am with transition. He then had a bit of a prod around (as did the medical student with him: really does anyone ever say "no" when asked if a student can be present, I always say yes immediately and dismiss the question) and confirmed that it felt like a "mouse" or possibly a cyst. Said I'd have to have an ultrasound to check and then they may have to stick a big needle in my breast (he phrased this alot better/kinder than I just did!).

Waited again for a very short period of time before getting the ultrasound, the doctor doing that said almost immediately that it was instead a cyst, nothing to worry about, probably didn't need the needle and was all fine. Phew!

Had to wait again for her to write a report on this and then for me to see the consultant again. Really not long waiting at all, or didn't feel it anyway :)

Consultant said that they *could* use the needle, then quickly said there was no need to, remembering my earlier comments about that procedure! He suggested that given my age (he did actually get it wrong and knocked 5yrs off me - that really cheered me up) cysts were normal and that also, because my hormones were all over the place at the end of last year (I was trying out gel then panicing and going back to patches) that this would also explain their development. Apparently menopausal women can develop cysts due to their hormones fluctuating. So, no need to go back, unless I want the cyst removed (I don't, have plenty of other lumps/bumps and blemishes and in no rush to have anything removed that isn't going to hurt me) so all clear.

Every single doctor/nurse there was fantastic; they were so lovely and reassuring and chatty and the whole visit took only an hour and a half in total, and as I said, it felt quicker and they really went through the packed waiting room very quickly (only two people there when I left).

Really, the NHS is fantastic! I know people complain about it and I'm sure there are cases where things are less than perfect but I am more than happy with the service I've got on the, thankfully, relatively rare, occasions I've needed to see anyone.

Anyway, I learnt a few things today: 1) even though you are desperate to get out of the hospital it might have been a good idea to nip into the toilets and put your bra back on (bouncy boobs not ideal on half-sprint back to car lol) 2) don't muck around with your hormones! Will be sticking to prescribed patches and regime from now on, nice and stable is best.

Me and the mouse are going to get some lunch now, "squeak" :)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Photoshoot for me!

I think I've finally got some recent pictures of me that I might actually like (or don't cringe too much when I look at them anyway)! Must say thanks to Rachel first of all for taking them and doing such a fantastic job (given that we work together on shoots before I knew she would get the best pics possible).

I was actually trying out some different lighting and background setups for portrait work; we can't afford to get the frames and special paper/material that would be used in a studio, nor can we really transport that kind of kit to the places we wanted to shoot. So I came up with a slightly cheaper alternative using bed sheets (it's surprising how big a king-sized sheet actually is: 275cm square!).

I did try and take some pictures just using the remote trigger for the camera but it was much better to ask Rachel to do things properly. Also this meant I got to have some pictures of me: I've actually wanted some more up-to-date shots as my profile images are looking rather dull.

Anyway, we spent a rather fun afternoon shooting me in different outfits - also meant I got to learn a bit more about poses and camera angles as this is something I need to get a bit more experience with. I've uploaded the pictures I liked the best to my website, these are processed (very little) by me. Rachel has done some more interesting processing of the images and I'll try and get these uploaded at some point as well.

Overall, a very productive Saturday :)

Goodness it's cold!

Just went out for a quick cycle around, I had been feeling like getting out alot this week but when it actually came to today when we have glorious sunshine I just didn't get round to it. Until I finally snapped and decided I needed to get myself out and about no matter how lazy I was feeling!

Really glad I did push myself to get out as I feel so much better for it now, even if it was a bit of a strain cycling around York in the cold - just shows how out of condition I am after nearly a month of not commuting to work on my bike (due to the snow/ice mainly and then Christmas of course).

Just hoping that the weather next week is a few degrees warmer than it has been so that I can get back to my cycling commute - need to save money even more now given the rise in the cost of diesel, and more importantly I really need to get back into shape (or a less fat shape anyway)!