Christmas ends in sadness

After spending a very enjoyable Christmas in our new house we received some very sad news on Thursday. My closest blood relative in Australia had been involved in a road accident on the way back home from their daughter’s home in Esperance and very sadly died from his injuries. His wife, Margaret, who was traveling with him suffered several injuries but thankfully they are not life threatening.

Joe Burdass was a true gentleman – he and Margaret always made the effort to keep in touch with me and call in at the dealership whenever they were over from their home town of Albany.  Denise and I would also call in and see them if ever we were visiting Denmark, Albany or on one of our road trips.  We were honoured to be invited to Joe and Margaret’s diamond wedding anniversary celebration in June this year.  It was a lovely occasion and Joe went round each and every person with the microphone introducing each person and explaining their connection with him and Margaret – all without notes!   He was a great story-teller and always had some lovely memories to share about his and Margaret’s time in Australia since they emigrated in the sixties and before that on the farm in Yorkshire.

When I made the decision to transition we traveled down to Albany and met them at the usual place for lunch, after we had eaten the main course of lunch I told them that I had a story to tell them and they listened while I explained what i was doing and the reasons why. After a some contemplation Joe came out with a classic as usual, he said “it’s a bit drastic but we’ll get used to it”.  Margaret said “It will take some time to remember not to call you Robin” but they were both absolutely fine with my plans and we had many more catch-ups after that.  He will be greatly missed.

Sending love and condolences to Margaret, Jill, Keith, Joe and Lewis for the loss of their beloved husband, father, father-in-law and Grandfather.

A busy but enjoyable day followed by a very enjoyable evening!

Today’s job was to build a fox proof chook pen for some lovely people in Abbey. I wasn’t expected until ten am so had time to call in for some supplies at Bunnings and visit the carpet shop to order the carpets for Nannup.  When I arrived surveyed the site, I had a good idea of what the pen was going to look like and how I was going to construct it. I had taken with me several lengths of wood and plenty of brackets etc to do the job. There was also lots of oddments of timber plus the wire netting to do the job already there. I got to work setting out my tools and laying the timber in place when the owner came and asked me if he would be a help or a hindrance if he we to stay around as he had lots to do if I didn’t need his help. Now there are lots of times when an extra pair of hands would be an advantage but in general I work better on my own so I thanked him for the offer but said I would manage. I explained what I planned to do and he seemed happy.

About an hour later he came and asked me if I would like a cup of coffee, I said I would and off he went after asking how I took it. A few minutes later I heard them both talking over the fence about where I should drink my coffee and the answer was to join them in the shade of their patio. Now the man knows quite a lot of my story but his wife was keen to hear it so as usual I was happy to tell her. I gave her a brief outline of it, she was very interested and at the end commented on how open I am to tell my story which made me think for a while. I replied by saying how proud I am of what I have achieved with the help and support of the many people who care and look after my various needs which reminded me of a post on one of the various transgender forums I belong to. The question in the post was “when does transitioning end and do I always class myself as transgender?” I made me think of how I have progressed through the last almost three years since the bombshell was dropped about me being born intersex and how I thought of myself before that. In reality my brain always thought I was female, for many years I just felt I was different and didn’t really think I would ever do anything about it so as was expected of me I played the part of being male even though my head was at war with that situation from a very early age. Then came Denise, Ana my GP and the rest is history. As for answering the question or questions, for me the transitioning is done, my journey pretty much complete although there are still a few lose ends which need tidying up. I don’t really think of myself as transgender now, I just present as a female and live my life as a female so indeed I am female not transgender in my eyes.

The job didn’t quite get finished as I ran out of wire netting and need a bolt for the door so will finish it off tomorrow. This evening though we we meeting friends in town for a bite to eat then heading for the cinema to watch Bohemian Rhapsody. I’m not massively keen on going to the cinema but despite what the critics said about this movie everyone I have spoken to who has seen it raves about it so was happy to go. When we arrived at the cinema we joined a queue to get the tickets. The lady who served us seemed familiar but I didn’t know where from until I remembered walking from town to the cinema and passing a car in the cinema car park which I remembered selling back in 2014. It wasn’t anything particularly special but the number plate was one that I recognised, I put 2 and 2 together and matched the lady with the car. We headed upstairs but half way up I decided I should probably visit the bathroom before the movie started. I went back down stairs to the toilet which is near the entrance so had to walk past the tills where the lady stood talking to another woman behind the counter. As I walked up to them the other lady asked if she could help so I said I just wanted a word with the lady I recognised. She looked at me quizzically so I said to her “you know that feeling you get when you feel you have met someone before?” She asked where she would know me from, I told her that I had sold her the car which obviously confused her even more so I explained who I was then and who I am now, the look on her face was a picture and she replied, you’ve certainly changed, you look amazing and that is all I ever need to hear! The film certainly lived up to expectations, I’m not sure what the critics were talking about but we both thoroughly enjoyed it.