Back to basics and the power of positivity

I can’t deny that i was very down when i wrote last night’s post. All sorts of things were running through my mind like a herd of wild horses, do i need more surgery, if so where would i go? Will i ever be free of pain? It went on and on and the more i thought about it the worse i felt not only pain wise but in my head. Then i got to thinking about a conversation i had with some very good friends earlier in the day and decided to act on something we talked about. This led to a conversation with a lady this morning who shares the same name as me and who seems to have immediately “got me” consequently i now have something which i always considered to be hugely important in my selling career and equally so in my current situation, a positive next step! I have also gone back to the strategies which “H” my psychologist has taught me to do when things get tough and that is to do something which brings me joy. That is exactly what I’ve done today. For me that joy often comes from doing things which most people consider a chore like detailing my car but today for the first time in months i have sat at the piano on several occasions and tinkled the ivories. I was pretty rusty at first but it soon comes back and after my third session it actually sounded quite good, well, good for me anyway!

Not only do i have a positive next step which will happen on Tuesday but i was also given numerous bits of good advice including not leaving it until i am in lots of pain before doing something about it, something which I’ve actually put into practice late this afternoon and i can confirm my walk this evening was much less painful than yesterday’s. Very good news indeed -my evening walk is a very important part of my day and indeed my life, so being in pain for a good deal of it last night was a big worry. In the long term i realise taking opiate painkillers is not good but as they are the only thing which seems to make a difference in the short term that is the way it is and while the very kind lady this morning said she wasn’t happy about it she also said it is the better option than living in chronic pain.

Another bonus today was getting a new client in town which will hopefully lead to more work in the future, working for lovely people, always a bonus!

Back to square one?

After three months of being virtually pain free at the end of 2018 things have steadily got worse over the last 4 weeks. Tonight i really struggled to complete a shortened walk of just over 3 kilometres. I was in so much pain when we finally got back to the house i had no alternative but to go back on the opiate painkillers. Thankfully i still have some left from May when i came off them after a lecture by the surgeon in Brighton. I have taken odd ones since but can see me being back on them full time for the time being until i can figure which direction to try next. Surely it’s not too much to ask to be able to walk 3 kilometres without being in agony when I return?

So where to next is the big question and one i really don’t know how to answer. The last time i was in such pain I finished up in hospital but in reality they don’t know what to make of me as no one there has experience of transgender patients. As i have said before, i realise that it’s me who is different, me who has indeed “messed with nature” but I remind you that “nature messed with me in the first place” above all, I didn’t choose to be born intersex, I didn’t choose to have breasts when i was growing up and I didn’t choose to have a massive supply of oestrogen for the majority of my teenage and adult life. I just want to lead a relatively pain free life, I don’t think that is too much to expect. I often think back to when i was in my teens dealing with the daily abuse both physical and mental which i suffered for being “the boy with breasts” the sad thing about is that i thought the breasts were my punishment for wishing i was a girl. I still don’t get why my parents chose not to tell me about my beginnings, it may well have sent me further off the rails than i already was but at least it would have given me some answers.

So i guess in the short term i will just as they say “keep taking the tablets” until i figure out what to do next, my crystal therapist keeps trying different things but as yet nothing is working. I’d love to think he is the solution, he talks so much sense but without the results it’s hard to justify keeping going to see him but I’ll give him a little while longer before i throw in the towel. At least i have a plentiful supply of opiates for the time being, they are the only thing which comes close to relieving the pain so it’s just as well!

A Thoroughly trying time all round!

Having sadly had two deaths since Christmas, one family one friend, i think i could be forgiven for feeling a bit below par as it was. Then throw into the equation a thyroid which feels like its on the verge of misbehaving at any moment, a lymph gland drainage system which is definitely on a go-slow and a suspicion that i may have an infection and i think you should be getting the picture. A picture which did not improve when i called the medical centre this morning and sadly got a receptionist who was having a bad day and it was only just after 8.30! She was unhelpful, unprofessional and unsympathetic to the point of being rude and actually made me feel very uncomfortable. It sadly reminded me of the very reason i defected 3km down the road almost seven years ago.

It is very  disappointing really as up to now since moving back to them i have been treated wonderfully. Needless to say it was not one of the people I usually speak to who answered the phone. She might as well have said “go somewhere else with your problems, she certainly wasn’t going to offer me an appointment with anyone or at any time.  Thankfully i had H, my psychologist at 9am who as usual gave me strategies to work with and was the voice of reason as she has been so many times over the last two and a half years. The only problem i have with this is an underlying worry that i can’t keep relying on her to bring me back when things get tough. As usual Denise has been her wonderfully supportive self with all of this and been by my side with an encouraging word or useful suggestion. I know how lucky i am to have all the beautiful people around me to care for me in all sorts of ways but sometimes it all seems to be ganging up on me. Thankfully tomorrow is another day so I’m hoping i feel bettter and more positive. I’m a big believer in the saying “a positive attitude doesn’t always work but a negative one never works” so here’s to a positive day!

Deep into UZ territory, Again!

Those who know me well will be well aware of my feelings about the whole CZ/UZ thing and my beliefs. These come from way back when i first started in the motor trade in 1982 or to be more accurate, at my very first selling skills training course which was around May of 1983. The guy who was taking the course was called Phil, he stood in front of us on the first morning, a room full of twenty somethings all eager to make their mark on the trade and told us what he considered to be the most important rule in selling anything. I remember it like it was yesterday, he told us that we each had two ears and one mouth and we should use them in that proportion. I did and it works, i still shake my head and smile to myself when someone tries to sell me something but doesn’t know when to shut up. I have listened to sales people miss the buying signals and talk themselves out of a deal so many times over the years and had to intervene to resurrect it. There are no secrets about selling anything, just basic rules and if followed it’s a very enjoyable job.

One of the other things he talked about was the comfort zone thing. It was all quite new to me at that time and I wasn’t alone, i think most of the people in the room had little idea what he was talking about. He was a very clever guy and to get our attention he told us in no uncertain terms that all the best sex was definitely in the “uncomfortable zone”. I think most of it went way over my head at the time but some of it must have sunk in or I wouldn’t remember it as well as i do and he was definitely correct! Turn the clock on 36 years and the vast majority of my UZ experiences come from my work or during building the house at Nannup and this weekend has been a perfect example. There have been a number of tasks which i wanted to do which have taken me so far into the UZ that I’m amazed to have got through them. Plumb in a vanity unit which to be honest didn’t fit the space but looks really good now it’s in there but I had to dig deep into my improvisation resources before i even got to the plumbing part of it but i got there eventually. Tile a couple of splashbacks, i mean, how hard can it be? Well it has absolutely needed all of my thinking-outside-the-box skills and some, cutting holes for power points, negotiating my way around a curved top vanity unit and round another power point to name just a few of the challenges but i got there in the end and although if you look really carefully one of them is not quite straight i think its a good effort. I now need to learn how to grout them to complete the job.

Despite the challenges, some of which have really tried my patience, learning new skills is always a bonus even if they push you a long way out of your comfort zone. Keeps the grey matter on the ball!


First dinner party at Nannup, a late Christmas present and a new year.

On Saturday night we held our first dinner party at our new house in Nannup and I can report that it was a very enjoyable experience. We entertained the neighbours from number 65 (next door – a 150m walk if you climb the fence, 500m if you visit via driveways).   Although there were lots of things which you take for granted will just be there in the drawer where you expect them to be (improvisation needed when not) we got through without too much difficulty. Eventually we will have a duplicate set of everything but for the moment we will have to make do bringing things from Shelduck.

We knew back in 2016 when we first got to know Paul and Emma that they would become good friends and it’s such a comfort knowing they are keeping an eye on our property when we aren’t there. Bella also seems to get on ok with their dog which is a bonus. It’s nice to finally be able to return the hospitality that they have shown us over the last two years.

On a completely different subject, I’ve never been one to make New Years resolutions but this year i have made one very big one and I’ve actually started already making the changes. My resolution is to rid myself of anything which brings me frustration and the Amarok is one of them. As my business has expanded over the last six months it just isn’t doing the job anymore and thus is the first thing to be replaced. Having a Ute is great for many things but even a dual cab doesn’t have enough room inside to securely house all of my necessary tools and in reality I only use the tray occasionally and have a very good trailer which will get some TLC and become a regular part of my day to day life. I’ve loved having the Amarok, it certainly drives the best of any Ute on the road but it simply doesn’t work for my business so it will be going as soon as I can find the time to detail it and get it on

Finding a car to do the job was much easier than I expected and for that matter cheaper too. I’ve spent some time looking at Ute based wagons recently for some very good friends who are looking to buy one later this year so I already had in mind a couple of strong contenders but in the end went with my first inclination and have bought a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. I don’t have any need for seven seats or leather trim so the GLX fits the bill perfectly and our experience doing the transaction couldn’t have been easier.

My usual starting place when buying or selling a car is to find out what sort of deals and offers are out there and was not disappointed. It was the end of the month, the end of the year and every manufacturer is hell bent on selling every possible car they can to make their figures look as good as possible or in many cases to reduce the deficit from last year and Mitsubishi who are on a high at the moment didn’t disappoint. There was a demo car advertised at a very attractive price in Perth so I sent an online enquiry. I got the customary email response from the sales manager within five minutes saying that someone would be in touch shortly as was the case. A salesman called me and proceeded to tell me that the text attached to the advert was wrong and that this particular car didn’t qualify for any of the current offers so it wasn’t such a good deal after all. I thanked him for his time and said i would leave it. Some seven or eight days later the car was still for sale so I enquired again. The same happened so I decided to leave it until after new year to see what the offers are then but decided to call Busselton Mitsubishi just to see if they had one in stock as I hadn’t actually driven one. Both Denise and I have had previous dealings with Josh, one of the sales staff so I asked to speak to him. I knew it was going to be a bit complicated as the last time I dealt with him I was Robin but after a short explanation all was good and a time was arranged later that day.

When we arrived at the dealership I could see a car ready for testdriving and went into the showroom where Josh was waiting for us. I got a lovely hug from him which was a bonus and after a short exchange we headed for the car. Josh knows my history so didn’t waste too much time with the instructions and we were off. I immediately liked the feel of the car and the roominess inside it, the drive didn’t disappoint either. Denise had a drive too to make sure she could get comfortable and after a good long drive we arrived back at the dealership. Josh explained the various offers and gave us a drive away price. It was more than we wanted to pay but after a little negotiating we arrived at a price and the deal was done. All in all a very enjoyable experience.  I loved the way everything was transparent, he talked about the various offers, benefits and features in a way which was straight forward and understandable. He asked when we would like to take delivery and the following day was agreed. The car was ready on time, we did the necessary paperwork and after a short instruction on the controls were on our way. A huge thanks to Josh and David for a great experience, when David came out to thank us after approving the deal I mentioned that I’d made a few changes since we last met and his comments that I looked really good and that the changes suited me are all I need to hear!