Nights out

Leeds night out, 7th August 2020

Woke up this morning and my first thought was, no anxiety for me today. Plus today I’m off for a Leeds night out and get to see my amazing friend, Wendy.

Bags are already packed so, throw everything in the car and off to the train station.

The plan was to stop at Manchester and have lunch in the village but alas because the train service in this country is absolute wank, I ended up getting straight onto my connecting train to Leeds! No time for anything in Manchester. Late trains should not be happening in 21st century England. Unfortunately, the train system is stuck in the 19th century!

Now, having said that, I do love travelling by train as it gives me time to download my thoughts and write articles like this but the trains are weird things these days with social distancing and the like. Over half the seats have little red tickets on them “don’t sit here” and the ones you can sit at have little green tickets on them, “sit here’.

I sit and look out the window and watch the world go buy while listening to a bit of Goa trance. Wish I had a joint to smoke while I watch the scenery rush by.

I arrive in Leeds about 3pm and Google maps directs me to the Cosmopolitan hotel but I’ve got it set in car mode and end up walking about half a mile than the estimsted 0.2 of a mile!

I check in to the hotel and quickly quick step to McDonald’s for a bite to eat as I missed lunch thanks to the train system being wank!

Food troughed back at the hotel.

Time to do my roots (hair), they’re getting a bit brown. I had booked into the hairdresser’s but despite making a booking 2 weeks before, they called me on the day of my appointment to tell me they needed to do a patch test and I couldn’t have any work done until 48 hours afterward, impossible as I’m on holiday then, ya knobbers!

Okay, you had two weeks to tell me this so, very very unprofessional of you Wilson’s in Macclesfield. You’ve lost a customer!

So, I’m sat in my hotel room with a £5 hair bleaching kit and doing my roots with a glass of wine.

Kit used and hair all tied up, time to shave….. Everything. Dysphoria treatment time. I hate my body hair with a passion.

I absolutely hate being hairy and it’s one of my biggest body image issues! So thirty minutes of shaving and all is smooth and the hair dye is ready to be washed out.

Time to get ready now as Wendy texts to say, “meet up in reception at 8pm”.

I’m ready long before so, go for a walk round to the off license to get some cigs.

Walking past a bar on Assembly street and my first compliment of the evening comes off two ladies stood outside the bar. “Ay up my love. You look fantastic in that dress and I love your shoes” I chat for a few minutes and the walk back round to the Viaduct where I end up stood chatting for about an hour before I go meet Wendy. Those who know me well know I’ll chat to anyone these days and the girls sat outside viaduct shouted “hello gorgeous” and offered to buy me a drink.

Who am I to refuse?

Back to the hotel and meet up with Wendy. “You eaten?”
“Well I had a McDonald’s earlier. Does that count as eating?”

So off we proceed to find food!

Not much choice for a quick bite to eat and we end up getting a sandwich from Sainsbury’s. This lack of food was probably where my alcohol problems started as I hadn’t had much to eat that day and I got drunk very quickly that night. Howeve, it also could have been the Pina Coladas in Tiki Hideout 🤪

First place we go for a drink is a bar down a little back street behind the Viaduct. No idea what it’s called but it’s full of middle aged men drinking pints.

I took great pride in photo bombing a couples selfies something they only noticed when one partner showed his photos to his partner. At least he had a sense of humour about it and I ended up having my photo taken with them later on in Viaduct.

We were going to go in Viaduct at this point but the queue was moohasive!

Across the road to Queens court and, yeah, Hmmm.

We stood outside while the door person said “it’s booking only but we’ll see if we can fit you in”. Great sounds like their busy? No, empty as a eunachs ball sack inside.

One drink “let’s go somewhere else?” says Wendy. So back across the road to the Viaduct which now has a slightly smaller but still huge queue.

Great chats in the queue with folk. Bit of Dunkirk spirit going on, a bit of banter and the third compliment of the night from two ladies stood behind us. They looked ace as well <3 So we enter Viaduct and do the track and trace dance with the doormen. Wow! What a great bar and I want to go back here when social distancing had gone away. Very very friendly place this, the staff and the customers all very chatty. Got chatting to a young lass in the smoking area about life, the universe and a few other things. Told her she looked ace and she said she wishes she's got dressed up as she felt underdressed compared to me. Yeah but I bet your not sweating your arse off on that skimpy outfit? Very trans friendly venue and the place was full of all types of people. Loved the maître'd who's outfit was a sparkly purple blazer and bowler hat trimmed with a pride flag coloured tie. I don't recall how many drinks we had here but it was a few! We laughed lots, danced am little, chatted up and got chatted up and throughly enjoyed ourselves. From here we stagger back across the road to Tiki Hideout. Again amazing atmosphere and best of all they do cocktails!!!! Pina Coladas for me please and they arrive in a hollowed-out frozen pineapple! Lush! Several cocktails later and it appears to be 2 a.m. "I can barely walk straight" says Wendy "I can barely stand up mate" says I. Next thing I remember is waking up at 9:40, fully clothed, laid face down on the bed! One shoe is on the bed and the other is in the bathroom. What woken me is the temperature, it's fucking roasting on here. Looks like I'd turned the ceiling fan off overnight. How I have no idea as I wasn't even capable of undressing myself! Wendy's sent me a message saying she needs till 11 to get ready. Yes mate, me to! First port of call is somewhere we can get sustenance, so across the road to the Riveresque cafe for a full English breakfast. Best hangover cure in the world while sat at the side of the River Aire. Delightful. One of the hottest weekends of the year so why did we decide that we would go shopping round Leeds? Mental! Amazing place to go shopping and I've come home with a fantastic set of trousers and woollen jacket from M&S for less than £50 and two fab dresses from Roman. I also broke my Primark cherry in Leeds. I understand why folk shop there, it is dirt cheap but the quality is appalling! Again, Wendy. Thank you for an amazing evening and a great days shopping. Love you my friend and let's do it again. Soon!

The weekend which was supposed to be Sparkle 2020 but wasn’t but kinda was

Thanks to the “We’re all going to die” Coronavirus lockdown, the Sparkle 2020 annual Sparkle Event for Trans, Non-binary/Genderfluid and Intersex festival, was cancelled. However, because we all isolated and put our sad little lives on hold and didnt die, we’re here to tell the tale.

On 4th July (so, very apt this being Independance day, maybe Will Smith and Jeff Goldbloom will come save us from Corona-aliens?) and now lockdown restrictions have been lifted a little. This has meant many of the bar owners in Manchester have said a collected “Thank fuck!” and opened for business. This has meant that many who would have attended the Sparkle event put on their best frocks, painted their nails and applied their make up and headed down to the village in Manchester. Myself included.

Rules, rules and more f**king rules.

However, all is not peachy and rosey in pub and bar land, and because of Coronavirus said bars everywhere have been asked to deal with a shit load of additional rules if they want to open and stay open. Lots of rules and regulations imposed on said bars means a night out in Manchester was a very different experience from the norm. I don’t think anyone can even pick the rule book up anymore let alone throw it out! It must be HUUUUGE!

Instead of “knees up Mother Brown” it was “Stop your dancing Mother Brown and sit the fuck down!”

I’m not going to complain though, (who am I kidding), but as at least I could go out and mingle with my girly friends. However, lets just discuss what its like in the village at the moment.

For a start to get into most of the bars in the village you have to either booked in advance to gain entry or join a free membership scheme. Those that have a membership scheme I say, big thumbs up as you have got your shit together. You turn up and they ask, “Are you a member?”, Yes – Yes I am, “OK, Whats your membership number?”

Provide them with that info and you’re in and shown to a table. No messing about. Bar Pop, You rock as we came inside your humble abode twice on Saturday and we were inside in minutes. Door staff very professional. Concierge staff, fantastic and bar staff were amazeballs. Big shout to the girls serving outside. Amazing service and you looked bloody amazing!

Those bars that don’t have a membership scheme you have to fill in a form at the door, and provide name, phone no and some ask for your address. (Thankfully bodily fluid samples aren’t needed)

One of the bars, which I wont mention its name but its on BLOOM street, had a “Scan a QR code” which then took you to a website where you filled in your details. It should have been the perfect solution but unless you have your camera already setup to scan QR codes (Thighphones do, Android phones don’t!) So, you either have to change the settings in your camera or use a QR code reader. Took me about 2 minutes to find a QR reader then enter my details. I’d also say the bouncers at this club didnt have a bloody clue as there were two QR codes and they made us scan both despite them taking you to the same fucking website. I did point this out and got “You need to do both!”.

Ultimately the QR code system was more of a faff than many of the other simpler schemes and was reflected in the confusion I saw on Friday evening when I went out for a ciggie. Many people not social distancing so they could crowd round to use the QR codes.

All this registration of visitors and booking scheme is all for track and trace. So, if there is a Covid-19 outbreak they can contact you and you can self isolate for 14 days. Thats the theory and i’m sure in the mind of some civil servants somewhere, its a well thought out plan!

Anyway, enough with the track and trace bollocks, and back to the Sparkle event, that isnt really Sparkle, Sparkle event. I say “event” but it was more a meeting of likeminded people. The official Sparkle event had been cancelled but lots of Trans folk turned up to the village anyway. Too, either see whats happening but more likely to show moral support for the bars, dress up and have a night out in Manchester. When you think about it who wouldnt want a night out and support those bars which have provided amazing fun and entertainment over the years and who have been closed since March.

Lots of people also attended this weekend because they already had hotel bookings and wanted to be in the heart of the LGBTQ+ community, this was why I went. My companion on this weekends jolly jaunt, Wendy, had bookings already and invited me down and I am so glad i went with her and Julieanne, as we had an absolute scream. My face actually ached on Sunday morning from all the laughing we did and I havent laughed that much for a very, very long time. Sometimes my life is SOOOO serious 🙁

It was very noticable at weekend how many Trans people where in the village. Many more than on a normal weekend i’d say. Well pretty much more than every weekend since March!

There was also protest on Saturday to stop changes to the Gender Reassignment Act. meaning plans put forward by Therasa May’s government would be “ditched”, which allow trans people to change their birth certificates without medical diagnosis. This bag of shit government want to put in place safeguards to protect safe spaces for women which would mean amendments to the Equality Act. I wont voice my personal views about this here today. I was aiming to attend the event but alas because everything takes 10 times as long now because everywhere has extra rule, I missed the event as I was stood in a series of never ending queues!

Just a quick note! People of Manchester, Primark is not that amazing, really its not but it didn’t stop some of you queuing right down the street! One look at the queue and the words “Fuck that” may have been shouted quite loudly by both Wendy and myself!

Anyway, on to the night out on the weekend that was supposed to be Sparkle weekend, but wasnt, but then kind of was, 2020.

Amazeballs food at the Molly House.

Because we had to book into everywhere, especially if you wanted to eat, then i’d booked us into the Molly House on Richmond street for Friday night. If you dont know the Molly House, go. The food is great and its located inbetween Canal Street and Bloom Street.

I’m pretty sure i’d booked us in for food, but we were shown to a settee on arrival. Yeah, a settee! “Its very comfy” Not being funny love but i’m sure it is but i’m not eating food sat on that! They moved us downstairs to a table.

Drinks ordered, food ordered and what amazing food. 5 Tapas dishes for £20. I know some folk might be thinking, 5 Tapas is nowt. The food was fantastic, and we ordered 10 Tapas between Julieanne and myself, while Wendy chose the Chicken Burger with *cough* Salad. Molly house, great Chicken Burger but the salad is a bit stingy. Just saying.

Question just to answer my curiosity. If you order fries with the Chicken burger do they come in the same size dish as the salad? Just curious?

Back to the Tapas. Yes, I ordered all the fish dishes and Julianne went for the meat dishes. Calamari was spot on, Chorizo (oh! my god) and the Cheese balls. Dont normally like cheesy balls but these. Oh, My God!!!!

Prices are great as well.

Onwards to drunken oblivion!

Food and several drinks later and we go across the way to Iconic Bar and can’t fault the staff in there either. Friendly, quick service and great hospitality. I will be going in there again soon, maybe after another meal at the Molly.

Onwards and onto Canal Street and Via and this is where things get a little disappointing.

Not Via itself, NO!

Via itself was amazing as always as were the bar staff and serving staff. They are always lovely and very helpful.

This was the point where we realised just how different things are, with the Coronavirus rules and regulations at the moment.

Normally in Via you cant hear yourself speak, which isnt a bad thing sometimes, but tonight the music is so quiet I can hear myself walk across the wooden floor, this is despite being shown to a table right underneath one of the speakers. There was music on but it was so quiet. I look round and everyones sat down, the tables are spaced out at the requisite government approved distance in accordance to current guidelines and staff are busy wiping down recently vacated tables with generous amounts of sanitiser and paper towels.

Yes, this is all well and good but its so fucking quiet in here. I ask and am told “Well we cant have the music loud, and theres no dancing”. This as we found out was in all bars and is screwed up, IMHO. I’ll explain why later!

We enjoy quite a few drinks in Via before closing hours force us out onto the street. We did try to go back in on Saturday night but where denied access as they wouldnt let anyone in after 10pm!

Oh, theres lots of other establishments closing as well at 11pm. This does not bode well for a night out but we see CentreStage is still open and they have music playing outside. This looks like a winner, winner. For those who dont know where CentreStage is its opposide New York, New York on Bloom Street. Yes, next door to “The Docs”.

Drinks are cheap, staff are very happy, chatty and efficient but inside there’s no music. WTF?

So, outside I go to have a ciggie and find myself dancing on my own in the middle of Bloom street. Much to the amusement of the door staff at CentreStage and New York, New York. The hostess at New York, New York, Nicole (drop dead gorgeous) “Oh, my god!!!” and i’ll say it again “After myself, you were the most beautiful woman I saw all weekend” but I digress.

Before long i’m told to stop dancing by the fun police. Wendy and Julieanne eventually come outside and join me in a little dance before the tables and chairs are tidied away and Bloom street is yet again given over to the motor car. So, we proceed to the last place we can find open which is Bloom.

What a transformation now that this place has social distancing. Because there is about 1/4 of the people in there that there normally is, I can actually see how dark and drab the place is.

I’d never noticed before that all the walls downstairs are painted black. Now, either i’m the least observant person on planet earth (and yes sometime because of my own vanity, I dont wear my glasses) or because of lack of the colours of people, lights and TV screen’s, it makes you really notice the black. There is music on but its so quiet you can here people talking over it. All the TV screens are displaying Covid-19 public information information, no doubt needed so they can get a license to open again.

Two drinks and we’re out of there and I cant believe i’m saying this but here goes.

A night out in the village, in central Manchester and i’m going back to my hotel at 1:15am!

What the a c t u a l  f u c k?

We stagger into the Village Chippy and then back to our hotel.

That was Friday night.

Here’s why I think the no dancing rule is bollocks

A few places in the village over the weekend had music on, albiet very quiet and folk were trying to dance. I also think most people were also trying to still socially isolate as well. So the groups who were out were smaller groups and those attempting to dance were dancing together. Maybe in other parts of the city or other cities this isnt the case, but out side Centre Stage those dancing with me weren’t dancing next to me there were probably more than 6 foot away! Again on Saturday night we were in Churchills and there were people attempting to dance when the bouncers weren’t around but they were doing this in the groups they were sat with at the tables they were sat at. I know the venues have been told “No dancing” but honestly it was possible. I saw it, several times.

Personally I need to dance soon and I think for a lot of people its an outlet. Let us dance. Please!

A rude awakening

Saturday morning, 9am on the dot, I am rudely awoken by music coming from somewhere. No, Covid restriction bollocks with this crap thats being played. Seriously shit music and the guy singing doesnt even know the words to the songs he’s singing. I found out later it was a group of street entertainer (and I use those words extremely loosely). They were shit!

New Order’s, True Faith is one of my favourite tunes and when you’re hung over at 9am, and your listening to someone attempting to sing it but they dont know the words. Well, just the first first few lines then the singer just mumbles the rest. It made me want to jump out of bed and go sing it myself!

I’ve heard drunken Japanese business men sing that song. Japanese business men who were extremely drunk and who do not speak a single word of English. They did a more convincing job of singing that song than this bunch of clowns.

Next song up is Morriseys, “Heaven knows i’m miserable now!” – If Morrisey heard this i’m sure he’d write the sequal “Heaven knows I’ve heard it all now”

By this time my hangover is kicking in and theres a little monkey inside my head bashing two cymbals together and your making it worse with your shit music and shit vocals.

They stop at 9:15 as they seem to have either exhausted their repertoire or they’ve collected enough for a pint each in Wetherspoons? Who knows but they’ve stopped singing and I drift off back to sleep.

10am I am dragged screaming and kicking from my drunken slumber by the same clowns playing exactly the same songs in the same order!!!!!

Same shit different hour. Exactly the same songs in the same order with the same piss poor singing and feedback from amps. 10:15 and they stop again.

I should also point out that I must have been rather drunk because although I am in bed, I am fully clothed and am still wearing everything, even my heels!

  • I recall leaving the village, we had a chippy supper.
  • I dont recall walking back. Honestly, which way we walked I have no idea.
  • I recall getting back to the hotel door because they asked for my name.
  • I also don’t recall getting to my room.

I think all the mixes of different drinks finally caught up with me and POW! I passed out. At least it was in a bed.

I get up, take off my heels and start to make the bed. Oops! there’s a makeup face on the pillow. Hahahaha!

I decide to get up and got hunt for food. Luckily room service has delivered my food to outside my room and I nearly fall over the Covid regulation paper bag as I exit my room. I pick it up, retreat inside and sit like Golum in Lord of the Rings eating my continental, ie: awful, breakfast. The hunt or proper food will have to wait.

That was my Friday night on what would have been the Sparkle 2020 weekend, which wasnt Sparkle weekend but kinda was.

Saturday night was much the same as Friday but just Wendy and I and we drank lots, laughed even more and had a bloody great time.

Roll on the next weekend out, out.

The Majesty of a night out

When I go out, out I love how it makes me feel and wanted to put down in words how does it feel getting dressed up to go on a night out? How does it feel to get dressed up as your alter ego to go on a night out?

For me the majesty of getting dressed up is not only an act but it’s the theatrics of the event and how ultimately it makes you feel before you even step out the front door or step through the door of a nightclub!

I’ve had girlfriends say this to me before and I never understood this and it was only on a night out with Kim where are we got ready together but I realised the theatrics, the preparation and the process are what makes or breaks a night out.

Let Me explain.

I go out with Kim quite a lot in Manchester as she lives in a flat within minutes of canal Street in Manchester, because of this I do get dressed to go out direct from Kim’s place. This is usually done in a rush or or so slowly we get a bit drunk and we end up going out at 2 a.m in the morning instead.

So, on a recent weekend away we were attending an event in Leeds. An event which started at 9 p.m. but we started getting ready at about 3 p.m. a process of shaving, plucking, preening, hair done, apply makeup and then putting our outfits on for a night out.

We got to our hotel about 2:30pm and we went straight to our room. The girls on reception did comment on how much luggage we had for a 2 days stay. “Sod off, ya nosey sod!” was Kim’s response in her thick Mancunian accent.

Anyway we got to the room and first things first, two glasses of rosé wine for the ladies.

“Cheers luv”
“Cheers Kim”

Nice room, No, a great room. I know we paid for it a massive double bed our own little seating area looking out towards the city centre and a bathroom with a massive shower.

We have a drink toast ourselves and then toast to each other and then we start to get unpacked.

Mind that we are only in Leeds for 2 nights the Friday night is our event night and the Saturday night is first of all so that we can recover from the Friday and don’t have to get up early to go back to Manchester but so that we can have a lie-in in and then have a second night out in Leeds in a different atmosphere but despite this Kim seems to have brought half a wardrobe with her and I count 6, yes 6 outfits.

Well a girl’s got to have choice darling, she says to me.

I can’t say anything as I’ve brought four outfits and yes a girl just needs a choice. Plus its a girl’s purgative to change her outfit at the very last moments.

What does make Kim laugh is the 6 pairs of shoes, i’ve brought.

I can never decide on shoes and have to try multiple pairs on before I decide if they go with my outfit this might explain why I’ve got so many pairs of shoes at home. When i’m at home i’ll try on 6 maybe 10 pairs before I decide on which pair

I think on last count I had about 65 pairs of shoes. What can I say I like shoes.

Anyway Kim takes the bathroom first as she’s much younger and has less hair to shave, wrinkles to stretch out, grey hairs to pluck, etc.

It’s my turn in the bathroom and here is where the theatrics start.

In the shower,
Wash my body,
Wash my hair,
Clean that body.
Even that bit down there.

Squirt the shaving cream,
Brand new razor in hand,
Shave from top to bottom,
Need to use both hands.
“Don’t forget that bit” says Kim, “That bit there”.

Preened to perfection,
It’s time to get ready,
My make up tonight,
Light colours,
and not to heavy.

My favourite foundation,
From the girls at NYX,
Cheeks blended to perfection,
Because I love the look they give,
They get special attention.

Eyebrows pencilled,
Mascara applied,
My lip, must take my time,
Part of my face thats you see straight away,
Lipstick needed and time to apply.

But what colour to wear,
Natural, No,
Pink, er no as well,
Dark red it should be,
Or my be CS Red for a dare!

Clothes all laid out,
On top of the bed,
Lingerie, stockings, suspenders, like little threads,
Beautiful clothing,
Stuff I love to wear

“No, not those earrings, here try this pair,
Yes those are perfect, do this with your hair”
Kim, be a darling and zip my dress
“You look beautiful darling,
I bloody love that dress”.

“I’d do you, but first let’s go get wrecked”
A quick hug and off out we go,
Out into the night.
To have a good time,
But you knew that.
So, my friends. Goodnight 😘

Friday night in

Its Friday and I was supposed to be going out tonight to Leeds, however the event is cancelled and i’m at home self isolating. So… What do you do?

You get up, shave your legs, iron your best dress, put on your face, dig out a new pair of stockings, get dressed and go out in your own house.

Had a good laugh with my housemates along with a few drinks and some music. Danced about for a while I took my dog for a walk about midnight. Felt kinda liberating to walk round.

Blackpool. 10th January 2020

Friday 10th January.

Knock, Knock on the door. It’s my friend Meg.

“Wow look at you! You off out then?”

Yes, off to Blackpool.

“You look amazing mate. Here’s those keys and have a great day. Gimme a hug”

I went to Blackpool for a number of reasons but the main was to go visit an elderley relative in hospital as I was told “He’s very ill” by my mother.

He was a bit shocked when Mikki turned up.

“So, the clothes. Are you gay?”

No, Uncle not gay.

“Oh, so does it make you happy?”

Yes, uncle it does.

“Oh right. Well that’s good I suppose”

Next I went to visit some friends up at North Shore and spent a few hours with them and finally a night out with friends.

New Years Eve

It’s New Year’s Eve and tonight I’m off to friends over in Burnley to party!

The very same friends who got married a few weeks ago but this time I have somewhere to stay so can relax and let my hair down.

But first I’ve got to get through the day!

First thing is I need to run some family errands so I’m up bright and early. First off I need to sort my nails out and quickly after breakfast I sit and paint my nails. Rimmel Burgundy which looks ace on its own but when teamed with Clear Glitter Varnish looks absolutely amazeballs. I sit and listen to Dark side of the moon by Pink Floyd while I paint and wait for my nails to dry.

Next up I need to shave my legs because I haven’t done it for two weeks and they are getting hairy again. I was going to have them waxed but alas funds don’t stretch that far at the moment as work before Christmas has sucked arse and quite a few people havent paid me so they’re going to get nasty letters in the new year.

Anyway, I digress, time to shave the two tree trunks that masquerade as my legs and an hour later I’m done. Yes, an hour to get them smooth.

Note to self don’t leave it that long before you shave them again or save up and get them waxed again.

Hair washed and fully showered, I dry myself off and get dressed. I tied my hair into to pig tails and then tie these into a bun. Hopefully when I untie my hair later it will have some kind of curl to it. Well that’s the plan anyway. I’ve plastered my hair with Wella Shockwaves moose so hopefully they will stay curly for a while.

I’ll leave the house and drive over to my parents to drop my dog off, as they’ve agreed to look after her while I go out. She normally goes to a dog sitter but alas even dog sitters want to go out on New year’s Eve so my parents it is is. This means I’ve got a 50-mile detour to get to my ultimate destination, and coupled with the other slight detour I need to make to go and get my makeup done it’s going to be a heavy days drive. 186 miles in total. Thankfully the roads are quiet.

An hour later my dog’s deposited at my parents I wish them a happy New year and gave them both a hug and a kiss along with a nice bottle of wine.

I make my way to Born UK to see Paul Heaton to have my makeup done.

I arrive at Paul’s at 5 but alas I’ve put the wrong time in my diary. Sometimes I worry about the state of my mind when I do things like this and I do rely on my diary quite a lot but obviously it’s only as good as the information that’s put into it. Today I put the wrong time in so politely say sorry but have until 5:30 to wait. Paul shouts, “I’ve still got somebody with me” Oops, sorry Paul I’ll come back in a little while. Getting old sucks sometimes!

So, I retire to McDonald’s round the corner to get something to eat. Well can you call McDonald’s food “something to eat?”

At least the coffees in McDonald’s reasonable and I have 30 minutes to collect my thoughts before returning to Pauls for my makeover.

I return to Paul’s just slightly after 5:30 and I’ve taking a bottle of wine. Because firstly he’s working on New Year’s Eve to do my makeup and secondly he’s not going out tonight so he can have a glass of wine on me. So, by way of saying “Thank you for his invaluable help this year and helping me make the transition to Mikki”.

Paul has been one of the few people who listen to me talk and give me good advice and help and pointed me in the right direction for more information. His friendship is something I treasure, and I thank him for his help this year. Love you Paul.

We discuss my makeup requirements for the evening. Paul knows how important this evening is for me as I will be meeting some of my friends as Mikki for the first time.

I am nervous but I am also very excited about this.

It also feels a little strange to be sat in Paul’s studio not wearing a dress as I’ve had lots of errands to run today, I’m actually wearing jeans and a sweat top which is something I haven’t worn for quite some time.

I mentioned this to Paul, and we have a little laugh about it but as always he puts my mind at rest with “You can get dressed once I’ve done your makeup and made you look as fabulous as normal” <3

As this evening’s attire is a black and navy blue with polka dot 1950s dress, we decide on a neutral blue to black colour scheme and Paul begins the transformation. Moulding a lump of clay into a modern-day masterpiece.

We chat as Paul does my makeup but I’m going to have to be quiet for a minute. Don’t move as he does my eyes and my lips.

After an hour and 15 minutes we’re done and again I look at myself in the mirror and it feels a little strange because I’m not wearing a dress however I do look fantastic.

Paul leaves me in the studio so that I can get changed and I get my underwear, tights and all my accessories ready to go.

15 minutes later and I’m dressed but struggling to zip my dress up. I think this dress has shrunk in the wash. But I message Paul and he comes back to the studio and has me zipped up after a lot of breathing in.

I look at myself in the mirror and that’s more like it. This is me, this is who I love.

Only one more thing to do and that’s untie my hair. Let’s see if the tying up has made it go curly when it’s dried.

I untie my hair and it falls to my shoulders and it’s curly. However, I’m already wondering how long it’s going to stay like this so one tonne of hairspray later I’m hoping this will hold the curls in for a little bit longer.

I thank Paul for my makeup and the conversation and I give him a hug and he shows me out and I set off for my New Year’s Eve night out.

I arrive at the party house around 7:30 and am immediately presented with a joint and a glass of wine. They taste good.

There’s a few people here already and I go and greet all of them. “Wow, babes you look amazing”, “You look fantastic”, “Oh, my who’s done your makeup? You look fab”

This goes on while people arrive, some I’ve known for years and others I’ve known just a few months. Everyone is very happy to see me as Mikki and compliments are abounding.

I go to check my hair and guess what. All the curls have gone. Okay, tie it up with a matching blue scrunchy with ribbons in to and then pull a few strands down to the side. That’ll do! Damn my straight hair!!

One friend arrives. I’ve known him for 25 years and he’s never seen me dressed as Mikki or in full make up and he is speechless. First time in 25 years I’ve known him to be speechless. His girlfriend comes over and gives me a massive hug and a kiss on the lips. He’s still speechless. Either he is shocked, or he doesn’t know what to say.

So, I go over and give him a hug. He’s still speechless, he’s trying to speak to me but he’s struggling. So again, I try to break the ice.

“What do you think?”
“I’m struggling and need a bit of time to take this in. I know it’s you but in struggling to take it all in”
“Which bit are you struggling with mate?”
“You’re my friend and I love you but your different, you look like a bird!”
“Oh you, you noticed?”

With that I give him a massive hug and then a kiss on the cheek and leave a nice big kiss mark on the side of his face.

He chuckles, I chuckle, and I walk off and greet other guests who’ve just arrived.

He grabs my arm and I find myself saying “it’s alright mate, come speak to me in a bit” he is obviously struggling with me dressed as Mikki as he’s only ever known me as Mike.

I notice for the next hour he’s in deep conversation with his girlfriend and mine. He’s obviously struggling to get his head round this.

The evening goes on and I’m aware my presence as Mikki has gone down a storm with most, but a few are struggling with me especially after knowing me for so long.

I go and speak to them and a few folk ask me why so I explain this is who I am and always have been but I’ve chosen to express myself in public because its who I am.

In the background party games are going and there are shots flying everywhere and plenty of joints being passed around. I’m getting drunk and incredibly stoned but chilled.

My friend is sat on his own, so I go and sit down next to him.

“You alright?”
“Yes. I’m shocked”
“Why you shocked mate? You knew I told you months ago”
“I’m shocked at how good you look! I mean you look like a bird”
“That’s the whole point. What did you think I was going to look like?”
“I don’t know. I’m shocked!”
“Look, no matter what I look like, dress like, or do in my life I will always love you as my mate”
“I know but I’m struggling to cope with you dressed like this”
“I’m still your friend and this will never change”
“Give me time. I do love you, but I need time”

The night goes on and everyone is having a bloody amazing time. We all have a laugh and at midnight we gather as is the tradition. We sing Auld Lang Syne, drink a toast to the new year and give finger to the year that was 2019. Everyone hugs everyone and wish them Happy New Year.

I hope 2020 is a better year than most of 2019 has been. 2019 has been one of the worst years of my life but it has freed me from my oppression and brought Mikki into my life.

The party continues until the wee small hours but I’m past caring. I hug all my friends; we drink a little drink and have a little smoke.

I don’t know what happened to the rest of the evening. I don’t even remember what time I went to bed. I do know I woke up smelling of garlic and with a sore throat!!!!

So, either we had Garlic bread or I got throat raped by a vampire hunter!!!!

Happy New Year everyone.

Night out in the village and Qwerkmas

Selfie

Friday the 13th! is that unlucky?

Superstition says so but what the hell, lets go somewhere new, do something new, experience something new on this of all superstitious days.

I’d bought tickets to Qwerk as a good friend had said it’s a great night out but first, I decided to have a walk around the village and stick my head around the doors at some of the bars I’ve not been in.

I’d driven down as the trains, WTF is wrong with this country. Last time I checked Britain wasn’t some third world shit hole in the arse end of nowhere so why can’t we have a public transport system which works at least some of the time.

I’d walked down to the train station to catch the 9:20 train and I’m stood waiting on the station and one of the station staff wonders over and says “Hiya Love, are you hoping to catch the train into Manchester”

Hoping to catch, did you just say, hoping to catch?

“Yes, the trains have been cancelled and the next one won’t be for over an hour”

Shit! Okay need a refund and you can stick your train service up your arses!

I end up getting a refund and I walk back home via my local bar.

I walk into the Snow goose to have a word with a few of the staff. They’ve been great to me over the past few months.

I walk in and the person I want to see has finished work about 10 minutes before I got there but one of the other members of staff looks blown away when she sees me.

I make my excuses and totter off home to get my car.

50 minutes later I’m in central Manchester and park up in the Village as my feet are already bloody aching as I’ve walked about a mile already and I’m wearing there which are comfy at present.

I’ve come down to the village for Qwerk but its only 10:45 so I head round to Canal street and into one of the regular bars I visit. On Bar.

With Lee Star in On Bar

As soon as I walk through the door Lee Star comes over to me and gives me the “Oh darling you look amazing” Thanks Duck, So do you. <kiss> For those that know Lee Star is the Queen of the early part at On Bar and is so approachable and has always been happy to talk to me when I’ve been in there. Beware she is the inuendo queen and I always struggle to keep up with the inuendo (usually because I’m still laughing at the last inuendo as the next one comes along) and double entendras.

I spend about three quarters of an hour in on bar and get bought a drink by a young man in his early 20’s who comes and sits next to me and introduces himself (Aaron) with what I thought was the weirdest chat up line ever. “You look like my mum; can I have a hug. She died recently and I miss her”

At first, I was like “Fuck off” that’s a seriously messed up chat up line but no. He gets his phone out and starts showing me pictures of his mum and, no shit I do look like her!!!

I give him a hug and he starts to cry! Okay I’m freaked out, but I hold him for a few minutes.

He jumps up, apologises and disappears I’m not sure if that’s out of sadness, happiness or whether he’s embarrassed.

He returns a few minutes later with two drinks. One for me and one for himself. We sit and chat for about 20 minutes. He misses his mum dreadfully and he has another little cry.

I leave On Bar and walk up Canal street to Bar Pop. I absolutely love the girls who work outside but outside is no place to be tonight as its cold. I have a quick chat to the 7 ft tall goddesses outside for a few minutes before I go in as I don’t know how but one of them remembers my name even though I’ve only told her once. I can’t remember people’s names even after they’ve told me a dozen times.

The music is great inside Bar Pop and I have a little boogie and a drink.

Next, I wonder up Canal street and into Churchills. Not for me. The atmosphere is not to my liking. Too many drunks for me I’m afraid. Next!

Next is Bar Kiki. I’ve been in a few times and I do like the venue and the music but alas tonight its pretty quiet so again, Next! Also the heels I’ve got on do not want to interface with the floor in their and it looks like I’m pissed as I walk across the floor as I can’t get any traction.

I next totter round to New York, New York and meet up with a few friends who are also dressed to impress. Its almost impossible to hold a conversation though tonight as the music in the lounge part of the bar is so fucking loud and it was roasting in here. Even the bar man couldn’t hear me when I ordered, either that or he thought I wanted something harder (behave) than a coffee! Anne even asked him to turn it down a but alas he didn’t so after a single drink we left and went back to On Bar and sat upstairs on the terrace outside. At least we can sit in relative quiet and Aaron joins us but he’s quite drunk now and a bit giddy but he holds my hand while we sit and chat. I’m glad of the attention if truth be told.

Its knocking on a bit now, after the witching hour and we wonder round to Sub 101 for the Qwerk evening.

For those who don’t know Qwerk is located in Sub 101 on 101 Princess St in Manchester. M1 6DD if you want to look it up on a Map and is located underground.

I arrive at about 12:30 and descend down to the cashiers point and cloakroom and then down again into the basement of 101 Princess street.

My word its fucking dark in here, almost foreboding with dark wall and dark floor. I can see its been made like this to make the bar area and the dance floor more inviting. I am sure there are those who love the dark décor but as soon as I’ve got a drink I’m away to find lighter pastures. I’m not a fan of dark places unless their also wet and warm!

The music is good and there are already people on the dance floor. This is a good sign as some of the clubs in the village don’t get going until maybe 2-3am but there is already a dozen people dancing.

The DJ is located about 2 foot above the dance floor and the DJ is obviously having it large, a lady who I later find out is called Fay. She’s dancing away as much as those on the dance floor. I’d describe the music as bouncy, but I’ll be honest its not my type of music and it’s a bit slow. However, I’m going out on Saturday to a Psytrance night and I know the music will be better so I’m not to bothered and tap my feet along with the beat.

Vicky and I at Qwerk, photo by Johnny Blackburn

I’m sat beside the dance floor, playing with my phone when a lady approaches and introduces herself as Vicky. “Hi Vicky, I’m Mikki”

We sit and chat for a while and she passes comment on how lovely I look and how she likes my dress and loves my shoes. “Aren’t they uncomfortable?” A bit but I’ve worn worse. “I can’t wear heels anymore as I’ve got a bad leg” Bad leg or not my dear you were cutting shapes with the best of them on the dance floor.

Small talk dispensed she asks me to dance and moments later we’re on the dance floor.

Within about 20 minutes I’m feeling the pain in my feet so its off with the heels and stockinged feet meet cold dance floor. Absolute bliss.

I dance for a few hours and speak to loads of people, many dressed in Christmas clothing. Loved the group of men who came in all dressed as elves with sparkly beards and little pork pie hats with Christmas light belts. They were a laugh and I ended up dancing with them for quite a while.

Vicky seems to know everyone and introduces me to many people. Too much for my aged brain and I can’t remember everyone’s name.

I meet Kelvin Andrews and his Missus who was doing the guest DJ set that night. Lovely, lovely, people and I ended up talking to Flo for a good hour about life, the universe and everything.

Kelvin’s set is ace, and I have a dance until my feet hurt again.

The rest of the evening is great, and I ended up going home with a young lady.

Glad I drove down now otherwise I’d have been screwed getting home!

Great night.

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