Saturday, 22 October 2016


The leaves are turning and the weather has chilled. I've been struck by a cold, powerful but hopefully short. Yesterday I could barely think, today I just feel like I ran a marathon!

The streets in my neighbourhood are wide and lined with trees, and make this time of year beautiful!

Sometimes the leaves fall in a could of days and the grass is covered by a carpet of yellow, red and brown leaves. Other years, like this year, it's more of a gentle trickle of leaves over a week or two.

And something's are just better in colour:

Monday, 17 October 2016

Get me to the airport on time

Well, after a truly fantastic weekend, it's time to go home! I was warned that airport security was a pain and we were worried about traffic so we left with plenty of time to get there. 

No traffic and security in 5 minutes mean that I have two hours until the gate opens, and nearly two and a half until the flight is supposed to leave! Never mind, rather really early than 2 minutes late...

A wedding, family Sunday lunch and today shopping with my cousin (how my suitcase isn't too heavy I so not know!), who very kindly put up with me for a few days and I'm ready to see my family again! 

It's always a strange feeling, going home. I've loved my time here, and yet cannot wait to see my other half our my boy again!

A tinge of sadness this time as well. We all knew that the next time we will be together will be to say our last goodbyes to my father who is not well. I don't think that anyone managed to say goodbye to my parents when they had to leave the wedding reception early as he was too tired with dry eyes. And then everyone felt guilty for crying at someone else's special day.

So, whilst we all want to see each other again, we don't want it to be any time soon...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Coming out day

Something I am thinking of putting on Facebook for today:

Today is coming out day, not a day to force people to come out - that has to be done in your own timescale - but to make it visible that it's something very difficult that some people have to do.

Thinking about it took me back to when I started coming out, and made me realise that it's a process that doesn't really stop. For me, however, it did get easier to do.

The first time I was terrified of what people were going to think, how they were going to react and just how badly I was about to screw up my life.

And that is what stopped me for, oh, so many years. People commented on me being brave when I eventually did it. But I wasn't. I was petrified. In fact the only reason I did come out is that I was more afraid of ending up in hospital with a panic attack (again) or worse. Really, really not good times. I slept poorly, I could not concentrate on anything and felt I was spiralling away and had no idea what to do.

Thankfully the support around me, from close friends and family I told, to medical professionals, made that first round survivable. And so I moved forward. After each round of having to come out I had such support from a large majority of people that it gradually made the process easier.

But what I have noticed is that I still have to come out, even now 7 years after that first time. New people who give do a double take when I mention my wife rather than husband. Or those who get to know me well enough that my history becomes important (seeing as I refuse hide my past to those close to me - random strangers don't need to know my history, but I am not going to invent a second narrative to my life for those who get to know me now).

But, it is much easier now. Much. And for that I would like to thank each group of people that helped me in round before by being brilliant human beings and listening to me when I needed them to, and by treating me as just me when I told them.

Thank you! I have been unbelievably lucky with my story. Something I never take for granted. If only my story was the norm, as it should be, then there wouldn't be a need for coming out day, and  me from around 5 years old to 35 years old wouldn't have needed to be terrified and so alone.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Famous Five

Whilst walking between offices today I phased this alleyway leading to the back gardens of some houses.

My camera was drawn to the shadows, not quite the contrast I was hoping for, but nice enough.

But my mind was taken back more years than I wish to my childhood playing with my cousins in the summer holidays where we would cycle into the countryside, pretending to be from Enid Blyton's Famous Five looking for adventure down narrow pathways. Amazing how your mind can transport you back decades! (Not that we ever found smugglers, pirates or treasure though!)

Right time for some ginger beer and cake!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning

Driving to work this morning I was blessed witha sky painted by mother nature at her best!

There were scattered clouds, the sun was rising, and the con trails from the planes (ok, they are not that natural...) were working together. 

The sun was still rising, so the contrails were illuminated from below. But it had risen enough so that the low lying clouds were illuminated from above. Beautiful! 

I was thinking that I would miss the chance to get this photographed. I saw a rest stop on the motorway and decided that I would risk being late and just stop. Sometimes you just have to step off of the conveyor belt of life and enjoy the world!

As I said on FaceBook:

A beautiful sunrise this morning. The rising sun shining down into one layer of clouds whilst still illuminating the con trails from below was so impressive I had to stop at a rest area on he way to work to get these pictures.

Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy nature!

And, because sometimes you need colour in your life:

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Yesterday was about new boots, today was about new running shoes.

Well this morning was; this afternoon was about celebrating my mother-in-laws birthday :) A great time was had by all, and the little guy especially (he exhausted himself!)

But, this morning. My old running shoes were old. Really old in time (probably from 2013 or 2014) as 2014 and 2015 I hardly ran sure to the birth of my son, and a really heavy operation.

This year I have ran lots. So far  since 4th January I've covered around 450 kms and have built from 20 per month at the start to 70 to 80 over the last 4 months (with the vacation September isn't looking great. If I make 42 I'll be happy...)

And it shows (and smells :o) in the shoes... The padding in the soles has totally gone and they are falling apart...

So new ones! Yet more Asic Gels, as my last 4 or 5 pairs have been. And... Wow! The padding and support that new shoes give is always surprising, and this was no exception! When I got back my feet barely knew they had started, yet alone knew that they had done more than 10km over the previous 70 minutes. My knees were also felling pretty good and they are my week point.

The only issue... The material supporting my heel is still stiff, and so rather than shaping to my Achilles tendon, it chaffed. But the blister is already looking better, so I hope it's not going to be too bad!

So, the picture. This is a bridge about half way round my run today. There is a block of houses which back onto water  and a path that runs around both it and the houses. It's about 1km long, so a good place to make distance if you are ahead of time, and lose if you are behind. I was about on time today, so just one lap. The picture was taken during a rest in my intervals (I was tired and dropped the phone whilst taking it. Yet more damage, at least I hadn't had it repaired yet...). I love the ribs along the bridge and have been meaning to get the picture for a while. Considering the circumstances I'm happy with the result!

Saturday, 24 September 2016


I adore swing dresses. So much so that I've even been known to pick the dress over a new tech gadget on occassion :)

But in winter there are some drawbacks...

Namely that it's really hard to wear boots when you need to. Calf boots are just a little short to look good - the leg gap between the tops of the boot and the hem of the skirt isn't my favorite look!

So, I got an early Christmas present yesterday. My parents gave me cash to get some over knee boots to keep me warm! I won't wear them until winter (probably) but wanted to get then now whilst I could find some I liked.

Today was the check that they are long enough to go with a majority of my dresses. 40 minutes, 8 dresses (6 with petticoat) and a handful of skirts shows me that, yes, that are awesome boots and they will get an amount of wear this winter. And, yes, there are a couple of dresses and skirts that make the boots look a little more at home on the street than I would like. I think I have to be careful how I wear them.

Oddly enough one of my shortest skirts looks amazing with the boots (which I wasn't expecting - I was expecting mutton meets pretty woman with that one), whist a longer one looks totally wrong (when I was expecting it to look ok...)

This is one of my petticoatless dresses after I took it off. It floated to the floor and settled so nicely that it had to be today's picture. It's also one of my favourites and, whilst the leg gap makes an appearance with it, looks lovely with the boots. Our maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part :) We'll see when I wear it outside for the first time...

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Woodland path

A view from a woodland lodge, with a path worn into the ground caused by heavy rain water draining away to the stream which is out of view...

Though for once I actually think that the colour shot gives a better idea of what it was really like... I took a second shot using the dual lens set up on the phone, so full colour.

Much more impressive!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Yesterdays picture, but I didn't have time to post yesterday...

Very late today so not much story I'm afraid. But...

Walking back from a works meal I sea this church half illuminated. I'm not religious, but I love the buildings!

And the phone. 1 second exposure, hand held on a wall...

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Media Park

The heat wave has continued here in Holland today. Upper 30s and high humidity. And some lovely skies.

I had a couple of meetings in the old building, one on the fly, the other almost on the fly - I had at least 4 hours warning :)

But, they were at different times so I got a few kilometres of walking back and forth as well. 

And time to stop on the bridge to get this shot of the exhibition building at the media park complex and with the Hilversum transmitter in view.

As I commented to the team on WhatsApp with a different picture - having to wall between buildings isn't much of a hardship right now :) But what will we think when the weather is grey, cold, wet and miserable!

I'm sure we'll complain, but cope. In the meantime I'm just going to enjoy the sun!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


After two weeks not training with my group due to illness I was back again today. In 33 degree heat! And high humidity!

So, lots of short runs (4 x 750m), exercises in between and 2 x 2km there and back (with 1km of 15s walk, 15s sprint) and lots of water after each section.

And, wow, the nights are already drawing in! This was taken about 1km from the end during a walking break when the person who was running next to me commented that it's time to get our running lights again! Seems only a couple of weeks ago that we stopped using them!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


"Stacy, what are you doing on the floor?"

Or, in orther words, "Hello" :)

Yes, the top line is how I was greated by a colleague this morning. Were we the only two in the building and I had decided to try and get a picture of the vaulted ceiling in the entrance hall.

Ok, I was in a summer swing dress, on my hunches, trying not to rip my petticoat with my heels, hovering over the phone whilst setting the timer and trying to get it places just right on the floor - without scratching the screen on the flag stones.

I'm not 100% about the result, it's not as dynamic as I was hoping - but it's a learning experience :)

Saturday, 13 August 2016

40 and (apparently) fabulous!

Ok, it's been long enough. Time to take down the cards. But I couldn't not share the one from my aunt, not saying that she knows me well or anything, but I think I own this dress, albeit with a different neckline :)

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Best foot forward

Another Sunday, another long run! Well, long for me :)

After the awful run last week that I had to abandon after just 4km (I had given up at 3km, but was still running, at 4km I just had to stop and walk the last 2km...) I was more than a little nervous. Esp after the party yesterday and lack of sleep last night.

And, indeed, during the warm up I felt twinges. But keeping the pace and heart rate down I managed to continue OK. Once I got inro the main running though it was fine. I didn't do mini intervals this time just a nice slow tempo (140bpm) 3 x 20 mins (plus a quick 3 mins at the end).

At the 2/3 point I  was walking in a recovery phase and got a gorgeous shot of the clouds and sun. And then I was playing and got a shot of the pavement and my foot just happened to be in shot. Seeing as I have lots of clouds I thought I'd do the pavement this time :)

At the half way point I came across a triple flight of stairs (3 x 8 steps, or thereabouts) and so decided that whilst I wouldn't do speed intervals, I would do do the steps circuit (up the steps, down the path to the cycle descent back to the bottom of the flights) 5 times. Stupid. I did it fine, but my oh my, am I in pain now! 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Family feest

I may have turned 40 a couple of weeks ago, but due to holidays the celebration with my extended (Dutch) family only happened today. Actually, I'm typing this sitting next to my mother in law. :)

We've had a totally full house this afternoon, adults and children. A lot of fun, and for the first time this year we got the BBQ lit! Something that I've simply been too tired / lazy (delete as appropriate) to get it set up...

Due to family illness we had to make sure that the house is made totally gluten free before the party, and ensure that the food has no gluten in it, and isn't contaminated during preparation. A lot of stress, but also great to have everyone here. And if course this is just one day, the family have to live with it every day! I'll stop stressing when I hear that everyone is feeling fine tomorrow morning.

Eating in the garden, and kids doing gymnastics behind us whilst we eat and drink. Our little man loves the company as well :)

Ah, 40 is still good!!!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Getting cultured

I've been living in the Netherlands for a long time, it's been that long since I called England home that I can't remeber and I feel far more at home here than in there. 

With the Brexit and subsequent rise of open xenophobia I thought it was about time to really make this country my home. After all I plan on staying here for a very long time. So this morning, with a toddler in tow, I went to the town hall to ask about the process. It sounds less painful than I imagined and so I'll be starting it in the coming weeks.

Next to the town hall we have our culture centre. I'm ashamed to say that since it has been rebuilt I haven't been in. (It used to be a theater that I went to a couple of times). These days it houses, amongst other things, a restaurant, galary and 2 (iirc) stages.

With the sun behind the clouds, over the buiding I thought I'd give myself a challenge to capture it. So, toddler in one arm, shopping and handbag over my shoulder I tried a one handed shot! I. The circumstances I was quite happy with it :)

(Though nowhere near either Lori or Caroline's standard though Calie ;p )

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Focus beam

Today was a very long one. 11 hours door to door to the office and back and a very complex discussions has me quite exhausted! 

So today... A bulb picture again! These have a beam lens on then and are quite bright and I was quite curious as to what the lens would pick up.

Yet again, the lens impressed me! Getting the satin finish of the refelctor in the lens and the LED itself is beyond what I was expecting!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Folding wood

So... I've decided to start cross posting my photo blog here. I'm not sure that I'll mage it everyday as I'm manually writing both posts as I can't find a way to automatically cross post from WordPress... Anyway, lets start with today's post!


Whilst sitting having lunch today (yes, I stopped long enough to eat away from my desk!) I noticed another tree trunk stool in the corner of the canteen.

Whilst chatting I started to look at the way the wood had grown folding in onto itself. So, apologising to my colleagues, I went across and tried to get low enough to grab a shot. I think with a movable light source I could spend hours and fill a months pictures from the it :)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

What's black, white and red all over?

Ok, here is a quick test using my mobile to write a post. The keyboard is quite good, so hopefully it'll work well - I just hope that my proof reading is good enough to correct my sweeping mistakes :)

So what's been going on in my life? Well a lot as it happens. The new project in the office is starting to gather pace and I'm learning new things about angular and single page applications all the time. Considering how worried I was about getting back to a techie role in actually quite happy with the progress that I'm making and how quickly I got back up to speed.

I'm still loving the camera on the phone. I'm managing to upload daily pictures to my photo blog again. I just hope it continues. Aside from throwing it down the road once when running and now having it needing a new screen and housing the phone is really awesome! If you're interested there is another selection of pictures here from what I have uploaded. Lots and lots of back and white. And one single one of red!

Which I'm pleased to say is the colour of my hair again after another wonderful trip to the hairdresser last week! A couple of hours relaxing is lovely, and the conditioning head massage is just heavenly.

And... I finally got a decent distance under my belt today. I feel a little ill (I feel hung over, though I haven't drunk much... I think it's tiredness from a couple of late nights) but forced myself out of the door. Once I got into my rhythm I stated to get into it. 3 x 20 minutes normal running, with each one followed by 1 minute fast running and one minute recovery. With a 1 km warm up and 5 mine cool down it managed 12.3 km in total. The farthest I have effect ran! And at an OK pace too!

Right time for a night cap and prep for a back holiday here in Holland tomorrow!

Btw writing this is quite doable on the phone, well done to Google for a good app! Now let's see how the publishing and adding the pictures goes!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Clouds, the number 10, freaky bones and a little bit of red...

Another morning waking up way too early! No real reason, but I thought that I would use it to post again :) (Sorry!)

So what has been going on in my life? Well, lots!

I'll make a sandwich post- good, bad and then good :p

So, the first good, totally materialistic! Last week I got a new phone, my old one probably got dropped one to many times and the battery was shot. It went from two days life with some use to 6 hours with no use :O Not good...

And so when I heard that Huawei were releasing a new flagship I thought I would give it a try. They have done something different with the cameras in this phone - rather than one camera they have two. There is nothing special there - after all HTC and LG have done this before. However, Huawei don't have one high res, one low or one normal and one wide angle. No, they have one colour and one monochrome. This allows the phone to collect way more light for pictures as the monochrome sensor doesn't have the filter needed to collect colour information, depth information (as the sensors are a little apart it is slightly stereoscopic) and most importantly for me a dedicated monochrome camera - not simply a desaturated colour camera, but an actual monochrome one.

The pictures that the monochrome came makes are just truly amazing. I can't stop using it (and annoying other people who think that the world should have colour in it :p). The rest of the phone is also pretty great (if you can live with the Android skin, which so far I can), but I guess it is a sign of the times that I was totally in love with the phone and then realised that I had no actually used it to make a call! (I have since and can say that the call quality is better than anything I have used so far - both phone and speaker calls).

So, pictures!

The bad... Well, it seems I am going to have to go under the hospital again. When I was a child I had lots of operations for cysts etc in my hands (and have lots of others in my wrists, ankles, feet...). Over the last couple of years I have had pain in my thumb which has been getting steadily worse. I didn't do anything about it until now because a) I was afraid of what hey may have to do and b) I really didn't want to get it in the my transition (stupid, but there you go).

Anyway, I was referred to a specialist clinic by my GP and... It turns out that my body wanted to be special. Simply being transsexual was apparently not enough. No, it turns out that I probably have Oliers Syndrome. 1 in 100,000 and it means that I am prone to the cartilage cysts in my hands and feet that I had as a child and in my left hand they have come back. It also means that I have quite a deformed bone structure in my left hand:

Sorry - maybe there should have been a content warning there!

Anyway, I have to have a CT scan on my hand to make sure that the bone has not de-calcified to the point where it is going to be difficult to fix. After that the doctor will help me make a decision about doing something about it, or leaving it until the pain becomes too much to bear and then doing something. Not the news I wanted, but then again it could have been worse news. Watch this space...

So, the good! On Monday I celebrate 10 years working for the same company. Most of that time has been good, and due to vacations the celebration was held last week. Lots of posters around the building saying how long I have worked there and a lunch organised with very English sandwiches, cream and jam scones, brownies and cheesecake. Yum!

And parlour games, a speech, pressies (a Tardis teapot - awseome! - and a selection of English tea and shortbread buiscuits - again, yum!)

And a picture for our hall of shame - I am the last person to go on the wall downstairs, the next person will start a new wall of shame for those who have stayed too long :p.

A great lucch, and a reminder of why I have worked there for 10 years!

Right, I hear noises from a little man, and it's time to get ready to go and get my hair dyed red again :),  so I'll leave you now with the picture for the wall :)

Saturday, 9 April 2016

I'll always have history

To be fair I think this post could end here - it kind of says everything that I am thinking right now :)

But, I'll go into details a little for you instead :)

Go back 12 months and I was really hoping, thinking that once I got the recovery of the operation out of the way that I would be able to just simply be me and go through life the best that I could.

This week I got the realisation that as I work with the same people as I did before I transitioned, and as I am open with them that this isn't going to happen. There needs to be a middle ground somewhere.

I am not an activist, I long for a quiet life where I can disappear into a corner. I have to say this is something that I am ashamed of - being very visible is an important thing, it's just something that I do not have in me. I'm not going to shout from the roof about my history no matter what.

But, I do not, and am not going to hide it either. If there is a reason to bring it up then I am going to being it up. Whether that is to do with the little guy for people who know us well. He is my son, when people ask how we got him, and we know them well enough they are going to be told - if we don't know them well enough then I guess I'll settle for the "it's complicated" answer :)

And... If I find myself stumbling on words, catching my sentences before I say them, and generally feeling uncomfortable and not able to join in a conversation for fear of outing myself then I am going to have to look at the situation and make a decision on what I do.

This is what happened this week - and was the impulse for the first post in three months (gulp!)

We are forming a new team in the office for project (which I am not allowed to talk about unfortunately...) and were discussing getting the team together and moving to our new team room. Someone suggested getting facilities to help move our desks and computers (the desks move as a couple of us have special electric standing desks - so when we move the desk has to move too).

When moving the computers came up we decided to as IT Services to give us a hand - there are a lot of cables, dual monitors and heavy workstation machines to move. And I had to catch myself. You see 5 years ago I could have picked up the work station and moved it anywhere in the building. Hormones have ad an impact on that, and so I very nearly outed myself by saying so. And after that was very guarded in what I was saying and kind of left the conversation a little bit. And felt very, very uncomfortable.

So, I asked the new guy for a walk - the sun was out and so a walk away from the office seemed inviting - so that I could tell him my history. We are going to be working closely over the next few months and I don't want to be catching my sentences again. On top of that, he seems reasonable so I was hoping that it would not be an issue.

Of course seems and is are two very different things and the nerves start straight away - once you say it you cannot undo it.

But... It went well, he thought it was great that it is possible for me to be myself and has been no different to me since I told him than before. Phew.

There was one very bad thing though - the sun, it disappeared at the farthest point from the office and we got wet in the rain!