Clearing the Air
The short stretch from the cold garage was a careful series of meandering right and left turns through overgrown decaying foliage and the path was barely visible until it straightened out back to the house. Sauntering along it struck me how the garden was so drab and overlooked and how the small pond was now dry and lifeless. I didn’t know it then, but this was an ominous sign of things to come.
Hugging a hot mug of tea I stood by her as she rinsed the last of the cutlery while the rain and wind battered the window more intensely. Mum gave me the familiar sideways glance that spoke volumes…and without looking dropped a handful of cutlery on the shiny metallic draining board making me jump as it clattered. Sensing that she was about to explode into a rage, I quickly left for the bathroom, but the door was locked. I took a seat next to Dennis reading the teletext news instead. She followed me into the lounge and I couldn’t escape her outburst, but she was right:
|Image courtesy of stock.adobe.com|
|Image courtesy: stock.adobe.com|
“Yes, I have to do this now…there’s no future left for me here in Brid' - I need a new start”, I affirmed.
Many things have to be thought about and check-listed before we leave…so much to do.
I accepted my situation was between a rock and a hard place and the hardplace here was a cold concrete floor, which if I wanted to live-on for the next fortnight would take some sorting out.
Somehow I managed to get the old furniture and things moved to one side giving Alice and I enough room to sleep and to store what was left of my belongings.
Ordering the Kit
When I open the box at first sight it looks good, but when I assemble the trailer I’m disappointed in the quality of the base fabric...which is thin, but not waterproof and sags and is too close to the ground when I add weight onto it.
Also there’s no support to hold the weight under the fabric at the base of the trailer.
|Not the actual cycle and trailer...but you get the idea|
It’s a two man Vango™ and it appeared OK after I erected it in the back garden and checked the zips - it looks sturdy.
The tow-bar connection was tricky at first but eventually found the best method of securing it correctly to the frame of this budget bicycle.
The five mile test with trailer felt heavy and sluggish and I was surprised how much extra effort it took to build momentum with it.
You Can Choose Your Friends...“Why are there always issues with you Hilary?” I heard from another room. “Why can’t you sort your life out and be normal and settled like everyone else!” continued Grandad in an impatient patronising tone.
“It’s the story of my life Grandad” I said briefly for fear of being accused of being disrespectful if I said anymore.
It now seems inevitable that I am making this trip…it’s a risk, a big risk for many reasons, least of all because it’s Winter and I’m on a very tight budget, but mostly because I am a transsexual woman and this makes even more vulnerable.
I am not naive and don’t take dangerous risks, but the wrong place and time can change things very fast. I believe I am ready for almost anything and the end goal will be one hundred percent worth it…I can sense it. I must be brave and make the effort.
|The author at home in Bridlington in 2007 - (four years after the change change operation)|
Every family has its scapegoat, but I refuse to totally give up on them for the sake of mum, despite the quarrels and being scolded for asking where my Dad was since they split when I was four. It’s not been easy for my brother either, but that’s another story.
Dennis is far from the easiest to please either and the most pig stubborn in his views and ways, but he has been good to mum and grandad. He dislikes it when I am at the house because I open all the windows to let the smoke out and as he knew I hated smoking he couldn’t wait for me to be gone. J
The University of St Andrews, Scotland.
The Dept.of International Relations is located to the left of the building on the first floor.
Anyway, Dennis is not a bad man at all and I prepared myself mentally to put any negative emotions I had of the family and go forward with a new attitude.
Perhaps she’s finally accepted my gender change is right for me and that Leo and Bree are partly responsible for my circumstances.
Anticipation at all Levels
Between packing and cups of tea and meals I had time to think - what went through my mind and body was fear.
I kept questioning if I was doing the right thing, if we’d be OK and if we’d get by without much money.
What I fear may happen to me
This was mainly my fault for not saving much, but I had bitten the bullet and tomorrow morning we were leaving.