On Saturday evening I spent a rather nice few hours with the wonderful Miss Sarah Lovely who I know via Flickr, who more than lived up to her adopted surname. If you haven’t visited her Flickr stream then be sure to do so as she is indeed, er, lovely.
Sarah and I have been meaning to meet up for a while, and on Friday night she emailed me saying that she knew it was short notice, but did I want to go to a Way Out club event at the Gilt Bar in London the following night (ie. Saturday).
I confess my initial reaction was mild panic, and I initially declined and then mentioned it on Facebook to my friends. Cue lots of friends telling me to “woman up, Princess” and to go for it. As the day wore on I became more and more resolved to go for it, although I was stressing about what to wear and how to do my makeup.
Eventually I settled on this dress, although I have to say that I wasn’t too keen on it and thought it made me look a little mumsy. Also lots of things went wrong whilst getting ready, including ripping my last pair of nude tights and having to wear a pair of black ones. Then stressing about the fact I didn’t have a handbag that matched. And also not being happy with my makeup as I was using gel eyeliner for the first time, and also tried to wear false lashes (which was a complete disaster and which I gave up on). In short, I was in a bit of a state of panic by the time I took this pic.
I estimated that I’d need to leave at 8.45pm to get there for 10pm, which was the time Sarah and I had agreed to meet there. I was slightly late setting off (by about 10 mins).
Now at this point I should make a brief aside and say that my venerable and much-loved HTC Desire-Z (with the flip-out keyboard) died just before Christmas. Something caused it to brick, and a factory reset and attempted console recovery bricked it further. Short of rooting it (which is notoriously difficult on this model) and installing a custom ROM on it, it’s dead. I’ve been trying to source the new Motorola Moto G as a replacement but it has proved difficult so far. I managed to source one from Amazon which I ordered on 18th December, and which was despatched on 19th and, under Amazon Prime membership, was “guaranteed” (sic) to arrive on 20th. However the courier was Yodel (you can see where this is going already). On Saturday 21st I contacted Amazon pointing out that the fact that Yodel’s tracking database was saying that it was “on schedule” for delivery on 20th was a little optimistic unless they had a time machine, since it hadn’t arrived. Over the following days it remained resolutely stuck “In Transit” at Yodel’s Reading depot, despite many platitudes from Amazon as to them trying to unstick it. Finally on 27th December I told Amazon it was an absolute joke whereupon they gave me an immediate refund and magically Yodel’s tracking database updated to “Returning to seller” almost immediately.
Still, at least Amazon extended my Prime membership by a month by way of apology, but that still leaves me without a smartphone.
Anyway, given the above, I was without a smartphone when setting off and hence without SatNav. But I had a cunning plan! I had my Nexus 7 tablet with me and had google maps on that, and hence I had navigation. And it was indeed a cunning plan, except for one small issue; I hadn’t offlined the maps before leaving the house and the N7 is Wi-Fi only. Bugger. And I was a good way down the M3 before I realised.
At this point I had a choice of turning back, or pressing on and buying an A-to-Z of London and doing it “old skool”. On reflection this was a mistake in some ways. But I had become rather bloody-minded about going by this point, and also Sarah had texted me to say that the other gurl who was going had cried off and if I wasn’t coming then she wouldn’t go either.
Well, to cut a very long
journey story short, I had a terrible journey. Once I got into London I got lost many times, found much of my route a Red Route with very few opportunities to pull in and consult the map, and when I could I frequently discovered I had gone wrong and was way off course, and my stress levels (and tears of frustration) grew and grew. I also ran into extremely heavy traffic round Picadilly Circus and got stuck there for ages. I sent many progress texts to Sarah which must have played out like a soap opera to her. By the time I arrived at the club and parked up it was around 11.15pm rather than the 10pm I was aiming for. And, to add insult to injury, admission after 11pm was £12 rather than £7.
Anyway, finally there, it was absolutely lovely to finally meet Sarah. Despite her protests I thought she looked amazing and, despite my protests, she said much the same for me. And also that I looked exactly like my Flickr pics (I think that was a compliment!)
I had been expecting a club, with very loud music, and little chance of talking. But actually it was a nice bar with opportunity to chat, but with a more noisy club-like room with dancing available for people who wanted it too. We spent most of the time in the quieter bar area, chatting, people watching, and just generally soaking up the atmosphere. We both agreed that we were mid-tier; by no means the worst there. But, oh my goodness, some of the t-girls there were simply stunning. The ones who were especially so were the Asian girls, although some had quite clearly had extensive surgical enhancement. But, still, fair play to them.
Sarah and I had a really nice evening, mostly talking (inevitably me more than her, since I have trouble shutting up), but eventually the clock wound round towards 1.45am and it was time to go.
The cloakroom at the club was a joke. We waited for ages for the lady in front of us to get her bag (she gave up in the end as she only wanted to put something into it), then waited ages for my coat, then even longer for Sarah’s coat, and as long again for her bag. We all felt a bit sorry for the girl in the cloakroom even though we also felt annoyed by her ineptitude. But finally we were away. I felt very embarrassed by the fact I don’t own a ladies’ overcoat, though, and had been forced to use a gentleman’s one. And I resolved to buy a ladies one when I could. But more on that next time.
Having ascertained that the slightly inebriated Sarah lived along the route that I would need to drive to get home, I offered her a lift home and we navigated ourselves past the throng of kind gentlemen offering us taxis home, and made it the short distance to my adorable little car. And then successfully navigated ourselves to Sarah’s place (which turned out to be exactly on my route home and within my local knowledge. Yay!). So, with my passenger seat suitably divested of adorable t-girl (and suitably invested with red glitter from her dress) I turned my wheels for home, hoping for a better journey back. Although my navigation was better, sadly the M3 was closed due to a major accident (I hope everyone was ok) and I had to track cross country to the A30 and make my way home that way. Fortunately I was on ‘home turf’ by then so no navigation needed. The only annoying thing is that I could so easily have stayed on the A3 route that dropping Sarah off took me to. It would have taken me via Guildford and then onto the Hog’s Back, but instead I chose to track up to the M3 with the inevitable unforeseen diversion. Oh well.
I finally made it home at around 3.20am (or thereabouts) and, after a brief time on Facebook to reassure friends that I was home safe and sound, I retired to bed. But before that, I needed to take my makeup off. 25 mins later I concluded one thing; gel eyeliner goes on like black shoe polish but is twice as hard to get off again. LOL.
I think I finally made it into bed at around 4am and then my stupid body clock woke me at 10am. Still, could have been worse.
Was it worth going? Hard to say. The effort expended was disproportionate, but overcoming the inner demons that so many times sought to make me give up was a major triumph. So, on balance, this is a win. Also, Sarah was great company and I so want to catch up again.
Did the dress work? I dunno. I guess it was pretty but I felt a little dowdy in it. I want something way more “me” next time. But I did get several compliments on it.
Finally I’d just like to say a ‘thank you’ to the lady who organises the “Way Out” meets. She made sure she circulated and greeted everyone, us included, and really made me feel like I was welcome there. Which was nice.
So if you are a t-girl (of any type) and fancy going to one of these events then I really encourage you to do so. They even have free changing facilities in case you want to go in guy mode and change there.
Find out more at www.thewayoutclub.com