Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Haymaking, Hafod Fach 1984

This is the 1980s, or at least a little bit of the 80s. You can tell because it's black and white, and there's a CND sticker on the back door of the van.

Well, you'll have to take my word about the CND sticker.

Time passes; one of those people is dead, and where this whole farm was is now a big hole in the ground.

Time passes.

I played a game of Trivial Pursuit the other evening; it was a 1987 edition, so we were all frequently flummoxed by some of the popular culture questions, about TV shows of the time, that sort of stuff.

On the other hand, I was surprised at how much information I'd retained...

Talking last night with some old friends, whom I knew from back then and who, if they ever did live in black and white (I don't think they did), are definitely in full technicolour now. We discussed comedy programmes, among other things, and I remembered that I know very little about modern TV culture, as I Don't Watch TV. And listening to Radio 2 on the way over to them, I'd already realised that I was completely out of touch with modern pop music. assuming that Radio 2 is in touch with modern music, anyway.

So, if I played a recent edition of Trivial Pursuit, I'd probably be even more hopeless than with the twenty year old one.

I'd not seen M for a couple of years. He asked if I'd changed much since I started taking hormones and living as a woman; developed an interest in having lots of cushions about the place, that sort of thing. I had to admit that things haven't really changed that much in the way I live. As in, in a permanent state of disorder. I know I have changed, though; but there are things that you just don't notice, or get used to and forget that they were once different. I remember initially being almost overwhelmed at the intensity of sensations a short while after starting to take hormones; the sun felt so warm on my face, colours were so vivid, my emotions were all over the place... it was quite wonderful. I just feel normal these days, so normal that a lot of the time I forget how unhappy I was before...

Not that I'm free of bothers, of course; talking with friends yesterday, on two occasions I introduced a seafaring anecdote, and then beat myself up about it afterwards... I don't want to have to consciously modify either the way that I talk or the subjects that I talk about, but sometimes it feels just plain wrong. Apart from the ship stuff itself, there was the immersion in an all-male environment. And men do talk differently to women. Like, conversations that are mostly exchanges of information.

Was I different before I packed my bag and flew off to join my first ship, back in 1982? -I think so. Can I forget the past? -No, and I don't know that I want to, either. Can I unlearn behaviour? -I really hope so.

I've been looking backwards quite a bit lately, still sorting out stuff in my head from the messy business at P&O and the Tribunal that followed it. I need to move on. And oh, how I want to.