The News Page 20


Saturday 17th May 2014

Enigma Ball: Milton Keynes


I usually have a few months off from going out in the New Year, with the usual plans of getting fit, losing weight and saving money none of which usually happens. This year redundancy at work was also thrown into the mix, and at the end of January it finally happened.

Luckily I managed to get something else lined up and after two weeks at home, I was able to start my new job. However initially the new job entailed me travelling a bit and even spending four days away from home each week, so spending a Saturday night out dressed was not fair. After about two months I only had to stay away every other week, so a night out was ok.
Jodie had mentioned about a Ball, and it seemed like a good idea, something different from the usual club nights. As it was a Ball I needed to get a new dress and something long. I had been told about a nearby shop and so emailed them about visiting and trying on dresses. I got a reply almost instantly and agreed that I could visit. They had some lovely dresses on the website, but when I went to the shop they had even more stunning dresses. After trying on about half a dozen, I finally settled on a full length blue dress.

On the day of the Ball, I had to drive to Milton Keynes, which in my old car I would have been very wary, but one thing I managed to get after the redundancy was a new car, so the trip was enjoyable. On previous visits to Milton Keynes I had stayed in Campanile Hotel, which could be best described as cheap. This time we were staying at the Hilton which is built within the Milton Keynes Dons football stadium. Unfortunately my room over looked the retail park rather than the pitch, but when I went to grab a beer and sandwich I was able to view the pitch.

Jodie set up her makeup station in her room which was also overlooking the pitch and I was to glance at the match taking place whilst being made over. Jodie did a great job as always and once the makeup was done, I was able to return to my room for a few hours, even managing to sleep propped up, before getting dressed. The new looked great, the only problem was that it was so long that I almost tripped on the hem.

It was a short taxi ride from the hotel, to the Ball venue, which was being held in a local golf club, there were still some golfers finishing off as we arrived and we got a few strange looks. We indulged in a few Gin and Tonics outside before going inside for the meal. As I always write these reports months after the event I cannot remember what we had to eat. I can remember meeting a few new gurls who were on our table which was great.
Once the meal was finished more bottles of red wine were purchased and drinking continued long into the night, a few people did take to the dance floor, but my feet remained firmly rooted. Around 2am it was time to go home, although some brave souls decided they were going to go onto another club.

Wednesday 23rd July Trannyshack

Over the years I have rarely bothered with going out mid week, usually after coming home from work, I can’t be bothered to shave and get made up. However with my change of job I was now working from home every other week, so took the opportunity of seeing what the mid week Tranny scene is all about.

Jodie was having one of her regular trips to Trannyshack, which takes place inside Madam Jo Jo’s in the middle of Soho and I agreed to go along. I drove over to Jodie’s so it was going to be a sober night my first weekday adventure. There was only one other person going on the outing an Irish gurl called Simone, who turned out to be a bit lively. I wore a sparkly skirt and top for the night, with a pair of very uncomfortable heels.
Before going to the cub we had something to eat in Balans, been a few years since I had been here, but it was still as friendly as always and the food was good. I suppose it was getting on for midnight when we took the short walk to the club. As we went into the club, Jodie stayed back to talk to a friend and Simone put her coat into the cloakroom, I made my way to the bar, but before I could get my money out a guy offered me a drink. I was surprised that I still had it in me, and so quickly. I gave him my best smile and declined his offer.

Once Jodie and Simone had returned, we had a bit of a tour of the club and then got ourselves a position to watch the show. Rather than the usual Drag Queen show, we had a burlesque shoot which included a dancer and an acrobat. Once the show was over we mingled a bit more and even got to meet someone who had appeared in the recent television programme Drag Queens of London.
There was a second bar next to Madam Jo Jo’s and Simone decided we should have a look in there, unfortunately this bar was playing even more loud dance music, so we made a hasty retreat. Around 3am the club started winding down and we took a cab back to Jodie’s and then I drove home.

Wednesday 8th October

Photo Shoot

After a few years absence I decided to return to the Boudoir for my photo shoot.

The weekend before I managed to get my hair highlighted, and also made a waxing appointment. I had spoken to Jodie and I had told her on my plans for the shoot, in my mind I had picked out the four outfits I was going to wear, but decided to pack a few extra outfits.

After unpacking my clothes it was time to start the hair and makeup. I had asked for big curly hair so to begin with I had to suffer the heated curlers. Most of them went in fine, but there is usually one that is troublesome and has to be redone and you end up with those pins being poked in your head. After a bit of messing about Jodie was able to start the makeup and I was able to sit back and relax. About an hour later the makeup was done, but we decided to leave the curlers in a bit longer.
By this time Jodie’s father Mike who is the photographer had arrived and because we had not seen each other for a few years we spent a bit of time catching up on events. It was then time to take all of the curlers out of my head, style my hair and get into my first outfit of the day.

Outfit 1

My first outfit was a leopard print dress that I teamed this up with flesh coloured tights, black shoes and silver jewellery. It must be about a dozen photo shoots I have done over the years, but I am still terrible at posing and smiling, luckily I had Jodie and Mike the other side of the camera to help with this.

Outfit 2

This was a red 1950s polka dot dress; I kept the flesh tights, but changed to red shoes. I also put on the big white petticoat. We wanted to show as much of the dress as possible in this section so, a lot of the poses were sitting down. I think I had managed to smile or was a snarl in some of this sets pictures.

Outfit 3

Change time again, the flesh tights got there third outing of the day, and I put on my long blue dress. I also put on some silver heels and some sparkly jewellery. By now I was getting the hang of the poses that were being suggested and was relaxing a bit more.

Outfit 4

Time for the final outfit and the plan was for a black corset and stockings. Having put on the corset and starting to lace it up, Jodie said it did not fit correctly and was doing nothing for my figure. So back into the dressing room, next black dress for the final outfit.

It took a bit of time to do the final pictures, as we tried a few on the chair, then a few on the floor, eventually Mike was happy with them and the shoot was over. It was then time to take off all the clothes and make up, and throw everything back into the case, ready to hit another traffic jam going home.

Wednesday 26th November

Balans and Shadow Lounge

After enjoying the previous weekday event, I managed to build up enough hours to take a flexi day and decided to go out again. Two of Jodie’s clients had challenged each other to some drinking competition and so I decided to go along and see how things panned out.

I had decided that for a change I was going to wear shorts with lacy tights, but could not find a top to go them, so decided I’d go to Oxford Street before going to Jodie’s. I managed to get two tops from Warehouse, so had time to grab a pint and sandwich. I managed to find a quiet pub near Selfridges and settled down; sitting next to me was a guy using a laptop watching American football. He turned to look at me and said hello, and I recognised him from Sky sports American football coverage. He was a really nice guy and we had a ten minute chat about American football and I ended up with his autograph. At one point he had asked me where I was going, when I said a party, he said “it must be a good one if you have a suitcase with you “. If only he knew.

Once my pint and sandwich were eaten, I said my goodbyes and set off for the Boudoir. As seems to be the way I was one of the first ones to get there, which is great as I can get made up and then just chill out and take my time getting ready. As I was sitting there the other gurls started arriving, and although I knew a few of them most were new to me.

Eventually everyone one was here and I finally managed to find a slot in the changing rooms , the shorts and tights looked good and I put on a red top that I had got that afternoon. After about 25 minutes in the changing room I was ready to hit the town. Before going out the compulsory round of pictures took place.

It was then time to get into the cabs and drive to Balans, not sure which route our guy took, but we ran into a demonstration near Trafalgar Square and we had to wait whilst they marched along the streets. The second taxi which left 16 minutes after us managed to avoid this and got there before us. As always it’s a couple of months after the event when I do these write ups, so can’t remember what I had to eat, but am sure there were a few Gins to wash it down.
We then walked round the corner to the Freedom Bar, where we were not let in as we were not on a nonexistent guest list. So we walked across the road to the Shadow Lounge, it was a pretty small place pumping out the type of music that I hate. There were a cross section of people there including bearded trannies and a group of girls who came straight from a shopping trip, just dumped their bags on the small dance floor and proceeded to dance round them.
I ended up in a long conversation with a guy from New Zealand, who kept telling me how he was going to miss clubs like this when he returned back home. The other problem with the bar was there was nowhere to sit. There was a seated area, but it was roped off. Eventually our friend from New Zealand got fed up with this and pulled the rope down and we sat down.

At one point in the night two of our group went back to the Freedom Bar and were allowed in, as we thought there was no guest list. Around 3am we started winding down and managed to get cabs back to Jodie’s and then home.

Saturday 20th December

Soho Hotel and Way Out Club

So another year was drawing to an end, and as usual Jodie had a few events to attend. I didn’t really fancy a drive to Milton Keynes so decided to do the London event. A few weeks before I had visited my favourite dress shop and got two dresses for the event, and had also had a trip to Westfield Stratford to get new shoes and a bag so I was ready to party.

In my earlier photo shoot I had my hair curled, the curlers had been in for two hours, and Jodie told me that if I left them in longer we would get a better look. So I volunteered to be one of the first to be made over so that I could sit in curlers for 6 hours. Once the makeup was done, the painful process of putting in the curlers began. Most are ok, but you get the occasional one that goes right into your head and bloody hurts. It must have taken Jodie a good 30-45 minutes to get them all in. I then had to sit there with a headscarf on for 6 hours.

As everyone came in to get their makeup done I was getting various comments about my fancy headgear. I was happy just to sit there and chill out for a few hours before getting ready. Eventually it was my turn to get ready, and hit a bit of a problem trying to get a tight dress over a head full of curlers. At one point I was stuck, and did want to pull too hard to pull the curlers out, but succeeded in smudging my makeup. Luckily Jodie was able to repair this after she took the curlers out.

It was finally time for the first taxi to leave to get to the Soho hotel where the meal was taking place. For a Saturday night just before Christmas, the traffic was not too bad and we made good progress. As usual when entering a public restaurant we get plenty of stares, but hey there they should be used to it by now. With the two taxi system in operation the first group has to sit and wait in the restaurant for the second group and on this occasion it was a bit of a long wait. Eventually they arrived and we could order our food and start eating, again my memory is a bit vague on what exactly I did order , but it was good and did enjoy a few glasses of red wine with Tess.

Between courses Fiona and I nipped outside to the foyer to take a few pictures, one because there is a giant cat in the foyer and two, I needed to send pictures to the dress shop. I had forgotten my camera, but at the moment I am still waiting for the pictures from Fiona.

After paying for the bill, it was time to get cabs and head off to the Way Out Club, the club has changed venues a few times over the years and now it alternates between Mary Janes and a pub called the Minories. It was the turn of the Minories, and I must admit I really did not like the venue. I just felt cramped, there was hardly anywhere to sit, and the bar area was just full of Tranny Chasers.

This meant every time you tried to get a drink you had to fight through a big crowd, I walked around the club and saw the dance floor and bumped into another friend, and went outside to where we could hear ourselves speak. It was her first visit there and she was not impressed either. Although we could hear each other outside it was freezing cold and so went back inside quickly.

I did eventually manage to find somewhere to sit down, but it was very crowded and uncomfortable. Eventually at 3am, an hour early than advertised the lights went on, and we made our way firstly back to Jodie’s and then home.