Saturday, 27 July 2013

Man in a Skirt at Weddings, Stately Homes, North & South England

Since my last blog, theskirtedman has been very active in a skirt. With the exception of my self employment work, everything has allowed me to be skirted over the last 3 weeks. Our social calender since July 5th to now has been very hectic and we are both quite pleased it is from tomorrow calming down to our usual low key level. So why has July 2013 been so different.

Well it started on the 5th July with our trip to the Pompeii exhibition in London as referred to in my last blog, but the following two weekends were no different as they were a 4 day long weekend for myself and my wife, allowing only three day in the in between weeks to keep on top of my gardens before dashing off again.

The subsequent weekend, 13th July was at a friends 30th wedding anniversary. Apart from our friends and their two children as far as we were aware no one else knew of my skirt wearing. The thing is, everybody in our immediate personal lives, doesn't make an issue of it, life carries on as it always has. The initial brief discussion in the early days was never an interrogation, but so what, it's modern life, women wear trousers etc, etc.  The party went well. One young woman, very early twenties made it very clear she objected as I was ignored but my wife not, but by the end of the evening she was very much different. Why, well as nobody talks about my skirt wearing I'm not to sure but she may have been talked to by her parents but she may have also seen the huge number of others who talked and chatted to me throughout the evening. Those that I talked to were not in the slightest bit bothered. It was very obvious by body language apart from anything else even if some, many or even all perhaps didn't understand but as I say on my website www.theskirtedman.eu we all have traits that others do not understand but just get on with life. With regards the others I didn't talk to, well I didn't detect any pointing, laughing etc.  Out of all the men I was the only man skirted, perhaps no surprise, but as it was a party all the women were in their dresses and skirts, again no surprise, except one. She was in jeans, so I didn't feel left out!

This weekend was made into a 4 day event. Travelling south to Colchester area on the Friday, the Saturday before the party we went to the Beth Chatto gardens in Colchester and Melford Hall near Long Melford in Suffolk. At Melford Hall, a female National Trust representative complimented me on my outfit and said how nice it was to see a man being an individual. At the end of the visit we met this same woman again but this time her young female colleague also acknowledged my attire in an approving way. The Sunday we spent with my wife's cousin who lives down south, although aware of my skirting activities, it was the first time seen personally. The Monday ahead of collecting the two dogs in the early evening we went via Wallington Hall, near Morpeth in Northumbria. We had no problems at any event. Some gave quick glances as if to check they had seen right, but you could count on one hand once again others who would point and only one woman laughed. This was at Wallington Hall, a large school party was there, two or three young children made reference loudly to their pals but were told to respect others, however one woman be it a teacher/helper had to laugh. Just as you expect, and again no different to when I went out and about in trousers people would talk as and when events happened that would stimulate a conversation. I recall three people laid out on the lawn of Wallington Hall, talking very loudly suddenly stopped as we passed by and their faces were a picture,and followed me silently like solar panels moving with the sun.

I do not doubt many may not understand but 99.99999% of people just continue with life. You are only talking about a handful who will make their distaste known but they do not seem to realise that everybody has a similar action to others from time to time, nobody is perfect in everyone's eyes and we all do things that others may not understand and not just choice of clothing either.

The following weekend was at our friends sons wedding at Stubton Hall near Newark. We went down on the Friday via Lincoln and had no problem in Lincoln as we went to the Cathedral, the Bishops former residence and the old streets. Newark on the Saturday morning was even better and at the wedding, afternoon/evening all was OK even though we had only met around 13 of the guests before, and only 4 of them skirted. At weddings people tend to stick to their own groups and that was the same here, but my wife and I talked to other quests that we didn't know and others talked with us. The following day we were en-route to see a college friend of my wife's whom we see every so many years and we were in their area. We went via Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield. This event was as expected when I go out and about skirted in public. Spontaneous conversations start up with others as is part of life, staff are all fine, others go about their own activities, the odd glance but nothing to report. However, as we left, it is a longish walk to the car park area and this was about 3 pm as we wanted to go to Stainsby Mill, nearby, an actually working corn mill powered by water. Heading back to the car we passed four separate groups and all four made it clear that I was a form of entertainment to them. Nothing said directly but without appearing to stereotype all the women even though the groups were separated in time, wore jeans, trainers, baseball caps, some had a manly appearance, many had tattoos but none of them looked at all in any shape or fashion as a traditional woman, but to them I was different, odd, queer etc so laughs, pointing and chatter took place. The men again without appearing stereotyping had short hair, the "he-man" image etc. We carried on, met our friends in the evening and enjoyed our lives as we want to, just as the four groups were. Stainsby Mill was very interesting, manned by 4 male volunteers and one female. Being a actual old working mill with open slat stair case and looking at the mechanism no one was in the lightest bit bothered, or certainly showed no concern, from either visitor or National Trust representative and certainly nobody made any attempts to make me feel uncomfortable. We had long conversations with three NT representatives, one on my own outside.

The Monday returning again to collect the dogs in the early evening we went via Benningbrough Hall near York and had no problem. Quite a few visitors and staff would talk to us, banter etc and queuing to go in in the morning we had a long conversation with a couple. Two women and a man thought I was amusing when they saw me on my own (my wife and I do wander around these places separately at times) and they were the only obvious ones. They had a different attitude when they saw me later talking to two women, even though one was my wife, but they were not to know. You see, Society judges people to often without knowing the facts about either the person or the situation. You do not judge a book by its cover, but by its contents.

This last week it was business as usual for theskirtedman, garden clients (not skirted) weekly shop and my wife's 6 monthly checkup at the hospital for her eyes. Yesterday we had a day in the Lakes as we both like the atmosphere of the PotFest, held at Hutton in the Forest near Penrith. 100 potters from Europe display their wears and we noted prices from £8 to £1500. It is not standard pottery but very fine detailed and technical pottery. Animals are very life like to a point our dogs thought the pot rabbit was a rabbit! We moved on quickly. Another stall had items around the home but in pottery but very life like. You get the usual quota of plates dishes planters etc but again not the run of the mill style. The live music, the grounds etc do for us make it a good day out. I had the odd glance but that was it but just as I have noted many many times this summer, the men in the traditional trousers, shirts, socks shoes all looked hot and at times sweaty. Me, I was cool and I have been told by some from time to time and was at Benningbrough Hall, with the remark "you look cool as well". Some men were lose T-shirts or similar styles, shorts and sandals, their choice, but I have never like shorts or to go topless, and skirts for me in the summer are the ideal choice. It is down to one's preference. I do find it interesting to note what others look like and wear themselves when they stare or the odd ones that pass the obvious comment but never at me. They may not understand but then I don't understand them at times from what I witness and see.

I've had interesting tweets both made and received but they can be seen @theskirtedman on twitter. 

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