Sunday, 30 March 2014

Man in a Skirt - Some of my Activities Over the Last Eight Weeks

Firstly, the barn conversion is still very prominent in my life but more on that shortly. What has The Skirted Man done since my last blog. As usual I do not provide a day by day diary but a synopsis of events. I am skirted, or to satisfy some within society, wear women's clothing, whenever I am either not involved within my self employed work or doing serious DIY at home.

We have had visits from friends and yes I do go out an about with them in public whilst skirted. They have no issue. Been within our own immediate locality and to places like Ripon, Harrogate down into Lancashire to name a few further away from home location. When not in my work clothes I do pop down to our local village to collect weekly local paper and the Radio Times in a skirt. I'm sure some take exception when I'm out and about but am I bothered. No. Lets put it this way, how many consult me or ask my feelings about what they wear or what they do. They don't, especially women who if any one is to make it know to me about my dress code via body language and looks, which isn't often, it is mostly women, and the modern women at that.

Over the last 8 weeks I have been to opticians in a skirt, taken my wife to hospital for periodic consultations, yes I was skirted and went to a restaurant that ranks in equal first place with another for us, some 1.5 hours drive away to celebrate achieving a milestone on the barn conversion and as always when we dine out I was skirted. Been to a favourite pub of ours in the Harrogate area as well. We attended Ripon Cathedral 4 times over this period, three of which were to organ recitals. The cathedral arranged these to celebrate the completion of the recent overhaul of the organ. Both myself and my wife love to hear a church organ played, especially if very well and these three organist were very talented. Yes I was skirted, but out of the three sessions I was only aware of three who raised eyebrows, but do you know what, apart from me and  my wife we only saw three other women, on separate recitals in skirts. The others wore jeans, trousers, trainers, chunky shoes, chunky jumpers/tops etc. I therefore felt at ease simply because I hadn't crossed dressed because skirts etc are not the main wear for women these days especially going to social events as it is jeans/trousers the same items they expect men to remain in. You can check out my thoughts on men in skirts at my web site www.theskirtedman.eu.

I have not put any updated photos of me skirted in public on my web site for a few months now. Most places we go to like dentist, opticians, food shopping etc are not convenient to photograph. Like Recitals at Ripon Cathedral. Also my wife is a little self conscious taking such photos so I'm afraid you will just have to accept what I write. Photos on my web site skirted in public are as far as I'm concerned proof that I do. This blog has one or two of me at work and as the summer progresses I'll see if I can get some more public skirted photos.

I have added one or two items to my website www.theskirtedman.eu on various pages, even two on 29th March on the Initial page and My Observation page. Very active on Twitter @TheSkirtedMan keeping my session to no more than 45 to 60 minutes Monday to Friday evening, occasionally at a weekend if I have a few minutes. Twitter doesn't dominate my life as I say in my blog 2nd February 2014. I search man in a skirt and men in skirts and post replies to those I feel warrant a response from me. I post occasional tweets generally on topics supporting the non-recognition of Domestic and/or Sexual Violence towards men and other rights of men that I feel are ignored within an era of equality and equal rights for all. I do not doubt the same applies just as much to women but these days I feel society and the media are obsessed with womens equality to a point men in certain quarters are now discriminated against. Firstly this makes the matter for men the same as what women had a few years/decades back  and secondly how can you have equality when a group or groups are discriminated or disadvantaged. I believe in TRUE EQUALITY for all, not specific gender bias. I'll not get on a soap box here, this is not the purpose of my blogs on this blogger platform. The purpose is to let those who think a man in a skirt is odd, freak, queer etc, to know that actually apart from the skirt I am no different to the vast majority of humans. I save my soap box on "political" issues for blogs written by others on specific issues that I occasional search for under men in skirts, feminism etc or occasionaly via my site. This area on my site has a few pages but I do intend to rejig my site and create a specific section on Feminism and the Rights of Men to sit along side my current main area men in skirts. This will take a bit of time, time I do not have at the moment due to the barn conversion work but it is in mind. At the moment I consider what spare time I have after work, friends and social events that I promote men in skirts.

Barn conversion. This is really progressing but the last two weeks I have taken it a little bit more sedately but will from this week step up to the intense pace.
I needed to  ease a bit as being hard at the barn 7 days a week mostly since mid November 2013 I started to flag. It started after the plasterer left site on 28th February 2014 having completed all plaster work. Whilst he was here I made it my goal to keep a head of him at all times making sure all preparatory work was done so as not to delay him. The odd time he did catch me up he would have a day or 2 day job elsewhere which allowed me to pull away again. Although I, including my wife were possible, continued with on going jobs the intense pressure to achieve goals wasn't there so  my body started to relax a bit and tiredness came on. Going slower and easier allowed batteries to recharge and now I feel that I have the power to push the enthusiasm. This  tiredness didn't hep as I pointed on my own the entire west gable of the barn conversion. I telephoned the scaffolders in mid February assuming they would put me on a list and say "see you in April" but they didn't. "We can put it up in two weeks time" is what I heard. That was to be the first week of March. March is not always ideal for pointing due to rain and frost but I didn't delay them knowing that the price included a 6 week period and the owner of the firm said it would be extended if the weather continued as it had been for the UK, very wet and windy. It was raining the day they put it up and slight wind but the forecasters were predicting high pressure, sun and much warmer temperatures by the weekend, only 3 days away. Could it be possible. Well it was and for 7 days here we had warm dry settled conditions, in fact later that following week I would end two days of working on the gable sat on the scaffolding with a lager watching the sun set behind the hills.

On 24th March I took delivery of a Septic Tank that turns the waste into grey water. They say you can drink it but I'll pass on that. In fact everyone says the same. I could install a tank but I do not have the equipment to do so so I approached a local builder that  was happy to step in for me utilising my time and experience to work along side the two men dispatched to do the job. I didn't have to wait long either for the building firm to come on site, two weeks. At the time of this blog, the tank is in the garden wall rebuilt having been taken down for access and the ground being re-established. Monday 31st March should see the completion but the garden level needs raising due to the height of the outlet pipe accessing the former soak away of the two former barns. 5 tons of soil already in, 6 more tons coming Monday 31st March. I do not have photos of myself helping the tank installation for this blog. It is known locally about my skirt wearing and obtaining professional services where I need it is not a problem, including no ill effect on my self employment. In fact that has grown and replacement clients due to the loss of others either moving out of the area or unfortunately due to death. I have never had to advertise my self employment business. My reputation is obviously sufficient. I did not think it was right to place other direct individuals within my life who are providing a service here or on my web site. It is not the same as general photos in a public space. It's why it is neither thought of photos at hospitals, dentists, optician etc. I know 95% plus of this barn conversion is via my own hands and with my wifes support where possible.

With regards the barn itself, the plaster phase is completed. It is back to me and my wife only to continue. I have the electric circuits operational for heating and power circuits both upstairs and downstairs. The 11 upstairs  recessed ceiling lights in the bedrooms and landing are in place. They can come live once I have the en-suite electric accessories fitted like lights, shaver points extractor fans etc. All the upstairs plaster has been blinded white and my wife is now in the process of applying the colour coats. All the ceilings upstairs and the sloping section of the ceilings leading to the side walls are finished decorating wise. Once I and the builder have the septic tank finished this week I start building the 10 oak doors. I started one in between completing the pointing and starting work on the septic tank. It remains in complete due to organising and coordinating the septic tank project and other issues. Next week 84 meters of skirting board should arrive ready for me to miter and put in place. So, doors, skirting, En-suite/Shower room accessories including wash hand basins, toilets, with the completion of decorating is all that needs to be done.

We are not doing much preparation for our hopeful move to France. We did quite a bit when two successive Estate Agents said leave your barn at first fix i.e. before electrics, plumbing and plastering, let new owners have the opportunity to personalise  and one said you will be gone by the end of the summer the other said within 6 weeks. They denied it when 10 weeks had passed! We dropped the first, and the second when the latter said we should not finish the barn, it will become unsalable!  So here we are Spring 2014, new agent, no promises, staff earn salary via commission only by selling houses and fixed price all disbursements and fees included. No payment until completion of sale and nothing if we decide to drop them! We feel these people could be more proactive somehow. Having done a lot of research for France neither of us are doing anything to serious until we have a definitive buyer. It's pointless. Some evenings I'll do research on administration side of the move to see if anything has changed with regards rules and keep the information refreshed for us. My wife keeps talking to me in French which doesn't always go down to well when my mind is on other things like barn project management etc but I am aware that my French is poor, in fact very poor and at some point I will need to sit down and tackle it. But then we are back to time.

My activities apart from work are centered around serious DIY, walking the hills, seeing interesting towns and stately homes, as well as eating out, not frequently but enough to make the event still feel as though it is something different etc. I did have another interesting hobby which I moth balled in early 2013 due to the impending move and the work  needed to do in relation to it. It was managing savings via the stock market. Funds nothing like the big finance houses, but any surplus funds we had I invested myself, researched myself and would regularly return 20% pa. As this move seems to be lingering I may stop monitoring the assets and look more seriously at it. It was good fun. Yes  made mistakes but I also didn't. I got a lot of buzz out of it and it must have an even bigger adrenaline rush when dealing like the big investment houses do. Our pot is not big I'm a seasonal self employed gardener and my wife a recently retired administrator but I knew returns were better than banks/building societies and with having limited resources I didn't trust the finance industry so like other aspects of my life I taught myself. Now spring is here walking and visiting places will become active again but not until the barn is finished. We are not pub drinkers. Going out is for meals which we do do, either as a twosome or meeting up with friends. My wife is currently organising a meet for a meal with friends so another is in the pipeline. We do enjoy watching movies. Recently watched Captain Philips which we highly recommend. Acquired Gravity for £9.99 but verdict was 'crap'. Brilliant special effects but a 'crap' story line. Like everything in life we are all different in tastes and preferences and I'm sure many will like Gravity and not Captain Philips. Last night we watched Escape Plan and we both thought it was brilliant. Recently watched Paranoia and Thor 2, again both good. We have a varied film preference but do prefer thrillers and fast action. Neither of us are to bothered about car based films so Need for Speed is not on the list. Also watched over the last 8 weeks sci-fi  like Oblivion, very good and enjoyed Elysium but it is not a film we will watch again in a hurry. Others recently watched are Enders Game, highly recommend, and White House Down which we both thought was better in all aspects to Olympus has Fallen. Others including some from our DVD library have also been seen. These are our observations only and at no time do we ever expect others to fall into line, we accept we are all individuals with differing choices and preferences.

I'll try and come back before 8 weeks time and will see if I can get a newer up to date skirted in public photo bearing in mind convenience and practicality.