Saturday, 18 August 2018

Yet Another Period of Silence by The Skirted Man

March 2018. That surprised me when I logged on to here today (18th August). One month shorter than the last large gap! Had planned to do one at least fortnightly but time is short, busy and flies by.

Since March done many fell walks in Lake District, North Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. Last week 6 days in Scotland. Scotland I was trouser based for walking, not for other activities there, then skirted. The other fell walks has been a mixture of 4 different walking clubs or on our own. Most of our own walks I was skirted, the settled weather lent it self for that. I do not do club walks in a skirt. One or two photos have appeared on my Twitter account.

In Scotland only managed to get one high fell walk in due to weather. Day of travel and next day were good, so day 2 we got in Ben Lomond via Ptarmigan Ridge.
The next two days wet and very low cloud, so visited historic houses like Scone Palace, but on day 4 when we planned our 3rd high walk went to Edinburgh first thing to see Hopetoun and The House of the Binns and even the tops of the 3 Firth of Forth bridges were in cloud. Day 5 we did 12 miles from
the hotel taken in Arthurs Seat and its surrounding lower summits and visiting Gladstone's Land on the way back. Shower day and a little concerned for the evening and the prebooked Edinburgh Tattoo but it was a very calm dry and warm evening. Day 6, travel home but went to see The Georgian House first. Apart from the two fell walks I was otherwise skirted.

Also had 5 days in Cambridge and surrounding area in May. That week was a tourist week, where we chill out and not do what is standard for us. Visited numerous historic houses, Anglesey Abbey, Walpole Estate, Audersley End House, Ickworth and other places like Ely and Cathedral along with Bury St Edmunds. Skirted the entire week, all times including Ely Cathedral tower. Caulke Abbey as we returned.

Had two days in Northumberland in June meeting friends who were holidaying their so climbed The Cheviot and 8 miles in temperatures of around 28 degrees. Even at 5 pm the car was showing 25. Next day Holy Island for the friends which was very good. See fret in the morning created great shadows and erie effect around the buildings with weak sunlight but the
tide came in for 1 and was not to go out until 6.30. We were on the island by 10.30 with hundreds of people. By 1 pm it was deserted, including the cafes only a handful or so of tourists left so the castle and walk around the island was even better for us. Weather by early afternnon weas blue sky and sunshine. Back at the car park for about 5pm, if 10 cars were there that was it so we hit a beer garden for the next hour or so waiting for the tide to go out. I was skirted all the time. Had a walking skirt on for The Cheviot and a non fell walking skirt for Holy Island. Evenings, skirted.

Any hassle on our 3 holiday excursions whilst skirted was no different to ususal. Most carry on, many intereact in conversation, a few momentary stares, and a few who make it known they find it amusing. One or two very obvious rebukes, like tossing of head backs and tutting but they only happened in places I tend to expect, religious buildings and one or two National Trust properties and not by visitors, actual representatives. I always get at National Trust properties some element of negativity from one or two of its representatives, mostly nudging each other and pointing, or you can tell by their body language and peeping around door ways or obsticles between us both with the occassional smirks. At two properties two volunteers refused to speak to me, one in 2017 and one in 2016 when I approached so on the second occassion I complained and on the day I was allowed to speak to senior management. That was in 2017. This year on our way back from Cambridge whilst at Caulke Abbey,
two NT officials made it very obvious of negative chatter of me as I passed but even though I turned it was denied. I made a formal representation to head office on this one as they were Confestival attendees and the National Trust Confestival is where the NT promotes its diversity and inclusion policy that it publicly promotes. 99% of the time at NT properties it is just body language from one or two officials but most of its officials are absolutely fine. I have recently brought this to Head Offcie attention again as an item of concern rather than complaint because I can go to historic house association
properties and have not a tweak out of any official representative and will intereact professionally. Same in Scotland even the National Trust for Scotland yet these do not trumpet publicly as intensely as The National Trust does about diversity and inclusion so I tend to make the occassional noise in their direction. Most religious representtives are fine, even the volunteers but yes a minority will make body language and gestures to know that they disapprove. At Ely Cathedral one volunteer tossed her head back and tutted which then generated other response from her tour group. Our tour group were fine and our guide and he replied, ignore her she is very set in her ways and tuts and most things. Coach parties are another area where one or two smirk, point etc and that is because they have an audience with them of fellow travellers so it can trigger a small chain reaction. It happens at the Hall I volunteer at with coach parties. Most go by, talk to you, but one will find it amusing and tas or nudges their companion or friend  who does the same. as always as soon as they know you know they stop and quickly turn to carry on as was. They never have the courage to say it to you. With my volunteering I usually have the last laugh as often those who have that negativity often have to speak to me as quite often a question is asked that my team feel I am more suited to answer. aslo the team note it at times themselves and will ask me to reply. Very rarely a visitor to our Hall will question me to one of my colleagues and get quite a suprise when my colleague ask them what is the problem but the best is with my wife. Elsewhere in the Hall she can get asked or if we are slightly separated as visitors elsewhere she will over hear a third party pass a private comment and her stock reply is, excuse, thats my husband you are talking about. Then watch them squirm or try to explain they were not actually saying it. Typical human nature.

I will stress any mild negativity is a small minority and nobody to date has ever challenged me directly to my face but if an offical is clearly unprofessional then I do say something officially but that has only been 5 times since 2011, four NT and one English Heritage.

Had one or two meals out when not on holiday, as usual all OK, a few minor glances but nothing to get uperty about, theater, seen Black Dyke Brass Band at both a theater and Cathedral. Our summer music society is as always, some people chat, some don't but then that happens in all walks of life.

No DIY done at home. We have had a very good summer here in the UK. Cold long winter, Spring came in April very warm followed by a breif spell of snow again but by end of April we started on what was to be a long dry and hot spell. It finally broke in early August and this last week been fairly wet. So we have made the most of it.

I continue my tweets promoting men in skirts as and where and I also actively promote it in real life. Any would be men in skirts reading this I do strongly recommned to do so. I mention the small minority of idiots because that is life. You get idiots in other aspects of your life for other reasons. It is a small minority and the reason why I make more of an issue with the National Trust is purely because as a  vounteer for them I know their internal ethos and they also push out into the public arena their support of diversity and inclusion. Remember, except for most fell walking, DIY and gardening I am skirted at all other times, including, doctors, hospitals, dentists even car purchase, service and repair. The more men who do this the more "normal" it becomes, that is how society judges "normal". Most humans cannot see beyond their own nose end and everything is what they want or expect not for others so stand your ground and be yourself.

Very shortly I am doing 2 weeks Jury Service which I am not looking forward too. I hear to many times you sit around and don't get called up. Sitting around for me is something I do not do. Will I be skirted, well I am going to make a few calls with officials, not on that aspect but for layout, parking etc. You hear of instances when Jury memebers are approached by outsiders and seeing me in a skirt in court makes me an obvious recogniseable target so I am at the moment going to er on the side of caution and blend in rather than appear to make a statement. Will let you know if I do go skirted.