Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Doomsday passes off rather well

Well, I saw Dr Perring at 2.00pm this afternoon, and what a nice chap he was. And his secretary, Christine, was equally pleasant: we had a chat both before and after.

I think it went all right. I had an hour with Dr Perring. We chiefly discussed my past life and the much more recent details of my transition; my historic experiments with female (or androgenous) clothing, jewellery and accessories; the nature and depth of my therapy sessions at various points; my current concerns and worries, which naturally centred on the unresolved relationship with my unhappy former partner M--- (I nearly got into tears there); and where I was going with my life. I answered frankly.

He didn't say at the end 'Oh well, you've sailed through that, no problem at all' but he did say he could keep the letter he'd be writing quite brief. I took brevity to be a good sign. And many hours later, I still feel the meeting will produce a letter that supports the surgery. I should see my copy in the next few days.

Then it was out into the falling snow, and a meet-up with my nephew M---. He demurred when his aunt suggested (first) a chat in a coffee house, and then (second) an early meal, all at her expense, but she insisted. After all, how often does an aunt get the chance to treat her nephew? (And it gave me the justification for treating my niece in the same way at the first opportunity) I hadn't seen M--- for months, and the whole thing was a pleasure. He was so easy with me. We ended up in the Regent Street branch of La Tasca for tapas, M-- drinking Coke, and myself enjoying a particularly nice Rioja. We talked and talked. Then, in even more snow, we made our way eastwards down Oxford Street to Tottenham Court Road, where we said au revoir - or was it hasta la vista? - with a kiss and a hug.

I then visited Covent Garden before heading back to Victoria Station. By then it was about 6:15pm, and as anticipated there was a long wait for an outgoing train. The worsening weather had made a shambles of the timetable. A dense crowd of edgy commuters had formed. I'd seen a lot of Police vans on the Strand, with officers in riot gear, and wondered whether they expected trouble from anxious homegoers! (Actually, demonstrating students must have been their target) Suddenly we were let through the ticket barrier. The trick then was to guess which train would depart first. All the platforms from 14 to 19 were occupied, but if you stood ready to sprint onto, say, platform 16, you'd probably be out of luck if the first train to leave was the one on platform 18. I was actually standing by platform 17 when an announcement was made, instantly drowned out by the baying of hundreds of stranded commuters. Everybody surged towards platform 19. I didn't hesitate. I hoicked up my long skirt and belted for that platform, ending up leading the howling pack by a short head. Playing it canny, I didn't go into any of the first carriages, where I'd have to fight for a seat, and might have to stand. I went halfway down the train before dodging into an almost-empty carriage, where I could choose a window seat facing the right way (I like to travel backwards). There was time to swap an ironic remark with a city gent, then the pack caught up, and in a twinkling the carriage was as crowded as any rush-hour Underground train, and believe me, they get very crowded indeed.

That wasn't the end of the story. The train went at a walking pace for much of the time, and I didn't reach Haywards Heath, where I'd left Fiona, till 9:15pm. I was so sorry for the people who'd had to stand all that way. I didn't get home till 9:45pm. Thank goodness I'd eaten with M---!


  1. Dear Lucy,

    Glad all went well.

    Reminds me of my days commuting by "GO" train into Toronto. Sometimes standing room only and alternating hot and cold in winter.


  2. I'm sure your visit with Dr. Perring went fine. When I did the psychiatrist thing, I was honest with them. But none of it fazed them. And I daresay their recommendation was correct. :)

    Hope you stay calm until you see the letter!

  3. Any visit to a shrink that doesn't result in being fitted for a straight jacket, being confined to a padded cell, or being strapped to a bed with an IV drip of Thorazine, is a good one!

    I knew you had nothing to worry about, Lucy. You may be a tad eccentric (Aren't we all?), but you certainly aren't mad. I'm looking forward to you posting your joy, over receiving that wonderful letter!

    Melissa XX

  4. Truly a day to remember. I never doubted that you would be well received by Dr Perring as you've already done so much to confirm that womanhood is right for you - so much so that one doubts how you could even have not been Lucy.

    The vision of you heading the pack down platform 19 is one that will stay with me for a long time! Perhaps not quite so ladylike?... but well done on winning the race.

  5. That's another tick on your list of things to do.

    I'd love to have seen you charging off with your skirt held high (not too high I hope)

    I bet you were glad to have a good nights sleep after all of your adventures.

  6. I had visions of a post about a disastrous day and no letter forthcoming but only because of the weather. We all know that it only takes a few snow flakes in the air to bring the system to a halt so it was a miracle that you got there at all and that you were not left standing all night on a stranded train trying to return. Health and safety rule everywhere except on trains!

    Had no fears about you charming the shrink.

    Caroline xxx

  7. Dear Lucy
    I hope your letter arrives a.s.a.p. & confirms the news that we already know.
    You are on the right track & know what is right for you.
    Debbie x

  8. Lucy
    I was pleased your appointment with Dr Perring went well. The fact his summary will take the form of a brief letter I think your right to feel it will be positive news. Why is it though anything that happens with GP's and hospitals we always have to wait for 'The letter to arrive'
    Its very frustrating but in your case I feel you will have a great Christmas!
    helen x

  9. oph crikey I used to commute! and even when heavily pregnant didn't get a seat offered!

    Glad the meeting went well, and you had fun afterwards. Hope the letter arrives soon and it's the right news!


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