Sunday, 28 August 2011
My aunt's 90th birthday
She's the slightly older-looking one on the left, in this shot of P--- and myself. It was taken a couple of days after the event, which involved a lovely midday meal at a restaurant named Junction 28 at Bassaleg, a suburb of Newport.
I gave my aunt a present, a framed photo of a view of the Valley of the Rocks, which lies in Exmoor, but right by the sea not far from Lynton. P--- has always loved North Devon, which has some of the best scenery in the South West. Here's the picture, taken in my caravan soon after its recent purchase in the Market at Great Torrington from Mr Elliott, a local photographer (http://www.northdevonphotography.co.uk/):
Gorgeous colours. I wish I could do so well. As ever, click on the picture to enlarge it.
The birthday lunch was a comprehensive gathering of all P---'s immediate family, including grandchildren and the one very lively grandson. Here's some shots with me in them, which I hope convey the conviviality of the occasion:
I hope I make it to 90 intact! That wish means of course that by then I'll have enjoyed 31 years of post-op life, and nearly 34 years altogether of life as Lucy Melford, if you count in the entire period from the start of active transition. That's an awfully long time. A very big portion of my life, more than a third of it. Surely it makes it completely worthwhile to have attempted a late transition, although one must add a rider to this: this fresh life as one's 'proper self' must be a full and rewarding one. There's not a lot of point in going through the traumas of transition if you don't then grasp the opportunities it makes possible.
Those opportunities will vary hugely with the person concerned. Some may want settled happiness based on finding the right person to share their life with, and creating a home to be proud of, and a lifestyle to match. Some may want to use their new identity to plunge into business, or a dazzling new job, in a field never before open to them. Some may explore a long-desired creative release, or the quiet fulfilment of a specific dream they never thought could come true. Some may just have massive undirected energy and will end up trying many things before deciding what they will do, or be.
I don't know what I shall do myself. But my recent travels suggest that I'm not going to stay at home!