Saturday, 29 March 2014

The most unlikely kind of encounter

You could be forgiven for thinking that I'm not actually on holiday! But there's quite a list of posts on holiday subjects that I could write:

# My beach walk at Burnham.
# The railway station I found that has just two trains per week.
# My visit to Angie.
# My Mendip tour.
# A Dartmoor lunch, and my walk to an ancient standing stone.
# A thought-provoking chat in a Barnstaple phone shop.
# A posh, dressed-up dinner at The Commodore Hotel at Instow, pearls and all.
# Taking the Tarka Line train to Exeter and back.

But most of these require the insertion of photographs, and will have to await my return home, and access to the PC and my home Broadband. (If you have ever tried adding photos to a post over Mobile Internet, or the average public Wi-fi spot, you'll appreciate why it's best done from home)

The weather since I set off on the 20th March hasn't been too good. The odd morning or afternoon has been beautifully sunny (and sometimes warm) but mostly it's been a tale of intermittent showers. Just what you'd expect for late March, in fact. It hasn't stopped me getting around and having an interesting time, and in fact just being away is enough. Today it's Bude and the Atlantic Coast, with the promise of a very bright afternoon. Tomorrow, another visit to Dartmoor, if the weekend weather stays fine. Monday is my last day in North Devon and I won't go far, but it could be an evening in Appledore - fish and chips, and then maybe folk music at one of the pubs there.

I keep on meeting local or holidaying couples, and chatting to them. Nobody expresses surprise that I travel about on my own. Doing things solo is unremarkable nowadays, even things that require some effort and technique like caravanning. That's good. In the past, I've felt rather eccentric, holidaying on my own, and it's heartening to discover that there's a lot of people like me out there.

But, when I'm pottering around, I never seem to encounter people who are 'like me' in another sense. Do trans people, like pub bouncers, only come out at night? Or - outside certain well-known urban centres - are they just very, very thin on the ground, and an encounter would be an extraordinary event? Or are we as a rule too shy by far, and tend to walk the other way? I'm prepared to be accosted at any time, in the unlikeliest of places, with a hesitant 'Are you Lucy Melford?'. But, you know, I don't think it will ever happen!


  1. We are spread out a bit Lucy. When doing jury service some time back there was a girl there whom I am convinced was a postie but I never got to talk with her. We instinctively know when we meet others like ourselves for the most part that is. I have a friend from the Philippines now living in New Jersey whom you would swear was natal but she did transition early, was fed blockers to prevent puberty and was put on hormones. I am sure you will meet people who are 'like you' one day if you haven't already without realising. Looks like you are going to get some fine weather over the next two days, as we all are for a change.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. When you were showing me photos of your friends last weekend it was clear that trans women are far from rare where you live. As you know, I lived in the Bude area for 3 months in 2012. I'm pretty sure that I spotted one on the canal path, but that was all. Outside the big towns and cities, we are a pretty rare breed.

    How is Bude, by the way? As beautiful as ever, I'm sure. Sigh.....

  3. You're quite right, Shirley Anne, about spotting our own sort. But I rarely see trans people about, even in Brighton - except of course near the Old Steine on Clare Project nights!

    Bude was as nice as usual. A post is coming up!



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