Have I found a house?

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Wow – what an exciting and great day I had yesterday!!!

This is just a quick update as I need to do so much at home with packing and it’s my last full day at home before my busy weekend work.

I never imagined that I could buy a house like the one pictured above for a such a good price. I will be going back to look at it again next week by which time I will have decided if I put in an offer on the already good priced house. Near to shops, bars, restaurants, friends and life.

One of the nicest features is the beautiful view from the back of the house and maybe the deciding factor in all this. And it faces South too!

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I mustn’t forget to mention my sweet friend Karen, who accompanied me while viewing the houses yesterday. We joined mutual friend Kenny for a nice lunch and went on to look at some houses.

I had also gone ‘Blonde’ for the day with a new look and when I got home, discovered the delivery of some new perfume. What a lovely end to an amazing day. I was 100% Sophie in so many ways and was so unbelievably happy. I cannot wait to be living somewhere I am happy with and as Sophie. This morning I have made an application to legally change my name and later today will be putting in an application to get an updated passport. My aim is to have my new identity in place before making a house purchase to avoid legal issues further down the road of my new life….

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I am quite liking the blonde look and may stick with this for a while.

Sorry that I don’t have time to write more just now, but I am sure you get the idea that I have a lot going on in my life right now. I will try my best to add more after my return to the house and reveal if I have made an offer or not on the house!!!

Looking for a house – excitement and anxiety

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Home again after a hard and longer working weekend. But oh my, how exciting is life becoming?

The main photo show my early morning efforts at applying makeup. considering how tired I was it is quite amazing that it went on so fast. The weather wasn’t looking great and rain was forecast. Luckily I had bought a new jacket which arrived by the time I had returned home and perfect for such day.

I set off to meet up with friend and property agent Mike, who had never met Sophie but had been sent a photo. I arrived early and sat in my car in the agree parking area. I was checking some messages on my phone when a hand came through the open window and Mike greeted me. We both got into his car and set off for a tour of a few houses that he had selected for me to see. I quickly asked if he was ok with meeting as Sophie to ehich he replied, “Not at all”. So the rest of the morning went fine.

I saw a mixture of properties and prices, a couple of which had potential. However, it has become apparent now that I really do want to live close to amenities and life. Also what I would like and what I can afford may require me to buy a house that needs a fair amount of modernisation. I am ok with that but need to get my mind around that aspect. But it does open up the number of house that then become possible.

I have already spotted a couple from my online searches and will try to fix viewings next week.

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This photo shows my outfit that I decided on in the end, to go out in a more formal style to view houses and the weather assisted in that choice.

I also had a band rehearsal that evening and was so very tired when I eventually got home. Sadly I don’t play in the band as Sophie.

I am on my last morning at home before a very busy weekend as we have Bastille day here in France and it’s quite a big event as you can imagine. We have a group in concert tonight and will be kept busy doing somewhere around 70+ meals.

But next week has excitement lined up already. This week I had a long chat over the phone with Karen, a friend of about 3-4 years. We always get on well and I told her about Sophie. She now knows all about me and has seen photos. We are meeting up next week with our mutual friend Kenny and his partner lunch. I am really looking forward to that. I will be trying to arrange house viewings on the same morning as it’s all in the same area.

I am getting a little stressed as the time from work is disappearing so fast and I have so much to do!!!!

Hopefully the next post will include some possible future home photos…

Mission “Sophie”

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Well it’s happened at long last!

The house was sold over the weekend. I just need to see that all the initial paperwork goes through before it’s a solid deal. But a Parisian family who were quite taken with the property have made an acceptable offer. So, within 3 months I should be moving out of this house and into a another somewhere here in France.

I have titled this “Mission Sophie”, because that is exactly what my immediate future will be. A new life and a new house in a new location. At this stage in my life, I have to make sure that this happens in the shortest time possible. That is where my excitement comes in. The daunting part is packing and moving. But overall I am more excited – and that’s a good sign I like to think.

It’s both exciting and daunting at the same time. But I am realising that I have a great deal to do and organise on my days off work now. Today I loading up my Citroen estate to make a trip to the recycling centre in the morning, n my way back to work. The start of the serious throw away of things I have had far too long. That includes some male clothing items that will be placed in the charity clothing bank.

Now I need to begin my search for a new home. I have a friend who is a property agent but does not know me as Sophie. When we meet to view some properties soon, I will be arriving as Sophie – hoping it goes well!

On the work front, we are on the brink of the summer season here in Central France. Schools are beginning their summer break and the start of the tourist influx is building up. Tomorrow I am giving up one of my rest days to cover the kitchen and cook on my own – not sure I am looking forward to that. I really would prefer a day of rest. Anyway, I am back there again on Friday for the first open mic night of the season and we will be pretty busy with anything up to 80 covers for the evening service. Especially if the current warm weather holds out.

At work, I will be focusing on the following week ahead to help me get through the tiring work, over what I think will be a very busy weekend.  I really hope that I will be viewing some properties and as Sophie next week too. I also have a band practice on Wednesday for one of two concerts in August. It will be the first time playing with a certain guitarist for over 3 years. It’s a long story that isn’t relevant here, but hopefully fun and we get fed and paid too.

I am feeling quite tired today and need to chill while I am at home ready for tomorrow…

I will try to take some photos of any interesting properties when I begin to view them and post any of interest. Even if they are terrible, they will be posted here as a reminder of the horrors of house hunting! I do need to keep a record of what I look at too. From experience, it’s difficult to remember all the features and aspects of each house as you try to absorb all that you see in a short space of time. However, I believe that anything good stands out – you don’t forget those! Fingers crossed, but things appear to be happening in a fatalistic way right now. It feels a little strange, but I am happy to go with the flow and give it a nudge if it looks like it’s needed.

Shopping – it must slow down now

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This is going to be mainly a pictorial post. I have bought some summer clothes and shoes and still have a few things yet to arrive. My underwear is not for viewing – giggle. But I am happy to have some very feminine clothes that I think are quite pretty too.

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The blues skirt and top was the outfit I went out shopping in this week, the day before all the other clothes arrived. I needed to make myself look pretty and be myself after the last session of work and go out. I enjoyed trying them all on and I have my favourites. I am looking forward to the arrival of a nice pink jacket that should go with most of my clothes,  plus a couple of pairs of earrings are on their way. I am feeling more and more that I really want to be out socialising as Sophie and will be ready by the end of the summer to try and make that happen. Some of my plans haven’t gone quite as expected since working, but I am still on the same path. I have shaped my eyebrows to a somewhat more feminine look and I have noticed some changes in the shape of my face. I have already been told that I look different and quite surprised that the discussion stopped there. But that’s fine.

Work has become routine now and I am coping very well. We still have the peak season to arrive yet and the first concert is on this coming Friday. So I am guessing it will be a very busy start to the weekend.

I am still managing to be a little creative as well and have a couple of new songs in progress, so life isn’t so bad.

The month of June is almost over and the summer is slipping by faster and faster. In some ways I am looking forward to September and in others, not! There has been no further interest in the sale of the house but there is still time – I hope…

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This lovely pink jacket arrived this morning so I tried it on with a matching skirt and one of my new tops. It looked so gorgeous I had to take a photo and add it here. I feel like I should be going to a wedding. Now I would like to be going out instead of going to work today. I guess that will have to go on hold until next week….  c’est la vie!!!

11 more weeks…

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I took the above photo was taken to help me decide what I should wear on my day out and I have no makeup at all.

Yesterday was my first day of rest from work this week and I had a really lovely day. I awoke early and surprisingly, not too tired after my last session of work. My agenda for the day was clearly in my mind. A quick breakfast, shower and time for makeup. With the sun shinning and a clear blues sky, I sat in my dining room by the window and began to make myself look pretty. Things started well and I didn’t make any terrible errors, so no black eyes that morning! I had already picked out my clothes for the day, a nice sleeveless wrap over top with yellow and white floral print and a teal chiffon skirt and a new pair of yellow strappy heeled sandals. Perfect for a summers day. A quick check in my handbag for essentials for the day: keys, lipstick, brush, money and back card, tissues and sunglasses. I was ready to set off. Around 9.30 I was in my car and heading for the motorway with a smile on my face.

First stop was going to be a visit to my dear friend Kenny the chef. I still sometimes find driving in heels a little uncomfortable, but I soon forgot about that. An hour later I pulled into the car park and walked across to the restaurant where I spent a few hours chatting and having few giggles too. While occupied in chatting a friend and carpenter who has a unit adjacent  to the restaurant entered from nowhere. Kenny introduced me, I shook his hand as ladylike as I could and then he gave me a kiss in each cheek with his stubbled face – ouch! I was very relaxed and very pleased that I had been accepted without hesitation as female. He departed as swiftly as he had appeared and we continued our gossip.

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It wasn’t a busy lunchtime and I decided it was time for me to go shopping and leave Kenny to wind up the shift and go home. We walked out side the restaurant beside the busy road and stood by the crossing. He teased to see if I could get a huge lorry to stop for me to cross to the car park. And sure enough along came a convey of some six or eight huge lorries. The first two passed by but the third slowed down for me and came to a stop. I had to laugh and I blew a kiss to the driver for his courtesy and broke into a girly trot across to my car.

I headed off toward the shops. I really didn’t need too much, but I was in an area where there is a great shop for Asian spices and thought that I would make the most of that. I arrived a little too early and the shop was still closed for their long lunch break, so I decided to have a look around a large hypermarket opposite. A dangerous move – haha! I was very controlled and only bought some L’Oreal products, a good quality foundation and a nice palette of blue eye shadow, but expensive enough for me. By that time the Asian shop was open and I got my spices, chili’s and some frozen prawns and began my journey home.

While cruising along the motorway I reflected on my expenditure of recent days and began to add up what I had spent this week! My ebay purchases of four skirts, three tops, some under wear.  My online shopping spree of a handbag, two sets of bangles and three pairs of summer sandals not to mention the makeup of the day. Time to put the brakes on for the month I think. I have to set aside almost 25% or my earnings for social charges I will have to pay as a result of earning money and make a lump sum payment at the end of the summer. In the meantime, my car needs four new tyres and a Control Technique, which is a test of road safety to ensure it is road worthy for another two years. I am not certain if it will any work will be required to ensure it passes the test. So I really do need to keep a serious check on my cash flow.

A moment of sobriety and my justification to myself.

While I am fortunate to be working, I am having to keep a balance in my daily life that allows me to get through each week. I need to qualify the reality of spending half my time in drab by compensating myself in buying new clothes etc to keep me happy and focused on Sophie. I have come to terms now with the hard work I have engaged in and I am finding my feet. Especially since I had my first couple of sessions running the kitchen on my own. A bit wobbly at first, but I soon overcome that out of necessity.

On the sobriety front, I am proud to report that apart from a couple of very small glasses of beer after long and hot sessions at work, I have not been drinking. I have also shed more weight due to my loss of appetite while working in a kitchen. But, I am careful to eat some fruit and what I do eat I try to keep healthy. I have at least 11 more weeks of work remaining so a lot of hard work and more pay days to go.

Today I need to cut grass, create a poster for the restaurant and visit some very good friends this evening. So, I had better leave this here and get myself motivated to begin my day. Until the next update…

Finding a balance between needs and happiness

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Well I am back in the thick of it again – working in a kitchen and finding it harder this time around. Mostly nine hour days or more and we are not even in the peak season yet!

I won’t go into too much detail but I am having to take on a little more than I would like to, in order that the sessions are in control and not any more stressful than need be. The last shift was a straight 7.5 hours without a break.

However, I am grateful to be earning extra money though the summer and have found myself shopping for new clothes from a trusted UK online store and ebay. Partly to compensate myself for working as a man and giving up my life as Sophie during those working days. I am just about coping with the shift sideways with my life but have tearful moments in private when I am alone in my room at work. The photo above is one of the new summer outfits I have bought with the proceeds of my sweat and toil. I also have some pretty new shoes. Shopping does help to balance things out to a degree. This is the first picture where I have no makeup on at all, but it was a lovely sunny day and quite hot in the garden. I see that as progress and being more confident in who I am, not needing the makeup to make me Sophie.

I am back to work  this evening and I know it will be a busy night. I stay in a room above the restaurant while working and am able to take my adorable cat Bertie along with me too. It’s tough for him too as he doesn’t get to go in a garden and sulks a little plus he doesn’t eat as well. But loosing a little weight would not bean issue as he is a very big cat.

Next Tuesday I (Sophie) will be visiting my good friend Kenny again and will try to spend much of the day at his restaurant. I am not sure how the day will go as I have offered to either help in the kitchen or waitress if needed. But it will just be nice to meet have have a good chat again so I don’t mind if I do nothing – giggle. He has already been a sweetie and talked me out of a tearful day when things just got too much for me when I started working again. It’s so good to have a friend who understands where I am in my life right now.

Sadly my music has pretty much ground to a halt. But I decided to take my acoustic guitar with me  this time to practice the songs I have written. It will also help me unwind when I am not too tired to play it. I have had more ideas for songs but not finding the time to loose myself  in that right now. I have been offered the chance to play in the restaurant, but to be honest, after working I don’t have the energy and passion to give to my songs in the way that I know they need.

I am happy to finish on a very positive and uplifting note. Yesterday I had the first viewing of the year, by a young French couple with two sweet and beautiful blonde children. They appeared to be quite taken with the property and have a grandmother who would live in the Gite if they choose to buy it. So it ticks many boxes for them. They are the first local French people to view the property since it has been for sale and this is very encouraging. I am trying very hard not to buildup my hopes too much but I have a very good feeling about this and really hope I am right. Selling my house has never been such a vital key in my life, but will be the start of so many new things in my life. When I finish work during the summer I start to live as Sophie permanently!

My musical and creative side

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Here are couple of recent songs I wrote and recorded on my phone at home. They are not in a finished state as these are recorded to save my ideas and structure of the songs for re-working later when I have more time. I am capturing my deepest feelings and emotions in my songs more than ever this year and finding myself overwhelmed at times by the process. They have been even more difficult to sing without breaking down. Theses are my heart and soul in a song. I have more but no time to add them just now.

I hope that may like them, they are very very personal to me.