Gina Snowdoll: Eeeeeks! It's a blog!
Gina's musings on transgenderism, fashion, music, records, books, telly, life, the universe and everything

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Tales of
Crossdressing
:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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Fave Blogs:
Kacroon's World
Manolo's Shoe Blog
Blogging A Dead Horse
Marlene Manners
Troubled Diva
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I'm Hip to You
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Emma Clark
Bettie Bunny
Mookie
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Fave Music:
Natacha Atlas
Daniel Ash
David Bowie
The Damned
Die So Fluid
Goldfrapp
Kraftwerk
Sparks
Teasing LuLu
Wreckless Eric
Top 10 Albums of 2001
Top 10 Albums of 2002
Top 10 Albums of 2003
Top 10 Albums of 2004
My Desert Island (Compact) Discs

Fave Arty Stuff:
The Mirror Project

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Top 10 (or 12) Books

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© 2005 Gina Snowdoll


Friday, November 29, 2002
But he IS a complete moron!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:42 pm [edit] 

It's Payback Time!

E-cyclopedia's glossary of words for 'gay' - courtesy of BBC News.

I see that we "Trans" people are being lumped under the Gay umbrella. I have no wish to offend any of my gay friends and readers, but that does annoy me. Some trannies - Ooh sorry - TRANS people are gay, some are not. It's the same for plumbers or bakers or MPs. A certain percentage are going to exhibit different sexual preferences as dicatated by that cheeky li'l thing we know as "the law of averages". But pigeonholing "Trans" under "Gay" is just incorrect. Why not just take the whole bally lot of us - Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, and pigeonhole us handily under Disabled?

Why do we need the labels and terminology anyway?

I think I am going to start pigeonholing so-called normal or "straight" people. That could be fun. See how those drab bastards like it.

As far as I am concerned, by the way, "straight" does not equal "heterosexual". It means completely ordinary with no (supposedly) "unusual" sexual preferences or gender orientations. I am not gay, but to call myself "straight" would be ridiculous as I am an absolute raging transvestite.

Anyway, keep checking back, as I intend to start with the pigeonholing of the "Normals" soon! (Any suggestions gratefully accepted!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:32 pm [edit] 

This is what I missed last night

Tony and Bart
Tony and Bart, in Oxford last night


Mind you, of course, I've already met the real Bart Simpson, a.k.a. Nancy Cartright, at a book signing. I'm not so easily impressed by a man in a foam rubber costume!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:00 pm [edit] 

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Alien Insectoid Lifeforms

This afternoon Karen found one of these in the kitchen. I thought it was a grasshopper and was going to let it loose outside, but Karen stopped me, saying that it was an insect normally found in New Zealand.

I wonder if it's one of those predators that Tesco put in their fresh fruit! (See yesterday's post).

Meanwhile, we have this little green wingless grasshopper-type thing in a glass. What are we supposed to do with it? I still think we should let it go. Is it likely that it's going to run riot, start breeding, and killing off all our indigenous species?


posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:29 pm [edit] 

Basic Geography

Bloody hell! I think the ITN newsreaders need to learn a little elementary geography of the United Kingdom. Reporting on this story about the hysterics of 16-year old singer Charlotte Church, the newsreader (female, I didn't catch her name) said that "Tonight Charlotte Church should have been in Atlanta, but instead she's here in England." The report then went on to say that she was at home with her parents in Cardiff.

Errrr... Hello? Cardiff is not in England. It is the capital of Wales. The fact that Charlotte Church is Welsh, and has a very strong Welsh accent, should have been a dead giveaway, and possibly a clue that she might actually live in Wales too.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:02 pm [edit] 

Santa with a flame-thrower

There's all sorts of mayhem here in Oxford tonight. There are hordes of screaming kids outside the Apollo Theatre, whilst Father Christmas is being driven around on the back of a trailer with a huge great fuck-off flame thrower shooting flames 15 feet into the air. So far he's avoided burning down the street decorations.

I'm not quite sure why Father Christmas has been armed with a flame thrower. Possibly it's a tradition that I was unaware of. And there was me thinking that traditions should be, errrmm, traditional.

Oh, and apparently later on we'll have Tony Blackburn and The Simpsons turning on the Christmas lights. I'm sure there must be a joke in there somewhere along the lines of "How many aging DJs and/or cartoon characters does it take to change a light-bulb?" (or in this case, "turn on a light-bulb"). Please leave any witty answers in the comments below. Thank you.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 5:03 pm [edit] 

Sorry...

...but I'm not in a very bloggy mood at the moment.

Later...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:44 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Damn! Karen's blog is still down. I miss my daily dose of Kacroonery.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:42 am [edit] 

Watch out if you buy fruit from Tesco!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:03 am [edit] 

Stupid White Men

I'm currently reading Stupid White Men by Michael Moore but it is just making me angry. I knew that those in power were corrupt, but the extent of the corruption is only just dawning on me. It makes me especially angry, because I work for am American company that exists - ultimately - just to make the fat cats fatter still. Not that any of us lot will see the benefit. Oh no, we get threatened with cut-backs, and have our budgets withdrawn, lose our bonuses, etc, etc. Seems it's all part of the greater picture, the recession that never was.

Yes, it makes me angry.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:47 am [edit] 

Monday, November 25, 2002

And the squirrel fell out of the tree

On Saturday night, Annie and I went to Kentish Town to go see a band, the bass player of which she knew from work. Unfortunately we hadn't counted on the two support bands. The first "band" were the worst act it has ever been my extreme displeasure to witness. These were some prat with a cowboy hat and the worst sounding acoustic guitar that I had ever heard, and some dozy mare in a tattered looking wedding dress, who played various scary instruments such as the accordion and on one song performed an instrumental break by blowing her nose into a handkerchief. They were truly vile and had meaningless obviously made-up-on-the-spot lyrics, along the line of:
...and the squirrel fell out of the tree
and the bemused footballers looked on
and they carried its little corpse through the town
whilst the monkey set fire to the wheelbarrow...
Or some dire shit like that.

It wasn't even as if we could ignore the turgid little ditties; you wouldn't believe the cacophanous row that these two individuals produced. It was truly excrutiating. Towards the end they even passed out these revolting little cakes that looked like - sorry I have to say this - shrivelled penises with candles shoved in the end. (I know I'm going to regret typing that when Google gets hold of it). Some sick bastards were actually holding these up and singing along. I think they must have been the band's "rent-a-crowd". They all vanished as soon as the next band came on.

Annie was shouting abuse... "Fuck off...", "Go home", etc. When the clown in the cowboy hat annouced, "For this next one we're going to..." Annie called out "...do a mime".

Taking the piss out of them were the only way we survived the set. At one point it was so excrutiating that I tried gnawing my own leg off to take my mind off the whole sorry dismal affair.

The next lot weren't much better. Some uninteresting little group pretentiously doing an "acoustic set". The problem being that for a song to sound impressive as an acoustic version you actually need a good song in the first place. This band's songs were, to put it politely, dull amateur efforts. The singing was out of tune, the playing was lifeless and one guitarist just sat on his stool and watched the others. They finished with an uninspired and soul-less version of Hendrix's "Purple Haze". Criminal.

The final band - the ones Annie had brought us to see - were a breath of fresh air. They could play and had the tunes, and reminded me of a cross between the two Irish bands The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. Without being Irish, of course.

The trip back was eventful on the tube when Annie made a whole group of students look very silly indeed, one of whom thought it quite important that all his fwllow passengers hear that he was trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records for eating the most meatballs. Annie toom this prat to task and asked that if he won, would he be given a cure for BSE? She totally wiped the floor with him, and it was a delight to hear all the other passengers laughing and cheering.

All in all, an eventful evening.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:29 pm [edit] 

I could've gone to New York in less time

Yesterday, I left Annie's house in Essex at 5:30pm and guess what time I got home? 2:40am, that's when. Yes, it took me over nine hours to complete a journey that should have been two and a half hours (or three hours if I'd missed a connection).

The problems all occured on the last leg of the journey from London Paddington back to Didcot. I had a choice of two trains to catch: the 7:37 to Cheltenham Spa or the 7:45 to Bristol Temple Meads. The Cheltenham train had a delay in boarding, but I still figured that it would get me home before the Bristol train. So, I sat there on the train, silent fuming as we stayed there stationary whilst the Bristol train pulled out. And we waited and waited some more. We eventually left at about 7:55, got as far as Ealing Broadway, where the train stopped and an announcement informed us that an incoming train up ahead of us had derailed and that we would have to go back into Paddington in order to change onto another line and head out again.

So, we ended up back in Paddington Station, and every now and again there was an announcement to say tht we would be on our way in 15 minutes perhaps. Later these announcements became less optimistic and 15 minutes was extended to an hour. But the hours slowly slipped by and we didn't move a millimetre. I was in the "audio car" and checking through the radio stations on offer, I found one playing comedy shows so I listened to that (shows like "Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge", "Around The Horne", "The Two Ronnies", a couple of comedy quiz shows, etc). It turned out that it wasn't a radio station after all but a very long recording as it looped around to the beginning again and I realised that I'd heard the whole thing right throught. I must have listened to at least three hours worth, although I went off in search of a coffee and a sandwich rather than listen to Ken Dodd. I also finished reading Pamela Stephenson's biography of Billy Connolly (I'd been two-thirds of the way through beforehand) and in a spooky coincidence I noticed that it was indeed the man's 60th birthday.

At 1:10am we finally pulled out of Paddington. Hurrahs all around. Only now I had an annoying young Indian woman and her kids sitting nearby. I had no problem with the kids screaming and shrieking. The coach was full of kids and they - under the circumstances - all behaved impeccably. But kids do cry and wail - that's their job. I can't moan about that. No, what pissed me off was the young mother chewing on bubblegum and making revolting wet popping noises with it. It sounded disgusting. I hate bubblegum. It is revolting evil stuff and should be outlawed. (So there.) I had to tune back into the comedy audio channel so as to shut out the vile noise. I tried giving the woman some evil looks but that didn't achieve anything.

Anyway, to cut a long and boring story short, we got into Didcot station at 2:24, and from there I had to walk, so I got home at 2:40. I was not exactly ecstatically happy.

If only I'd gone on the Bristol train.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:22 pm [edit] 

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:19 am [edit] 

Friday, November 22, 2002

Miss World riots 'leave 100 dead'. This is appalling news. The headline looks like it should be a spoof story, the sort of thing you'd expect to see in The Framley Examiner. I mean, I knew that the whole Miss World thing is surrounded in "It's not politically-correct"-based controversy (or in this case: "It offends our religion") and that people are passionate in their beliefs, but that it should lead to over 100 deaths? Even a single death would have been over the top.

It's a world gone mad, I tell you.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:15 pm [edit] 

Whimper

I'm feeling quite stressed today. Work is really a major nightmare today (and I wanted to leave early too!). I'm away for the weekend so most likely won't be able to post again after today until Sunday night or Monday.

Other than that I can't say that I have a great deal of news. I watched some telly last night, and tried to work out how to play "School's Out" by Alice Cooper on the guitar as I had stumbled upon the riff whilst noodling about on it. I worked out most of the song; it won't take long before I've got the whole thing.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:17 pm [edit] 

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Learning Differences revisited

Thinking some more on these so-called "learning differences" (or "learning difficulties" or "Attention Deficit Disorder" - see yesterday's lengthy blog entry) of which I believe I am a sufferer, I wonder if it is in any way related to transgenderism? I'm not saying that the two conditions would be mutually dependent on each other, but that it's possible there may exist a higher proportion of people with "learning differences" amongst those of us who believe ourselves to be transgendered.

I was talking to Sherri about all of this last night, and she too identifies with the examples I quoted yesterday. We've often observed that transgendered people tend to be more cerebral in nature, that we are very often very artistic/creative people. I wonder if there is any link between these things we have been discussing. It might be something to do with a particular region of the brain. I don't know; I'm no scientist, but it seems logical to me.

What do other transgendered readers out there think? Does anyone else identify with the learning differences I described?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:43 pm [edit] 

More Woodpecker Woes

Oh gawd! I've had a follow-up email from Stan:
Gina,

It is with the greatest urgency that I contact you again. First of all may I take this opportunity to thank you for your swift response to THE TROUBLES. However I must once again ask for your help.

After reading your website re getting rid of the woodpecker I sprinted out to the shed and prepared to paint. As soon as I was finished last night I came back inside to watch the life of mammals when the house began to reverberate with a deafening noise that grew louder until the foundations began to shake. Suddenly the full horror of my actions dawned on me! In my haste to carry out your advice, instead of painting a camouflage of sky and clouds I had painted a 35 foot woodpecker onto my house.

There are,as I write, three or four thousand aroused woodpeckers hammering away at my propery and short of calling a giant Bill Oddie I'm stuck and I cant get out!! I know birds hate loud music and explosions and so I was hoping you might have some contacts within the music industry who might be able to arrange a charity event in my back garden. Failing this futher suggestions would be read more carefully.

Yours Stan
Hhhhhmmmmm... Well, that's one diddly of a pickle (as Ned Flanders would say). What should I suggest? Painting out the offending giant woodpecker portrait is the first thing that immediately springs to mind, but what if Stan had used up most of his paint putting it there in the first place? Perhaps if he had enough paint in the bottom of his tins he could somehow alter the woodpecker so that it looked like, say, a giant chicken instead. There is of course the possibility that this might invite a chicken invasion but at least they don't peck as hard or as loudly.

Actually, a giant chicken would be a good idea, for then we could invite Wreckless Eric to do a gig in the garden (which hopefully would scare off any loitering woodpeckers in the vicinity) and it would be quite apt, as Eric could perform his song "Sign of the Chicken" which includes the line "standing underneath that big chicken..."

All very appropriate, I'm sure you'll agree. All in all, a holistic solution to the problem.

Any other suggestions from you lot out there?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:51 am [edit] 

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Way ahead of schedule (for a change)

Well, that's the majority of my Christmas shopping done already, thanks to Amazon. I only have my sister and my grandmother to buy presents for now. I've never before bought presents this early but I wanted to take advantage of some of Amazon's special offers on books and videos and also their current promotion of free postage and packing on orders over £39.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:17 pm [edit] 

Travellers' Tales

I assume that Virgin Trains are naming individual trains in their new fleet of Voyager class trains after legendary travellers both real-life and fictional, for at Oxford station recently I have spied both "Michael Palin" and "Doctor Who".

The latter train would be a real boost if it did indeed travel in time. I wonder if it can get you to your destination on time even when it's running late (as Virgin trains are wont to do).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:20 pm [edit] 

The penny drops

Last night I experienced a tremendous feeling of revelation. (No, I haven't gone all religious or something scary like that. I am still a confirmed atheist.)

I'd been reading Pamela Stephenson's "Billy", the biography of her husband the comedian and actor Billy Connolly, and came across several passages about the young Connolly that struck a very familiar chord.
"Everyone who knows Billy today is aware of his considerable, albeit unusual, intelligence. However, he does not process information the same way that many others do. Psychologists currently ascribe diagnoses such as 'Attention Deficit Disorder' or 'Learning Disability' to such a way of thinking and, in the more enlightened educational environments, there is understanding and help for such children. In addition to having a learning difference, however, Billy is and was a poet and a dreamer, as well as a person suffering from past and present trauma, and these factors all conspired to make concentration and left-brain activity extremely challenging for him." (Ch.2, p.42)

"Typical early difficulties for people with learning differences include tying shoes and telling the time. Billy could do neither of those things until he was around twelve years old, and he was absolutely pounded for it." (Ch.2, p.52)

"Part of Billy's problem turned out to be lack of retention. He could understand a lesson perfectly, but an hour later he hadn't a clue. To this day, it's the same thing; he can read a book and enjoy it immensely, but afterwards he remembers remarkably little about it. 'I only ever needed to buy one book and read it every month,' he boasts." (Ch.3, p.73)
Yes. Very familiar indeed. I'm 95% certain that I "suffer" from this exact same condition. The learning difficulties, the inability to concentrate, the day-dreaming and drifting off, the lack of retention of information. These are all part of my everyday life. Like the young Connolly it took me years to master the tying of shoelaces. As to the tying of a neck tie (part of our school uniform), if we had PE or games at school I had to get other kids to help me.

Learning to tell the time was tricky but as kids we had this jigsaw puzzle clock so that helped teach us where all the numbers went. It still took a while to get the hang of, though. Then there were things you were expected to know which seemed really irrelevant to me. Things like being able to recite the alphabet. I knew all the letters and was quite a good speller; I just wasn't sure what order they appeared in the alphabet. I couldn't see why it was so important. I probably didn't memorize the correct sequence until I was about 10 or 11. The other thing that took me years to get the hang of was the correct order of the months of the year. It sounds simple now, but it confused the hell out of me when I was growing up.

Like Billy Connolly, I love reading books. And like him I don't think I retain much about them afterwards, other than the vague plot. A book can be beautifully written with exquisite language and turn of phrase, but for me this is just something to enjoy as I am reading it. I can't look back and evoke memories of what it was like, as you would do for a favourite film, play or television show. But I rarely re-read books. It's the story I relish, and I want new stories, not recycled ones. There are only about two books that have made a tremendous impact on me, that I have re-read and will probably read again. (I have discussed this before. Any guesses which books I mean?)

At school I had such a problem with getting on with my lessons. Again it was the inability to concentrate, and outside of the classroom homework was particularly difficult as I just could not bring myself to do it. I would prevaricate and put it off until I really had to make some kind of effort. That is, on the occasions that I didn't actually avoid it altogether. Later on in sixth form, I had one teacher for whom I never handed in a single piece of homework. I think it got embarrassing for the both of us, but we'd got part way through the year without me ever submitting any work and it kind of got to the stage where I couldn't possibly do one of his assignments as questions would be asked such as "Where are all the other pieces of homework which you should have done for me thus far?"

I was similarly bad in college, and on one occasion ended up writing a hefty chunk (i.e. most of it) of my All So Important End Of Term Project on the bus to college in the morning on the day it was to be handed in. The handwriting must have been awful, as it was a very bumpy bus ride. I think what I wrote was good though, because I was awarded an "A−". I would have got a straight "A" but the tutor marked me down for my clownish "Table of Contents in Alphabetical Order" which ran: "Chapter Eight, Chapter Five, Chapter Four, Chapter Nine, Chapter One, Chapter Seven, Chapter Six, Chapter Ten, Chapter Three, Chapter Two".

And even today I have trouble concentrating at work. I am forgetful and get very easily sidetracked. I put off projects until the last possible minute, and generally have a hard time actually getting on with anything. And I know I also have this similar black hole when it comes to my finances, sorting the mortgage out, paying the bills. It's stuff I get done somehow, eventually, but these are things that could be a whole load easier if I understood how they worked. (But I can't be the only one who doesn't understand a word of a letter or pamphlet from the bank, or from my pensions company?) I really don't get how any of it works. It's all been explained to me, and might make sense at the time, but I don't retain any of that information.

I am semi-ashamed to be admitting some of this to you. I'd always thought it was because I was useless at these things, but now I think that it's highly probably that I suffer from these "learning differences" that we've been talking about here. It just answers so many questions.

And thinking some more on this, writing a blog is probably therapeutic for me and helps put my brain in order. Without this blog, I probably wouldn't remember what I did or experienced or how I felt, say, two or three days ago, let alone a week ago, a month ago, a year ago...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:51 pm [edit] 

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Question Time

In my role as a journal-writer and font of all knowledge (ahem, cough, splutter)... and generally being of sound mind, naturally many of my readers turn to me for advice. "Is it safe to meet up with this guy I met in an internet chat room?" they ask, or "Which is the best stay-put lipstick?" or "Could you hold this ladder for me while I climb it?"

And of course I'll answer back. "Yes," I'll say. "Just make sure you are in full riot gear body armour." Or "Most of them are crap, just learn to blot and re-apply." Or "Not really convenient right now seeing as you are in another continent. Couldn't you ask someone a bit more local?"

But occasionally there comes a question that makes me think, yes, I should publish this on my blog and dispense some really excellent device and perhaps the media will bloody well sit up and listen and think, "Oh aye... there's someone we could employ writing a column in our new glossy magazine."

So, without any further beating about the bush, I present this week's question:
What can I do about a woodpecker that is drilling holes in the side of my house. I suspect it may be making a winter roosting cavity or (doomsday scenario) its drumming to attract a mate and establish a territory! My local council are being very unhelpful and I am at my wits end... Any suggestions would be much appreciated...

Yours Hopefully
Young Stan Ridgeway
Stan, you don't say what kind of house you live in. I mean, if you live in a tree-house, then you are asking for trouble. But in the more likely scenario that it is a regular house for ordinairy ground-dwelling human beings, then I take it that the walls are not made of brick as I'd expect the woodpecker's beak would be blunt by now. If your house is made of wood, could I suggest some kind of cladding of a non-woody variety. Try to avoid aluminium just in case the bird has a personal vendetta against you and decides to continue drilling irrespectively. That would sound like you were living inside a tin drum. Another alternative would be to disguise your house. Paint it sky blue with fluffy white clouds. Avoid painting any trees for obvious reasons. One possible drawback with this solution is that you may find yourself being nursemaid to stunned birds that have accidentally flown into the side of your house. Hopefully you do not live near an airfield so there won't be any low flying aircraft, helicopters, etc, in the vicinity.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:43 am [edit] 

Monday, November 18, 2002

Something scary for Monday morning

The changing face of Michael Jackson
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:04 am [edit] 

Another week

Another week and I'm back at work again, and it's cold and it's foggy and I'd rather be at home in bed. I spent all weekend in Essex with Annie, and we both had a lovely time thank you very much.

Not much else to tell, other than the perspex guitar auction has finished at £180 which is better than a kick in the teeth. It may have gone up more but I disqualified one of the bidders because I took a look at his feedback ratings and saw that he had two negatives from within the last four days - obviously he just bids on things which he clearly has no intention of buying.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:20 am [edit] 

Friday, November 15, 2002

Gina has left the building...

OK, I'm outta here! Am going away for the weekend, so won't be able to post on the blog again until either Sunday night or else at some point on Monday.

Squeak to you all then!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:39 pm [edit] 

The Entertainers

Has anyone else been watching The Entertainers on BBC2 on Thursday nights? It's quite fascinating viewing although in places it is rather cringeworthy. It's a "day in the life" type documentary featuring various has-been entertainers. Sorry, "has-been" sounds rather like a put down, but let's say these people were all at their peak of popularity years ago.

Bernard Manning is a most unlovely man, isn't he? He's just a foul-mouthed slob who gets waited on hand, foot and finger ("Ooh, he's not a very well man") and who loves to boast about his Rolls Royce ("Shall we take the Rolls or the Lincoln?").

Tony Blackburn seems like a genuinely nice guy, always happy to say yes to jobs that come his way, and always making small talk and pleasantries with the general public. Possibly he seems a little too meek, and should stand up for himself a bit more. But it's hard to dislike the man. It seems his wife would prefer a quiter life too ("I'd rather be at home watching Coronation Street").

Leo Sayer comes over as a really nice guy, full of life and fun. He's like an impish pixie. I recall Captain Sensible saying that Leo Sayer once gave him a lift when he was hitching a ride into Brighton, and that he was a really nice guy. I can well believe it too. (As an aside I can't help thinking about the story - Leo Sayer in Milk Float Mix-Up - that I wrote about him on The Liar. You'll notice that I wasn't taking the piss; it was a silly story but it was affectionate!)

Bernie Clifton came over as being very irritable. But who can blame him? The guy "interviewing" and filming him was obviously a complete cretin. The way this interviewer behaved provided the programme's most cringe-making moments.

Next week they've got The Krankies on. (*Shudder*).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:37 pm [edit] 

Thursday, November 14, 2002

We also liked...

I picked up another copy of Metro on the train this morning, which contained a couple of stories that I enjoyed:
Two cups of chocolate...
The world's first chocolate bra is selling so fast its creator cannot copy. Made from fully heat-resistant chocolate, the £100 bras take thre weeks to make. 'I receive dozens of orders each week,' said its Austrian designer Reinlinde Trummer.

A real Hollywood doll
BARBIE sealed her place in film history esterday by having her hands, feet and signature set in cement. Her prints, along with those of Barbara Handler, who inspired her mother, Ruth, to design the doll, were cast on Hollywood Boulevard. Later this week, Kermit the frog will get the same treatment.

TV comedy that's catching on Fast
COMEDY series The Fast Show has come up with more familiar catch-phrases than any other TV programme - which is nice.

Paula the weathergirl's description 'scorchio' and the preening shop workers' 'Suit you, sir', are just two of the 26 phrases from the show listed in a new Oxford Dictionary.

Paul Whitehoue and his team have also boldy gone where no-one has gone before by beating Star Trek as TV's most quotable series...

posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:07 pm [edit] 

Zzzzzzzzz... (I wish)

The morning alarm came around too quickly. I felt like I'd only had about an hour's sleep. I just could not get off last night. I was cold and I kept having to get up and go to the bathroom every five minutes, and I was lying awake thinking about my money problems and being forced into selling off half of my guitars and so on and so on.

There has been a lot of interest in the pink paisley Fenders, and I have received quite a few emails about them. At the moment the bidding on each is still at the bare minimum level, but I expect it'll pick up nearer the end of the auctions. I had an email from a guy who was a dealer asking me to cancel the auction and let him give me £800 cash for the pair of them, come and collect them, etc. As if he would be doing me a big favour! Cheeky sod! That doesn't even cover my reserve price. Also, why should I call the auction off and risk getting black marks on eBay?

Actually, that says to me that this guy knows these guitars are worth more than that and is trying to pull a fast one. Well, he can either bid on them in the auctions in the proper and fair to everyone way or else he can piss off.

Bloody dealers.

The perspex guitar has met its reserve of £150 so one way or another that one will definitely sell (I hope it'll go up to around the £200 mark). I've got a chunk of money coming in at the moment from various eBay sales, some of which will pay off my eBay expenses such as the Jazz Bass which arrived yesterday (and which is lovely, by the way). Any money I make from the Fender guitars can go straight into the hole in my bank account, as I need to repair the damage there.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:00 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Ohhhhhh...

The penny drops. It turns out that Halle Berry is an actress and appears in the latest James Bond film.

And there was me thinking that it was some kind of medical condition.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:10 pm [edit] 

Parting

I am feeling absolutely wretched about yesterday's decision to sell my two paisley pink Fender guitars. I am feeling really upset about it; it's very difficult to explain the anticipation of loss that I am feeling. It's as if I am about to lose a part of me.

I keep telling myself that I desperately need the money. I do.

I keep telling myself that they are only material things, and that I shouldn't be so sentimental.

I keep telling myself that I hardly played them these days anyway (my main guitars being the Fernandes and the Squier 7-string) and all they really are is expensive wall decoration.

I keep telling myself all this but it doesn't help. I am really cut up about it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:31 am [edit] 

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Yoiks!

I've just checked my bank statement and it's not good. And it won't be helped by the recent purchase of Fender Jazz Bass. OK, so I'm just about to receive payment for the 12-string guitar I'm selling and I have another guitar currently up for sale, but I think I need to do more than that. I think it's time to take drastic action and whittle the guitar collection right down. Which means, possibly getting the electro acoustic guitar that I lent to my Dad back and putting it up for auction, and selling the two paisley pink Fender guitars (a Stratocaster and a Telecaster).

I'll be sad to see the Fenders go, but I suppose that's me being all sentimental. But I need the money quite badly.

So if anyone is interested in my Strat and/or Tele, please get in touch soonest.

If things get really desperate I might have to start selling off the high heel collection! Do you think people would go for a "As worn by Gina Snowdoll" campaign?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:34 pm [edit] 

Another wet one

It sets the wrong tone for the whole day, I tell you. I mean, just what is all this constant rain actually for?

And now look, I've been reduced to having to talk about the bloody weather on my blog.

There's not a lot else to report at the moment. Basically, it's go to work (possibly getting wet on route), be at work, go home (almost inevitably needing the aid of an umbrella), eat food, watch telly, play guitar, check emails and eBay, have a read, go to sleep, get up in the morning (usually woken up by the cat shouting for his food) and do it all over again.

And this will most likely be how it is all week long. So, perhaps I don't have to say anything on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's posts, other than a note saying "See Tuesday".
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:22 am [edit] 

Monday, November 11, 2002

The weekend

Well, I had quite a busy weekend. Saturday I packed my bags and got myself ready then took the train (one of the posh new Great Western Adelante fleet) into London. Sherri met me at Paddington and we went to the Chamberlain Hotel which is somewhere up near The Tower (I think the main entrance is on The Minories). Shel had already booked in earlier, and it sure was a swish place. They even had a television in the bathroom, cunningly set behind a tile at the end of the bath, so you could watch telly whilst having a long and luxurious soak. However, I didn't try this out.

Gina and Sherri, this SaturdayAnyway, we got ourselves all made up etc, and took a taxi to this club called Trans-Mission. It was a bit of a funny venue, spread over three floors: cloaks and a bit an area for those who wanted to get made-up / changed dowstairs in the basesment, bar and seating area for chatting, etc on the ground floor and dancefloor upstairs. The ground floor had these full length windows (it looked like the place used to be a shop!) and they had tinsel strips hanging in the windows so as to give us inside some privacy - not that that stopped passers-by trying to look in! ("What's going on in there then?" "It's a load of trannies, innit?")

It was a funny bunch of people. Loads of trannies of all persuasions - the good, the bad and the ugly, as it were - and there were about five guys and perhaps a similar number of real women. It's so unusual to go to a trans club where the transgender count is so high. It just seemed weird to me. In contrast the WayOut Club has too many sleazy guys hanging about, but here the balance was dipped in the other direction. I think I'd prefer more of a mixed crowd; it makes it more interesting.

It was nice to catch up with a few people such as Lauren and her friend Clare, and the totally mad Barbara from Bristol. It was also lovely to see old friends Vicky and Leanne again (apparently Leanne was at the Peter Murphy gig I went to a couple of months ago - I should have guessed she'd be there). And on top of that Amber and Mia turned up, so I had a good old yap with them for a while, and shortly before leaving Mia and I were engaging in extended sign language communications. I was trying to mime to her "Ring me, email me, write a letter, snail mail or carrier pigeon." I thought my signing was self-explanatory but I'm sure she thought I was making it all up as I went along. It all got rather silly and was like an episode of "Give Us A Clue" (and wasn't that dire television?).

Shel was busy flitting about as usual, although we did manage to get together for some of those "Oh my god, look at her..." conversations.

"What were you wearing?" I hear you ask. (And if you weren't thinking that, well then you should have!) Shel was all in white: white top, trousers and heels to match, and she had some sequinny sparkly bits here and there, and I wore my favourite black devorre dress (the semi-see thru one which I recently found again, having lost it) and a pair of black glitter-encrusted open-toed stiletto heels. Considering the fact that the last time I wore those shoes they killed my feet, I did remarkably well because they gave my no problems at all - I was skipping about all over the place in them.

After trying to hail a cab in the rain (neither of us had remembered to take a brolly), we were lucky enough to get a lift from a Clare or Claire. back at the hotel we raided the mini-bar and relaxed on our beds and discussed the night. At about three o'clock we decided it was time to call it a night and go to sleep.

The next day we packed up and left; Shel dropped me off at Paddington and I caught a (crowded) train back home almost immediately, and was sitting at my computer checking my eBay auctions with a cup of tea by half past one. (Cue cry of "Fucking hell" when I saw how much my 12-string guitar had gone for).

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent going to the shops and watching telly. Watched "Sleepy Hollow" on Channel 4 later on, then went to bed.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:12 am [edit] 

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Well I never knew that

The other day I went shopping in Tesco and was given a Tesco "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" scratchcard. The question was:
In which of the following months should you not eat oysters?

A: September
B: December
C: April
D: May
I just left the card in the kitchen, but this morning I notice that Karen has scratched off the ?????? panel next to D: May to uncover the result "CORRECT!"

Well, I never knew that, and if truth be told am slightly miffed that Karen knew the answer and I didn't.

What I want to know is WHY? Are oysters poisonous for the month of May, and how come they subscribe to the Gregorian calender anyway? Or is it an etiquette thing, like only passing the port from the left at the dinner table?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:20 am [edit] 

Friday, November 08, 2002

Sandwich

Here's an interesting search request on Yahoo! that led someone to this blog: sandwich sold on ebay by a diva who took only one bite.

Does anyone know the story behind that one?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:52 pm [edit] 

The Ark

So, I'm wanting to go out to the bank this lunchtime, but it's raining again.

Oh, what a surprise!

We seem to have permanent rain these days. I can't remember back to when it wasn't raining. (OK, well yesterday it didn't rain, but that was just one brief respite).

So, what if it was to go on and on raining with no let-up, in some kind of biblical waiting for the flood scenario? And suppose you were to build an ark so as to save youself. What would you take along with you?

Me, I'd want all my home comforts. My ark would have to be a floating house really, with a nice bathroom, bedrooms, etc. I'd need my stereo and CDs, lots of books to read, a telly just in case there were still TV programmes being broadcast (obviously cable TV would be out of the question) and a shed load of videos. And I'd want my guitars and amps. Naturally, I'd need a generator, after all this is a modern-day ark we're talking about.

And what about animals? Two of each kind and all that kind of malarkey. Well, obviously it'd have to be a big ark so as to house them all, but I couldn't have just any old animals. Any insects and creepy crawlies could forget it for starters. Anything nasty like snakes would also have to fend for themselves.

No, I'd have a few cats, perhaps a couple of dogs, a few deer, some badgers, rabbits, all that kind of thing. I'm guessing that I wouldn't need to be overrun with elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, tigers and zebra, because I'm assuming the flood would be confined to the UK. But if it was a worldwide flood, other people from other countries could have those animals in their arks. Which would be great as far as I'm concerned as it would let me off the hook where monkeys are concerned. Smelly, nit-picking monkeys with their horrible bottoms. Yeuch!

Actually, if I did have to give berth to any particularly smelly animals, I'd build a second ark and tow it along behind the main ark. Now that would be a plan!

And I'd have to have an extensive wardrobe of the finest dresses and poshest gowns, fabulous shoes, etc. I mean, you have to look your best on these occasions, even if it isn't a cruise ship we're talking about.

Oh, and I could have a really swish night-club up on the top deck, and and...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:39 pm [edit] 

Thursday, November 07, 2002

For Sale: Aria Legend Plexiglass guitar

Aria Legend Plexiglass guitar
This guitar is being auctioned on eBay, now! (Click here)


Please give generously!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:08 pm [edit] 

Famous last words

Ha! No sooner do I claim that "I can't really afford to go buying new dresses at the moment" (see previous post) than I go and spend money on something else.

A lot of money.

But not a lot of money considering the bargain that I am getting and the value of this particular thing.

And now I'm going to need to sell some more things on eBay so I can afford this new thing. This means that I definitely have to sell my Aria Legend perspex Jazzmaster-style guitar. It's a lovely guitar, but I hardly ever play it. So, if anyone wants a really cool looking see-thru guitar, then please get in touch soonest. Otherwise, I shall be listing it on eBay very soon.

So, what's the new thing, you ask? Well, it's a Fender Jazz Bass - a lined fretless similar to this one. I've been on the look out for a nice fretless bass for a while and this one was a real bargain and virtually in new condition so I couldn't pass it by. I used to have a fretless bass years ago, but I sold it to a friend and have regretted it ever since. I'm really looking forward to getting this new one!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:02 pm [edit] 

The many faces of Gina

So, yesterday I was (allegedly) a school mistress, and today someone has said that I look like a "rock chick".

In other news, it's nice to have a bit of sunshine again. It had been raining for so many days now, that it was hard to remember a time when it wasn't raining.

Just now I nipped around to Debenhams in Oxford to check out their so-called One Day Spectacular. Nothing really struck me in a "Buy me! Buy me!" kind of way. Probably just as well as I can't really afford to go buying new dresses at the moment.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:36 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Water biscuits

You know what's always puzzled me? How come water biscuits don't evaporate when they are being baked?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:24 pm [edit] 

Unfamiliar

I had a weird walk home from the station in Didcot tonight. It was alsmost as if I'd gotten off the train at the wrong station. It all felt unfamiliar and strange, as if I'd never walked that route before. And with good reason, for I had never walked that route before. Yes! At last they have opened the new road they've been building all year, thus giving me a more direct route to and from the station. I must have saved all of two or perhaps three minutes.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:57 pm [edit] 

The Curse of Gina Snowdoll

After my rant about the evil munchkins back in September, I don't seem to have seen any since. Has everyone re-designed their blogs and given the munchkins their marching orders?

And further spookiness occured after my semi-rant about Mil Millington's column in the Guardian Weekend Magazine when in the following week's edition it was announced that "this is the final column in this series" (or words to that effect).

So, who can I jinx next?

How about Jamie Oliver? Mind, it's not through want of trying, especially in my first year of blogging, and he's still on the telly and on those annoying Sainsbury's adverts.

Oh, well... One more attempt:

Jamie, you're crap! I curse you! Now, begone with you! Ha ha ha ha (much manic laughter, etc)...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:56 pm [edit] 

A new role?

Someone at work has just said to me, "Oh, you're like a school mistress!"

I've never been called that before.

(Cue Sherri saying, "No, that's Tamsin's job."

Tamsin: I reckon she deserves a thump for that. That's another one you owe her.)

posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:00 pm [edit] 

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Seeing as those last two posts were both so long, I reckon that lets me off the hook as far as blogging goes for the rest of the week.

What do you reckon?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:16 pm [edit] 

More Firsts

As suggested by Karen:

First job?

It was working for a small printing company and involved lots of folding and collating and stapling and making the coffee
and all the tedious little jobs. Sometimes I was given the task of cleaning the metal litho plates; other times I was allowed to take charge of the HUGE Xerox photocopier (it occupied an entire room on its own); and occasionally I would help in the front shop. The jobs I liked best were when I was sent out on chores to deliver a printing job to someone in town as it got me out and about. I also liked it when I was asked to do artwork (usually for signs), and this was probably where I had my first taste of design work.

Another thing that I had to do sometimes was make these enormous "dye-line" copies of architects plans, things like that. Operating that machine could get a bit much as it used amonina to develop the photo-sensitive paper and the room wasn't very well ventilated. And you could get in a right pickle with the paper too, as you'd be dealing in sizes such as A2 and A1, and sometimes even A0. You know how big A4 is? Well, double it and you get A3. Double it again and you have A2... And so on. A0 sized paper is enormous! Can you imagine having to accurately feed that manually through a developing machine without creasing it and/or tearing it? Needless to say, I wasted quite a few sheets.

First driving lesson?

I don't drive, but I did take lessons when I was about 18. The first lesson was no great shakes because the instructor did all the driving and just talked at me. All the other lessons just blend into one in my mind. The car was a Ford Escort MkII, and later there was a Ford Fiesta too. I remember one occasion when the speedo stopped working so I had no way of telling how fast I was going. Or how slow. He'd never let me go fast. If I got to 40mph then I was lucky.

First swim?

Karen, you are doing this deliberately. You are choosing all the things that I don't do! In the final year at primary school we were taken by coach every week to the swimming baths in Beckenham (home town of David Bowie) for our swimming lessons. It terrified me. As we approached the baths in the coach my heart sunk and I felt real fear. I visited Beckenham years later when I was in my twenties and going along that road brought back all the memories and made me feel really uneasy.

I was absolutely terrified of water! And the swimming instructor - a great big hulk of a man with ginger hair and freckles - was most insistent that we had to start the lesson by putting our heads under the water. BUT I CAN'T BREATHE UNDERWATER!!!! It really really scared me, and even the thought of it now is making me feel queasy. We've all had those moments when we accidentally go under the water. Such moments are unpleasant but are not as ghastly as having to do it deliberately. I can't emphasize how much it scared me or how unpleasant it was, and this ginger oaf was just a bully. After several weeks (months?) of us getting no-where - me being terrified by this bully - my class teacher, Mr Payne, took me aside and several of the others who were similarly frightened and he personally supervised us at the other end of the pool. And he didn't make us do anything we didn't want to unlike the ginger bastard. And I'm grateful to him for his kindness and compassion.

The school I was at was always very proud that all the pupils who left after the final year, left being able to swim. They used to announce this regularly at school assembleys. That was until I came along. Me, and a boy called Stephen Jacobs. Neither of us learnt to swim, but under those bully-boy tactics how would we? So, we broke the school's 100% swimming record. Unless it was a lie... because years later I asked a lad who used to live next door to us about whether or not the school made the same boast, and he said that they did. The bloody liars!

First religious experience?

Karen, these questions get worse!!! I'm an atheist. I am not agnostic or unsure. I know "God" doesn't exist. Simple as that.

However I still have memories of my first time ever in a church. That place was bleeding scary, I can tell you. All that doom and gloom, that ghastly monotonous mumbley singing. I screamed the place down (no, this wasn't last week! I must've been about 4 or 5), in much the same way that Damien did in the film of the same name (or was it The Omen?).

First holiday abroad?

France. Camping. Stupid way to spend a holiday in a tent living like primitives, having to go to toilet in those disgusting hole in the ground camp-site toilets, etc, etc...

Also this was the first and last time I tried snails. Eating them, that is. Bloody stupid food.

Next...

First website design?

Most likely my GeoCities website. Very basic design, which I kept revamping and can't really remember how it started out.

First present as a child?

Most likely Edward, my bear. I believe he still exists somewhere. I bet my sister has him. Grrrrr...

As suggested by Steve:

First computer?

Well, I never really bought a computer and then got rid of it, got a new one. My computer has just sort of evolved over the years. Sherri helps me upgrade it (well, in reality does all the work) replacing components as and when I feel the need or have the money to throw at it. It started life as a Pentium 75 with 8mb RAM and a 4-speed CD-ROM drive. Now it's a ... bloody hell, I don't know, I'm not very technical, but it's very fast. Ask Sherri what's in it.

As to first computers ever worked on, I'd have to list things like mainframes such as various great big PR1ME computers with all the whirling tapes and whatnots, plus smaller (washing-machine sized!) so-called mini-computers that had enormous disk-platters and great big disk cartridges - about 16" in diameter and most likely with less capacity than a 3.5" floppy disk - that you had to open up the lid of the machine and sort of twist around and insert into place. It was very much like an old-fashioned top-loading washing machine!

First Pet?

First family pet was a lovely tortoiseshell and white cat called Pickles (Piccalilli). We had her from when I was aged 4 or 5 and she lived for 17 years. When I was very young we lived in a house in Penge, near Crystal Palace, and the houses on our side of the street all had cellars; the back gardens were at a lower level than the street level out the front, so when you went out the back door and into the garden you had to go down a small flight of wooden steps, and there were bricks with air-holes underneath where the rear wall of the cellars were. Anyway, what with all these musty old cellars there was a bit of a rat problem. But young Pickles turned out to be an excellent ratter and was a favourite amongst our neighbours. One day my Dad went out in the garden and saw that Pickles was in next-door's garden doing her business in the flower bed. "Oh, I am sorry about that," my Dad called across to the neighbour, to which the neighbour replied, "Don't worry about it. That cat is welcome to do whatever it likes in this garden."

We also had an enormous pear tree in the garden and one of my earliest memories is of Pickles getting stuck up it, so that my Dad had to fetch the neighbour (who, remember, had the greatest respect for the cat) to bring his ladder around to rescue her.

She was a wonderful cat. Very intelligent. Many years later we had another cat called Charlie who learnt to knock the front door so as to be let in the house. After a few weeks Pickles, who was getting old by this time, learnt the same trick! You can't teach an old dog new tricks, they say, but don't go assuming the same for cats!

My first pet that I was solely (supposedly) in charge of was a hamster called Pinkie, who I inherited from my American school-friend Dean, who was moving back to the States. Pinkie lived for three years which is a year longer than hamsters are supposed to go on for. Pinkie also enjoyed the occasional adventure such as the time she got through a hole in the wall behind the toilet (my sister was playing with her in the bathroom for some reason known only to herself) and fell down into the wall cavity. My sister denied anything had happened and I was distraught as to where my hamster had gone, but later we heard scratching at the skirting board in the downstairs hall-way, so my Dad got his tools out, made a hole in the wall, put his hand through... and got bitten! But, Hurrah! It was Pinkie!

First Funeral? (attended)

My Grandad's (Dad's Dad). It was all very strange, and the idea of a wake afterwards struck us kids as very odd. People having a party - although a very depressing one - after someone had died. We snuck outside and went playing around the old disused railway line. Stupid adults sent out a search party for us. We were only around the corner. This was in Cardiff, by the way, just to give you a sense of location.

I should really mention my grandad, who's funeral it had been. Well, thinking back and trying remember, he was a quiet man, but with a wicked sense of humour. He loved a joke, and he loved a smoke and would collect all the cigarette cards - he had tins full of them. He also had only one thumb as he'd lost the other when he worked in the steelworks. I remember on one holiday in France, he thought it was a great joke to stick his absent-thumb out the window of the car when we trying to hitch a lift with my parents back from the beach (can't remember why they were in the car, and not us).

First CD?

"So Alive" by Love and Rockets. It was a CD single with 4 songs and came in a round metal tin. I didn't have a CD player at the time but bought it because I was mega-into Love and Rockets and wanted this rarity. Later, I played it on the CD player belonging to a guy I shared a house with, and taped it.

First Mobile Phone?

The one I've got now. I don't understand this obsession with mobile phones. It's just a bloody phone. It is not a fashion statement. That TV advert that Paul Merton voices, "Ashamed by your mobile phone?", irritates the hell out of me.

No, I am not ashamed by it. I'm not that shallow.

First place you lived in away from home?

I've moved all over the place, so that the concept of "home" is one that's hard to come to grips with. If I go back to my parents it feels like "home" even though I only really lived with them at that particular house for a few months. My current house feels like home because I've been there 10 years now - longest time I've been anywhere. (Halve it and it would still be the longest).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:27 pm [edit] 

Monday, November 04, 2002

Firsts

My first record ever bought

I used to tell people that it was "Tiger Feet" by Mud, because that was actually the first cool record I ever bought. The first record, coolness factor not withstanding, was "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" by the New Seekers. And which I sold in the late seventies for a few pence at Beano's records in Croydon, because I wanted to buy a Motorhead single. But they'd just put all their prices up, so I had to make do with a badge instead.

As to the New Seekers, well I seem to recall they were mighty popular at one time and used to have a regular spot on the Cliff Richard Show. And that song, it came from a Coca Cola advert. I can't believe my youthful total lack of standards.

My first gig

The first band I ever saw live was Mud (of the afore-mentioned "Tiger Feet" fame). This must have been back in 1975 and was in Catford.

My first movie

The first film I ever saw in the cinema was "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" starring James Mason and Kirk Douglas. I think I must've been about four years old, so that would have made it 1968.

My first bike

1968 was an eventful year, because not only did I get to see the above film, but I also got my first bike. It was a little kiddies bike with fat white tyres. I had asked for a bike with stabilisers but mine came without. I learnt to ride it pretty quickly without stabiliser assistance, though; I just copied what the other kids were doing. One moment I was sitting on the bike, holding on to a garden wall and was pretending to cycle, the next moment I was off.

My first drink

Sometimes I used to accompany my aunt Ange when she went babysitting for the neighbours. She introduced me to Woodpecker cider, and one night I got quite drunk, and she was really worried. "Don't tell your mum and dad," she kept imploring. I must have been 11, possibly even 10, years old.

My first guitar

This was a B+M Classico nylon strung jobbie that I believe had cost my parents £10.99 from the music shop in Coney Hall, West Wickham, when I was about 11 or 12. It wasn't a particularly good instrument, but managed to take loads of abuse over the years, and still survived. At one point I covered it in those little round orange stickers that you use on year planners, and people would comment that it looked like it had chicken pox. On another occasion I labelled the complete fingerboard showing the notes at each and every fret position. It didn't help me learn, though. The guitar still survives and at the moment my sister's kids have it.

My first electric guitar

I saved up for this when I was on the dole when I was 18. It came from my mum's catalogue and was a Vox Standard 25 and cost in the region of £179. It was was black with a cream scratchplate and had a Stratocaster style layout - the three single-coil pickups, single "volume" and two "tone" controls - but it was a much more rounded shape than a Strat and had the Vox pointy headstock as made famous on their teardrop-shaped guitars. It also had a tremolo arm, which kept working its way loose, so I'd wrench it round another time, so that it would sit nicely in place. I later discovered that I had screwed the arm right down through the thread of the tremolo block and into the wood beneath. It was an incredibly heavy guitar, being completely made from maple so it was very rigid. It played very well, had a great sound, but when I got my Fender Stratocaster some years later I was instantly impressed with the latter guitar's playability and so the old Vox was largely ignored. For a while I kept it in Nashville tuning (or "high-stringing", where you use the octave strings from a twelve-string guitar set). This made it sound like a mandolin. Eventually, I sold it to a friend and used the money to buy a bike.

My first pair of stilettos

They came from Saxone, had a four inch heel, and were light pink. Pink for crying out loud? PINK? I only ever wore them whilst dressing up at home, and the only time I only wore them outside was when going to the Rocky Horror Show. I had dyed them black by this point though, and later I think I dyed them red. But the dye was peeling off, and showing the other colours beneath. They looked a right state and I think I must have just chucked them out. (Quick! Someone get the smelling salts out for Tamsin and Sherri... the idea of Yours Truly throwing out a pair of high heels).

My first time out as Gina

This was Easter 1996 and I was going to a support group meeting in Oxford. My friend and colleague Liz (who I was really good mates with - pity we've lost touch) let me stay at her house as she was away for the weekend, and I remember I left her a really big Easter Egg as a thank you. I got myself made-up and ready at Liz's, and awaited my friend Sarah West, who was taking me to the venue. I wore a silk dress from Dorothy Perkins which had a chinesey style pattern on it, and I also wore a pair of Roland Cartier high heels - they were black with that kind of stiletto heel that tapers in and then out again. (I still have the dress and the shoes). I have a couple of photos somewhere of me from that night, and I didn't look too bad, although obviously I was a novice with the make-up in those days. Anyway, I was really nervous and was absolutely terrified when we eventually arrived at the meeting, which was above an italian restaurant in Summertown. I couldn't stop shaking, but the people I met we're really nice and said complimentary things and after a while I began to lose the nerves. And then we all traipsed downstairs to have a meal in the restaurant. Eeeks! First time out and I was already having to mix with the public! I'm sure I didn't pass for a moment, but in the end it was no big ordeal.

My first kiss

You know what, and it might sound like a cop-out, but I really can't remember. I had certainly kissed and been kissed before I had girlfriends, but... Which do you classify as that all-important "First"? There's too many instances of "Oh, that one doesn't count, because..." that the whole concept of which was actually the first has been forever lost to me in the midsts of time. (Or is it "mists" of time?)

And before we even go there, don't ask about my first you know what because I ain't telling.

I'll write up some more "firsts" later, because I was quite enjoying that.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:52 pm [edit] 

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Bah!

Tired. Fed up. Had an all-round crappy weekend, really, for reasons I'd rather not go into here (you'll have to humour me on this... please don't ask).

And on top of that I wasted two hours today trying to strip a guitar body (in the rain, would you believe?), but the finish was resolutely not going to budge. I'll have to have another go with a sander.

I was really looking forward to blogging today, as I had a good fun idea for a blog post, but you'll have to wait now, as my enthusiasm has waned and apathy has set in.

I hope you all had better weekends than I did.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:22 pm [edit] 

Saturday, November 02, 2002

A-wheeling and a-dealing, a-ducking and a-diving...

It's not been a very eventful day. The weather being so ghastly has put paid to me going out anywhere, and I decided in the end against going to the record fair as there's no way I would get out without spending at least £30, which I can ill afford to do at the moment.

And I've decided that I'm buying too much on eBay at the moment and not selling enough, so I spent several hours today taking photos of various books, videos and assorted stuff, and typing out descriptions on eBay. So, at last it looks like I'm going to get some money coming in, as people are beginning to bid on my various items, with my 12-string guitar being the most financially exciting with the auction currently standing at £82 (it still has seven days to go).

The idea behind me buying up all these guitar parts and old beaten up guitars is that I renovate them and build some nice attractive playable guitars which I can then sell, hopefully at a profit. The problem is that part of me wants to keep them all, and just let the guitar collection grow and grow, but this is not good news for the bank account and my little house is just not big enough to house them all. At the moment I have, I think, eleven complete guitars in the house, plus several bodies, necks, boxes of assorted parts, etc.

But, as I said, the 12-string is up for sale, and two of the basses will also be sold off soon-ish (although I need to do a little work on both of them first). Then, after that... who knows? Knowing me, I'll replace guitars as soon as I've sold them.

And the thing is that the only ones I ever play are my trusty Fernandes Revolver Pro that Drew from Die So Fluid got for me and the Fender Squier 7-string. Oh, and the little classical, which is nice for practising on as there's no amplifiers or electrics involved.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:54 pm [edit] 

Friday, November 01, 2002

Early

I was up early this morning as the cat was outside my bedroom door shouting at me for his breakfast. Sometimes it's easier to get up and feed the wee beastie rather than lie in bed listening to the meowing. Not much to report other than it's the end of the week (Hurrah!) and that it's the first of the month (Boo! The year is going too quickly).

I don't have any weekend plans, other than I might go into Oxford tomorrow and wander around the record fair at the Town Hall. Otherwise, I could do some guitar bits and pieces as I still have several projects on the go. Actually, I have about three guitar bodies wanting necks before I can build new guitars with them. It's seems that bodies are easy to come by cheaply, but necks are much more elusive. And I've just been given a "second chance" on eBay to buy a guitar that I was bidding on but didn't win the auction - only the winning bidder has now dropped out for whatever reason and they are offering it to me. Hhhhhmmmm... I've got to think about that one.

Last night I watched the final episode of the latest series of The League of Gentlemen. Best episode yet in an overly ambitious but ultimately disappointing series, but it was great to see the return of Papa Lazarou.

Tonight's telly should have a few highlights: Jonathan Ross, Jools Holland's Later, and - of course - Have I Got News For You without Angus Deayton. So I'll be in front of the old goggle box tonight sipping from a glass or two of wine.

Isn't it time to go home yet?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:38 am [edit]