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  • #573485
    Laura Lovett
    Participant
    Registered On: March 26, 2020
    Topics: 37
    Replies: 1513
    Has thanked: 4703 times
    Been thanked: 7392 times

    I set off down The Hard, past HMS Warrior, a now familiar but no less spectacular sight in the morning sunshine, slightly masked by autumnal trees, but with masts towering over them, and the prow and figurehead protruding defiantly between the trunks.

    Past the travel interchange, people hurrying to catch their selected mode, whether ferry, bus, or train, from the peculiarly built station on a pier. Quite a feat of engineering for an electric line.

    Past Gunwharf Quays, under the railway bridge, and past Portsmouth Cathedral, where I paused to take some photographs of the beautiful old building.

    I was just another tourist. The many passers-by did just that – maybe the odd look and a couple of wide-eyed smiles from ladies, as usual, but this glamour girl was striding like she was on business, keen to keep the heart rate and breathing doing their stuff, and following Google Maps.

    The coastal defence construction confused the wossname out of Google Maps, but luckily, I could see the pier from the works, and was able to figure a way round after looking about a bit.

    A lady dog walker asked me nicely if I was lost, so I said “No, but I think Google is!”, and she kindly pointed out the most efficient route among the several paths. We wished each other a very pleasant day, and I sauntered around to the pier, entered the office, and excitedly bought my first ever return hovercraft ticket.

    It wasn’t long, in the somewhat crowded and small waiting room, before the craft came into view, racing towards the beach, slowing down, then sending up a fog of seawater and a hail of stones as she crept on up the beach before deflating.

    My writing cannot do it justice – if you’ve never travelled on one of these incredible machines, you have to witness the arrival – spectacular!!!

    I couldn’t believe my luck when I boarded the front seat nearest a window was unoccupied, with no-one sitting in the adjacent seat. Yummy!! Lots of leg room – although admittedly a slightly restricted view out.

    But it was enough to watch as the craft blew up its skirt, reversed, then plummeted head first onto the waters of the Solent.

    10 minutes later, we were disembarking in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight. I felt like a pioneer – all of my male clothing was away on the mainland. It was quite exciting, to be honest!

    The people of Ryde seemed to be like the people of Portsmouth.

    Almost entirely indifferent to the guy in a dress.

    I was able to wander around freely, looking in the odd shop or two, without being made to feel like a freak show at all. Just another person. Hooray!!!

    I decided, whilst browsing for coffee shops during the hovercraft ride, to visit a specific establishment.

    Grace’s Bakery.

    It was amazing – just what I wanted!

    All the products are hand made on the premises, and oh girl were those cakes big.

    I had a millionaire slice as big as a double CD case, and only just managed it.

    Thanks, Grace!!!

    Satisfied, I put my furry coat back on, thanked the ladies in the shop, who were kept very busy, serving those delicious, huge cakes and awesome looking loaves of bread to hungry looking customers, and went back down the hill.

    I went into the Christmas shop, and marvelled at the delightful displays with twinkly lights, twinkly music and real artificial snow falling onto heaps of presents, but wasn’t really feeling Christmas in early November.

    I went into an old school arcade, where a woman had just set up a Roland Street Cube identical to mine, and was about to start performing.

    I just had time to listen to one song before I needed to be back on the pier for the return craft, so I stayed and listened. It was very pleasant, but didn’t captivate me, so I applauded, as I was one of only 3 who had stopped to listen and I will always support my fellow artists, then tapped my wrist in the traditional signal that time was against me and left, to her slightly plaintive cry of “Thank you!!”.

    And so I made my return journey and took a detour through Portsmouth old town on the way back towards the hotel.

    This was fascinating, with the old barracks, towers and wall walks providing ample amusement, and fellow explorers likewise so wrapped up in the experience that they didn’t seem to notice the odd guy in a skirt and fur coat!

    One lady smiled at me, but that was because I politely waited for her to descend a staircase before going up it myself.

    Round the Marina, and past Gunwharf Quays, this time heading for the Historic Dockyard, just to get a glimpse of the magnificent warship, HMS Victory.

    The lady who searched my bag was very helpful and gave directions for all the interesting things – except the rather magnificent and hauntingly brooding aircraft carrier, moored behind the other craft. Towering above the buildings around, she was quite the impressive sight.

    I found out later that she is called The Prince of Wales – but more of that later.

    Stopping for souvenirs in the shop, I decided it was time for another spa session, this time with the plate rather than the forms – and I was delighted with the look!

    My swimsuit is not particularly low, but the plate is quite big, and so I had a cleavage which looked beautiful but not showy.

    The only real issue I had was that wigs look dreadful and turn into sodden rats tails when soaked, so, after a slightly shorter swim than yesterday, I took advantage of the hydro pool, as a young family came in and took over the swimming pool.

    Oh my, it was bubbly!

    I stayed in there a good 10 minutes, enjoying the pummelling action of the water on my body through the silky costume – and my limbs – and came out feeling massaged!

    This time, two ladies came into the changing room as I tried to twist some of the water out of my dripping wig.

    They smiled, but otherwise took no notice of me, changed and went into the spa. I showered, dried, changed and went back to my room for a properly dry wig, before venturing out again for a meal.

    I also removed the plate, which, I discovered, traps water and forms a vacuum on your body, and any areas that weren’t properly talc’d before you put it on stick horrifically, and come off with a noisy sucking sound. Heaven knows what the people in the room next to mine thought I was doing!

    I changed the low cut sequined top for the frilly blouse, and the white blazer for the striped one, but kept the skirt as it is very comfortable.

    The Hubbox was my destination – a kind of upmarket burger joint, where I had the Big Cheese – a plant based burger in a brioche bun with thick slabs of Halloumi, and cheesey chips. The waiter, who was dead camp fully agreed that you can never have too much cheese.

    I accompanied this with a Cornish Colada, made with coconut rum and Cornish ice cream. Really, really camp, and delicious!

    So, sightseeing and general roaming about feels delightfully free and easy – nobody in Portsmouth seems to have a chip on their shoulders with unusual people – on the contrary, everyone was as polite and nice as could be. Aha, Portsmouth, I don’t feel like I own you, but you might be taking a hold of me!!

    And now, it’s time to sample Portsmouth’s nightlife!!!!

    Wish me luck – it’s not famous for the LGBTQ+ community here…

    Love Laura

     

Viewing 6 reply threads
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    • #575739
      Laura Lovett
      Lady
      Registered On: March 26, 2020
      Topics: 37
      Replies: 1513
      Has thanked: 4703 times
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      Here’s the link to Grace’s Bakery website – you can order stuff from them online 🍞🍪🎂🍰🥧☕

      https://gracesbakery.uk/

       

    • #573776
      Bobbisue Jones
      Lady
      Registered On: May 24, 2021
      Topics: 11
      Replies: 675
      Has thanked: 4725 times
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      Laura, your adventure is getting better and better. So happy to hear no bad vibes to blemish your day. Looking forward to hear more,you go girl! Hugs Bobbisue J

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #573741
      Bianca Everdene
      Lady
      Registered On: April 11, 2017
      Topics: 29
      Replies: 925
      Has thanked: 3967 times
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      Thanks for sharing Laura.

      What a wonderful time you are having.

      ❤️Bianca

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #573826
        Laura Lovett
        Lady
        Registered On: March 26, 2020
        Topics: 37
        Replies: 1513
        Has thanked: 4703 times
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        I think my name says it all, Bianca!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #573713
      Grace Scarlett
      Baroness - Annual
      Registered On: February 16, 2021
      Topics: 160
      Replies: 3796
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      Laura…

      isnt this a fun read!!!

      next episode…can’t wait, I only hope Portsmouth can survive this ” one girl ” invasion…

      You should have mentioned me in the bakery ..you may have got a free tart!!!!…..haha.

      Huggs, grace xx

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #573825
        Laura Lovett
        Lady
        Registered On: March 26, 2020
        Topics: 37
        Replies: 1513
        Has thanked: 4703 times
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        There was only one tart in this bakery, Grace, and, while not free, she’s very reasonable… 😘

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #573702
      Mary Jane
      Lady
      Registered On: September 30, 2020
      Topics: 21
      Replies: 375
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      Definition of irony. Vegetarian burger loaded with cheese.

      Your definitely having a great time.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #573705
        Laura Lovett
        Lady
        Registered On: March 26, 2020
        Topics: 37
        Replies: 1513
        Has thanked: 4703 times
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        There may be iron in it – but I certainly don’t see any irony at all – explain to the dumb blonde?

        Cheese isn’t the opposite of burger… and I see no other contrasts.

        I just can’t see it 😊😊😊😊

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #573754
          Mary Jane
          Lady
          Registered On: September 30, 2020
          Topics: 21
          Replies: 375
          Has thanked: 632 times
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          “Normally.” One eats vegetarian for a variety of health reasons. Loaded with cheese isn’t normally associated with healthy eating.

          I’m on the keto diet. Which means no milk…but full cream, and cheese is on the menue.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #573975
            Laura Lovett
            Lady
            Registered On: March 26, 2020
            Topics: 37
            Replies: 1513
            Has thanked: 4703 times
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            Thank you, Mary Jane – I don’t mean to be touchy, I genuinely didn’t understand.

            You see, I’m a bit wierd as I have been vegetarian for my whole life – it’s not (just) for health reasons in my peculiar case… long story, which I will be delighted to tell one day!

            Love Laura

          • #574176
            Mary Jane
            Lady
            Registered On: September 30, 2020
            Topics: 21
            Replies: 375
            Has thanked: 632 times
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            I didn’t think you were grouchy. More like, my humour flying over someone’s head.

            A friend of mine is a vegetarian cattle rancher. He can’t eat meat because he has a problem with too much iron in his system. Now that is irony for you.

             

    • #573565
      Angela Booth
      Lady
      Registered On: August 1, 2020
      Topics: 3
      Replies: 616
      Has thanked: 1594 times
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      It seems that you didn’t need the hovercraft to get the I.O.W. as walking on air is like walking on water. Great adventure..

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #573692
        Laura Lovett
        Lady
        Registered On: March 26, 2020
        Topics: 37
        Replies: 1513
        Has thanked: 4703 times
        Been thanked: 7392 times

        I really felt totally at ease everywhere I went – you’re right, it was like walking on air, and I did a lot of walking!

        Some of that is down to my own attitude of “I don’t deserve any bad vibes, and I am jolly well going to send out positive ones and have a good time no matter what”, but the rest is down to the people I encounter – it’s all very well having a positive attitude, but if it’s not reciprocated, things can get very uncomfortable.

        I was out and about all day, so it can’t just be luck – I encountered grumpy people in both Bournemouth and even Brighton who genuinely couldn’t seem to get their heads around the concept of a cross dresser just being a normal person who deserves as much respect as anyone else. Portsmouth was striking in the almost total lack of visibly and vocally prejudiced idiots.

        The best people to encounter are those who are accustomed to dealing with the general public, as it’s part of the job function to treat people nicely – and the general trend is that a cross dresser is a bit of a novelty for such folk, and they really warm to the encounter if you’re nice to them and simply expect them to be professional and do their jobs.

        These interactions are total boosters, so, if you’re out en femme, do engage with as many as possible, by simply treating them as lovely people (unless they prove otherwise, which is rare!) – to brighten up their day as well as your own!

        Positivity, people!

        Love Laura

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #573546
      Sylvia
      Lady
      Registered On: October 10, 2021
      Topics: 1
      Replies: 251
      Has thanked: 5759 times
      Been thanked: 962 times

      Dear Laura ,

      Loving part 3 and 4 , what an adventure !

      Love Sylvia.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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