TinaCortina's Blog

Musings of a Tgirl

Back to Brighton


I have been out and about quite a lot (in the UK) over the last 6 or 7 years,  shopping expeditions, pubs, clubs, restaurants, weekends in London, Manchester, days out all over the south and south-east, but few places are as cosmopolitan and tranny friendly as Brighton.

Ok, so it probably has a reputation as the gay capital of England, which must help a lot.  It also has a large student population and a definite reputation for being a young persons town,  almost the total opposite of Eastbourne 20 miles along the south coast which is famous only for its attractions for the elderly.

How things like this evolve I don’t know.  I guess Brighton was one of the more fashionable places to visit in the 19th century with its Royal Pavilion, long promenades and sea air but Eastbourne must have then been similar.  The ‘lanes’ shopping area reminds me of Montmartre and you can imagine it full of artists and actors.  I recall during my university years that it had a naturist beach, brrrr!! .  But while I recall stripping off with my wife in the warmer climes of St Tropez back in the seventies, I’d never have been tempted in Brighton.  Aside from being a stony beach, it’s too damn cold which brings me a little closer to this weekend just gone.

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My friend Penny doesn’t get out as often as she likes.  It seems something of an anomaly to me that she can come out as transgendered at work, even offering to set up a LGBT/ minorities support group etc, yet she doesn’t dress at work and only rarely at home and even less rarely gets out.  But she is a lovely person, who loves her wife and young family and has therefore agreed that tranny excursions will be a rarity that will be planned carefully around the family calendar.

Last time out had been our Brighton trip in June (just to remind my happy reader, that was when we went out with the Portsmouth girls and had a great time with Hen Parties). So I’d tried to get her to come to the last Magic Theatre, which we had both gone to back in March 08.  Sadly, that clashed with a family birthday so we settled on last weekend and spent many a happy email debating the merits of clubland in Brighton or Theatreland in London.   In the end we’d decided to coincide our visit with  a Transisters club night and long time friend Gabby decided to join us and bring her new partner Erin along.

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My drive to Brighton was going to take an hour or so and I’d considered travelling en femme, maybe even returning as Tina Sunday morning allowing me the luxury of some Christmas shopping.  But I’d a golf match Saturday morning and going back home to change was not going to be easy so I decided to go straight there,  planning on arriving around 2:30pm.  I made what I thought was good time and stopped for a bottle of wine on the outskirts of Brighton.  About 3 miles but an hour later I managed to park up in an NCP and check in.  Brighton is definitely not a place designed for cars and in parts it is just gridlock.  And with the wind gusting to 60mph it was definitely not a place for wigs either!

Penny and I had booked in to the Umihotel, a decent sized room overlooking a raging sea.  Plenty of mirrors but lighting was poor ~ they just don’t consider us tgirls!!

Penny had started her transformation, and looked great in new purchases.   I took an age unpacking and it was good to have a natter over (a plastic!) glass of white wine.  Apologies to P, but I then took over the bathroom as we both set about our completing our ‘magic make-overs’.  I always enjoy taking my time and doing the best I can, even if just popping out for the afternoon.  In this case we’d agreed to meet Gabby and Erin in the bar downstairs where we’d decide whether to venture out.

By this time it was raining cats and dogs so with the wind still howling we settled down for a natter.  I’ve known Gabby since about 2003, but Erin had only recently come down from Aberdeen.  She is an effervescent and highly articulate girl impressing us with her total recall on a wide range of subjects.  I played the dumb blonde (which comes easily) and kept stumm most of the time!  Memory, what’s that?  That’s why I have to write everything down, lol.

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We’d booked ‘La Fiorentina’ a few squares away for dinner at 8, so quick change required.  Now it might not mean much to anyone else but my wife had gone through her wardrobe the night before to help me find a suitable top to go with the black skirt I wanted to wear and in the end had pretty well given me free rein.  I’d selected a quite low, black chiffony type top, that was so elasticated I could go without a bra.  Now that is a first!   For the first time, I could pop my size d’s in ‘with confidence’ and go shoulderless which was a lovely feeling.  I had gone knee-length, but Penny looked resplendent in red and dared to show far more leg than I could get away with.

A short taxi ride and we were welcomed into a cosy Italian restaurant which looked rather like a santa’s grotto.  Nevertheless, it was a cosmopolitan menu and I treated myself to lots of garlic, first on my sardines and then on my Dover Sole Meurniere, which I have to say was delicious.

I am sure we must have been there an age, but it just flew by, conversation just flowed and we barely noticed nor were noticed by the other patrons, at least until we got the camera out, lol.  We are always the same I know, we just can’t resist it and we all want photos on our own cameras even though we swop photos afterwards!!

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The rain had pretty well stopped so we headed towards the ‘lanes’, it was going to be mostly downhill, so a time to enjoy, a time to be proud.  We were warmly welcomed into Bar Kobo given a cocktail menu and ten minutes later the prime spot close to the bar.  Bar staff were so friendly taking special care to make sure ‘we ladies’ felt at home, but as I said earlier, in Brighton, who is to care?  We stayed an hour or so and while G & E headed back, Penny and I headed off in search of more frivolities.  At the Fishbowl we did have to talk our way in, the doormen at first thinking we might prefer the (gay) bars on Kempside, the other side of town.  I was surprised at that, I mean we didn’t even know if this bar was gay straight or in between.  But when we got in it was ideal.  Mixed crowd, music, a little dance floor, lively but not too loud.  We chatted away mostly to ourselves but a smile here, a nod there, the odd word with others (+ the obligatory photo offer), you knew you were welcome.

So we hadn’t made it to the clubs, ‘Revenge’ or ‘Legends’, not even the ‘Charles St’ club where ‘Transisters’ was supposed to take place, but we’d had a lovely meal and lively conversation and drinks from around 4pm till around 2pm and I was still standing!!  Penny and I even had a nightcap and more chat when we got back to the room, finally hitting the sack around 4am, for a few hours kip if you could sleep through the noise of the wind.

We’d had great fun trying on wigs and stupidly I slept in my make-up and shorter wig, which is always going to be uncomfortably hot if you wake up, so at 7:30 I tried to slink into the bathroom to clean up.  Still at least we made it down to breakfast and I could have a brisk walk along the prom.  I’d hoped it might be possible to dress again, but that would have meant an entirely different mindset, more time and much less wind.

Still at least we had blue sky for a while, if not for long.  Half way home the skies opened, the rain fell like hailstones and all the cars on the motorway were stopping on the hard shoulder.  All the way home and flooding everywhere, well at least big puddle deep.  Spare a thought for the poor sods in Cumbria that have lost their houses to floods for the 2nd time in about 4 years.

Time for a hug and a cuddle with my wife.  Tell the story in all its ‘gory’ detail (she likes that), a quick look at the photos on the camera (check I’ve not been a naughty girl?  I’m not like that!).  Later a time to reflect on a fun day in Brighton, spent with friends, made to feel really welcome, no problems, no hassle, Brighton a great place to visit.

If you’ve made it this far, you have done well!!

Hugs

TinaCortina xx

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November 25, 2009 Posted by | musings of a tgirl | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments