Nature Finds A Way

So, despite saying I wasn’t going to post anything till September, here I am, I discovered this sunflower growing out of our cottage wall and simply had to take a photo for you. I guess it’s Just another example of how nature always finds a way. Have a great day

sunflowerbyAryka

Back soon..

Sorry I’ve not been updating this blog lately. I’m currently recovering from a bilateral Orchiectomy so I’m focusing on just chilling out and enjoying nature. I’ve put my diet info on hold as well as I really can’t do a lot of exercise at the moment. However a month on from the operation I haven’t gained much weight which is a relief. I’m aiming to kickstart the blog again in early September, once I’ve stabilised my hormones.

Thanks for your interest

All the best Aryka

Never ‘Just a Comic’ 2000AD is basically the only thing I still have from my youth. I remember buying Program No 1 in my hometown of Ruislip and using the free gift spinner in the garden, how I wish I kept it on the comic (worth much more with the gift). Despite dyslexia, the pictures helped me make sense of the words and improve my reading ability. I loved the look Judge Dredd and made his badge out of thick card and gun the lawgiver out of wood. In time my favorite character would become Judge Anderson (We now know why lol)

Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper where also characters that stretched my imagination andview of the real world and how people are treated. The fact that movies have never been made for any of these comics great characters is still beyond me. For me, both of the Judge Dredd movies have both sadly missed the mark.

This comic collection has moved with me from England to America & now Scotland, it has been with me through all the twists and turns in my life. It now resides in a safe lock up. Together we have witnessed, friends, family, pets, come & go.

In 1977, 2000AD seemed such a long way away and now in 2018, 77 seems like a different world, and I certainly was a much different person on every level.

Only people who read 2000AD back in the 70’s and 80’s can understand how important it was too alienated, bullied Boys and Girls in a pre-internet age. I can never express my gratitude enough to all the artists and writers who made my frightening lonely school weeks bearable.

Just Aryka

I’m not a political party.
I’m not a belief system.
I’m not a list of procedures
I’m not a look.
I’m not a pawn in your worldview.
Finally
I’m not a number, I’m a free Tran!

You Rebel

You did it again didn’t you rebel

Goodbye Our Jackdaw

So today I woke up with all the joys of spring (despite it snowing again), but then alas my world was saddened. My routine every morning for the last three years is to get up and go outside to visit our hand reared Jackdaw Egg (not a very original name I know)

For the longest time we thought Egg was a boy, but when she laid three eggs last summer we discovered that was wrong

This morning, I went about my normal routine to alas find her dead sitting on her very well constructed and warm nest. She passed in her sleep, I know not why, but it was a good way to go. I must confess my heart broke, not really because of her death, but her brave determination for life.

eggAry

Egg almost died more than once when we 1st found her.

 

When we found her she was a fledgling near to death and not in a good way at all, over weeks and months we nursed her back to health. Hand feeding her, teaching her how to drink, bathe, and even fly.

She was a tough old bird, she loved nothing more than sitting on our shoulders while we sang to her, she would fluff herself up and say her customary ‘WHAT!’ the usual sound most jackdaws make. She, like all my animals, was truly spoiled. I was not allowed to release her back into the wild as she was just too tame. So her aviary and adjoining shed was massive, with plenty of water, food, shelter, and toys to amuse. While it would sadden me that she could never fly outside, she did have a very interesting, safe and loved life.

Many people I guess would not even understand why we would bother to try and care for this type of bird, but Jackdaws like most animals are far more interesting and intelligent than most people think. However, it requires time and patience to understand any animal, two things many people sadly don’t possess.

I could not let her life and the joy she brought to us go without comment. May this post be a fitting tribute to this wonderful and often most overlooked of birds.

 

You will always have a place in our heart, my wonderful friend
Egg  Spring 2015 – March 2018

Note This is not a tutorial just an overview of what I used and why.
Many years ago I decided that I should be able to do as much as I can for myself, cost came into this decision, but it was mainly because I believe that self-sufficiency builds character. Over the years I’ve done loads of things from teaching myself studio photography to building an extension onto a home, building guitars, computers, fixing cars and doing everything about the house from installing kitchens to bathrooms myself.

So when I decided I wanted to get my ears pierced multiple times, after reading about the subject (Because reading is fundamental) I felt confident my wife and I could handle it. While there are a whole host of reasons people tell you not to pierce your own ears, the main one seems to revolve around hygiene and the sanitary environment a professional has to offer. I have to be honest and say that was exactly the reason I decided to pierce my ears at home. While I’m sure professional piercers take great pride in their cleanliness, I personally don’t know any of them from Adam, and I’ve certainly never met any of their hundreds of customers, adding human error into the mix and I’d personally rather take my chances with my own common sense and cleanness.

Note
1) I am in no way saying professional piercers are not fit for purpose, I’m just saying I’m a clean freak and like to know where everything I’m holding, eating, wearing has been, hell I wear gloves most of the day, are you getting the picture lol
2) I’m not advocating that anybody else tries to do this themselves.

While I’m a jack(or Jill) of all trades and master of none, I know my skill set. However I have no clue of yours so I will have to assume this would not be a good idea for you, as things can and do go wrong.

That said if you are a mature, methodical, practical adult that takes responsibility for their own actions then I should imagine that once you have done your own research, cross-referenced a number of techniques and tutorials you to may decide to give it a go.

Arykaear1 copy

Before we started

What I used to pierce my ear.
It took about a week to get all the pieces together for this project here is my list:
6x hollow STERILE BODY PIERCING NEEDLES 18g which is approx 1 mm.
6x studs I used were Hypoallergenic Surgical Stainless Steel with a thickness of 0.8 mm(20 Gauge)
1 piercing clamp and 1 pair of sanitized gloves
1 bottle of Prontolind spray (an antiseptic and aftercare product for piercings )
Rubbing alcohol, a candle, a cork and cotton buds, alcohol wipes and a kettle to boil the water (note I already had that)

Arykaear2

Image top before we started / above after we were done

One ear at a time, sweet cheese sauce ( you have to be of a certain age to get that ) 🙂
I decided to do three holes in my right ear first then wait two weeks before doing the next three on the left. This was for a few reasons, even if you have all the confidence in the World this is stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before, you need to be focused calm and take it slow. After the first ear, my wife was frazzled, while I had set everything up she had to push the needle through, as I did not believe I would be able to do it myself at the correct angle (which is important). To say she was freaking out at the idea of doing this was an understatement, but she did a great job and felt really pleased afterwards at what she had achieved. Also if like me you sleep on your side only piercing one side at a time gives you a chance to sleep on the opposite during the first delicate weeks. If my ear had fallen off I would still have the other one …see you never thought about that did you, that my friend is why you simply shouldn’t be doing this lol

arykaear

The Needle and stud

How I kept everything as clean as I possibly could while piercing.
As I was piercing metal objects through my poor unsuspecting earlobe, I didn’t think I could go overkill on the cleaning. I soaked the vacuum packed studs in boiling water, then in rubbing alcohol. Despite the needles being in ‘sanitised packs’ I wasn’t taking any chances, I sterilized them with the candle flame, then wiped them with rubbing alcohol and kept them in the alcohol until I needed them. Before piercing I sprayed the ears with the antiseptic and again once I put the studs in. Because the needles are hollow, you put the stud in the back end of the needle, the stud passes easily into the piercing as you draw the needle through your lobe, being careful not to stab your neck (hence the cork)

Pain, blood, aftercare and losing my earlobe.
Out of the six holes, only one presented me with a little discomfort, that was the one that bled all the rest were ok. I suppose it all depends on your pain threshold, the needles as you would expect are ultra sharp. The blood, as blood usually does looks worse than it is. Over 4 weeks on and I’ve had no infection, I use the prontolind spray twice a day (it goes a long way) and I’m sure that has helped keep everything healthy. I have to say I’m very happy with what we achieved.

I highly recommend needles over stud guns no matter if you are going to a store or doing it yourself. I remember back in the 80’s having my ear done in a shop with a stud gun, it took ages to heal. I think most people agree the guns deal more damage to the earlobe, as the studs are not as sharp as the needles and the impact is much greater.

Oh as for me losing my earlobe that didn’t really happen lol, wow you actually read this didn’t you, thanks .

As the Snow covers the UK our fur and feathered friends struggle to survive. Please don’t forget to give them high energy food if you can afford it during this #uksnow blast. Even some old cereal, broken down bread and biscuit can help them survive another day, and keeping a fresh bowl of water would be a big help too. Thanks for supporting the animals.

feedaryka

Our bird feeder is proving very popular

Valentines day

Valentines day can be the most wonderful or painful day of the year. Personally I didn’t get a valentines card until I was about 24, so I had many years of knowing Charlie Brown’s pain.
I pity the younger me now as I do all of those that believe that finding that ‘perfect’ person will somehow solve all their problems, it seldom does. The truth is we really do need to know who we are and yes even love ourselves before we can ever hope to be of any use to someone else. Love requires total openness and honesty to succeed and unless you can look in the mirror and know who you truly are, warts and all, it will probably fail. If you are happy to lie to yourself you will in turn lie to everyone you meet and claim to love, which is a recipe for a disaster.

‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’
RuPaul

I think the quote above should be the first thing every school should teach every pupil. It truly would be far more useful to the world than learning how to count or read.

My Femininity

As usual this post is simply my opinion. So what you read below is only applicable to me, If you agree with what I say great, if not please read this part again… 🙂

Our true feelings and emotions are usually lost as soon as we try to translate them into words. Likewise even the words are often easily misunderstood. Take femininity, it can be expressed in a multitude of ways. The mind conjures up a host of looks and emotions when you hear the word, so in truth how can one word ever hope to convey all of that. A majority of women around the world would identify as being feminine, but I suggest it would be very hard for them to reach a consensus on what being feminine actually means or looks like.

Sure I’m not a biological woman, I’m a transgender women while I know many in my community believe their is no difference I for one disagree. I respect everyones views, but I can only see life through my eyes. I possessing bags of feminine energy. It has burst forth all my life, even when I was trying to be a “normal’ man.

For me my feminine side is expressed in all aspects of my life from the way I hold a cup, talk, walk, dress even sleep. It comes from within and is unknowingly based on all the women I have ever witnessed in the real world and even those portrayed in film and TV. What it means to be feminine comes in through all my senses, it’s fermented in the brain and then expressed in my own unique way.

I am not trying to look like a ‘typical’ woman whatever that means, I’m dressing up as Aryka who may or may not be wearing things people typically associate with women. The difference is subtle but very important, at least to me.  I have always loved the look of high heeled Victorian lace up boots. Sadly very few women wear them nowadays and you certainly see even fewer men wearing them :). When I put a pair on society straightway wrongly or rightly sees me as trying to be a woman (and failing) when in truth I’m just trying to be me.

I have spoken before about becoming more androgynous, however I am not gender neutral, I’m a trans fem. I do things that are seen as ‘typically’ female despite at this time still looking unfortunately rather male. A few things I do that society would label as feminine: grow my nails long and paint them, pluck my eyebrows, do everything to make my eyelashes look naturally longer. Everyday, twice a day I cream every part 😉 of my body, and finally I de-hair my body with laser hair removal treatment.

But I am veering off topic. The upshot is all the stuff that may look to everyone else as some bloke trying to look like a woman, is done from a need to express the true me in that moment.  It is not done for a sexual high or to trap men into thinking I am hot stuff (that was written with tongue firmly tucked in cheek) as you have to be very drunk or short sighted to think I was ever ‘hot stuff’ in any form.

Sure some men and women may get turned on by crossdressing and that’s fine, for many it is just a fetish, but that’s not me. When I put a pair Victorian boots on I don’t suddenly become aroused, I don’t sit fantasizing about wearing the boots. I love that style and when I’m expressing by feminine side to the world that is what I wear.

So in summary, I do what I feel when I need to express my innermost feelings. The more liberated I feel the more I tend to express my feminine energy. It has been suppressed for so many years it feels exhilarating to be out and free. Having said that it also can feel very confusing even frightening and lonely. Like it or not being transgender is still sadly a long way from being considered ‘normal’ or acceptable. despite what they may have you believe on the TV or in magazines.