Lady Bah Bah

Ok it’s about time for some silliness.
So I created the image of lady Bah Bah last year and just refreshed it today. I thought it would be nice to add a silly little story (below) to go with it made out of the titles of Lady Gaga songs. As always please feel free to share if it amuses credit :- A.Voss/planetvoss.com ❤️
Have a safe day.


Lady bah Bah has always been on the edge of Glory, desperately seeking the applause and adulation of all the bad kids in her flock. However after the video of what she thought was a secret dance in the dark  when viral, the Paparazzi haven’t stopped coming by her field, as she doesn’t own a Telephone. The questions they ask sometimes leave her Speechless, they ask about her trans life and relationships, one even shouted ‘Who does your hair?’ It’s wool you monster, she thought as she ground her teeth while keeping her characteristic poker face. The less the press know the greater the aura she creates, she doesn’t want them finding out about the Lovegame she is having with Alejandro from the other side of the valley. Alice her friend thinks it’s a stupid love and that Alejandro is just a swine, she say’s ‘You and I don’t need boys,boys,boys’. Bah bah doesn’t care there are a million reasons why this could turn into a bad romance she just doesn’t want it to be because of the fame. She can’t worry about all that now, she will continue to just dance like the gypsy taught her, while keeping the perfect illusion that she knows what she is doing and this was all planned.


This too shall Pass

‘This too shall pass’ is one of my favourite sayings, in a world beguiled by fakery it is an unbreakable, unsentimental TRUTH. All that we are, endure, love, know will as surely as the seasons change, fade and ultimately in time turn to dust.

Depressing?
Maybe, maybe not, nothing last forever and it is folly to believe anything we do will last beyond our life time? let alone hundreds or thousands of years from now.

As everything becomes more and more digitalised all we are seems now only too exist on screens and in the digital ether. We are told our data, our digital memories, hopes and dreams are back up and safe. Safe against what? Hard drive or server failure, power cuts, storms, earthquakes, wars, ordered deletion. Our 2021 cultural wonders unlike those of Neolithic civilisation could all be gone in a simple malicious keystroke. Improbable many would say, oh the naïveté of optimistic fools. It’s not being alarmist to state the bloody obvious even the megalith above (Lanyon Quoit, Cornwall) will one day be space dust waiting to be re-formed into who knows what.

‘This too shall pass’ should be a mantra we all utter everyday, if only to refocus our hearts and minds to the ephemeral nature and wonder of our very existence.

❤️ AV.

The times they are a-changin

You may have noticed already that I have changed the look of the site, it’s not purely cosmetic, going forward I will also be changing the way I post and create.
When I first logged on to the internet in 93 it would have been like walking down a footpath in a rural idyll, now it is more akin to sitting in a SSC Tuatara on a  billion Lane interstate freeway to hell. Everyone including me is on informational overload, long text and static images are over looked in favour of animations and videos. Even in Lockdown Britain few people can focus their attention on one thing for very long …zzzzzzzz

WAKE UP!
So from now on I’m moving to a microblogging style. Our minimalistic look has probably been scientifically chosen by cyber robots, in order to give you dear overstretched viewer the best possible chance of tolerating this post before moving on to more important things like the GIF of a typewriting octopus 😂. 

I jest but only a little, it’s evolution baby you either adapt or die. Nothing is set in stone, just as I for-saw the rise of the digital camera when everyone was emphatic it would never ‘catch on’, before long blogs and websites will ultimately become a thing of the past for anyone but Global Corporations.

For sometime we have been at a point where many are reluctant to leave their chosen echo chamber of a social network for fear they may miss the next big trend. As someone who dislikes how we have been reduce to simply the sum of how many followers we have the future is grim. It seems only the beautiful people will win the struggle for hearts and eyes, just as long as they have a cat or one of those dogs that fit in a purse.

I hope the image at the top of this post can make up for the valuable Instagram time you’ve missed reading this. May your day be abundant in ❤️’s and 🌈 …✌️.

  I’m chagrined this post is far too long, I must do better or face obsoletion. 😺


Wishing you Peace this Christmas

Last year I wrote about ‘An Authentic Christmas’, this year upon Christmas Eve I thought I’d write again about one of my favourite topics Peace. 

Peace is the freedom from disturbance; tranquillity.

Peace is seldom in vogue, in fact Peace is just not considered ‘sexy’. The reason for that is probably because Peace requires us to stop, shut up and just be, something humans in our news and social media driven age are not very good at, if we ever were.

Peace as most of us think of it is an absence of noise, for me peace done well is an absence of us. In true peace we fade into a state of unknowing and unthinking. It could be described as a moment when the Divine steps centre stage and we slide back to simply observe from the 3rd row. 

Anyone that has tried to meditate or contemplate will know the mind full of it’s chatter can not tolerate this space for long, as soon as you are ‘at peace’ the mind shatters the moment, even if it’s with something as simple as, ‘wow I’m at peace’ 

Though it may sound contradictory peace has many levels. There is the peace from the sounds of the human world, what some may call the peace of nature. As someone who has be lucky enough to live ‘in the middle of nowhere’ I know only too well how noisy that can be. The cacophony of night creatures kept me awake many a night until my suburban ears got used to the ’noise’. If you take all of the creatures out of the mix, rivers, rain, wind and thunder will step up to fill the void. If we could rid our hearing of all that what next? Would we hear the creaking and cracking of the very planet beneath out feet? So Peace is not silence in fact beyond the class room or library where a form of silence is demanded, silence really doesn’t exist.

Peace however is a thing, a thing that we can over time tune ourselves into more and more, if we wish. That’s my point in a world that is obsessed with reaction and interaction peace is seldom desired and is often actively discouraged. That is until finally one day the mind snaps under the weight of all the ’not peace’. 

Everything from that last tweet to the news headlines, even the rubbish blowing outside your window is vying for your attention and usually getting it. Hopes, nightmares, even that thing someone said to you years ago is still circling in your brain From the most random sexual fantasies to even that album of whale calls that was meant to get you to sleep is being analysed and assessed for its value.  When you really start to think about it, it can become mentally suffocating. 

For me and I concede maybe just me, Peace is the place where all this is still going on, but for a short time, sometimes a very, very short time you cease to engage with it. While above I said ‘Peace is a freedom from disturbance’ in truth peace is the freedom from being disturbed by the disturbance, as it is my believe a disturbance free Nirvana does not exist, at least not in the earthly realm.

For me over the years Christmas Eve has always been a time of peace when no matter what is going on I have been able to just zone out, staring at a candle or a twinkling light, even as a child I would look out the window in silent wonder. The next day Christmas Day the spell is broken. The EVE is magical, the DAY feels more like cold reality. Yes the mind is hard at work at both times but I can feel the difference in the stress levels. When at peace the world could fall off its  access and this would be excepted without question or fear. 

That is the peace I wish you this Christmas, the peace where you are at one with whatever predicament you find yourself in and just surrender to it.

Many people could see this as a failing, personally I see it as bliss. I’m sure most of us have observed over this covid-19 year that no matter what we do, sometimes, something bigger than us will just force us to stop trying to figure it all out and just except the unacceptable, in that moment we surrender to what is, at the same time we find true peace. In that moment the divine nature of all things holds our hand and whispers it’s OK, everything is all right.

Thank you my friend for reading and no matter your beliefs I wish you a very peaceful and safe Festive season 

A year with Stadia & thoughts on Cyberpunk 2077

On November 27th 2019,  I wrote about receiving my Stadia Founders Edition Kit, and a year on, I thought an update on how I’m finding the system was long overdue. 

As I stated last year, I’ve been playing games on computers and consoles since they were first released to the public. I do not class myself as a hardcore gamer, so this is just a very brief overview having played both Stadia Pro (premium subscription service ) and the ‘free’ service when playing games purchased on the Stadia store.

I’m pleased to say over the last year I have only been unable to play stadia due to connection  issues twice, which may have indeed have more to do with my internet provider than Google. Sure, we would all love to think that these services would never go down and when they do its frustrating, but thats life. While I haven’t owned a playstation in years, I know firsthand that the XBOX service was not without it’s outages and bottlenecks. Apart from this one event, the games on Stadia have always loaded at an acceptable speed and the streaming quality is always good.  I say good because I’m British and we are not known for heaping praise. 😂 I tend to only play shooter games (because that’s what I like ) and as my eyes are old, unless the game drops below 1080, I probably wouldn’t notice if it only happens for short periods of time. Yes Pro Stadia is meant to stream at 4k, but I always assumed that only people in big cities on ultra fast connections would get that. I live in a coastal town in Cumbria (20min from the Lake District) I get a download speed of between 45 -62 depending how the wind is blowing 😂 and the image always looks fine.  Now if I was back where I lived in the Scottish Borders I would not have even been able to have Stadia, so as Tech reviews always say… ‘your mileage may vary’. 

If your aim is to bash Stadia, then image quality could be a place you could set up camp. I’m sure you could find times where you could say …’ that’s not 4k’, however  I think most of us that brought into Stadia straight out of the gate, knew we were buying into a brave new world and not digital perfection. We liked the idea of games without expensive consoles.  Maybe, like me, you just viewed Stadia as a greener option, less plastic and ultimate landfill. Maybe I’m just a cynical wizened old fool however I take what is said in advertisements with a large pinch of salt, so I always dial my expectations back that said Stadia has, in many ways, outstripped my initial expectations. I have not regretted moving from XBOX to Stadia, and while there are legions of people on twitter from other gaming systems that will tell you Stadia is not up to scratch and it’s doomed to ultimately fail, that’s just par for the course.

If you’re invested in the playstation, xbox or pc gaming universe, then I see no reason why you would be interested in Stadia or begrudge its existence. All products have their fans and that’s fine, difference makes for an interesting world. People like me buy products for what they can offer rather than a name badge. I use Stadia because it is a cost effective way to get back into gaming when my x-box became slow and outdated.

Getting back to image quality and game play….

Alas I lost my original Founders name when I deleted the google account it was fixed to.  This was a personal choice and nothing to do with google or Stadia. I do regret that decision now, as I have to run around universes tied to a name and a hashtag something Founders didn’t have to do. The reason I raise this now is that when I came back to Stadia, some weeks later, I decided not to pay for Stadia Pro and just brought one game :- Borderlands 3. When you buy a game without the pro membership, it will only play at 1080 max, personally I thought the image to be lower quality than that, but still highly playable and did not bother me. Lets be honest, if you only want to play one game and couldn’t  justify the outlay for a new console then nothing is going to touch Stadia for price. I think most would be happy just to be able to play the game they love and be forgiving on the image quality. If, on the other hand, image quality matters then paying for pro membership and a game still keeps the initial outlay at a much more realistic level. We all know that even when you buy an x-box you still end up forking out money for game pass etc. 

Not a real gamer…

The main reason I don’t consider myself a real gamer is that I only play occasionally and I’m very picky about the games I choose to play. Basically I just want to shoot stuff.  I am not really interested in story lines or chatting with other gamers, clans or badges. I just want to shoot stuff quickly and easily without a frigging manual. Therefore I play games like Destiny and Borderlands, because I can skip through all the waffle and get back to blasting stuff into oblivion. When you pay for Stadia Pro you can claim ‘free’ games which is nice, but most of the time once I have loaded them up my eyes start to glaze over. Either I have no clue what I am meant to be doing or the controls are not as I expected and I just stop playing. This is why I could never play role playing games, despite owning loads of the cool Warhammer 40k figures. I’m a plug and play type of person when it comes to games. Scrolling through manuals and walk-throughs just to get to then next section of shooting stuff is not my idea of fun. That’s why the swing & jumping and timed parts of Borderlands have me screaming at the screen in frustration… If I was a coach in the NFL every play on offence would be a ‘Hell Mary’ pass and every defence would be a Blitz 🤣.

And so to Cyberpunk 2077

I use my brain a great deal during the day. In fact I’m often accused of overthinking everything, so when it comes to gaming I just want to switch my brain into standby and just blast my time away….I know this unwillingness to use my brain to play puts most games out of reach, including, in all truth, the game I’ve actually been waiting for all year long for and is as of writing now only hours away :- Cyberpunk 2077. 

As a person who went into a sweet shop in February 1977 and paid my 8p for the 1st copy of the comic 2000ad,  Cyberpunk 2077 looks and feels like a city from the pages of this beloved comic that got me through my youth :- Lawless cities, Cybernetics, cool guns and hot looking freaks.  Now, for as visually perfect Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be, it’s clearly is not just a ‘leave your brain at the door’ shooter. If it didn’t look the way it does, I wouldn’t even be thinking about playing it as it looks like I will be needing to think too much to play it well. I’m almost fully resigned to the fact that I will me hopeless at this game 😁.

However, as someone who has owned a few old rescue dogs, I know they can be taught new tricks. So I am going to give this ‘open-world, action-adventure story’ a good college try, for no other reason than that my character creation will be a perfect version of my non-binary self, something relatively new to game design. Over the past few months I been watching the Cyberpunk 2007 YouTube channel and episodes of ’night city wire’ and falling more and more in love with the aesthetics of this game.

While I guess some would ask why would you want to play a game with such a dystopian outlook, isn’t real life in 2020 depressing enough? Actually no I haven’t found 2020 depressing, I’ve found people’s unwillingness to adapt to the situation and new realities frustrating. So yes I guess I’m hoping to find some escape from the negativity of small minded people in this alternate universe where everything goes. As far as I can ascertain cyberpunk 2077 goes live at 12.00am on December 10th here in the UK so as a bit of fun I will be staying up into the wee hours to play the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 update 21st December

So generally Cyberpunk 2077 has failed to live up to the hype, something that in a non COVID year people may have been able to tolerate. As lockdowns continue with no end in sight people are frustrated frightened and angry, so this games inability to be anything but a A+ as reaped rightly or wrongly the Wrath of social media.

I did wait up to play the game on the morning of it’s release and within two hours I went to bed unimpressed, I have only tried to play it once since then. It is my impression that this game actually plays better on Stadia than many other consoles and I know some people are enjoying it. From the moment I realised I couldn’t customise my character as much as I had believed I knew my expectation and reality were not going to align.

For me the game did not flow in a way I found enjoyable and my impression is that it has a far less ‘free flowing’ storyline than I was lead to believe. I will probably give the game a go again but to be honest sadly for me it’s a big yawn 🥱.


Winter Celebration Cards

Humans have been marking deep winter with festivities and celebrations for many millennia, long before the written word was ever able to record the whys’ and wherefores’ of such ancient rites. 

Fires’ burnt and mead flowed centuries before tales of a Christian God-child was even conceived in a cold darkness few modern souls can fathom. The shortest day of the year was worshiped and celebrated.  Long forgotten Gods were praised and flattered in order to bring forth a new season of rebirth and spiritualities that linked to the turning seasons kept hope alive when the frosted earth appeared to have none. 

All things fade, and even the religious Christmas many of us grew up with in the western world has been superseded by a commercial season which worships money over all things. 

The irony of promoting my festive season cards, like all hypocrisy, is not lost on me. But I am, first and foremost, an artist and this is the only way I can make some pocket money for myself.  My images have been around for a long time.  The first was winter solstice (below) created in 2007. This image has photos of frost, holly and conkers (seed of the horse chestnut tree) among other things to create an image that reflects on nature in slumber. 


The next image (below), Festive Wood 2008, is a surreal depiction of the wonder of nature during this festive season. 



Last of all, (above) Winter Dance 2009 , celebrates the magic of winters’ merry dance of frost and snow (which sadly we experience less and less of) Can you see the Jack Frost-like figure in the image that happened more by chance than intention? 

These three images proved popular at the Spiritual and Natural Fairs I used to exhibit at with my wife in toe 😂 . 

While I now create differently, these images have a certain timelessness that makes an interesting proposition for someone trying to find that special card for the person whose hearts still yearns for the festivities of old. 

Let us not forget, while corporations weave their magic and Christianity chimes its’ bells, pagans and those spiritualities that defy classification will mark the dark winter with local traditions and tales that even those attuned to nature may not be aware of. 

Difference is good and all belief systems and traditions have value. Giving hope against the ever-rising tide of capitalism and the homogenised culture. 


About the actual cards
These images are printed and distributed by one of the internets oldest ‘print on demand’ companies:- Zazzle. I have always found their prints to be good quality. I have no control over any aspect of Zazzle,  I simply upload my images to their servers and receive a small royalty of a few pence for every image they sell. I am always very grateful for any sale, especially in these troubled times. 

Thank you for reading


For New Readers .

On March 12th, 2008 I started this simple blog with the purpose of peering above the wall of conventional thinking to see what was out there. Over the years I have disappeared down a number of rabbit holes, any of which could have beguiled me for a lifetime. I have always been determined to keep my sense of humour while questioning everything, even the stuff that ‘feels’ safe and right. 

My spiritual, political and personal outlooks have shifted, sometimes subtly and sometimes to the point I feel I barely recognise the person I once was. No matter how good your intentions,  you don’t get to 54 without making mistakes. Some of these mistakes were so big that they still reverberate decades after the fact. I am not perfect and I do not have all the answers.

When I write, despite being crippled by dyslexia and without the trophies of academia, I feel I have something worthwhile to say. Something born from a heart and mind that refuses to just go with the flow. The road less travelled is a bumpy one, but it does have some amazing vistas,  not to mention some stupidly amusing dells. 

I hope you consider following me on my journey, as life continues to take twists and turns that even I cannot yet foresee.
Thanks for reading. 

Your support even if it’s just promoting this site planetvoss.com on social media is much appreciate, it helps to bring my thoughts to a whole host of new people, I must confess to being very poor at self promotion as growing up such things were discouraged.


Happy Halloween and It’s time to vote, America!

So we are almost there, my favourite day of the year, Halloween… And as we can’t go out, I thought I’d create this fun image (above and below), which is part satire, part parody and part wake up call. 

Obviously, if you know nothing about the Resident Evil franchise this will be lost on you. I have hundreds of creative silly ideas come through my brain everyday.  Sadly, I seldom have the time or motivation to actually bring them from my imagination in to the digital realm.

Just Vote
I know from the image, it should be obvious who I want to win the American election, but I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of choice. So if you are going to vote for the ‘T-virus’(he who shall not be named) fair enough, at least you’re voting. 

What I can’t stand is people that moan about election outcomes but never even took the time vote. People throughout history have died just so you could have the right to have your opinion heard. 

Alas it is an uninspiring race between two old rich guys, but there is enough riding on this that you have to swallow your pride and vote one way or other.

It is highly likely, whomever you vote for, that in a few months you may indeed regret your decision.  I know myself, I voted for people who appeared harmless enough on the surface only to feel betrayed later on. This is why it is hard not to be jaded by elections. 

As I once lived in America, I am married to an Anglo-American and still have some good friends living there, I am very worried about what the future holds. This elections’ outcome will turn out to be a nightmare for whomever doesn’t win. However I fear, if one person wins with a landslide, America may never be the same again and freedom will truly becoming a thing of the past. 

In truth, I can’t help but think that no matter what happens on November 3rd, America will wander very close to civil war (at worst) or civil disorder (at best) like we have not seen in years. 

I hope I am wrong.  Just as I hope I’m wrong about who I believe will win ….Yes, I hope on the 4th of November everyone can tell me I was wrong, but I believe the Big ‘T’ will win 😖😣😕

So Happy Halloween! and no matter what happens over the coming year, I’m sure it will feel like a total nightmare.
Good luck Everyone
.


Part 3/4 of my Hidden Trans Journal 🏳️‍⚧️

Note
These posts have proved so popular and I think important I’ve decided to moved the whole thing to a dedicated page on this site : My Hidden Trans Journal so it doesn’t get lost in the blog.

Above: Most days you will feel like you are banging your head against the wall. I don’t think I can overstate how much resistance you will meet on every level of your transgender journey. Unless you are very lucky or superhuman you will have bad days and even when you think it’s smooth sailing you will have set backs, fear and doubt a will no doubt be your constant companions. I say this not to discourage you, just to keep you focused this is not a fairy tale or some TV make over this is hard… VERY HARD.


Living with Sarcoidosis the mystery disease

Another Post by my wife AKA Lady Voss:
I have Chronic Pulmonary Sarcoidosis. In fact a lot of people have sarcoidosis in some form and have no idea they have it. They may find out they have the condition when they take a standard chest X-ray for something else and the radiologist notes it in the report. And a lot of the time, it’s a perfectly benign autoimmune condition causing no trouble whatsoever.

It’s just a lot of little benign fleshy things growing on your lungs. (“sarcoidosis” comes from the Greek “sarko” which means “flesh” while “oid ” means “like.”)

Sarcoidosis, on the other hand, can kill. As in the case of Bernie Mac the late American comedian and Reggie White the Late NFL Player. The disease weakened their immune systems and they died of pneumonia and the scary thing is that they were both in remission at the time.

But you know, sarcoidosis doesn’t have to be benign or conversely, kill you, to make itself known. 

There’s something between being completely clueless that you have it and being dead of organ failure or complications. Sometimes there’s simply the slow damage it does to your lungs, making it hard to breathe, and well, lots of other horrible things like sporadic chronic pain and fatigue episodes. 

Another example is the sweats. Sarcoidosis has well and truly broken my bodies natural thermostat. I break out in full body sweats for no apparent reason and when it happens, I can’t cool down. I am talking about sweat that drips down your body and drenches your clothes. I cringe whenever anyone tries to hug me.

And then there’s the business of going in and out of remission. I have had sarcoidosis officially from 2015 and whilst I have been on continuous medication trying to control it I have still gone in and out of remission several times, each time having to increase my daily and weekly auto immune suppressing drugs. 

The first time I came out of remission, I had this feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I was increasingly fatigued every evening and running a low-grade fever, and I remembered that vaguely felt familiar. My body started to remembered it. And finally, my breathing changed. It became laboured, yet short of breathe like something sitting on my chest when I was resting doing no physical movement at all.

I told my A’ I wasn’t feeling right. I mentioned that I felt like I did when I had the really bad bout of sarcoidosis when I finally got diagnosed.

His words were simply, “Go see the doctor!” NOW

So off we went – firstly to our local doctors. there she saw me straight away and she couldn’t hear my right lung at all. There was a real look of panic in her face. But inside, I knew it what it was – the return of sarcoidosis. 

The local doctor sent me straight to the hospital. I kept saying to the triage nurse I think my sarcoid is back, but I just received blank looks. 

You see nurses and doctors make sure that every little symptom is checked but don’t really understand what sarcoidosis is. Sure I had significant shortness of breathe and a rapid heart rate, but I looked okay? 

Then finally I got to see a ward doctor who knew what sarcoidosis was and sent me straight in for an X-ray. Sure enough, the images were there showing the granulomas growing again. (I would have to await for a few days for another CT scan to compare how far it had grown this time.)

I thought I had closed that chapter. I thought I had escaped and beaten the sarcoidosis, that it wasn’t going to be chronic. But I hadn’t.

How I wish it weren’t so. How I wish I didn’t now have to track down every little symptom to make sure the sarcoidosis hadn’t invaded my eyes, gut, skin, heart, and so on and so forth. 

Yeah. It usually gets you in the lungs and that’s where it’s got me right now, the sarcoid. But it is a multi-system disease. It can go anywhere. And while it’s rare to die from sarcoidosis, it can kill. It can get you anywhere in your body, when you least suspect it.

Living with sarcoidosis is confusing and frightening. It’s predictable, yet not predictable. 

It’s a journey where you arrive to find you haven’t arrived. It goes for good and comes back again. It can be so benign you don’t know you have it, but it can kill. And you feel very much alone. 

It’s funny. With the chronic fatigue and pain it’s all about getting people, even doctors, to take me seriously. Because people don’t die from it. They just struggle.

But with sarcoidosis, you just don’t know what to think. You don’t know whether to tell yourself to stop being such an ass or be frightened at every little twinge. You don’t know whether this time, you should pay attention.

It’s unsettling. Because sarcoidosis is benign, until it’s not benign. In which case you can die.

I tell concerned friends, “Look, it’s not cancer, thank God,” and then worry they’ll think what I’m going through is nothing much at all.

I don’t want to minimise the risks and risk losing their support.

I need and want that support to stay the course of wherever this illness takes me. As I said earlier you will never feel more alone…

I need and want the support you get with a “real disease” instead of this condition no one’s ever heard of. 

Unless of course that person was a super fan of Hugh Laurie and House, MD, where sarcoidosis is always the first disease thrown out when the team is trying to diagnose a mystery disease.

Sarcoidosis, you see, is a mystery disease.
And trust me on this: no one really wants a mystery disease.

Least of all, me


Part 3/4 of my Hidden Trans Journal 🏳️‍⚧️

Note
These posts have proved so popular and I think important I’ve decided to moved the whole thing to a dedicated page on this site : My Hidden Trans Journal so it doesn’t get lost in the blog.
Below are the images from this part of the Article.

Above: Never ending explanations on how I feel in gender clinics and psychiatrists offices. Then beyond that a society that just doesn’t get it and will question your every move and intention.
Below: I was lucky I had a small amount of savings so I was able to go private so my waiting in corridors like this was severely reduced. However you must learn patience it’s a mental skill which will serve greatly on your transgender Journey.


Part 2/4 of my Hidden Trans Journal 🏳️‍⚧️

Note
These posts have proved so popular and I think important I’ve decided to moved the whole thing to a dedicated page on this site : My Hidden Trans Journal so it doesn’t get lost in the blog.
Below are the images from this part of the Article.

Above: The Trans dilemma they say I’m this and I feel like this …who knows maybe I’m neither. Below: The actual image of ‘Dia’ played by Caroline Munro from the film ‘At the Earth’s core 1976 that hung up in my bedroom for years. It introduced my 10 year old mind to the concept of strong femininity even though I think for most it was just a sexy cleavage shot.

This is the actual image of Dia (Caroline Munro) I had in my bedroom growing up.

Beauty is everywhere….

Even in a place of generic boxes built for profit, beauty can be found if you look hard enough. Just 30 paces to the bottom of the garden and I discovered this ‘lovely’ sunbathing. Photo taken with a Panasonic G9

Have a peaceful and safe day


98 days then 30 minutes of freedom.

Another Post by my wife AKA Lady Voss:

So this morning I left my house for the first time in 98 days. Under strict doctors orders not to leave the confines of our truck. We went for a 30 minute drive around. Not much has changed out there. Green fields, less litter and few humans. I cried. It was a release of emotion not expected due to all sorts of feelings. Scared, relief, frustration, confusion. I felt like everything was much smaller, the roads, the buildings, the cars. Maybe my perception has changed. Now I have done it don’t feel I need to do it again for a while. The consultants still say the risk is still too great for my health. Anything above 0.4 is still too high. I have been protecting myself in a bubble yet one particle of covid will still kill me now as it would have 14 weeks ago. I am grateful I am still here. I am grateful for my consultants support. I am grateful for my companies support. I am grateful for the governments support, even if I think over all they have handled this emergency very poorly. And most importantly I am grateful for my spouses support without whom I would have struggled on so many levels.

Stay safe everyone and world I miss you X


My Art and what happen to the ‘me’ I once was. The whole sad tale.

Between 2006 to 2010, I had a very productive time both artistically and spirituality. I created a range of works that forced me to challenge my perceptions and open my mind to look beyond the walls of conventional thinking. Most of the time I did not know why I created the images I did or what they meant, however after a few days of contemplating a work I was usually inspired to name it and its meaning for me became clear.

One day I decided to take a gamble and exhibit at a Mind Body and Spirit show near Brighton, so I took a handful of art prints to sell over the weekend with my wife ‘T’. During the weekend the Art received some strange looks and some pleasant smiles. I felt like a fish out of water, but I somehow knew the work would speak to someone. In the last few hours of the show a wonderful lady came to the stand and was almost moved to tears by a piece of work. I asked her what it meant to her and the answer was fascinating. She purchased the piece work leaving my presence very happy. After that I sold a few more prints, I barely made back my travel costs, but that didn’t matter as my work had really touched some peoples hearts. Over the next 4 years I traveled the UK most weekends showing and discussing my thoughts on my Artwork.

Often waking at the crack of dawn to drive hours for a show where sometimes no more that 10 people would turn up. I never knew what to expect from event to event. From broken down scout huts to race-course executive suites, to thousands of people at Yoga shows and alike at London Olympia to tents in a secluded wood. I sold thousands of pieces of work, from small keychains to giant canvas prints, but far more importantly I met thousands of wonderful people who all had a story to tell if someone just wanted to take time to listen. So that is what I did I listened, I was just a person selling art and proclaiming nothing more woo woo than ‘challenge your perceptions’. I gave talks on subjects which I had discovered in my few years of questioning everything, I gave interviews and even appeared on podcasts. Then one day it all stopped. At a show in Lincoln my heart was broken by some Christians who told me that my work was produced by the devil in my head and they could pray it way. As someone who had been secretly battling what I thought was bipolar but we now know is dysphoria, this proclamation from them basically sent me into a mental tail spin. I walked away and never did another show.

I stopped thinking about art or spirituality. I stopped hoping and dreaming. I had always hated myself but now I wanted to erasure who I was. I change my name, burnt all my art and became a zombie on depression drugs. I ran and I ran and I ran still further away from that boy, that man who was broken by bullies and dyslexia, heartbreak and loss. As I would stand in front of my work trying to give hope to people who often just wanted to die … I kept say oh so do I, so do I.

So I metaphorically kill myself. I wiped who I was off the face of this planet.

In 2018 far from everyone and everything I knew except my long suffering wife, I went into an operating room and had my testicles removed, finally finding the ‘peace’ I was looking for all my life. I started along the long lonely path of becoming a transgender woman. Luckily I undertook this journey with the full support of my wife, who too just wanted me to be at peace. I shaved off my viking beard, lost over three stone and was as happy as I had ever been. Then twist of twists my wife suffered a prolonged sarcoidosis relapse due to MDF fumes at her work. She was rushed to hospital, and for a few hours it was touch and go if she would live. Thankfully she did. A few days later she passed out walking up a hill trying to ‘get some air’ even though I had told her to stay home and rest. She broke her leg. Due to her illness and her medication which is meant to keep her alive, her leg wouldn’t heal in normal time frames and she couldn’t risk having surgery, She was to be confined to a wheel chair for many months. Rightly or as my wife tells me wrongly, I decided to stop the transition and ‘man up’. She needed me. I had to push her everywhere. It was more than my heart could take to do that whilst being stared at because of my appearance.

As I write this it is about a year since my wife broken her leg, and now because her disease placing her on the extremely vulnerable list due to covid-19 we have not been outside for over 53 days. Like everyone this virus has shattered a whole host of hopes and dreams. But I am now trying to kick start my transition again. Thankfully I never stopped taking my hormones but my appearance is gross and I disgust myself.

I thought now is as good a time as ever to dig out my old hard drive and post some of my old works on the print site zazzle.co.uk. Not only because I do need the money, but because I remembered how much joy my art brought those who resonated with it. Going through all the old images and resizing them has been a joy and a comfort to me during this time. I only make a few pennies royalty on the postcards and greeting cards but thats okay as I do not have anything to do with all the printing, selling or shipping. I previously sold on Zazzle but took the store down over 4 years ago. All the samples I have ordered to check quality have always seemed to be of a good professional standard. So for someone who can no longer face crowds or the stress of selling my artwork Zazzle is a good answer. Over the coming months I will continue to add some of my newer photography and fun images and thoughts to my store.

If you knew of the man I once was, the one in these photos then this is what happened to him. You many find a random video or image on the web of who I was but I’m no longer going to hide who I was. That guy did some great stuff and while little ever seemed to go the way he wanted, I can’t simple forget 50 years of my life.

This post is another line in the sand and we move on the best we can.


About the Contemplation Art * 2006-2010

These digital Artworks have always made great talking points for anyone with an open mind while Also, proving popular with those that do not have conventional belief systems.

Whilst exhibiting this work throughout England , I was always amazed how deeply the concepts affected people. The creation of these images forced me to challenge my own perceptions on everything, sending me (albeit initially reluctantly) on a spiritual voyage which lasted 4 years. Then, one day, I stopped creating this work as abruptly as I started. 

The messages I took from this creative whirlwind were to challenge the status quo, look beyond the wall of conventional thinking and see that validation from the traditional dogmatic Establishment has never really been required in order to feel at one with earth-bound nature and the great beyond.

Conventional thinking has often sought to discourage our natural wonder. The Establishment always seems destined to demand adherents to the ‘group thought’ of the day, encouraging the mockery of those who dare to think or act differently. From the dark days of witch burning, to the modern media equivalents: being unconventional and thinking outside the box has never been welcomed.

I love that there are still ‘rebels’ who see life differently. Those who seek answers, healing or peace in unconventional ways, people who bravely allow their playful imaginations to run free.

No matter how you initially feel about this work,  I ask that you challenge your perceptions time and time again, reach your own conclusions on what they may or may not mean. And finally take what resonates with you and leave the rest. 

*Formally called Visionary Art


Below are links to my Store on Zazzle. Using these links help pay the running cost of the site if you should decide to purchase something. For every print the company sells of my work I get a small royalty. Thank You your support is greatly appreciated .


George and that Dragon.

 The story they don’t tell you at school 🙂
One day George woke up full of the joys of spring, his Jousting team had won a match last night so he was really feeling good about himself. Then on the way to a sword practice a large or should i say humongous dragon came out of nowhere and started call him names, like shorty and pepper pot head. George didn’t want to fight the dragon, he like animals and had been a vegan for five years, but the dragon kept up the name calling. When the dragon finally got to the ‘Your mothers so fat jokes’ George finally snapped and the rest as they say is history.

Have a safe Saint George’s day


Coronavirus, sarcoidosis and me

Another Post by my wife AKA Lady Voss:

The picture above shows right now what it feels like to be me. I feel I am being pinned up to a wall and can’t escape and just hoping that no one sets the canon off.

There will be those that contract the COVID-19 aka Coronavirus and feel just fine and dandy.  They may even make a joke of it, but many won’t especially people like me. You see I am a bit unlucky in health (massive understatement). I have two rather annoying and at times debilitating diseases, yet for most of my life I have managed to keep under control and away from hospitals. I have had type 1 diabetes for 31 years and for the last 10 years I have had chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis. My lungs were pretty much destroyed by the length of time it took to finally figure out that I had sarcoid. But it’s the after effects and relapses that are the hardest things to deal with. I take a concoction of immune suppressant drugs to keep the ‘beast’ inactive. Which is great but they have all but turned off my immune system so I can’t fight any infections. So you can imagine most of the time I am pretty careful with what I touch and do but this coronavirus is a whole game changer.

How do I protect myself when my own government is telling people… ‘well a few loved ones will die but we will be alright jack’ …. actually I am a human and I deserve to live. I am still alive, working and contributing to society. Why is it okay that I am expendable. I have fought incredibly hard to keep my disease under control and from the outside most of the time you won’t know I was ill.

So for the last eight weeks, yes eight weeks. (My husband and I saw this disease coming back in January. ) I have been doing all I can to try to stay germ free. Hand washing and not touching my face is a no brained anyway. Through advice of my medical team I have been social distancing and avoiding all places where I would be in contact with unknown humans for more than 15 minutes or within 2 meters for the last two weeks. So no restaurants, coffee shops, cinemas etc. I am safe so far as many reading this are too, yet this could go on for months or even years.  

The difficult part is how do I keep myself well during these times? Yes people months, not days or weeks. I need at-least anti viral drugs to survive and even better would be a vaccine. Until these are made and tested I will just be staring down the barrel of a gun.

Need to know more about Coronavirus ?
As we all know there is a great deal of bogus information online, so one must be careful. The main places I get my info is the NHS and UK GOVERNMENT sites and the MedCram YouTube videos. This is a medical scientific research and discussions channel. We have been watching the coronavirus series since episode 8 they are now on episode 39. Follow the link :-Medcram coronavirus videos this channel has truly helped me understand what this thing is, why the world is acting the way it is and also what hope people like me have for the future.


For those in Self isolation today.

Just a quick one today. If you’re on the couch in vacant or pensive mood while in self isolation then the images above and below are for you. Thinking of you all in these troubled times stay positive and strong.

Snapped here in Cumbria UK by me last November in beautiful Grasmere, I hope I can see it again soon. Never were Wordsworth’s words so poignant


Digital Reminiscing and why I brought the Panasonic G9 in 2020.

Background

For those new to my blog I started my creative life as a traditional artist and ‘hobbyist’ photographer. In 1993 I discovered the emerging world of computers and digital graphics, almost overnight I boxed away all my brushes and paints in favour of a ‘cutting edge’ and overpriced Packard Bell Pentium PC from Sears department store.

Obviously, I did not use a digital camera back then, at that time I was living across the pond in Seattle and my everyday camera was the white Minolta Maxxum 8000i. I still have it , it’s a little worse for wear and no longer used (see picture below). It wasn’t until the late 90’s that I got my first tiny digital camera, the Olympus Camedia C-420L.  But from that moment on I was hooked, and over the years I upgraded as and when I could afford to. Unlike so many ‘pro’ photographers I could never really justify the cost of the topflight cameras. Even when I was shooting 6 days a week, I still only used ‘hobbyist’ or ‘enthusiast’ level cameras.

Fellow photographers with deeper wallets than mine wouldn’t think twice about walking around with over £10,000 + slung over their shoulders like it was nothing. There has always been a lot of EGO in the photography world, not to mention elitist gadget worship and techno babble. For me, good equipment makes a job easier but having imagination, a creative eye and knowledge of the subject matter has more to do with a great photo than the latest, greatest camera equipment.

No longer a prince the Minolta Maxxum 8000i fades into history.

The Digital Apocalypse (I digress)

Like many trades, few photographers believed digital technology would affect them greatly.  In the early days of the digital revolution, I recall being told emphatically my silly little digital camera would never replace the wonder of film (some still say it hasn’t). Then as now, I was always able to see the lay of the land before most. Sadly, I was often ill equipped to capitalise on my prophetic visions. Yet I knew digital would replace everything. Millions of people across the globe and in all walks of life lost a lot to digitisation. Personally, I took no pleasure in seeing people losing their livelihoods, my parents included. Adapt or die pervades every aspect of life. It can be ugly, painful and to be frank brutally unfair. Within no time at all, Tech, digital and. com’s ruled the world.

I’ll never buy a camera again…….. But I did

Like most tech digital cameras get better every couple years. Their toy-like simplistic approach gave way to all the complexities of the film cameras they had replaced and so much more. I began to see that even cameras were facing their end of days as smartphones for most people ‘did it all’. When I got the iPhone 6, the image quality was so good for what I created I proclaimed I would never buy a digital camera again. I also made the same rash statement about the iPad Pro which I’m writing this on. I believed I would never need a ‘real’ computer again, but I do.

My digital creative heart wants to be small, streamlined and away from the desk. But sadly, technology is not quite there yet. Yes, phones take great images, but zoom technology is still better on a ‘real’ camera. While I love iPads, I still find myself back on the desktop computer most days, when doing heavy duty graphics. I must confess reluctantly my 53-year-old hands still prefer a mouse and a physical keyboard, now who sounding like the dinosaur lol. The main reason I ended up buying a camera again had more to do with the wish to finally shoot video than stills. Much like the long format post is being replaced by microblogs (don’t worry I won’t be writing many more epics like this) video now seems to trump photos, especially socially.

The world of YouTube has long been the creator of the new ‘rock stars’, no matter how much you deplore Google no other video service as come close to replacing the Tube service. Being able to capture short videos and post them online is nothing new, for years I stupidly avoided it. However, facts are facts people would rather, indeed naturally seem to gravitate towards images that move. I must confess I watch far more YouTube than I do anything else, as the mainstream media offers little that interests. So Sure, you can shoot great movies on a smartphone, but I still think cameras have the edge…..just. Smartphones and tablets will reign supreme in all areas of digital graphics very soon just not today.

So why the G9

Choosing a camera has never been easy, that’s one thing that digital hasn’t changed. Sure, you can view all the reviews and samples without ever leaving the couch but making the decision between all the brands and models is not easy as there is no universal perfect camera. There is only a perfect camera for you at a specific moment in time. Like all tech, the art of compromise is the key. Firstly, budget is usually the biggest factor for most mortals, often one must sacrifice quality for features or features for quality. Size is another important factor especially for me, my testosterone drained body gets weaker by the day (see), lugging a massive camera around in 2020 isn’t sexy or fun. Typically, in the past I bought Canon or Nikon. But after 3 months of going over all the cameras I feel I found the perfect camera for me in this moment of time. May I present to you…. the Panasonic G9

While it’s not a new camera, In fact it’s two years old, it is very capable in all the areas I need it to be. Luckily for me, in November it had a firmware update that made it an even better video shooter. Sure, you can sit for hours pontificating on whether the Panasonic GH5 is the better all-around piece of kit, but ultimately economics sealed the deal. This month Panasonic offered a load of extras: a battery grip, a 25mm lens and a spare battery if you purchased the G9. That was just as I figured out it was in my top 3 of cameras. The other two cameras were in fact camcorders. Yes, don’t laugh I was seriously considering a camcorder.  You see I am not a video person, I am a photographer and a camcorder is actually a lot easier to use than a camera hybrid. I have an old Canon d550 which still takes perfectly respectable images, so I didn’t really need another camera.  I wanted to shoot simple 4K videos from a fixed viewpoint on a tripod for about 3 to 5 minutes. The trouble was all the camcorders I could afford were very old technology only shooting 4K videos in 24p, sadly my d550 was basically hopeless at video. Note I did look at a GoPro which shoots perfectly respectable 4k, however I wanted to be able to zoom into landscapes, something action cameras just can’t do.

While I have no knowledge in video I knew I wanted scope for creativity and growth in the subject, the Panasonic G9 gives me that, shooting up to 60p in 4K with a whole host of speed and size combinations that will boggle my mind for months to come. The camera is a good size, no bigger than the d550 and it had a full tilt screen. I love tilt screens. Oh the images I could have got without laying on the wet ground over the years with a tilt screen. I won’t go into all the techy stuff, but this camera is a micro four thirds. Basically, it means you have a smaller sensor on the camera which doesn’t always give you the perfect image in lower light, but due to this 4/3rds system the lenses are much smaller than other cameras. As I have said buying a camera is always just a list of compromises that fits your current needs. So, I decided to purchase the G9 with a 12-60 lens for £1200 which was less than the Sony ax700 video camera I was looking at … no other camera other than the new Fuji X-T4 floated my boat, I don’t think that model is even out yet and it will cost a lot more than the G9.

Now I must learn how to create simple content for my empty YouTube channel. As with most things in life, I’m braced for a steep learning curve, I think in time I’ll figure it all out, so watch this space for updates.