29 September 2016

Flying Drab

s some of you will know I have to wear compression stockings..
[Ed: Of course, they know! You've written 6 posts - let me look – and 13.500 words on the subject …!]
Ok, you don't have to go on about it!
[Ed: me going on!]
Hey! Don't get your knickers in a twist .. or in this case your garters.
Anyway this will be a quickly ..
[Ed: I'll believe it when I see it!]
Go and put the kettle on and then I’ll begin..
[Ed: sounds like listen with mother!]
As some of you will know ... stop looking at me like that!

Some time ago, I mentioned that I had bought a 6-garter suspender belt to keep ‘them’ up. In the last three months, I’ve been wearing my garters to work and at home, 24/7 one could say. They go on first thing in the morning (following the bathroom phase) and off the last thing at night (before the bathroom phase). I’ve had to be very strict on this due to acute problems leg wise, but more on that in the next stocking update.
Fastening my stockings has now become routine, although it’s a bit of a bind going through the motions, especially the contortion act at the back. But it’s the only girly like thing I do regularly so one tries to persevere. Of course, this summer’s heat wave was great fun while having ones legs encased in heavy duty elastic...

Last week I had to fly to Zagreb for a couple of days on business. Note: I don't fly pretty, not like some of the girls we know. I don't even get out under the cover of darkness fem.

[Ed: you wouldn’t dare!]
Oh don’t rub it in. For our tea your find some rich tea biscuits by the new delivery from the English Shop. Wonder what the prices will be like when we start paying customs duty on them..

Well, as I was lying in bed and slowly coming to I went through my ‘to-take with me’ mental checklist for the trip: paperwork, tickets, diverse adaptors, USB stick, a fully powered up notebook so I could try and work (cramped) on the train, at the airport and highly unlikely in the air. Thinking about it, I doubted that I would have any time, as I would have two colleagues with me and we would talk shop most of the journey.
As I would be flying in the afternoon, I wasn't in any hurry to get up even though I had to go to work first and then catch the train. I continued my check list and moved on to what to wear and pack ...

[Ed: you mean what the misses packs for you, anything you pack looks the next day like an abortive piece of origami.]
True, it usually does have that somewhat slept in look.
I decided on a light rain jacket, t-shirt, grey trousers and my silver grey stockings for flying and for the meeting pack - ok layout to be packed - my business suit and my anthracite stockings.

[Ed: you match your stockings to what you wear!]
As far as I can that is, as I don’t wear stocks anymore only stockings, I match when I can.

I usually fly from Cologne/Bonn but this time we had to fly from Frankfurt, where it takes at least 30 minutes to get to your gate not taking into account the traffic jam at security. And then I realised lying there that at one point on my hike I would be subjected to a body scan of the high tech type in a very public area, a highly sensitive metal and god knows what else detector!

I then though about my garters ..
and then I thought about the metal clips on the garters ..
and then I thought about all 6 of them nicely placed around my thighs ..
and then I thought oh!
and then I thought bugger!
and then I though no way mate are you going to have someone from airport security tell you to drop them in full view of colleagues, fellow travellers and any of the numerous CCTV cameras recording the event for later reply at staff parties.
and then I thought without a second thought..
I’ll stick them on instead.

Well insight or caution whatever one wants to call it paid off.

On arriving at the security zone, I saw the scanner cabin up ahead and a number of airport staff in our lane doing their thing. I wouldn’t say I’m a routine flyer but I usually trigger my strip down routine to the decent minimum before being asked. I don’t like causing delays as I don’t like being delayed.
I stop and wait when it comes to belt and shoes. We don’t usually go in for sock walking on the continent but there can be random checks shoe wise. I was lucky. The security person took pity on me and I was allowed to keep my belt as well as my shoes on.

[Ed: Maybe he thought the belt was plastic.]
That’s what my colleague remarked to me as I watched him buckling up afterwards.

I distributed my case, notebook, wallet and jacket into different trays and headed for the scanner. I didn’t know what to expect as this would be my first time raising my arms reminiscent of a heist. I entered, looked down and saw yellow footmarks. I turned placed my feet on them and was told to raise my arms as in the caption.

Although the cabin wasn’t in anyway claustrophobic I automatically started to hold my breath reminiscent of a CT I had a couple of weeks beforehand. I think it was the seconds in the caption that had triggered me off. All I heard was a low sounding hum as the front and back scanners swung by and that was it!
I was asked to come out and as the guardian of the scanner looked at the display, I followed suit. I’m use to peeps or a whining noise if anything is detected, here was a picture with yellow blotches.


There were two highlighted areas; one was obviously my belt and the other looked like there was something located in my right back trouser pocket. Without further ado, I was directed to an open booth and the booth man looked at my belt and then asked me to empty my pockets. I had totally forgotten that I had my medication in my back pocket! I hadn’t though much about them, but the three blisters with their thin metal foil had triggered the scanner!
On showing them to him, he nodded and I was allowed to go back to the queue and wait to collect and repack everything. I was quite surprised at the sensitivity of the machine, had to be I suppose.
I had a chuckle imagining the garter clips appearing on the scan followed by funny looks and sniggering or other guttural noises and wondering how they would have proceeded. Thankfully, I will not know.

[Ed: that trip no, but knowing you..]

Maybe, next time when flying alone I might let it come to a ‘drop them’. Just to give you an idea of what a garter scanner could have looked like, I’ve played around with a scanner picture. One is never sure if they would have done a visual check. I suspect just the blue gloves pat down. My trousers where thin and with a little verbal hint from me, it would have been obvious what the blotches were. Depending on the experience and let’s call it chivalry of the booth man I might have got off with a smile. Of course worse case, I could have been carted off for a 3rd. degree.
[Ed: In the case of 3rd degree as you have detailed ‘the reason why’ for wearing them often enough in this blog, a link to the appropriate posts would have explained everything.]
Oh yes, I would have then been on my way in no time!!
So where is that tea?

11 April 2016

Windows: My First Heels

[Ed: As Madam is tied up (no not like that) with work these last weeks with no time to chat or post (apologies to all I hear in the background), she asked me to go though her notes and find something of interest for you to read. On trying to encipher her jottings I came across this story concerning her first pair of heels and how they were acquired. I asked if I should let it lose on the world. She was affirmative to this, as she was going to follow-up on the note she made on her heel collection page anyway.]

[Ed. So here it is.]  

One holiday in the early 80s we were in the near from a town called Street in Somerset, the HQ of the shoe company Clarks with their so-called ‘village’. The town was just full of shoe shops and as Mrs.A took then, as now, every opportunity to look for shoes we spent ages checking out one shop after another. The only consolation after walking miles wearing out the ‘souls’ of our shoes looking for new ones was being allowed to go mad in a bookshop buying a backlog of 15 Terry Pratchet paperbacks. [Ed: Checking my log this was 1982 and they hadn’t been back for quite some time and the founder of Amazon was still at high school.]
 
You may say that it is normal for a girl to constantly scan the shoescape, but in the case of Mrs.A it’s also very frustrating, as she has very small feet (2-3 UK) and finding something that looks good and fits is for her a nightmare. Usually when she is occupied rummaging around in the small sizes, I’m sent off to buy at least one pair of men’s shoes (boring) so that she doesn’t get a guilty conscience when she, on the rare occasion, finds something to take home for herself. 


So when I’m told to do my own rummaging, I am always on the lookout for heels in my size, 43EU/9UK (not so boring but equally frustrating). It’s an almost hopeless situation in a "normal" shoe shop, but I look anyway. In the 80s I really don’t remember seeing anything in large sizes, these days either women’s feet are getting bigger or the manufactures and outlets are getting in on the needs of girls like us who would have to look to ‘special’ shops on- and off-line. Things are getting more liberal and these days ‘a sale is a sale’ whoever there for. 

After countless shoe shops we entered a small long dingy establishment. Mrs.A stayed at the front in daylight and I slowly wandered to the back and there in the gloom bathed in a ray of light from a single window I saw them! It was like a vision, imagine something like the blessing / god sequence from Monty P’s Holy Grail - I didn't hear the choirs, but near enough! There on a well past its sell-by date discarded display case was a pair of black patent leather court shoes with four inch heels. 
I could not believe it; they looked like they could fit! 
I started to get nervous. 
So often in the past my excitement was dashed when I looked at the size. Usually 2 sizes too small and the only way I would have been able to put them on, let alone walk, was with serious toe bending! 
I took a deep breath and turned them slowly over. 
They were 7.5UK! Was I dreaming? That’s the largest I’d seen in a long time. But something was not quite right. 7.5UK was my boy size equivalent to a 9UK girl size, but as before they really looked like they could fit! Could they be sitting here banned to the backroom because of some production glitch? 

Just then Mrs.A startled me by tapping me on the shoulder. I turned round forgetting I had the shoes in my hand. She looked at the shoes and back up to me and asked “Do you want them”? I looked at her dumfounded and then heard the Monty P. choirs! I slowly nodded, without another word she took them out of my hands and went off to the front of the shop to buy them. I could have gone with her but held back being at that moment totally embarrassed, studded and excited all at the same time. I thought it would be better to say out of sight at this stage. The shoes were obviously not for her and I didn’t want the assistant to put 2&2 together. She probably did anyway, Mrs.A came back for me handed me the bag and we walked out of the shop with my prize clasped tightly in my arms!

I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel. That evening I tried them on under the scrutiny of Mrs.A. We had been on our feet most of the day and even in those days I was having problems with my legs and plates, but swollen or not I went for it. I unpacked them and looked them over in detail; they were from Bally (petal), elegant and well made. The 4 inch heel had the angle and shape typical for the style at that time. [Ed: Dug out this poster from 1982 to add a bit of atmosphere.]

I put them on, and in semi-cramped pain I spent ages trying to strap them up. The buckles were to put it mildly on the small side and I was not use to bending over and manipulating anything on the outer side of my feet, an odd feeling I must say having Mrs.A sitting there looking on. After a few under the breath frustrated rude expressions my side, Mrs.A took pity on me and buckled me up. 
I stood; the pain went up a notch. I walked around as best I could as the pain started to migrate towards my squashed toes. After a few wobbly minutes I sat down and when Mrs.A asked how there were, I lied through my teeth and said ‘a bit tight’ but on the whole ‘ok’. I must say I can’t remember much more about the evening only that after removing them we laughed about it, with me throwing in jokingly a few red herrings as not give her the idea I was in heaven with my very own heels! 
As they were ‘a bit tight’, next day it was decided to keep an eye out for other heels in larger sizes. No idea whose idea this was, but I was certainly game! I suspect she read me better than I thought. So for the day we repeated ‘the walking the streets of Street’ scanning for shoes. You can imagine I was in a totally different frame of mind compared to the previous day. Mrs.A was still looking for shoes for herself, but this time I had a mission! I took every opportunity to ‘officially’ check heels at the other end of the range and I didn’t have to wait until she and every one else was out of sight! 

After a luckless morning we went to the Clarks village and had lunch. I’m not sure when and where we found them; it was not as spectacular as with buying the patent leather ones. As you can see from the picture they were open toe sandals. They were larger than the Bally’s and so didn’t cause the level of pain as before, but they didn’t hold me that well either as I was swimming about too much in them. This made it difficult to walk in as much as I could judge within the confines of the hotel room. 
No matter I had now two pairs of heels. 

Since then over the last 30 years I had plenty of occasions wearing them when Mrs.A was not around. They became more comfortable due to the leather forming to my feet. When the opportunity arose I would combine them with tights or stockings from my mini stash. For a brief period we had in the wardrobe two lovely semi-frilly dresses one white and the other black that ‘almost’ fit me. Either Mrs.A had mistakenly bought them without looking at the labels or she had wanted to give them to someone, obviously not to me as a present, can’t really remember her motive. Luckily the waistbands were elastic and allowed me to pull the dresses up to my waist. The rest was just too small for my statue, although with the white one I got my arms through but my back was fully exposed the zip out of reach and anyway useless. In combination with my heels and stockings I could enjoy the look and feeling for brief periods. 
After a few months we talked about them taking up space and she suggested giving them to her niece, I agreed of course, I had no real choice. I don’t think she knew or thought I was ‘wearing’ them at every opportunity and checking to see how I would react. It was just her way to ask me beforehand when giving things away. Anyway they ‘hung’ around awhile before her niece visited and took them. 
I missed them a lot. Well over the years the heels stayed out of sight, I think I was too shy / embarrassed to get them out and wear them in full view, what excuse would I have had?

After time I thought she had forgotten about them but it was not so. The only time I had ‘officially’ to wear my black heels after the initial wearing, was an evening at home watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show which had come out on VHS tape. We had gone to the movies to watch it a few times and experience the audience participation with their flashlights, water guns, rice, toilet paper etc. We didn’t ‘dress up’ but had some of the props with us second time round and got into the swing of things. Quite a number of the audience took the opportunity to drag it as the characters, all great fun.
Thinking about this we decided to make an ‘event’ out of viewing the film at home. We would both dress as far as possible like Transylvanians. Well, Mrs.A reminded me that I had my heels which surprised me some what. Of course officially I had nothing else and so we bought some black stockings. I needed suspenders but we couldn’t find any in my size, so Mrs.A made me some! 
Makeup was no problem and as she had lots of different nail vanishes (like I do now), we painted each other’s fingers in different colours. All this was for me more fun than watching the film! And so we had for a few hours our ‘private’ film showing dressed for the part. We never got round to dressing up again, apart from at Carnival time with classical costumes. 
It’s a shame but there it is. I should have hinted in some way, talked about it while the opportunity was there, but typical me I kept silent. 

The blue and red heels I threw this year, they were way over the top but I still have the black heels. The leather has, let’s say, ‘matured’ over time, the heel tips have long disintegrated and the buckles just un-do-up-able. But they were my first and I can’t throw them away can I?

05 February 2016

Twilight Zone - Nails

have mentioned in previous posts that I wanted to get round to my experience, good and bad, concerning my nails and about painting and sticking things to them. I mentioned in my first episode of the ‘Stocking Saga’ that I had started to regularly polish and varnish them. This may give the impression, as with wearing daily my stockings and occasionally with suspenders that ‘Abi is out’. But as you can see from the title my Nail Saga (if it comes to that), will run under my Twilight Zone series dealing with girl related ‘stuff’ but without Abi running around in the open. 
As [Ed:] was rummaging around in my collection of pre-post notes and filing nail related pictures together, the following tale turned up from last summer. I thought I would let you see it now and not to wait for it ‘in sequence’ when I get going on about nails. It will also give me the impulse to pull the rest together. 
Here it is … 

I had one of those near misses today where I was surely tempted to let the cat out of the bag concerning Abigale. We were in the local drug store (German dm-drogerie markt) buying a few things after getting back from a rainy holiday on the Dutch coast. Mrs.A had ticked off the last item on her list and as this store was new to us we just wandered around a bit to see what was on offer. 

As Mrs.A stopped to look at something on a side shelf, I carried on and saw that along one wall nothing but cosmetics (see picture). Quite a collection, all the colours under the sun. As my pulse started to pick up speed I plucked up some non-alcoholic Dutch courage (must be a left over from the holiday) and walked over to the wall. As this was an impressive collection, I set my long range scanners to ‘press-on nails’. I was interested to see if they had a larger selection than our local store. 
A few seconds later my radar informed me that they were off to my right. As there was hardly anyone about I meandered over to see what they had. 
I kept my distance, just looking not handling. 

I found some nails from imPRESS and knew from experience that they are relative easy to remove and therefore painless. I have always been reluctant to cement them on and having the horror of not getting them off without mutilating my nails in the process. 
The problem was I could not see without closer scrutiny if they were large or small (I need large – big hands as well as big feet). I have seen in the net imPRESS nails without any size given, which makes me unsure if they would fit or not. Maybe they have now the complete size range in one package but I’m a little wary without any size info. I have been looking for some time for nails in mint. But there were none there, only orange which I also love and would come back for a better look when I was solo. 

Just then I noticed Mrs.A making for the cosmetic wall a little way off. I stopped looking and while trying to make a mental note of what was there I quickly joined her. 
She was looking at nail varnish. 

I have always tried to animate her to wear it, but she is reluctant to do so due to problems with the removers. She just cannot stand the smell of acetone. With my work in Labs I have no problem with the smell, actually the opposite. It reminds me of my lab experimental days, so the smell wouldn’t put me off wearing polish. 
She mentioned that she had bought a non-acetone based remover, not as good as with acetone but still a remover. I saw this as a chance to get her to try again. I had of course an alternative motive, not only to see her wearing polish again, but there was a good chance I would help her to apply it and then ‘play around’ a bit and get her to do one or two of my nails ‘just’ to see how it looked. This happened once way back in the past, but more about that later. I would have to time it so that we would do it on the weekend and have an excuse to leave it on a while longer. 

So we stood there, she was looking, but not really into it. I had to react quickly before she broke off and said we should go home. I rambled on about the colour selection and that one wears all the colours under the rainbow these days and having different colours on different nails and fancy art work to boot. 
Thinking about it later, I could imagine having a go at nail design myself complementing my dabbling in making Celtic jewellery. Of course I would stick to Celtic patterns, covering nails in knots!
[Ed: get on!]
Ok. 


The main thing was she answered and commented which was what I wanted as we were still there and looking. I moved quickly to level two and started to select vanishes and showed them to her asking what she thought. It must have been a subconscious reaction, and as this was the essie display, I selected the Pastel Love (mint) and said this looks nice and asked her would she like to wear it. 

[Ed: you should mention that exactly this make and colour was your last buy in varnish!]
Yes true, maybe that’s why I choose it. 
If I can’t wear it that often then at least I can see it on her. 

And now I come to the part where I almost let it slip and that would have been the beginning of the end. The answer I got back with the mint vanish was “Mint? Why? I have nothing in mint to wear with it.” 
I had to really concentrate when I calmly said “Yes, that’s true” at the same time as Abigale in my head was letting lose loudly 'But I have! There’s a lovely silk blouse, party dress, leather miniskirt, 5 inch patent leather heels, 4 inch open back sandals, earrings and a sexy bra and panties all stashed in the cellar, including this nail vanish!!'

I was preoccupied for a moment reflecting on what had just happened. I saw the funny side, then the stupidity of it all, followed by a state of overwhelming fatigue in having to constantly keep Abigale under wraps. 
It all must have ended quicker than I imagined as Mrs.A hadn’t noticed anything amiss. I pulled myself together and choose a number of other colours until she finally went for the essie go-ginza (lavender). Before she could complain about the price, we were off to the pay counter. 

Postscript: 
Half a year later, as of posting this, 
the bottle still hasn’t been opened.
I really must get the ball rolling!
[Ed: don’t they have weird names!] 
Yes they do, but the colours are nice.

28 January 2016

ObserVation: Her Stash and Me

ome of you may have caught on from my previous posts that I have my Stash in the cellar. It’s not really hidden (difficult with the volume it takes up, especially the shoes) but is sprinkled between the chaos that is indirect a smoke screen for Mrs.A as well as the normal chaos that reigns in our cellar. 
This chaos makes it difficult to find something at the best of times and in general it’s not advisable to put a unprotected hand in a box or case without peering in before(-the-)hand, something just might bite back. I won’t say it has Indiana Jones mantraps, or woman traps for that matter, it’s just dangerous if one is not experienced with the landscape, pitfalls… ok traps.  
Wanting to go into the cellar and explore usually means advanced terrain training, a backpack and extensive blood tests upfront.

I will mention again that Mrs.A is completely in the dark about Abigale. Well, let’s say as far as I can tell that is. We have been together over 40 years and although it’s no guarantee, I think I would have got the vibes about it if she knew. This means I have very little time to dress and become one with the rest of me and enjoy it. 
On the rare occasions I am alone at home, it’s not more that about 4 hours. With a 4 hour stint I try and limit dressing activities to about 2 hours or so, allowing the rest as a ‘Surprise I’m home!’ safety window to follow. This activity window is just not enough time to get completely dressed and un-dressed, the whole works. 
For a boy yes, for a girl with my experience definitely no! Unless, that is, I restrict my activities to one or maybe two aspects of getting ready and then unready. For example the last stint was focused on trying to create a passable bust and cleavage.
 
[Ed: more in a separate post with pictures]
 
I’m quite spontaneous in things I do around the home, 
usually to the dismay of Mrs.A, especialy when it comes to clearing up. Something can start off as harmless that ends up as a major (re)construction project. When we were living in an apartment, I got it in my bonnet one year to clear up a 'few things' in the living room late one Sunday. After Mrs.A had gone to bed in total frustration at 1 in the morning, I was still in full swing rearranging the complete livingroom furniture, just about everything that wasn't nailed down!
[Ed: Moving the piano around the living room after midnight goes down so well with the neighbours living downstairs..]
Very true, especially when the neighbour just happens to be your landlord! 


Another time I took it into my head to spontaneously wallpaper the kitchen on New Year’s Eve with a snowstorm ranging outside. As we could not completely open the window after finishing to remove the almost tropical humid air, we decided to leave it a jar with the kitchen door closed. Bushwhacked we retired for what was left of the night. While slumbering, the temperature dropped dramatically and the window decided to get some freash air. The next morning on entering I went skating across the now ice and snow ladened floor landing in a pile of pots and pans. 

Well in this vain, late one Friday evening I decided to start to clear out the cellar and not just half heartily as for the last few years. Firstly because I just couldn’t stand the mess anymore and secondary I wanted to make space for an Abigale session on the Sunday morning as Mrs.A had a rehearsal meaning a maximum time slot was on the cards. Well of course it’s easier said than done especially after years of neglect (clearing out not dressing).
You may know the situation: move bits and pieces from A to B, then weeks/months later from B to C, then years/eons later Surprise! One finds the pieces and bits (in a different order) have migrated back to location A of their own accord! 
Well this time I wanted to breakout of this circulus vitiosus and really get things moving direction rubbish tip. So my strategy was to go blindly in and without any real plan just grab and throw.
At first it was like an adrenalin kick, an act of freedom, a weight off .. off something or other. Totally banal things like two dozen power cables from equipment long gone, boxes of indefineable thingamajigs, 386 CPUs, non-recyclable Christmas presents because we forgot to label them with the name of the giver, empty picture frames needing something or someone to frame, round-pined British plugs (in two sizes), heaps of odd chopsticks enough to play Mikado with, bits of IKEA leftovers following an ‘IKEA construction party’ ...
[Ed: IKEA construction party?]
You know.  
Invite all your friends over, give them either a screwdriver or a hammer and leave sets of Alan/Hex keys at strategic locations. Pin the instructions to the wall and while they are distracted - half of them wondering why they need a screwdriver and the other half banging like mad weird looking bolts in ill aligned holes - you leave for the pub and hope they are finished before last orders.

While sorting some of the things brought up the questions 'where in **** did that come from?' or 'Did I buy this? I certainly don’t remember!'. After a time my good intentions started to wane, I could feel myself physically holding back just before letting go and the delay was increasing. 

I try before a clear out session to enter the state of Mushin (no-mind) in preparing to ban any gremlins that may appear like 
you know you need to keep this .. this whatever it is’ …
you know it may come in handy someday, even if it’s still in the original packing crate from the last move 25 years ago’ …
you know if you throw it today, you will find a use for it tomorrow’ … etc. 

Are these thoughts ingrain or are they brought on by being bitten by a hording bug? 

Anyway the point is, when I start such a 'session' I must keep going until I drop or get told off, whatever comes first. As I didn't get told off (Mrs.A was glad I was out of the way, she knew where I was and that I could only get up to limited mischief) and even though I had slowed down in banning bits to the bin, the place was chaos pure by late Saturday evening. 

Sunday morning came and my ‘Abi alone at home’ slot was imminent. I usually try and offer to drive Mrs.A back and forth to the rehearsals so I can ‘control’ the begin and end of a slot. This allows me the maximum out of it before I get the ‘come and get me’ call. 
Doesn’t always work, as on this morning. Mrs.A wouldn’t have it, she thought she was doing me a favour and had arranged for one of the cast to pick her up. 

I usually get worked up when I know a session is coming. Thinking about what I want to wear and when the time comes trying franticly to find it in my stash boxes. After she left, I went down to the cellar and entered. 
The chaos hit me like a wave, just no space available to really girl it. 
I backed out headed for the kitchen and made myself a cuppa. On looking at the clock I sighed and decided to take my time and just catalogue my stash instead, it was about time to take stock anyway. 
I realised that I had just lost track of things. This is not surprising as some items only see the light of day while unpacking at work and when possible after smuggling them home into the cellar to be stashed. 

I’ll backtrack a little and tell you about my modus operandi when buying stuff for Abi. 
[Ed: She’s off at a tangent again! Watch that your tea doesn’t get cold!]
Ok.
 

Apart from over the counter a few lipsticks and pantyhose in the distant past, I now exclusively order everything on-line. I am envious of all you girls that can go out and buy in whatever mode you are, I just cannot do that. There are a number of reasons and not just shyness, but more on this another time. Buying on-line without having the opportunity to try it on first does bring its problems. 
My first hurdle was finding out what woman’s sizes I was, head to toe. Ok, there are sites that help to get a girl going and ‘conversion’ charts with bust-waist-hip measurements as a guide, but they are ‘only’ a guide. As with most clothing, male or female, the acid test is when trying it on. This means for me after unpacking and a seldom Abi session. 
As I mentioned I have everything sent to my work address, never home. Mrs.A would catch on quick enough with either asking outright what was in the parcel or from reading the tell-tale labels on them. 
With the stream of parcels arriving at work over the last couple of years from Amazon, Otto, NewLook, etc., I let it be known that I was the central hub for the collective buying craze of my family and friends. Why me and at work? Well the excuse was because there is always someone to open the door on weekdays 07:00 to 19:00 and take in parcels. This is in part true, only I’m the main culprit with buying for Abi and some non Abi stuff for home! 

I’m not that happy with NewLook’s packaging, they stick a short version of the invoice on the outside listing the contents so every nosy person can see what’s within (pic after removal). 
Luckily they don’t put the size on the outside, only with the invoice inside, otherwise the cat would be out of the bag as most of the staff know Mrs.A and can put two and two together and come up with something other than four... 

With Amazon I usually try to combine things, for example a book or DVD and an Abi garment, make up, wigs etc. My last combi package was a white satin corset and a book (The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua). I then unpack the book/DVD (leaving the Abi item in the box) and display it on my desk for anyone who is interested. Any Abi garments I would try on in the restroom when everyone had gone home. 
This works surprisingly well, after a time my regular parcel intake became routine and less interesting to the rest of the staff. It got to the point that any Amazon parcels automatically landed on my desk even if they weren’t for me! 
One time I just happened to be at the front desk when a parcel arrived. As I was signing for it, the courier realised it was for me. He was overjoyed that at last he could thank me personally in the name of himself, wife and kids for helping to keep him employed over the last year! I was a little taken back and thought he was taking the mickey, but I couldn’t see this from his face, he just smiled, I reciprocated, he turned and left leaving me wondering what that was all about. 
I know I buy a lot of stuff, but keeping courier families above the breadline is carrying it bit far!

With Amazon & Co they use plastic bags for clothes which is not a problem, but with NewLook (UK), they use them for heels (I forgot to say, the bag above has my latest heels (3 pairs) they arrived today!). This has lead more than once to the heels of the shoes working their way through their own packaging and out through the outer bag! I usually order 3 or more pairs at once, so I get the P&P free.
 
[Ed: well that’s her excuse!]
 

One day I got back from lunch and found my latest order on my desk. As I picked the bag up and turned it over there were two holes each with a high heel poking through! One was a 4 inch black stiletto (left) and the other, a 6 inch beige (right) with the hole large enough to see the whole heel, it’s a wonder the order survived the transport! 
If the person who put the bag on my desk had ‘manhandled’ the bag a while (there was enough time from the front desk to my office) and took a peek into the larger hole they would realise the shoes where not for small feet (e.g. Mrs.A). If the penny has dropped in the office I have had no hints. Knowing my staff if they got wind of my collection they would probably want a demonstration on an improvised catwalk! 

When an ‘Abi-order’ arrives I usually can’t concentrate that well on my work. I end up waiting for the day to end and hoping all the staff get off home on time, so I can try on the garment or heels. Sometimes one or two of them work late as they have to prepare for being on the road or in the air the next day. I then have to weigh up either holding out till the office is empty or going home with or without my ‘prizes’ and hope for better luck the next day. 
If I get impatient I can usually smuggle small items into the restroom cubical and try them on, hoping I’ve picked the right size. If they don’t fit I can then repackage and bring it to the post or collection point the next day. 
Shoes are more difficult to smuggle but when I do I can try them on for ‘fitness’, but the real test is to try and walk in them and not just stand around wobbling about or not. In this case I would leave them at work until a free evening to walk them ‘in’ on the offices’ 45 meter long corridor and wear them at my desk working late into the night.
 
[Ed: Working late? You mean either hanging out, pinning pins or writing your posts all with your heeled feet up on the desk!]
A girl has to have fun now and then… 


So after trying out the clothes and shoes it’s either repacking the items for sending back, rare but has happened. Or working out how to smuggle the new arrivals all at once, or in stages, home to the ‘safety’ of the cellar. This is not always easy to manage; sometimes the item(s) would have to stay in the car boot until I got the opportunity allowing me to make a ‘dash with my new stash’. 

And so after coming full circle we are now back in the cellar and my tea is cold ...
 
[Ed: I told you! I’ll go upstairs and brew a new pot; you get on with cataloguing]

 
Ok, so where to start?

Well, I decided to close my eyes and with a sweep of my arms I cleared a table ignoring the clatter of indefinable objects as they hit the floor. Luck was on my side no shattering of broken glass. 

I have 4 medium sized (18”x18”x12”) (audio monitor boxes from my studio) for clothes and 2 classical plastic storage boxes (20”x16”x8”) where I store makeup and wigs and about half of my heels. The rest of my heels have their own individual boxes (see right. For a full catalogue with pictures check out under the sidebar 'Side Show' ‘My Heel Collection’).

I would rather have all my heels each to their own box, but that’s not practical, I’ve reached a critical point where anymore ‘shoe’ boxes turning up would bring them onto Mrs.A’s radar. The ones in boxes take up quite a lot of space but are much better than in plastic bags stuffed all together. 
I have from work ex-envelope boxes that are ideal for high heels which need almost square shaped boxes compared to heel-less flats (see above and left).

Some of the heels as with my Dorothy Perkins came in their own boxes (see right). Of course clear storage boxes would be better for each pair. Or the ultimate storage; a dedicated wardrobe unit for them in full display all in rows! And all my dresses hanging as they should be in easy reach..
 
[Ed: Ok, ok keep your wig on! There is very little chance that this will happen as you know.]
Yes true, it’s a lovely dream though.


Here some of my heel boxes stacked to be stashed.
So I took the first storage box and systematically started to rummage. I sorted under-wear and shape-wear from the over-wear. Colours together if I could and packed it all under pressure again back into the boxes but with method (the creases ugh!).
With the heels I checked each box for content and noted the relocation co-ordinates. I didn’t mark them in any way with content just in case they got exposed to Mrs.A eagle eye. Even just numbering them was not on. I think I am a little paranoid with this.


RFID tagging came to mind as Sheldon does with his socks, but that was too much of a hassle, I have other high tech gadgets to play with. After packing everything again I reluctantly pushed the storage and shoe boxes even higher and deeper into the darker regions of the cellar and barricaded it all in with heavy almost unmovable objects. The shoes that came in their own boxes (see the two red ones at the top of the stack in the picture) I stashed right at the back.

This means in future it will take longer to get to anything than it did before, even though I now know roughly where to look. Maybe it’s just frustration or due to something deeper. Maybe clearing up = less chaos = more chance of Mrs.A coming across something. I must say it is all rather depressing, this secrecy whittles away at one. 
As the stuff I buy is quickly sold out, I usually backup a picture of the item from the on-line store so I know what and where I bought them. Not for cosmetics of course, they don’t normally have a ‘size’ that would go out of stock within days. As I had the opportunity, I took pictures of the heels which I could not find again in the net (see collection). 

It was high time to ‘get it all out’ and at least look and handle it all again and of course get mega frustrated about not having the chance to really wear it for longer than an hour or so, if that.

Well the couple of hours went by quickly and I was just finished storing the pictures I took to file, when the front door opened and Mrs.A was home.
I am now up to-date on what I have hidden away. Interesting that there were few surprises, which surprised me as I just can’t for the life of me remember what boy clothes I have and I open the wardrobe daily!


It looks like I have a different relationship to my girl clothes than my boys.

Well the cellar is still in chaos mode, will slowly make room to be able to walk in a straight line in my heels instead of the slalom I have at the moment. 

I was going to list my stash here, but thought it would be better, as mentioned above, I have put a page under my ‘Side Show’ area for the heel collection with pictures, stats and a comment.
[Ed: What about the rest of your wardrobe?]
I might get round to making a separate short list under ‘Clothes & Co.’ for the rest when I have time. 
But for now it's grab a pair of my new heels, see if the coast is clear and make a dash for the restroom..