Helping Hand - Part 1

The first of the Autumn Gales was making its way up the St George’s Channel and into the Irish Sea. The late afternoon sky was darkening and the one ship that I could see from my window looked like it was in for a rough night.

I was in the process of pulling the curtains and shutting out the storm when I saw a brief light coming from the half ruin of a barn that marked the edge of my property. At first I thought that it was a reflection from the last of the sun but it appeared again. By now, the sun was totally covered by the approaching storm clouds.

I pulled the curtains shut and tried to put the possibility that someone was out there to the back of my mind.

What constitutes a 'Universe'?

I have an idea that came from to solo pieces (That are linked) that expands the scope of further stories that use the environment that is described in those stories.
Does this expansion of scope constitute what people mean by a Universe? These further stories are linked but essentially stand alone pieces.

So, what does constitute a Universe?

Just make her happy

“Come in and sit down Francine,” I said to the girl.

She came in and sat down.

“Now Francine, this is the third time Ms Hoare has sent you to me this term. You do know why you are here don’t you?”

Francine sighed.

“Yes Headmaster. Ms Hoare thinks that I'm wearing too much makeup.”

She! - Part 2

Twenty minutes later, I'd read the letter and knew the bad news. It made me feel rotten to the core and angry at the same time. My past had indeed caught up with me. What’s made it worse that it opened up a side of me that I was trying my hardest not to remember. After reading it twice, I decided that I needed to speak to Marcel.

Thankfully, his car was parked outside his home so I went inside looking for him.

“I’m in the back Jean, come on through,” he called to me when I spoke his name.

Marcel was sitting at his kitchen reading the newspaper.

Trump bans Trans people from US Military

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US President Donald Trump today announced that Transgendered people can't serve in the US Military.

This seems to be another rolling back the advances made under the previous president.

How very different this is from the British Military as some people who post here know from first hand experience.

Sad, so very sad.

She! - Part 1

I will never forget the day she came into my life. Until then, things had been great. Well, for the past two and a half years, life in general had been pretty good to me despite everything that had gone before it that had caused me to give up a job I loved and move to somewhere with a decided slower pace of life.

An Ode to 'Bike'

An Ode to 'Bike', the first 10 years

I’d rather be Riding my bicycle
My bicycle made for two
With bells and rings and things on
But a trusty read that always delivers
What it says on the tin

Through thick and thin
Wet and Dry
Another episode comes along
And then two or three more just like busses
But it always delivers
What it says on the tin

Angharad you are a trooper
Sooper dooper
And that is a fact
But the tales go on
And it always delivers
What it says on the tin

She's Leaving Home

She's Leaving Home

Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free

The air is cool. There are muted traffic sounds coming from the main road half a mile away. A few Blackbirds are signing.

Where has the old site gone?


Has it gone walkabout?
Any chance of getting it back?

If there are changes being made then please, please, please tell us in advance and perhaps make a trial page so that we can see what is happening and comment on it.
The site as it stands today (08:28 Friday) has gone backwards a long way in terms of usability. If this stays then I'll be making far fewer visits.
Sorry for the bit of a rant but that is how I see it.

The Italian Job - Part 15

I came around after the operation but didn’t open my eyes for a while. I listened for the sounds of anyone in the room with me.

To my untrained ears, the room was empty. I knew I must look a right state so I’d hoped for a few minutes to myself to at least run a brush through my hair.

There was nothing else for it but to open my eyes. I could tell that it was early evening as the setting sun was giving the room a soft, warm glow.

I lay looking at the ceiling for a few moments.

Then a voice came from my left.

The Italian Job - Part 14

Sophia soon put the episode at her now old school behind her as she began a slightly extended summer holiday. It didn’t take us long to find her another school for September and when Benito came home from school we planned all sorts of things to do for the holidays only to have them thrown into total confusion by the arrival at Hartley House of Gina.

She breezed in, as if she owned the place. It seemed that it was something Italian Women just did. She pronounced the place ugly and vulgar and not the sort of place for children.

The Italian Job - Part 13

Before I could control myself, I started crying.

To my eternal relief, Mrs Wilson didn’t come and offer to help.

When I’d recovered my composure, I said to her,

“You can’t be serious. You really want me to come and tell a load of adolescent girls about a man who does not want to be a man and why he’s having his dick cut off?” I blurted out rather angrily when I’d recovered at least some sort of composure.

I dragged a handkerchief out of my handbag and tried to dry my eyes without making too much of a mess of my makeup. 

Interesting story on the BBC

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This is a quite moving piece on the BBC about someone who is transitioning MtoF. The come from a farming family in Wales and the piece is told by the family of Llyr.

I found it quite moving how accepting they were even though the father is obviously having a hard time calling his son 'she'. I expect that will come over time.

The Italian Job - Part 12

After dinner, I told Luca about the auction and the antics of Mrs Federov, he Luca laughed his head off. His board meeting had gone very well so we were both in a great frame of mind. He’d also been meeting with his lawyers about something to do with the children. He was a little reluctant to tell me and I didn’t want to push it.

Our brief period of happiness didn’t last and we were brought down to earth with a bump when two days later when we were just about to leave for the airport and our flight to London when Gina arrived on the scene.

The Italian Job - Part 11

I arrived at the house in Tuscany a little before 3pm that afternoon very eager to see what Victor had discovered.

The sound of the Taxi’s tyres on the gravel drive alerted him to my arrival.
He emerged from the open front door of the house with a broad smile on his face.

As I paid off the driver he opened the door of the car for me to get out.

“Thank you for coming at such short notice.”

Posting of 'The Italian Job - Part 10'

I've posted the next part of my story tonight so that those readers in the UK (and Europe) don't have to suffer IMHO, the turgid if not torrid 'Eurovision Song Contest' which is on tonight.

If you want to see how voting is really done on partisan lines then watch this. Well, I won't but apparently millions still do. Can't see the point really but there you go.


The Italian Job - Part 10

Luca’s father, Marco turned out to be a real sweetie. Over the next few days I got to know him quite well. As for his wife of 31 years, Niamah was nowhere to be seen. She’d seen Marco embracing me at the station and hadn’t been seen since.

We found out a few days later that she was staying with Gina. That little bit of news made me feel a whole lot better. Marco seemed to agree with my statement of ‘She’s lost it’.

The Italian Job - Part 9

Christmas was soon forgotten as Luca and I spent most of January in Genoa. There were lots of things going on at the shipyard. I began to get a bit worried about him. It was as if the whole world was on his shoulders and despite my gentle probing he wouldn’t share his troubles with me.

At the end of the first week in February, I’d just returned to the Apartment with some food when the phone rang.

A voice spoke heavily accented Russian to me.
“Да, это Fran” {yes. I am Fran}

Snowed In!

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Here I am in the hills/small mountains south of St Ettienne and we had a big gale last night. Strong winds and rain that brought more than a few trees down.
Woke up this morning with the prospect of a 550Km drive ahead of me and we are snowed in. Yes folks, the 1st of may and I'm snowed in at my hotel. About 4in of the white stuff fell in the night.
It is also a bank holiday here so the snow clearance vehicles won't be out. I'll try to get out after breakfast as I have 4WD but I don't recon much of my chances.

Deep Joy!


The Italian Job - Part 8

The next two months were hectic to say the least. Luca and I went everywhere together. But it was all business, business and yet more business. Most nights we just collapsed into bed exhausted. There is such a thing as too much wining and dining and the endless travelling was always a pain in the bum.

Where have all the Cyclists gone?

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I know it is election day here in France and where I am now (SW of Brive la Gallarde) is wonderful cycling country. The roads and even the minor 'D' ones are well surfaced if you avoid the Department of Correze yet I saw very few out on the road today. The weather is perfect as well....
Where are they all? If this was England, there would be lots out on the road on a fine Sunday Morning.
I spoke to two Australians at lunchtime. They are in the middle of cycling from Oslo to Athens and they remarked on the lack of cyclists in this area.


The Italian Job - Part 7

The gentle knocking of the maid on the door eventually roused me from my slumbers.

I didn’t want to move so I shouted out,

“Please. Come back later.”

The knocking stopped and all was quiet once more apart from the muted traffic noise coming from the world outside the Hotel.

I relaxed back onto the bed and closed my eyes once more.

The Italian Job - Part 6

When I first told Saffy that I was going travelling and despite her protestations and comments such as ‘Yeah Right’, I really meant it. 

As I prepared to leave the country to start my travels, I was not really sure where I would end up. I called it, ‘Going with the Flow’. My problem was deciding where to start.

The Italian Job - Part 5

Our Heroine is in the middle of a very awkward phone call to Saffron.

To say I was stunned by Saffy’s confession was a great understatement.

“I… I don’t know what to say.”

There was no reply.

“Saffy? Are you there?”

There were some audible sounds from the other end of the line.

Eventually she replied.

“Don’t you love me?”

Now I was in a corner with no way out.

“Yes Saffy I love you but not in the way you think I do.”

The Italian Job - Part 4

“Please come inside. We have been expecting you.”

I was speechless. What on earth was going on?

Nevertheless, I went inside the house.

With a thud, she shut the heavy door behind me.

“Let me introduce myself properly this time, I’m Claudia. Shall we go into the Kitchen? I am sure that you must have a million questions?”

Still speechless, I nodded my understanding. I followed her into the huge kitchen. As I entered I was aroused by the smell of fresh coffee and even better, fresh bread.

The Italian Job - Part 3

With a bit of trepidation, I sent off the application for my new passport the following day after a quick trip to my lawyers.

When I’d come into all that money, I invested some of it in the shop and also just under £10M in a number of properties in and around the city. Property in Bath is really expensive. I employed a Solicitor to manage the properties on my behalf through a company I set up called ‘Safnis Properties Ltd’.

My impromptu visit to my Lawyers that day was to formally change my name to Fran from Francis.

Ricki Ortiz - TG Streetfighter Player

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I'm not a computer gamer but this caught my eye.

I'm not sure about viewing it from outside the UK though.

She came out as Gay but she still didn't feel right.
The Gaming Fans seem to have accepter her very well which is a refreshing change,

The Italian Job - Part 2

I grinned back at Saffy.

“What gave me away then smart arse?”

“Your eyebrows. God knows how many times I’ve tried to get you to really pluck them properly. You
always refused. Well you did until now”

Then I waggled my fingers at her.

Saffy grinned back.

The Italian Job - Part 1

Two women were sorting through a pile of clothes. They’d been bought as a job lot from a local firm of ‘House Clearers’.

“I’ll go and get the lunch today.” Said the very petite raven haired one to the taller brunette.

“You carry on sorting out this little lot,” she added.

“Gee thanks Saffy. We all know how you hate this job,” replied the brunette.

I’m the brunette. I’m Fran and the other woman is Saffron or Saffy for short. We both work in a shop selling Antique and Classic Clothes.

Homecoming Gift

“There’s a table not far from the Bar,” I said as I led my two friends into ‘The George and Dragon’ that fateful Thursday evening.

We all sat down and I fished a £20 note out of my Wallet.

“Jayne, be a darling and get them in. Mines a glass of Merlot. If you ask the barman nicely, I understand that he has a very nice bottle of St Emillion behind the bar with my name on it.”

Jayne and my other friend Donna were with me to celebrate a promotion and to do a bit of business at the same time.

Look good in Blue

Emma Price a.k.a Blondie had always been a looker ever since primary school. Only the teachers and her parents ever called her ‘Emma’. With her naturally blonde hair and brilliant green eyes she was the best looking 5 year old for miles around.

Some parents would have put her into what the Americans call ‘Beauty Pagents’ but Blondie was a real tomboy at heart. She was part of our little gang from the very day that her family moved into Kirdford Close. There was Simon, Trev, Alan and me, Joe. She was just one of us.

It is not the end of the world

“Shauna, you seem a bit pre-occupied tonight?” asked Kerry-Ann.

“Mum, it is nothing,” replied Kerry-Ann’s daughter.

“It isn’t nothing. You have sat starting at your homework for the past hour and done exactly nothing. So, come on darling out with it.”

Shauna looked at her mother for several seconds before replying.

“Mum, they are saying on Twitter and WhatsApp that Paula was a man.”

Kerry-Ann had dreaded this day coming. Paula was her wife.

“Anything else?”

“What? Isn’t that enough?”

“Are they saying anything else about us?”

My prizes for the Christmas Contest

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After due delibaration and contemplation, I have come to a decision.

Cue drum roll....

First Prize goes to
• Lost and Found by Julie D. Cole

Second Prize goes to
• Ghost Gift by Dorothy Colleen

Both of these are IMHO right on the nail when it comes to 'The Spirit of Giving'.

The money will be on its way tomorrow according to the wishes of the authors.


Possible delay in awarding my Christmas comp prizes

Just a heads up to say that there might be a delay in the awarding of my extra prizes winners for the Christmas Competition.
My 94 years old Mother was admitted to Hospital last night. The Doctors don't really know what is wrong with her at the moment.

I've read every entry at least once and was in the process of producing a shortlist when this happened.


You can do better than him

This story is another episode from the ‘Hotel’ run by LGBT people that first featured in this story.

The problem with running a Hotel that is part of a larger group is that you have to attend corporate functions and even worse, ‘corporate training’. No excuses, you as the manager have to go and be indoctrinated in the latest corporate ideals/edicts and messages. Then it is your duty to pass all this corporate wisdom onto your staff.

Whatever you want...

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This year has been a bad one for the musicians who have been in my life for... forever.

Today, we lost Rick Parfitt of Status Quo. I hope he is 'rocking all over the world (of heaven)'.

What with David Bowie, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and now Rick Parfitt, this year has been bad.

RIP all of them

BigCloset TopShelf's December 2016 Spirit of Giving Story Contest


December 2016
Spirit of Giving

Story Contest
Entry Submission Dates are from now through December 23, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time!
Prizes currently are 1 x $250, 1 x $150, and 12 x $100 USD paypalled or gift vouchered. Prizes subject to go up!

Tour de Yorkshire - 2017

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The route for next years event has been announced.

Maddy will be happy as the finish is in her back yard.

One of the names of the climbs got me laughing... Côte de Shibden Wall
Would not want to ride (up or down) in the wet though.


Backups? wot Backups?

Backups are a PITA so they often don't get done.
Just refer to the anguish that Maddy Bell had where her PC stopped working.
Now she's got no excuse for not backing up her work. {courtesy of yours truly}

I came upon this little ditty again today.


All those backups seemed a waste of pay.

Now my database has gone away.

Oh I believe in yesterday.


There's not half the files there used to be,

And there's a milestone hanging over me

The system crashed so suddenly.

Escaping the Past - Part 3

Now that Chloe was out in the open things moved along nicely at the house.

Angela more or less took control of Chloe’s metamorphosis from ‘yeah but you are a man aren’t you?’ into something more like ‘what are you doing on Friday?’ sort of appearance. She thinned his eyebrows a bit but not too much so that when Martin had to make an appearance it wouldn’t be obvious that the was a cross-dresser.

Escaping the Past - Part 2

[Late March]

Martin was in a meeting at a London Trading House when he felt his phone vibrate. He’d set it on ‘silent’ before the meeting. From the nature of the vibration he knew he’d received a text message. His innate politeness stopped him from looking at the phone until the meeting was over.

It was more than an hour later before he could look at the message.

When he did so, he smiled. It was from Angela.

“Martin, come home please. Am sort of stuck”

He replied

“Understood. Tied up until 4. Back ASAP”

I am me and you are you

You and me are very different.
We always have been and always will.
Your words, fists and feet will never make me you
Just face it, I’m not like you

You call me queer,
You call me a paedo,
You smash your fists into my face
Yet I’m still not like you so what’s the point eh?

Yes, I like to dress as a woman,
What’s so wrong in that? Will it condemn me to spend eternity in hell?
Just because you don’t do not make me bad.
Despite all your bullying, I’m still here.


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