Tag Archives: Dress

Too Busy to Blog (The Four Year Itch)

I got an e-mail from WordPress recently congratulating me on my fourth year of blogging with them. I’d almost forgot about the page for a while to be honest as I often find myself too busy to spend proper time on it. Be that reading everyone else’s or tending to my own so please accept these digital apologies!

Originally I had started this as a means to feel better about my crossdressing. Or at least a bit less guilty. I find that the intervening years have indeed seen changes there and Anna as a character (which I suppose she is) is very public indeed. Far more public than I could ever have imagined in fact and comfortably so as I have married the proverbial closet to the music. And this is the reason I have been too busy to blog of late. My last batch of posts were mere placeholders as I have done a further 11 shows since September. I doubt if I’d be able to sustain my interest or yours talking about them individually and in depth so I just thought I’d share the different looks I sported for them instead.

Live photo photo from McChuills courtesy of Lee Cosgrove

Live photo from NHC Busker Rhymes Takeover courtesy of Rory O’bee

Live photo from Yellow Movement Sundays at McChuills courtesy of Carol McMillan

I was also asked host a show again, this time it was a night of ROCK music at the Classic Grand in Glasgow. Initially I was very nervous about it but ended up having a splendid time and making some more new friends ๐Ÿ˜Š

This has to be one of my favourite combinations. You can’t see my knee-high boots from this perspective but you get to see them in the next photo courtesy of Eddie McEleny.

The next gig I had there was another one of those rarities – 2 gigs in one night. I was at the Blue Chair to participate in an Extra Second event. The theme for the night was ‘Wholesome’ so I read a love poem and sang ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ then hotfooted it to the Classic Grand to play basd for the Well Happy Band. I decided to wear one of the band’s tshirts and pair it with a cute tartan skirt.

I don’t have any photos from this gig but John the drummer took this one and you can see me on the right there ready to rock out!

The next show I took part in was ‘Ghost Stories from Around the World’ which took place at the Britannia Panopticon. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite venues. All the other acts were all mini plays of a macabre nature and I elected to write a creepy song especially for the occasion. I called it ‘Annaween’ ๐Ÿ˜„

Photos courtesy of Galactic Carnival.

Then I supported Hacksaw, a punk band from Bristol, playing at the 13th Note on their 30th anniversary tour. That was a braw night! As mentioned in an earlier post I had brought out a new album called ‘Tits of Steel’ and I managed to sell a few copies at this which is awesome!

Live photo coutesy of Budgie McGubligan

Me and Eleanor Chalkey, the lovely lady who organised the gig.

Toilet roll fight during a song called ‘Bogroll’ (wish I’d thought of that!)

At the beginning of the month I was the November cover girl for a new online crossdressing and drag magazine called Gender Mag which was lovely. There was a full interview with me with full colour photos. They didn’t once mention the words ‘Anna Secret Poet’ but nonetheless I’ve decided it was a cool experience. Here’s what it looked like…

When time has passed a little I will publish the pages here or on Facenook as I don’t think you can get back issues with this mag ๐Ÿ˜„

On the 10th of November I had the excitement of two shows in one night again. The first was my return to Drag-Opticon at the Britannia Panopticon as usual hosted by Alana Duvey, Glasgow’s nicest drag queen. I sported a sleeveless boob tube type Wonder Woman-esque sequin clad dress with glittery heels and managed to mostly avoid a titty incident!

Live photos courtesy once again of Galactic Carnival.

I’m not sure this one went well for me…I forgot words for one song and rambled a little bit more than I’d have liked to. Also the finale was mightily embarrassing! Once everyone was onstage after the curtain call there came a chant for one more song. ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain started playing and everyone started dancing except me. Not only can I not dance but I don’t like that song so it was a long 4 mins or so. In the end I just pranced about then clambered offstage with a rose in my mouth.

The next gig was at the Riding Room for the Glasgow Festival of Burlesque. With my good lady wife on tow we made it just in time to set up and belt out 15 mins of my usual nonsense ๐Ÿ˜„

These images were by Jamie McFadyen

My feet were killing me after all that but there was no rest for the wicked as I had another show lined up the next night. This time at the Glad Cafe on the southside of Glasgow. It was a comedy night called Crossmylaff (it’s near the district called Crossmyloof) and it was a brilliant evening. I elected to go for an office or secretarial look.

The last picture was taken by Andrew Ogilvie, one of the organisers alongside Fergus Mitchell. Two very funny guys indeed!

*Featured image was taken by Violet Duff

GAK Photography Photoshoot 15/7/17

On a rainy Saturday almost 2 months ago I did my first ever proper photoshoot with an actual photographer. Having mostly photographed myself for years, apart from the odd live show, I was really excited and it didn’t disappoint. The chap in question was Gary Knox who is a fellow Whovian and an up and coming photographer. You can check out his Facebook page here GAK Photography.

I was able to get dressed prior to leaving the house which was good as it saved us a bit of time. We were aiming to really only spend a couple of hours doing it as the weather was most disappointing – typical Scottish summer ๐Ÿ˜„. The location we agreed on was an area known locally as The Saltings down in Old Kilpatrick. It’s a local beauty spot and nature reserve and for the most part lies between the banks of the river Clyde and a long abandoned railway line. We started out at some old ruins next to the Forth and Clyde Canal just before Bowling Harbour. I posed in what I assume may have been a window or a door in its heyday.

We then decamped to a long wooden bridge a bit further along that leads you from the main path of The Saltings to the cycle path next to the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Our last port of call was on the banks of the Clyde itself on a beach underneath the Erskine Bridge. There lies what I can only assume is an old lookout post or bunker which sits askew upon the sand. I don’t know how long it has been there for exactly but it has been a source of curiosity for as long as I can remember.

The last couple of shots were taken up among some trees just a few feet away from the beach. Have you ever walked on a wet beach before in heels? It was difficult but amusing!

Festivals, Photoshoots and Eyebrows oh my!

As I have been too busy to post in the last couple of months I thought I’d have a go today at sorting that out. June and July were fun indeed! In the middle of June I was at Eden Festival – my first proper festival experience. In spite of it being a total wash-out I had a great time. I was down with The Well Happy Band and we played a total of 3 gigs over the course of the weekend. In non Anna circumstances I reckon the Eden weekend would have merited a whole post to itself but I shall move on.

My first proper hosting gig went without incident thank goodness. I compered Queer Theory at Nice n’ Sleazy on the 14th of June. Apparently it is the first time it ever ran to schedule in fact! I elected to not hog the limelight too long and let the other acts get on with it. I doubt if I’ll be asked back to do it again though as I don’t think I’m host material. The first photos are ones I took myself backstage.

These were some of the better photos of me that night as snapped by Martin J Windebank.

On the 24th of June I undertook one of my odder shows. It was at a nightclub called Victorias in Glasgow and it was a benefit gig for a lady to raise money to buy a prosthetic arm. I shared the bill with some of my favourite comedians; Kavita Bhardwaj, Natalie Sweeney Potter, Aaron Wilkie and Andrew Ogilvie. Unfortunately given the venue’s reputation as a nightclub a lot of folk didn’t turn up for the comedy part of the evening which commenced sometime after 9. Lack of microphone stand led me to shout all my words out to be heard over my amp. Amusing I suppose. This is one of the few usable pics I took that night after changing.

At the end of June a window opened up for me to do a little bit of dress-up at home which is increasingly rare these days. It enabled me to try out some new outfits I had acquired recently from an aunt and some charity shop excursions.

I enjoyed all those looks, especially with fresh shorn legs! But my favourite was a tartan skater dress that I picked up earlier that day for the princely sum of ยฃ2.49 โค

I loved this dress so much I elected to wear it for my first proper photoshoot which I had scheduled for the middle of July. This was to be with my friend Gary at GAK Photography, a Glasgow based photographer who specialises in cosplay shoots. We did it in a local beauty spot on a very rainy day but the results were mainly satisfactory. At this moment I have only had 2 edited pictures from the shoot and they are reproduced by kind permission below. When I see more I’ll no doubt share them incessantly!

Here are a few odds and ends from the dress-up session in my house to mop them up so to speak.

Over the last few months I have been working towards writing some new songs with the view to having an album out before Christmas. I have now amassed enough for an album and only need now record them in the appropriate fashion. I’ve also been enjoying trying these new songs out live at my last 3 shows at The Blue Chair, McPhabbs and The Project Cafe. In particular my new song ‘Eyebrows!’ has been going down a storm. To this end I decided to bring this forward as a single to promote ahead of my album. I recorded it on Friday evening and paired it with an outtake from my last Chairman Cow album called ‘P.S. Smell Me’.

Here is a link to download and or stream it completely free of charge! Anna Secret Poet – ‘Eyebrows!’ Also this is the cover art for it, I took it at McPhabbs. I was so excited to pose with this antique telephone!

Here are some photos from the last 3 gigs, all of them by me except the blurry action shot which I guess is by Fergus Mitchell.

I’ve a busy week ahead next week! 3 shows on Monday (Spangled at QMU, Glasgow University), Wednesday (Funny Lassies at Kilderkin as part of the Edinburgh Fringe) and Saturday (Pride at the 13th Note Cafรจ). Also I’ve a wee photoshoot on Saturday afternoon with Galactic Carnival that I’m looking forward to immensely. I hope to be sharing loads more photos again very soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

New friends, outfits and gigs oh my!

I have had a busy bunch of weeks since I last posted. Visitors to the web edition of my page will notice that I got the hang of ‘widgets’ and now my page looks a lot more interesting. Also, two more gigs under my girly belt! Of varying quality it has to be said. I’m speaking of my own performance of course – I can be pretty harsh on myself a lot of the time. The one I did a couple of weeks ago was superb. That was the one where I said the dress code was: Fierce. I panicked and dug out a little black dress for the occasion. Sadly I haven’t seen any pictures from the evening as the lady running the night is on holiday but I looked a little bit like this…

I had a whale of a time and was especially happy to be able to hang out with Talullah Belle and Gabriel Featherstone. A dancer and a surreal comedian respectively. Also on the bill were Innocence Bliss, a very lovely lady indeed with a cracking sense of humour, the band Reality TV, who were a nice bunch of chaps and their fanbase were very kind towards us too. I found out afterwards that I’d missed a photo opportunity with the ladies in their entourage as I’d got changed back too hastily. It was ran by a lady called Yasmin who was really lovely too and compered by a drag artist called Diana Fire. Things got quite tense during a part of her act when she produced a knife and cut her tights off…also slicing into her shin. Twas a fierce looking wound to be sure. We were assured once some whisky was doused on it and it was bandaged up it’d be fine but I’m still not convinced.

After the gig Talullah was able to put me in touch with a lady who runs nights in the bar she works in. A rock bar in Partick called Rockus. I’ll be appearing there on Wednesday the 14th of September so I’m really looking forward to that too. I seen Gabriel again on Thursday last as I was appearing at his cabaret night in The Blue Chair called ‘The Boiling Dolphin Cabaret’. That was a good night too but I don’t know if I was on top form or not. I only did songs eschewing poetry as I wasn’t in the mood. I wore my trusty polka dot dress that I’ve had for a couple of years now. I felt dead pretty in it! As there is only one toilet there I had to get changed in work again but I’m cool with that now, I’m starting to enjoy it. I had my first ‘windy dress’ incident on the way to the station which made me giddy for a short while after. Arriving well before everyone else I had the chance to relax and have a meal. There weren’t many other people there so I wasn’t hassled and was able to converse with the owner. A Tasmanian lady called Lorelle – she was a formidable person indeed. Her brownies were outstanding!

I shared a stage with Amelia Bayler and Donald Henderson, 2 very funny comedians. I was taken with Amelia in particular, such confidence. Also there was a close-up magician and mentalist called Paul M Distefano. He was amazing! Amusingly one of the people he chose to do a trick on turned out to also be a magician (apparently they didn’t know each other). The gig was sparsely attended but I’ve come to enjoy those ones more. The intimacy is brilliant fun plus no one can hide or talk haha! 😄 (or eat nachos).

Outfits have been on my mind recently too. I needed some new ones and as well as purchasing some nice dresses myself, a good friend of my wife passed a few onto me. Pictures will follow…oh yes.

These are two that I have purchased at charity shops over the last fortnight.

I’m very excited about the next three I’m showcasing! These are the donations from my wife’s friend. The one at the end is especially fabulous ๐Ÿ™‚

Isn’t that peach one exciting? It’s got stage written all over it! Can’t wait to wear it out (once I’ve solved the VPL problem lol).

Hopefully I’ll have some more things to write about soon. Definitely enjoying bringing Anna to life in more social situations these days. There may be opportunities for nights out in the next couple of weeks. I won’t say anymore incase I jinx them!

Have a fab weekend everybody X

Doubt sets in

I have felt a little bit lost of late, creatively speaking. Musically I feel spent and somewhat abandoned. Solace seems to be coming from my Secret Poet project which excites me but deep down I know it is not the ideal way forward. Thinking I could fit in with the cabaret set was perhaps a misguided notion. Sure I am capable of a certain degree of glamour but my act isn’t even a proper act and it’s entertainment value or wow factor is perhaps non-existent. This became clear to me as I took to the stage as Anna for the first time. As fun as it was I always tend to be my harshest critic and like with my music performances I believe I may have been the least interesting item on the menu. I’m not sure how I can enliven it as jokes and banter are not especially easy for me. I did consider early on in the planning process that I could end on a song. Be it an extremely random cover version or some funny little ditty I have yet to compose. Having spoken with my wife and another friend I’ve came to realise that I rushed my performance. That’s normal I guess – I always remember the very first gig I did with my band when I was 17. We did our half hour set in 20 mins!

I have another week to prepare for it and at least this time I have more poems to choose from so I can be picky. I wish I had more like ‘Stuck in a dress’. It was pointed out to me that that is my pivotal work ie the one that goes the best with my image. I’m a guy getting stuck in a dress and isn’t it usually women who get stuck in dresses…oh the hilarity. Most of the other poems could be told without the hair and make-up as my normal self but not that one. I should think about it more over the next while.

I’m really looking forward to the gig as it’ll be a chance to hang out as Anna in a cool place with arty and open-minded people. In the back of my mind I’m also planning to get to take some pictures (posed of course) whilst there. Sick of taking the same pictures in the house so the Art School should provide a good opportunity for that. I took some new photos last weekend actually and some of them were rather good. Here they are below, the red dress and the blue dress are new purchases. Both from charity shops – I can’t resist a bargain ๐Ÿ™‚

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These outfits are older but I was able to still find ways of enjoying them. For this part of the session I donned a trusty waist cincher and hip padding to lend a more feminine shape. It’s required especially for the sake of the bodycon dress which just goes up and down on my manly frame.

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The Poet Ponders Her Next Move

Hello there! I do hope you are all well, I’m all sore from a gig last night. Not a poetry one sadly but a solo guitar and shoutin’ style gig. It’s been a busy old week rehearsing for that one so I’ve been more or less taking a break from the soul searching poetry nonsense. As I sort of hinted at in my last post regarding my Youtube channel, I did a special session last Friday where I filmed the remaining 7 poems that weren’t up so you can now view my full repertoire such as it is. It was a fun session and I really got into it as I haven’t really had much physical practice. It’s mostly all been going on in my head. A bottle of wine was consumed in the process helping me relax and fueling me to read all my remainder (I had only intended on reading my brand new one ‘Huff’).

 

 

Yesterday I also got to see the pictures my friend took. I look pretty awful in a couple of them but it’s because I’m in the zone mid sentence and so on. Also I really should have brushed my hair before I went on lol! So courtesy of GAK Photography here they are…

 

 

Next time I’ll probably wear a different wig! Not sure when that will be but I hope to arrange something before the summer. There are loads of spoken word nights in Glasgow so I’m also thinking of infiltrating one of them but the matter of where to change would present a minor problem ๐Ÿ™‚ In the meantime I’m just going to hunker down and expand the secret poem book as best I can.

One of the other things I did was join Instagram last weekend. I’ve met some colourful characters on that I can tell you! I really had no idea that you could send messages over it and so far they are the most irritating aspect. I’ve had to do a whole lot of blocking and declining I can tell you. I can be found under annasecretpoet – what else I guess?

Lastly I got a nice new camera during the week, a Canon DSLR. A rather complex beast but one I’m determined to master. Hopefully that means I can now provide high quality imagery in general from now on. The zoom is INCREDIBLE! I finally got to take a picture of the moon the other night and you can even make out the craters on it…

 

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I must fly now as it is nearly lunchtime and a mighty hunger has descended upon us!

Take it easy xxx

Raiders of the Lost Pics

Recently I discovered that my old MySpace is still there. I have no way of deactivating it as I no longer have access to the e-mail address I set it up with. It had been quietly sitting there gathering virtual dust all this time. I’m guessing it was around 2010 since I last logged in, the time of the last purge. Familiar faces greeted me from my Friends list but all posts and comments appear to have disappeared. I wonder what all those people are up to now and if they’ve abandoned their profiles for dead too. The reason I logged on was to have a look at some of my old pictures to see if they were still there. Indeed they were. I no longer have copies of them you see, having been overly careful down the years I would delete pics off the hard drive once I’d uploaded them. An idea I have been thinking over for some time is to sort out my Anna photo archive properly. From 2011 onwards I have a pretty comprehensive collection but the years prior to that are decidedly patchy. I had thought of maybe starting a Flickr account too. So I have somewhere to keep a back up but also have them on display for anyone who would appreciate them.

As often happens when you start looking at old photos I was transported back in time and thus lost track of it. I copied a fair few of them – not all though only the ones that looked okay. Some of them I had forgotten about and I cringed at some of the outfits and poses…

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I began to think again about why as crossdressers we photograph ourselves as we inevitably don’t get to share them much (god bless the internet). I suppose it’s not too odd because really as people we photograph everything we see, especially these days. We like to chart the progression of our lives and we like to remember. I’m particularly pleased with my archive, it’s pretty much a decade’s worth.

Pictures can also be incredibly powerful, funny, moving, thought-provoking and obtuse. Sometimes all at once. I happen to think the best ones are not always posed. I really like the pictures where the subject(s) are not necessarily aware that they are being photographed. No one else has ever taken a photo of Anna and I think I’d really like that. It would be terribly interesting to see how that would turn out. I’ve often wanted to ask my wife but have been too shy. When we did the now traditional Halloween Anna evening last night I wanted to ask but couldn’t find the right opportunity. I suppose I’m also a bit worried because when we were discussing my last post she remarked how I seemed to default to ‘sex kitten’ in them. It was a good point but that’s probably just because o my wardrobe choices. Put me in a cute skirt and heels I automatically bend or point my knees and turn my head to one side. I can’t help it 😄

I did take a few pictures before we settled down to watch a film. Ended up in that green dress I bought a couple of months back and I even accessorised!

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Hope you all had a great Halloween too! If I sort a Flickr out I’ll let you know X