My Mother’s Daughter 

On Mother’s Day I have written this poem in tribute to my late mother  Mary Russell as I thank you for being a better role model than she ever knew. I have given it the title My Mother’s Daughter I hope you enjoy the read. 

My Mother’s Daughter

It happens on  the fourth Sunday of lent 

the date for mothering Sunday never changes 

on this day when we remember our mothers 

with chocolates cards and flowers

we celebrate who they are

 and what they have brought to our lives 

as for me I remember a woman 

with whom I have more in common 

than I would ever have thought 

my mother was a women of her time 

she found it challenging 

that I wanted to be a girl 

and grow up to be a woman like her 

though maybe an updated version 

this was something she couldn’t understand 

convincing herself my identity was just a phrase 

I refuse to blame her 

she worried what her neighbours would say 

I tried to explain wanting to be a girl  

was not the same as being gay 

which she classified as a sin or a waste 

depending on the looks of the man 

a kind heart hidden beneath her apron 

my mother was an amazing cook 

feeding us with with soups, stews, and steak pies 

empty plates never lie 

but show the proof of her skills 

when I asked to help I was told 

cooking was for girls 

boys should play games 

that teach them to be men 

she worried what they would think 

if they ever knew 

her son preferred pink to blue 

liking Donny and the Bay City Rollers 

would have served as a hint to some 

as would my stockpile of Jackie 

and other magazines of the day 

but my mum was content

 to stay in her bubble 

being a trans teen troubled

by the manufactured sense of self 

I was forced to create 

left emotional scars and a bond 

which though fragile was still strong enough to survive 

knowing the truth was no barrier to denial 

as I gained confidence I gradually stepped out 

 in bars, and clubs 

the kind my mother had heard of 

only in stories on TV or in the press 

the fact I went dressed to ‘ these places’ 

only proved I was easily led 

a target for some sex maniac to take to bed 

chance would be a fine thing I suggested 

she should have remembered 

I was her daughter I had her morals 

and wouldn’t do anything I felt to be wrong 

it wasn’t the way I was raised 

Sundays were the post, the roast , and songs of praise 

so it should be no surprise 

that I’m now in the pews on Sunday mornings 

like her friends in the area I grew up in  

through on the fringe of the city 

it had that village mentality 

it was the kind of place 

 where gender and sexuality were never discussed 

eventually we watched the Chippendales together 

though  I blushed when 

 I told her about the first time  I kissed a man

and liked it because it felt right 

I went in to detail about that night 

I confessed that though he was younger than me 

 it was me who made the move 

I didn’t wait to be asked

there was a difference between being nice  and being scared 

I wasn’t prepared to sit back and wait 

being respectable was over rated I claimed 

now no longer ashamed

 I was sharing mother – daughter secrets

though it had taken me  till my forties  do it 

even in private 

publicly she maintained my identity was a phase 

she was scared of what the neighbours would say 

that mattered more to her generation 

than it does to mine 

I remember the night she zipped me 

into my wine tafatta dress

her smile said more than any words ever could 

I was the daughter she knew wanted 

even though she could never admit it 

not even to herself  

it wasn’t her way 

I think of her on mother’s day 

and thank her for meals served with a diet of rules 

most of which I still respect 

I am my mother’s daughter after all 

© Gayle Smith 2017

 

For All The Silenced Voices

​With Tuesday being world poetry day, I wrote a poem to give thanks for my right to freedom of expression. As I did so I thought of the words of  the late Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who when living under the Pinochet regime remarked poetry is the only danger here and in many countries his words have an all too disturbing ring to them as poets are often seen as enemies of the state. 

It is I think fair to  say that  though I have strong and principled political beliefs I doubt very much if Westminster or the British establishment see my poetry or any poetry as a threat to their existence and I have written this poem to celebrate the fact that I am allowed to speak my truths in my words unlike so many practioners of the craft whose work will at best be censored and in the most extreme cases could land them with a death sentence. 

After due consideration I couldn’t find what I thought was a suitable title to convey the sentiments expressed in it, so I put it out to my Facebook community to see if they could assist me in  this matter and as usual someone came up with a title so good I wish I had thought of it myself.  On this occasion, that someone was Louise Gemmill who suggested the title   For All The Silenced Voices. I hope you enjoy the read. 

For All The Silenced Voices 

On world poetry day 

I couldn’t let it go unnoticed

I had to say something 

to be vocal for poets in those countries

where art is suppressed 

voices ignored 

and imagination discouraged 

no matter what I think 

of this country 

or what name I use when I speak of it 

I am free to give my words meaning 

set them in context 

explain what shaped the views I hold 

I speak through the language of a craft 

which requires skill and dedication 

and more editing and revision 

than there are hours in the day 

for those who scoff and say 

anyone can write poetry 

I challenge them to try it 

they might find it is not as easy 

as they think 

the pessimists always drink 

from the half empty glass 

anyone can be a critic 

though not all will understand 

what they are critiquing 

poets know the penalties for speaking out 

can result in imprisonment or execution 

yet still take the risks 

in telling their truths

Burns, Pearce, Havel, Plath, and Neruda

are proof of  that.

their legacies are in creating a better world

where words heal wounds 

inflicted in the name of humanity 

this is testament to the worth of their art  

and shows that the half empty glass 

can when viewed through a poets eyes 

be perceived as half full. 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

When Women Are Visible In All Shapes And Sizes It Really Is Something To Celebrate 

At the beginning of the month  I had the privilege to be part of the Visible Women festival a two day which celebrated who and what women are through the context of art, workshops, and discussion. 

Organised by the human dynamo that is Keira McLean, visible women had an action packed programme of theatre and discussion including the premiere of a one woman show by the hottest property  on the Scottish spoken word scene Victoria McNulty, the controversially acclaimed show Gaslight by Darren Loki McGarvey, and workshops on feminist music , comedy and film festivals. 

As a trans woman I was delighted to asked to submit a poem to this festival but me being me I e-mailed three to Keira and let her decide which one she wanted to include. The poem she selected was Does My Lipstick Scare You ? which I wrote for World Transgender Remembrance Day in 2014. On chatting with Keira she told me that she made her choice due to the fact it was the best fit for the event as it challenged those in attendance to redefine their notions and images of women and of womanhood. Looking back I can quite clearly see why she made this poem her choice and I believe that I would have made the same decision.  If you look at some of the artwork featured in the exhibition you’ll see why. 

Picture (1) Women And Words asks a fundamental question on the power dynamics in male- female relationships 

Picture (2) This picture uses a word which is usually used to describe power and authority that an individual or organusation may hold over us in certain situations. Don’t get me wrong the word obey is fine when we use it in it’s proper context like for example reminding children to obey our parents or school teachers, or if we are members of a group, or a club we promise to obey the rules of that club or group. Unfortunately however,when it comes to women the word obey has very negative connotations. In our case it is usually inferred or even stated that we should obey the men in our lives no matter in what capacity. Yes even in 21st Century Scotland/UK this attitude still prevails albeit to a lesser extent than was once the case,but it is still very much out there.

 To me the idea that I should be considered of secondary importance and therefore subservient  to male family members, work colleges , or lovers, just because I’m female is fundamentally flawed but attitudinal barriers are often the hardest kind to break down and we need to remember that it is only  30 years ago that this word was included in every wedding ceremony in the country as part of the bride’s promise to her husband.  Yes I know it says in the Bible that wives should to their husbands but it also says that nobody should eat pork and people can sleep with family members, and I don’t either of these argument work well in today’s consumer based society .

Picture (3) Words,can be used as weapons and they very often are as capitalism promotes inequality between the sexes as the collection captured, in this photograph amply demonstrates.

Picture (4) Gives you a message the established order don’t want you to know and that message is freedom is power. It also asks the most fundamental of questions which is how can you have no home? For women however, this question still needs to be addressed as  more women than men will be homeless due to changes in their domestic circumstances so though freedom may very well be power for men locally, nationally, and globally this doesn’t apply to women who often find themselves out in the cold due to changes in living arrangements.  

Picture (5) If every picture tells a story then the images on this wall speak of judgement with slogans like to cover up and shut up and not fit to be a mother informing us of the standards men or the more neanthadal among that species think women should aspire to.  Now I hate to shatter the illusions of these delicate little creatures but maybe they have their centuries confused. For the avoidance of doubt  this is the 21st and it’s time they stopped living in the 12th

. Picture (6 ) I find this image both challenging and powerful and I’m sure many people will have their own personal take on it.  As for me, my interpretation of the phrase walk with me is that men need to spend a day walking in our shoes to understand the prejudice and discrimination, we still face in Scottish/ British and Global society even in these so-called liberal and enlightened times.  

Picture (7) This image tackles the thorny image of stereotypes. If you look closely you will see a picture of a women’s crossed legs. This in my portrays the idea of woman as seducer, and temptress. It is if you like the typical male view what femininity is about though it doesn’t constitute an image of any women I know.  Indeed if truth be told it provides only one representation of what may or may not be at any given time and as such should not be given a greater prominence than it deserves.  

In the same photograph you can also see the word hysterical. This is a word, which is only ever attributed to women and the implication behind it is that unlike men who are always perfectly balanced, women are not in control of our emotions are liable to throw a temper tantrum if we are not given our own way.  This sexist use of language gives the misleading impression that men are more rational than women and is often used to discriminate against us.

Picture (8) If visible women means making women proud of who we are   then this picture of my friend and fellow poet Carla Woodburn which shows her looking happy, confident, and relaxed  is the perfect picture to include in this post. Carla is a very visible woman in the Glasgow poetry scene and has recently set up her own spoken word night Tell It Slant  at The Project Cafe on the last Friday of the month and with her friendly but professional attitude and her warm and welcoming personality I am sure it will be a fantastic event which will become a valuable part of our spoken word scene in the months and years to come.  

Picture (9) Shows my poem Does My Lipstick Scare You? Hanging on display in the exhibition. Though the text is not clearly visible in this photograph you can quite clearly see that it is a poem in the way it is laid out and I was proud to have it featured at an event which looked at who women are and how we are represented in every way imaginable. On chatting to others who attended the festival , I found that many had viewed my poem and were very complimentary about it saying that it challenged heteronorative norms as to who and what women and told the story of a very visible trans woman who wasn’t afraid to be herself 

Naturally I was delighted to receive such positive feedback on my  work particularly on a poem which I believe challenges everyone but especially alpha males to recognise that trans woman are women and will not be bullied by anyone Looking back at the festival I can honestly say I completely understand why Keira selected this poem to represent my work and trans women more generally as it challenges the notion of patriarchy and illustrates that women come in all types , shapes and sizes and when we can visibly embrace the fact and enjoy being ourselves then  it really is something to celebrate.  

Love And Best Wishes

Gayle X 

Shipwreck

As regular readers will be aware Mental Health is a subject which is close to my heart as my best friend and flatmate has depression and her illness can have a very debilitating impact on her life.  In this poem entitled Shipwreck I look on the struggles of someone who deserves a much better life than she’s had.  I can only hope her best days have still to come.  
Shipwreck 

In the still of a Sunday afternoon

I relax after church

as I sip my coffee I am aware 

the peace I currently enjoy

could be shattered at any minute

my patience stretched to the limit 

as my friend’s illness 

comes to pay a visit 

to someone who deserves much better 

than the hand she’s been given to play

in the game of chance we call living 

broken by circumstances

she endured in her early years 

she has suffered in ways I will never comprehend 

no matter how much I try 

suddenly her screams break the calm 

the day of rest means little to those with depression

a roaring tide engulfs her face 

any hope of tranquility, now a distant dream 

eventually the storm will lift 

as peace returns to her life 

she will survive the earthquake

which caused her mind to explode

and walking on eggshells

 I will clear the debris from the shipwreck 

which lies stranded on the beaches of humanity 

© Gayle Smith 2017 

A Trans Woman Answers Her Most Common Questions 

​As you know I live my life permanently in my acquired gender in other words I’m a transsexual  woman.  Now I’m not going to lie and say  everything is a bed of roses but I will say that it is a  hell of a lot better than it was before I made the decision to transition. 

Despite this improvement in my quality of life I do still get the odd negative comment and from time to time I  am asked some very challenging  questions. These questions can come in every situation from all demographics from children to pensioners. It is  with these  questions in my mind,  I have  decided to take  what I hope  will be a lighthearted look at some of the most commonly asked questions in the hope it may raise awareness the issues faced by trans women in 21st century Scotland/ UK. So  fasten your seat belt and get ready for what I think will be an interesting journey.

(1) Why Do You Dress As A Women?

 This is by far the most common question and it’s usually though not exclusively asked by men most of whom are and I want to be kind here not the brightest stars in the sky. I try to be both polite and firm when answering this question informing the questioner that I am not dressing as a women I am living as a woman because that is what I believe myself to be.

(2) When Did You Know You Were Trans?

Unlike the last question, this one is usually asked by women the vast majority of whom want to understand your issue and see how they can support you. 

When replying to this question I tell the questioner that I’ve known since my primary school years when I was about six or seven and that was back in the  late 1960’s when all I really wanted was barbie dolls , party dresses , and to get my nails painted. So you could say that I knew I was trans long before I ever knew the term for it.

(3) Have You Changed Your Name Yet ?

 Sometimes I am genuinely shocked that  over eight years in to my transition I am still asked this question. It also surprises me that people think that it’s done by deed poll and assume that it must be expensive when neither of these ‘facts’ are actually true. They may be true for trans people in England and the other nations of the United Kingdom, in Scotland however the situation is somewhat different and dare I say it easier for our trans population. Many of those who ask this question are generally supportive of my transition and just curious to what I’ve been through and what I’ve still to go through.

(4)  What’s Your Real Name ?  

As soon as I hear this I tell the person that  Gayle is my real name and if they insist on asking the question again I call them out as a transphobic  bigot and tell them to get over themselves.  I try where possible to  be polite in  doing this but if they still refuse to back off I have a two word Glaswegian reply and the second word is off 

(5) Is It Not All About Glamour? 

This is usually asked by one very particular demographic and that is gay men who believe they are far better looking than they actually are.However when I tell them there is nothing remotely glamorous about the sexism, prejudice , and discrimination women face on a daily basis or the fact and that we are still paid less than men for doing the same job almost 50 years after the first Equal Pay Act it tends to shut them up. 

Picture (1) This picture taken on Edinburgh’s North Bridge as I leave the capital to return home to Baillieston after a great day at the fringe shows that no woman does the glamour thing every day and to think trans women are any different from other women in this respect is to be completely and totally deluded. 


(6) What Toilets Do You Use ?

I have to  say if anyone is actually stupid enough to ask this question they should still be in primary 1. To me the fact I’m living as a woman makes it obvious I should use the  Ladies Room.  I am however mistified as to why people are so bothered as where I should go for a comfort break or to check my make up. 

(7) Do You Still Like Football ?

 Yes, unbelievable as it sounds, I have actually been asked this question usually by men of certain age who have still to visit the 19th century let alone live in the 21st.  On  hearing this I gently but firmly  inform my inquisitor that it’s my gender that’s changed not my lifelong loyalties. 

(8) Are Your Boobs Real ?

This is amongst the rudest and most offensive questions you could ever ask a trans woman 90 percent of the time this question is asked by drunk men at bus stops , of the other 10 percent of inquisitors are  99.9 young guys trying to be wide when the only thing that’s wide about them are their ever expanding waistlines. 

(9) Do You Fancy Men Or Women ? 

To me my sexuality is a private matter and when I am asked this question I respond by patronising the crap out of the questioner by very carefully and laboriously explaining why Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are not biologically linked in any way. Since this question is usually asked by men who are neither bright nor eye candy, I inform them that my primary sexual attraction is towards men but they can relax because like any other woman I happen to have standards and they come nowhere near to meeting them. 

 (10) How Did Your Family/Friends/ Colleges Take The News When You Told Them You Were Going To Be Living As A Woman ? 

To be fair most of my friends just ran with it and got used to the idea pretty quickly and I’m not really in touch with any family members so I didn’t lose sleep over opinions of people I don’t see. It was at work that I faced my biggest challenge as many of my colleges had known me for years by the time  of my transition and whilst most of them  were supportive there were a few whose attitudes belonged in the dark ages and who went out of their way to make it as difficult as possible often imposing standards on me that they wouldn’t have dared to put on any other female members of staff.  

(11) What Changes Have The Hormones Made To Your Body ? 

Well apart from giving me a bust and a lovely apple shaped figure I now have a bum which may look big in certain things and hips which a friend of mine described as powerful. There  is also the added bonus, that my face now looks  more feminine and I have no hair on my arms or legs and this look has been achieved without the need for any surgery. 

(12) Have You Ever Had /Do  You Ever Get Transphobic Abuse In Public Spaces ?

Much as I would love to say  everything has been perfect and I’ve never had any abuse I have had to deal with some unpleasant attitudes and though the transphobic comments have become less frequent over time they are no less hurtful when I get them.

Picture (2) Shows the shocking statistics on transphobic abuse. Since  beginning my journey in the run up to Christmas 2008 I have received a number of transphobic comments though the majority with the exception of the ones on my breasts happened before the hormones began to take effect. Most of the time the attempted insults are from fat ugly blokes or wee neds in shell suits who couldn’t get a date from a shop window dummy so I tend to leave them to their delusions of relevance by remembering the  words from former  American first lady  Eleanor Roosevelt who said ‘ Noboby  can make you feel inferior without you consent’.These are words that trans women need to hold close to our heart if we are ever to reduce the statistics in this picture.

(13) Would You Ever Change Back To Your Birth Gender ?

This question is usually asked by people who knew in my pre transitioned days and is always given a one word answer and that answer is no. Trust me I would never consider this in a million years. I waited too long before starting this journey and the last eight years have been the most rewarding of my life so when I say I won’t ever look back and regret the decision I’ve taken.Don’t get me wrong , living as a woman isn’t an easy life any woman will tell you that. Women face far  more challenges than men and the patriarchal system we have in place in western democracies means we are often seen as lesser than men  when  nothing could be further from the truth but to me being a woman isn’t about power or even glamour it’s about being myself. 

(14) Do You Try On Clothes Before You Them  Or Do You Shop Online ?

This question is usually asked by girls and women who want to understand what it’s like to be in my shoes and in answering I always explain why I always try clothes on before making my purchase as I want to make sure what I’m buying actually fits me. Well as we girls know size really does matter when it comes to fashion and there is no exact science to getting it right. This means me that trying it on is essential especially as our lovely hormones give us all the lumps and bumps that nature forgot and no matter how good something might look on hanger or a mannequin we have to make sure it looks good on us before we part with cash and in that respect a trans woman is no different from any other woman.

(15) Have You Ever Been Chatted Up Since Your Transition?

Yes I have and not just  by  men I have also much to  my surprise attracted occasional interest from women and though I am as a rule  more attracted to men I have to say that when it comes to chat up lines women do it better. 

 (16) Have You Ever Been Wolfe Whistled In The Street ? 

Yes I have and I find it  extremely annoying.  How anyone can take this a compliment when in reality it is men attempting to tell us they own us is absolutely ludicrous. This kind of behaviour is not flattering  it’s insulting  and offensive to women.

(17 ) Do You Know Any Other  Trans Women ?

Ths tends to be asked by those who have a low awareness of trans issues. When faced with a question of this nature I gently inform my inquisitor that  I attend trans support groups and I  know a number of trans women and trans men and like anyone who is part of any community of interest I get  on better with some than with others 

(18)Are Your Best Female Friends Other Trans Women ? 

This, like the last question,  is usually asked by those with awkwardness around trans and more  general equality issues and they are very often genuinely surprised when I tell  them my best  female friends are not trans just women I happen to get on with. 

(19) Do  You Ever Go To Straight Bars ?

This question is usually asked by males who have made a false connection between gender identity and sexuality. When I inform them that I am as likely if not more likely to be seen in a straight  bar than a gay one many seem genuinely shocked at this news though for the life  of me I can’t understand why.I mean to paraphrase Burns  A bar’s, a bar for a’ that.


Picture (3) In this shot I’m in what some people would see as the very straight surroundings of the Pollok Ex-Servicemens Club where I host the monthly Southside Words And Music night which relocated to make this our new home after our  former home (Sammy Dow’s) was taken over by new owners and we lost our original venue after 25  years. 

(20) How  Has Transitioning Changed Your Life ? 

I think transitioning has changed me in more ways than I ever thought possible.I am happier ,  more confident and more relaxed than ever and I am far more tolerant of people who had I met them in my pre transitioned state I would barely have given the day. I am also a lot open to expressing my emotions and showing feelings which I would previously felt that I to keep hidden. As a friend I  have known since childhood said to me becoming the woman you should always have been has given you the chance to be yourself and I’ve never heard anyone sum it up so accurately. 

Make no mistake gender transitioning is a very big decision and  nobody who undertakes  it will be prepared for all the challenges it can and will  bring them. There are even in  these enlightened times a lot of myths  and misconceptions around trans issues so it was with this in mind that I decided to write this post and give honest replies to some of the most common questions  I’m asked as a trans woman I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my answers to them.  

Love And Best Wishes

Gayle X

Two Rolls On Sausage 

With mental health being the theme for this month’s Extra Second  I thought as one of the billed readers for the event, I would  share a poem on the theme and more specifically, on the impact of depression both on the person who has it and those who share their lives. I  have titled it Two Rolls On Sausage, I hope you enjoy what I think will be a thought provoking read. 


Two Rolls On Sausage 

She decides we should have  breakfast

though the post mid -day  timing

suggests brunch 

carefully she places 

four square slice in the pan

as they sizzle she makes me coffee 

despite hating the smell

she knows how I like it 

I appreciate the kindness shown 

by the friend who is always yet never alone

as ghosts stalk the darkest corners 

of her over active imagination

in preparation she makes sure

the rolls are buttered to our taste 

two for each of us 

I savour the flavour 

of a traditional Saturday starter

a simple staple of a Scottish weekend 

 like fish suppers after the game

as I enjoy the taste of  the feast 

 the beast of her depression strikes

 she bites in to each roll alternately 

and after her culinary multi tasking 

 eventually finishes both

 © Gayle Smith 2017 

  

On Tartan Tights Fifth Birthday It’s Time For Celebration 

​I can’t quite believe how it happened but according to WordPress  tartan tights has reached its fifth birthday. Well it was actually yesterday, but since my post was published in the dark of a Glasgow evening it probably took  till the next day for WordPress to know that a new blogger had arrived on the Scottish blogging scene.

 Yes time passes quickly when your having fun and my wee blog has had it’s own corner of the internet for five whole years. No matter how many times I say this I can’t quite take it in. There is however one thing I do know,  and that is that from first post till now  it’s been one helluva rollercoaster ride. 

 When I started tartan tights I wasn’t even sure if anyone would read my thoughts and musings, now however I have a core of regular readers, not only from my home city of Glasgow but throughout Scotland , the UK , and the world.  

The last year has been a period of change for tartan tights and the changes I’ve made have resulted in more personal posts which have allowed  my readers to get to know me better. I now believe my blog is more diverse than ever before and topics covered in the last 12 months include everything from theatre to fashion shows from bra fittings to the homeless world cup. I even posted 50 random facts about me which you’ll never know if you don’t read the post. 

Of course this has been a challenging time for me with the change of focus which I mentioned in last year’s birthday post  but challenges are something I’ve never shirked and I don’t intend to start now. Well anyone who tackles both NaPoWriMo and Blogmas has to be fond of undertaking the odd challenge or two. Either that or be completely mad and I can list both of them  amongst my accomplishments since my last  blogging birthday.

You know I’ve often been told that women get bolder as we grow older and believe me this also applies to trans women and trust me I speak from experience. Well how else can I in my mid fifties possibly explain my decision to post outfit of the day posts.This is something I would never have considered at this time last year, but you know what I’ve been stunned at the positive reaction I got from them and the confidence that has given me. 

So what or should I say who  encouraged me to take this leap of faith? Well if I’m honest, I could say that Becky Bedbug is a bad influence on me but I won’t, I’ll just say it was a number of bloggers who talked me in to going for it and I have to say I’m really glad they did.

Since I wanted to make my blog more female focused such a gamble was always on the cards and as I said  I’m very happy at the feedback my forays in to fashion have been getting. I was especially pleased when   Laura Doherty, (pictured with me at the Shettleston SNP Burns Supper) who is not only a regular reader of this blog and  but also one of our council candidates for  Shettleston told me how much she was enjoying them at our  branch’s biggest social event of the year . It’s a really good feeling when a risk pays off and to have one my party’s brightest stars giving me this kind of support means a lot to me

Talking of support I don’t know where I’d be without my support network of poets, political activists,  and fellow bloggers.You know who you are and you have inspired me in more ways than you know. Without you tartan tights would never have become the blog it has and I would never have done so many interesting things in the past year, or over the lifetime of this blog. 

So I’ll finish this post by making a promise to you  and that is to make tartan tights the best it can possibly be by producing what I hope will be enjoyable and  interesting  content on a wide range of issues. As I do so I ask you to raise your glasses to my blog, to the next five years and beyond and whatever else you do 

Keep reading tartan tights 

Love And Best Wishes 

Gayle X