SamanthaMD

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.

Samantha

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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.

“Si?”
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!

Samantha

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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.

Samantha

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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 Racing Driver who became a Ballerina

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A post on the BBC (with Video) about a Ballerina who was a Racing Driver and other 'manly' things before transitioning and going to the Royal Academy of Dance.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39555703

Does this RL story copy a story here?
Samantha

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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.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/item/7daedcfe-c674-4a97-8a1f-0...

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,

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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?”

Interesting article on the BBC

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This
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38637837

is quite interesting. A MtF woman named Gwen from Pennsylvania, hosted an "ask me anything" (AMA) session on the online community site Reddit.

Worth a read.

Samantha

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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.

Samantha

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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.

Apologies
Samantha

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You can do better than him

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

http://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/fiction/60571/you-again

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.

Missing Contest Winners

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

The Christmas Contest is over and I have 2/3 of the winners figured out for their winnings which get Paypalled Jan 12.

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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

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BigCloset TopShelf's December 2016 Spirit of Giving Story Contest Closed

TopShelf's

December 2016
Spirit of Giving

Story Contest

Awards Ceremony!
(Drumroll)...
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BigCloset TopShelf's December 2016 Spirit of Giving Story Contest

TopShelf's

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 Amazon.com gift vouchered. Prizes subject to go up!
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Tour de Yorkshire - 2017

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The route for next years event has been announced.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/38174348

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.
http://cyclinguphill.com/100-climbs/shibden-wall/

Samantha

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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.

Yesterday,

All those backups seemed a waste of pay.

Now my database has gone away.

Oh I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly,

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

And there's a milestone hanging over me

The system crashed so suddenly.

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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.

Escaping the Past - Part 1

Life Beyond… Part 1

[This story was originally written in 2004. I updated it in 2010 and again in 2014 and yet again in 2016 so I thought that it was time it got posted.]

Many of us have seen the people selling the Big Issue plying their magazine outside the Tube stations and other prime locations. They come and go over the years. They sell a copy and pocket a bit of money from the sale. They work hard and for most of them it is the first step in their return to some form of normality from whatever deep dark place that have been.

A lot of people who buy their copies don’t read them but still continue do make their purchases just so that they can feel good about helping someone out.
I usually buy a copy not that I read much of it but at least these Guys (And a few Girls) were trying to get themselves and their lives out of the gutter. You never know when it might be you who finds themselves out of a job and homeless.

Christmas Competition - extra prizes

Following on from Sephrena's post about the competition and the discussions between the two of us, I am pleased to announce extra prizes...

1st prize - $250
2nd prize - $150

I'm the sponsor for these prizes but will be awarded in the same way as the other prizes.

so what are you waiting for... get scribbling

Samantha

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Home again

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I've arrived home safely. The Ferry from Santander to Portsmouth was great and as on the outbound trip was a flat as a millpond.

Thanks for all the kind words. My little accident could have been worse, much worse now that I think about it and reflect upon it.
I traveled just over 800miles on the trip (3 days riding) and averaged more then 60mpg (UK gallon).

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Well, that's all done and dusted

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Today was my last day of regular employment. After 4 1/2 years with a very good company, I retired today.
I left school in '69 aged 15 and apart from 3 years as student I've been working ever since.
I am officially retired although it will be two years before I get my state pension.

I hope to be able to spend at least a bit more time writing.

Samantha

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UK MtoF Trans Soldier to serve on the Front Line

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Several news sources here in the UK are reporting that the first openly transgender soldier will serve on the front line thus becoming the first woman to do this (medics are already there and are fully trained soldiers)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37391807

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The Ivory and the Ebony

“Hello. Can you hear me?” asked the young woman.

“Uhhhh,” moaned the figure lying on the ground.

“Lets get you up. You can’t stay here in the wet.”

It had been raining heavily for several hours and there were deep puddles everywhere.

She helped the Woman to sit up. Then she saw the bleeding. It was coming from a nasty gash on the side of the woman’s head.

Can it get any better?

After a number of years of trying and failing miserably, I was able to get off work and go to France and actually see a stage of the world famous race, 'Le Tour de France'. I'd booked a Gite less than a kilometre from the stage 15 – time trial. With my Chunnel ticket booked and my recently serviced bike packed into the car, I was all set for two weeks in France.

Owner of a Lonely Heart - Part 3

My journey back to Skipton was not the one that I’d expected when Mary dropped me at the station that morning. I felt an inner calmness and that was strange to me. I’d been excited about getting those dresses made for me but after the incident in the Cathedral, it was as if they didn’t matter any more.

Mary met me at the station. In an instant she noticed that I was different.

“Did Vic give you the tour?”

I nodded.

“It got to you didn’t it?”

“Yes it did. As much as I didn’t want it to, it did.”

Mary laughed.

Owner of a Lonely Heart - Part 2

Mary took me under her wing and eased me into Parish Life once she had helped me create a believable back story for my life. We needed a story that had to stand up under the close scrutiny of her parishioners. It didn’t take me long to realise that Mary was an expert at that. I sat back and marvelled at how she tied things together so that were no loose ends.

Then there was the subject of my clothes. Mary took one look at the few I had in my case and laughed her head off.

“Those will never do for the parish ladies,” she commented.

BBC Series - Boy Meets Girl

Series 2 of 'Boy Meets Girl' starts next Wednesday
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07k4tx0/episodes/guide

BBC-2 22:00

Rebecca Root who plays Judy has also appeared on a couple of episodes of 'The News Quiz' on BBC Radio 4 this year.

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Owner of a Lonely Heart - Part 1

As the dawn chorus broke and with a heavy heart, I wrote my goodbye letter to Liam.

Dear Liam,

I am so sorry to say goodbye like this but I can no longer fulfill the role you want me to do at the expense of all my desires. To carry on like I have for the past few will totally destroy me. If I don’t leave now, I never will. I’ve returned all the gifts you have bought me since I came to live with you. I have managed to gather enough money to get me to wherever, find a place to live and start a new life.

Please don’t come searching for me. I will change both my name and appearance. The past has been fun at times but I have so many dreams of my own that I need to try to achieve and if I fail, then so be it.

Jess

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