18th August 2018
M&Co Fashion Show
Our August Oasis gave our ladies and their partners a chance to snap up some clothing bargains. We were blessed with continuing good weather, the largest attendance at Oasis of 38 people and a fine selection of fashion models.
Ever done a car boot sale! You know despite what time you get to the field to set up, as your emptying your boot, people are already picking out the bargains and offering you money. Well this was the same as Beth and Virginia from M&Co in Cromer were frantically trying to get all those bargains on the rails, while our ladies were equally frantically getting those bargains bagged before their peers have found them!
Primark on their 50%, BOGOF sales day was a walk in the park by comparison!
As for our fashion models, there was Emma-Jane and Lilly, both recently joined the group, then Claire and Kay great and continuing supporters of Oasis. Joanna, our lady on the door, who is expert at extracting your subs as you enter has been a model before and I’m certain is the women in all the M &Co advertising.
By popular demand Beccie agreed in her final year as “Mother Superior”, to be the sixth model. It didn’t take much persuading.
Virginia, a novice to the group was given the ultimate challenge by Beth her supervisor. Find 3 outfits that will transform 6 old women into young supermodel. An impossible task, but Virginia had learnt from the best, M & Co, and with her fashion eye she came up trumps!
Let the Oasis Fashion Show begin!
21st July 2018
Over 10 years ago in 2007 the Oasis group met at Barbara Ross’s house. Concerns had been voiced about what would happen if Barbara was unable to continue the group that had been running since around 1987.
A new venue was found and I took over the running of the group. We lost Barbara in 2015, but the group continues and the July meeting was a celebration of 10 years of taking over the running of the group.
Coincidentally in 2008 Norwich Pride was born too, so our meeting was a double celebration.
To make it a bit more special we asked the ladies to get their best dress out befitting of the occasion.
Sheila who we occasionally see at Oasis, but has always been very supportive to all the ladies and their partners at the group, offered back in January to do the food and with the help of her friend Stephen, they produced a magnificent spear fit to feed a queen. ( Well several Queens, Kings, Earls, Dukes, Duchesses, Princesses and their attendances)
Oasis cannot thank her and Stephen enough for their contribution.
All in all it was a lovely warm evening and it was nice to see Dawn return to Oasis ( last see in May 2016) and Sharon and her partner who lived only a stone’s throw from the hall. Let’s hope it’s not as long before they return again. Sharon and Dawn has met each other when Barbara Ross ran Oasis from her house.
There was also a surprise presentation from Serena to Vicky, Ann and myself for all the hard work we had done over the last ten Years. For those that don’t know I intend to step down from being the figure head of the group in December, so there was some discussion about the future and a working group was established to look at what could be done.
Tina talked about the forthcoming Christmas meal on 1st December and collected in deposits for booking of places.
16th June 2018
Oasis’ Got Talent
We never really know when we do our calendar planning each year if an event is going to be a success or not, and was more worried about running this event than any of the others. Yes I’ve got talent,plenty of it, but has anyone else in the group got any!
I’ve got so much talent.. I could talk for hours about dressing appropriately to your age!
Well as it turned out I wasn’t disappointed with 7 ladies coming forward to take up the challenge.
We had some comical poetry from Serena who had mastered, from the picture, the ability to sit unassisted on one leg! Next up was Kay, a late entry, but not to be missed. Her hoop skills enthralled us and her pieste de resistance was drinking a glass of water while hooping.
Ann and Vicky, served us our first course, a ploughwomen’s meal of salad, cheese, meat and French stick.
Next was Carole, who talked about her love of watercolours and bought along two scenes of Norfolk. She had only started painting when she had retired and was now teaching other her skills. Geri was up next. Dressed as a Hillbilly and reciting from memory a monologue about Santa Clause. I understand this was the second time she had performed this! Well it didn’t show!
Pudding followed of jelly and fruit or strudle and custard. If I had a “Golden Buzzer” it would go to our most talented chefs Vicky and Ann.
Next up was Kate who talked about the work of the Norfolk Knitters and showed some examples of the items they produced for hospitals and charities. Her knitted bees were very amusing.
After that Petra talked about her love for baking and gave away her secret for making sponges light and airy. We all then had a chance to taste a cake she had prepared earlier.
Last was Jules who gave a rendition of the song “waiting at the church” . This was originally sung by Florrie Forde in 1906. Finally Jules recited a poem about meeting Claire and how it changed her life.
A big thank you to all the talent at Oasis who provide another great evening.
19th May 2018
Oasis goes 1940’s
My mother always said at twelve I was very mature and big for my age, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous when I got off the train in Norwich to meet Mrs Ann.
I came from London where all the bombs were. Lived on Trans Road, aptly named because our little terrace house was sandwiched between two main railway lines. My mum was a seamstress, and my dad and older brother were in the army fighting for King and country. I attended Hammersmith Girls School in the borough of Skirt-on.
My mother had told me I was an evacuee, it was something to do with a special secret mission called operation Pied Piper. She had packed a few clothes in my suitcase, and I was told to carry my gas mask and identify card at all times. Mummy let me take my most favourite teddy called Bobby.
It was May 1942, America has entered the war, after Pearl Harbour and were definitely part of the East Anglia community. There were 50,000 US personnel stationed within a 30 mile radius of Norwich. They completely change the cultural fabric of the area. The bought with them coca-cola, popcorn, bubble gum, peanut butter, donuts, nylons, swing and the jitterbug. Norfolk would never be the same again…
Mrs Ann said we were going to a wedding. She told me to call them auntie Phyllis and uncle Barry but they weren’t my real relations. Uncle John and auntie Sandra was going to tell us at the reception about the American in East Anglia, Mrs Ann said he was an expert!
Mrs Ann told me to say hello to auntie Lana, who she hadn’t seen for a while, auntie Lilly-jane who was new to the our reception and to thank Auntie Lucy for bring in all her war stuff.
The food was great, Bobby liked talking to all the ladies who had dressed up, and all the items they had bought in from the war. There was even a pretend machine gun and a wind up radio with a kite as an aerial. Uncle John said it was called a “Gibson girl”, because it had the same shape as my waist!
Then the ladies had a fashion show and our photographer, Auntie Jules took pictures. The outfits were lovely and Mrs Ann said I should take part, as I had borrowed some clothes and jewellery from her.
There were 2 uncles and 24 aunties at the reception!
You know I’m sure some of the aunties were actually uncles, but Mrs Ann told me not to be so silly!
17th March 2018
Oasis goes Full House
We have also strived at Oasis to give our ladies every opportunity to try out different themes, cultures and eras and this month was no exception. The sixties were a decade of experimental fashion and cultural changes. Bingo was also booming in the sixties so what better than to combine them both ot an Oasis evening.
It was a ladies’ food night, and despite the unexpected low numbers, there was plenty available. We welcomed two new ladies to our group and no sooner had they sat down we were crunching the numbers on our bingo cards in the hope of getting a line, the four corners or the full house.
Young and Keen – 15; Pick and Mix – 26; Buckle my Shoe – 32; Stop and Run – 81
Quality prizes, that Oasis is famous for were in abundance, no expense spared! With sweets, Chinese lanterns and chocolates for the smaller wins and a fibre-optic LED light for the Full House.
The evening was finished off with the traditional fashion parade.
First prize went to Hannah in what looked a real authentic outfit down to the Go Go boots. Could it have been hired? Had I seen that outfit winning competitions at the Beaumont Harrogate weekend recently?
The second prize went to Rachel, who had recently been on a skiing trip with Serena. You can see the article, written by Serena, in the latest edition of the Beaumont Magazine. Rachel is pictures in this article, which is more than she was in the Beaamont article!
The third prize went to Jennifer, who later on in the evening gave us a very informative talk on the new data protection regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May.
Don’t forget our 40’s Evening on Saturday 19th May. Information to be published later.
17th February 2018
In February Oasis went to the Oscars!
Just like the real event, no expense was spared! Serena a stalwart of our group provided the red carpet. After searching the internet, she found the perfect solution, the picture gave the effect of a quality product at a discount bargain price (£5 including p&p).
Beccie carefully laid the carpet roll, which had the complete reverse of the product image displayed, the thinnest red crepe tissues paper that every existed!
Vicky and Ann had planned a traditional American style meal to get our ladies into the mood for the parade and the chance of winning a Oscar for the best dressed outfit.
Many of our ladies plan their outfits around the different events we run at Oasis, and this evening was no exception. Serena came as Marilyn Monroe, but not a fan in sight! Beccie as the Lady in Red and Carole in an black and white outfit and elegant red cape. Rosie and Joanna in simple blue diaphanous dresses and Jenny wore a beautiful white fur coat – must have cost a fortune!
Geri tried to curry favour with an elegant black number and a walking stick. She was clearly going for the disability vote. Claire was in a very sexy leather zipped dress and hat fascinator. Kay wore an all black dress representing the #MeToo movement. Rachel, as ever went for simplicity with immaculate matching separates, so elegant!
Vicky chose a sparkly little black dress with matching gold jewellery. Finally Viki, new to Oasis, came in a strikingly elegant dress with diagonal stripes.
With so many Oscar nominations the judging was going to be difficult, although clearly no one had a chance with Beccie being there, although it’s so important to give others an opportunity!
All the ladies “walked the walk” on the red carpet and with all the votes counted the gold envelopes were opened.
The first award went to the “Chef of the Stars”, Vicky, for all the work she had done over the many years she has supported Oasis. She was overcome with emotion, and I’m told it now takes pride and place with all the other family photos on the walnut sideboard in her living room.
Next came the “Most outstanding dress” award. Viki, our new lady took the first place with Rosie as runner up both receiving vouchers and Oscars. Well done to Claire for gained 3rd place.
Beccie despite wearing an outfit to compliment the carpet felt like the carpet……rejected… ripped…dirty..well there’s no change there!!
20th January 2018
Numbers were lower than expected, but it was January and it was nice to see some people had made an effort to dress the part with many ….Luve’s like a red, red rose. (Although there is some doubt if Robbie actually wrote this line)
We are always thankful for the hard work and commitment that both Vicky and Ann put in to the preparation and work during the evening to make a good evening and tonight was no different. The starter was haggis, neeps and swede followed by a lovely cock-a-leekie soup with a cheese and beef Panini. Finishing off the evening was shortbread.
We welcomed Debbie and Emma Jane, two new people to Oasis and hoped to see them in future evenings.
Of course going to Oasis can be very tiring so it always nice to see our ladies (Claire) relaxing afterwards and planning her next month outfits.
LGBT Carol Service
Although, through a variety of reasons, numbers attending from Oasis were lower than previous years, the church was packed, with additional seating needed, and the atmosphere was wonderful.
At the end of the service, there was a chance to meet people we hadn’t seen for some time, have a mince pie and quick cuppa and then decamped to Bella Italia where we finished the evening with a meal and more chat
Saturday 9th December
Oasis Christmas Meal
Festive activities began in earnest for Oasis on Saturday 9th December where 21 members and guest of the group assembled at the Black Swan in Horsham St Faith for their annual Christmas meal. It was a new venue this year, this time, on the northern side of the city.
When you get off the main roads and start travelling along the country roads, particular in remotest Norfolk, it becomes quite difficult to find places, much to the annoyance of two people who were wandering around the church and village for about 30 minutes completely lost!
We all met up in the bar where we chatted about the possibilities of the forthcoming snow and then moved to where we were seated, in a corner or the restaurant, where the attentive staff fed us large quantities of delicious food. The room was cosy with all of us seated but in retrospect the fact that some of us had to get up and shift around to allow others to go to the loo was probably good for our digestions.
As usual we were a very well dressed lot! The colour red was very popular and I particularly noticed some very elegant footwear (notably Rachel and Geri). Vicki’s hair was a triumph and honourable mention should be made of Joanna’s elegant grey locks! Beccie was in a stunning red velour dress, but no one noticed that!!
Thanks to Julia and Tina who liaised with the pub and collected the money. and provided us with very pretty place names (what is that typeface? it was lovely).
We look forward to next year.
18th November 2017
Spanish Race Night
Before the race night I think I only ever won one thing before. That was a very different setting as I felt the cold running up my feet from the tiles on the side of the swimming pool. Still it was such a warm feeling inside seeing my name on the certificate for completing successful the width of the local municipal swimming pool. I’ve treasured that certificate all those years, but at last I can replace it with my new certificate for winning the best dressed Spanish Race Night outfit. At last I’ve been appreciated for all I do!
I’ve got to be honest I was under a lot of pressure from some stiff competition. Geri was in a traditional Spanish outfit with everything matching as if she’d jetted to Spain and picked up the outfit, not slung it together with items from eBay. I reckon even Tina,dressed as the horse running in the 8.20 from Haydock, had a better chance! There was certainly a peppering of hot Spanish colours and a plethora of fascinators and hats. I know Serena, who spends far too much time for her own good, researching and planning for all the special events was certain to scoop the prize.
Well prompt as ever the ladies were in the enclosures and the horses were off for the first race. After 3 races we tucked into paella and mixed dressed salad followed by a Spanish lemon olive oil cake with cream and raspberries. Finally they tucked into “My Little Pony” homemade biscuits. Thanks go again to Ann and Vicky.
It was a very busy night with judging of the best outfit, a raffle and the Children in Need sweepstakes which raised £35.
Congratulations go to Jenny for having the most money after the last race and as the runner-up with Geri for the best outfit.
21st October 2017
An Evening of Celebrations and Thanks
This year we celebrated our annual Bangers and Mash sit down waitress meal with the company of 33 Oasis members. This evening could not have happened without the hard work of Ann and Vicky in preparing the meal. So we must first say thanks to them for their tireless support they have given to Oasis over the last 9 years.
Joanna was celebrating being one of our longest serving waitress. She served with professionalism moving skillfully around the room. Not a sausage or pea managed to find itself on the floor!
We were also celebrating the welcome return of Jill and Alice, who had travelled from London to visit our group. We met them both at the Northern Concord Ringwood weekend and later when Oasis went to see Kinky Boots in London.
Hazel was celebrating coming to Oasis for the first time. It is so nice to see new people come to the group. Hazel didn’t just live down the road but planned her visit by driving her touring caravan from Essex to a Norwich site. So we thank her for that, and so pleased was she that we are expecting to see her at our annual Oasis Christmas meal at a restaurant in Norwich.
Chatted and banter weaved its way through the evening as our diners consumed the main course followed by the mini pavlova or apple crumble and viewed the events and activities on offer next year.
Thanks go to Geri, a relative new member of oasis, for organising for a make-up artist to visit Oasis in March next year.
Thanks also to to Phyllis, Barry and Denise, who have agreed to front an ever popular, 40s evening in May next year.
Oasis is an interesting group. Some of our ladies attend for just one or two sessions and decide it’s not the group for them ( probably the music TOO loud of the bar prices are too expensive!) Other stay and become supporters of our other ladies and enjoy the variety of activities that Vicky, Ann and Beccie put together each year.
Serena and Laura are two such people who were celebrating milestones at Oasis this month.
Five year ago Serena came to Oasis, nervous and fragile. Now five years on she has matured and flourished and a great supported of the group and disappointingly keeps winning the best dressed competitions! We thank her for continued offer to do the food at the September Oasis evening next year.
Laura celebrated her third anniversary of attending our group. Laura is one of our younger members, who is a breath of fresh air,and makes us all feel a little bit younger being around her. Coming to Oasis and meeting other has clearly giving her more confidence. She is also hoping to celebrate her first 100% attendance for 2017 in December.
I would like to think that in this fast moving world Oasis is still that place where we can be ourselves, develop our skills and female persona, and meet others who become lasting friends. Where we can feel comfortable in a supportive environment.
Finally and most importantly we thank our founder, Barbara Ross, for having the insight to create an Oasis Transgender support group over 30 years ago. Long may we remember her.
16th September 2017
Meal, Music and Prose
There’s two things that I regretted as I was growing up. One, obviously was not being more out and about as Beccie but the other was not learning to play a musical instruments. I had a dabble with a flute and a guitar (not at the same time mind!) But learning music proved impossible for me. “FACE” was fine but “Every Good Boy Does Fine” completely confused me as I was a Girl!!
So it was even more pleasing when Serena asked if she could invite along her landlady Jaya and her friend Bridget to perform a musical soirée.
All in all it was a great night, starting with a wonderful spread provided by Venetia and Serena and followed by some harmonic music on cello and recorder from Jaya and Bridget.
We were also privileged to hear some poetry from Serena and Carol ( who had travelled all the way from Sussex) interspersed with the music.
Look out for the Oasis Talent Show next year – a chance for all those ladies with a talent to shine!
19th August 2017
Chip and Quiz
What better than to follow the beach party last month with our annual chip and quiz event. There’s nothing quite like a day at the beach followed by fish and chips out of a newspaper!
With an attendance of over 35 ladies it was promising to be a great evening. Cars were jammed like sardines into the car park as lady upon lady came through the doors fishing for compliments.
Joanna, who is a dab hand at collecting the entrance charge, welcomed them.She pointed out to them where they were sitting, some disappointed they weren’t on the captain’s (Bird’s Eye) table. Still there was plenty of liquid refreshment for them to drink like a fish!
Still at Oasis, everyone is welcome as we can cast away our troubles at least for the evening. There is always a friendly face who has experienced similar thoughts. Lindsey our newcomer, who at first felt like a fish out of water, was already feeling at home in a school of other familiar faces.
Our meals arrived and our resident chefs sorted out who was having what. “Holy mackerel! “Vicky cried, “everyone got what they ordered.” The economy of scale made it a cheap skate evening and everyone was as happy as a clam.
Vicky then administered her annual quiz, not on all things fishy but this time based on the names of objects, sayings etc. from the past. We all rose to the bait!
Beccie had revised all week on every type of fish imaginable only to be disappointed (yet again!) with no chance of getting the prize. She was certainly done like a kipper with not a single red herring to be seen!
I think, all in all, everyone had a whale of a time!!
15th July 2017
Never trust building supplies! They just let you down when you need them the most. The ton of sharp sand had been ordered for weeks. The plan including paddling pools, sandcastles, deck chair area, barbeque and bar had been discussed over many months, but alas in the end Oasis had to settle for a “taste” of the beach with umbrellas, balls, and a child’s swimming ring.
Still the hall had beach bunting, fancy flashing lights, matching plates and serviettes and a turn out of over 30 people.
It is always difficult to tell what outfits we would be expecting at the beach. It had been such a lovely day but the evening was chilly, and not conducive to bikini wear.
Claire, one of our ladies was having trouble parking her victorian bathing carriage outside. Jenny however came to her aid looking regal in an Indian summer style outfit ensemble. Talulah from Hawaii (aka Beccie) in her grass skirt, that swished in the summer breeze, was already preening herself for the parade.
Carole had arrived in a beautiful long beach outfit, so colourful with a matching hat looking elevate as she cooked under the sun shade from the bright piecing hall lights. Glinda had a lovely colourful outfit. A Lindy bop style dress. An ideal dress if you want a sea breeze to keep the undercarriage cool!
Heads turned as Rachel arrived. Again in a Lindy bop dress, but so matched to the occasion with seagull playfully darting across her torso and swooping down for titbits on the Brighton sea front printed along the entire length of her hem. I could even make out the penthouse flat Vicky and I stopped in! Misha and Amber were in red outfits, elegantly dressed for a more formal day at the beach.
Finally, so as not to be outdone by anyone else, Serena arrived in a polkadot swimsuit and integral modesty skirt (thank God!) with matching red shoes and hat. I’m certain she must have borrowed her legs from a modelling agency!
Judging and voting took place in time honoured fashion as was the remotest chance that Talulah was going to sweep the first or any prize!
Claire in her victorian outfit was the outright winner with Rachel in her Brighton sea view outfit a second place and finally in third place was Serena in her polkadot swimsuit.
Well done to everything who took part.
Talulah (aka Beccie) was last seen forcing her outfit through the shredder!
Saturday 17th June
Our June Oasis meeting was an opportunity for some our ladies to strut themselves on the cat walk with clothes supplied by M & Co, a well know clothing retail outlet. No sooner had Beth and Emma set the stall up, some of our ladies were fishing for the reduced bargains and reserving their outfits.
It was a ladies food night and thanks to to all who attended for providing items of either savory or sweets.
After our evening meal, the fashion models assembled in the octagon room for the final briefing from Beth and Emma. They were Joanna, Claire, Misha, Rosie, Laura and the georgous Beccie. Although there was a degree of calm on the catwalk as each lady strolled elegantly down as Emma described the outfit and the prices and Jules did the photo-shoot for the next edition of Hello magazine, it was far from that in the changing room.
It being the hottest Saturday of the year, outfits stuck like glue to the models, and clothes were flying in all directions as each model did a quick change for each session. At the end of the fashion show it look like the last day of the sales at Primark!
Of course Beccie being as ever the professional had none of these problems and wowed the audience as usually with both her presence and props.
Look out for the new face of M & Co in the adverts and on television!
We can but dream!!
Saturday 18th May
This month we celebrated our French evening at Oasis. Our two chefs created culinary delights that would not be out of place on the menus of the best Parisian restaurants such as Pierre Gagnaire, or restaurant Joséphine Chez Dumonet (I’m sure you know them well!).
The hall was decorated in bunting depicting the colours of the French flag – tricolore and we were graced by the presence of Joan of Arc, Fefe and Meme two French maids, a young Calais refugee, Paulette, Marcel Marceau gorgeous sister of the famous mime artist and Yvette from Allo Allo to name but a few!
At huit heures our chef’s served french onion soup with a croque-monsieur followed by a dessert of a choux bun with a coating of the finest Belgium chocolate.
With our taste buds still reeling from our meal came the parade of French beauties.
First up was Joan of Arc, resplendent in her regalia and carrying her banner, which had been hand stitched by Joan with meticulous detail while in prison awaiting her fate. Clearly she had put in considerable work in the hope of scooping first prize. Fat chance of that, as it was going to someone more deserving – Beccie!
Then we had Fefe and Meme the two French maids, who just happened to have an outfit at the back of their wardrobes. Both trying to outdo each other in who can flash the most legs!
Next up was Glinda a refugees, exiled from the Calais camp on the northern coast of France and commonly known as the Jungle! She had stories to tell of her intrepid escape across the English channel strapped to the trans-drive bearings of a 40 ton artic.
What an honour it was to be in the company of Marcel Marceau younger sister Paulette who had trained with him and demonstrated the same “art of silence” as she moved herself around the invisible glass cube.
Finally we had a very illumination performance from Yvette Carte-Blanche, from La Résistance, who had concealed about her person a revolver, a picture of The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobie, and her pièce de résistance by revealing her tutu in the colours of the trans movement – was there no stopping this charleton!
Fefe (aka Beccie) was yet again dashed at the final post by Meme in an outfit that was far inferior to hers! At least hers came from a reputable shop – Ann Summers!
Is there no justice in this world!
Great British Garden Party
Saturday 22nd April
This month Oasis held a great British Garden Party event where our ladies were asked to prepare and bring an item of savory or dessert to be judged.
About 8 people took part in this event. There were cakes decorated to a woodland scene, a large tray of savory delight with Oasis written using coloured rice in the trans colours, sandwiches, sausage rolls and many other delights.
Our two resident chefs Ann and Vicky were the judges, and they deliberated, cogitated, smelt, dissected, crunched, squeezed and tasted the different items before deciding on who should be the winners and runners up in the two categories.
Their decision was based on both presentation and taste, and as usual judge’s decision was final.
We were also delighted to be entertained by one of our regular Oasis ladies to a magic show. Glinda is a natural entertainer, and we were spell- bound by her rope and card tricks. Unfortunately she wasn’t willing to saw the lady in half.
All in all it was another great night at Oasis.
Saturday 18th March
Beccie knew it wasn’t going to be like any other Oasis night. For one thing Alice and Jill from London were coming. Marci a new lady would be there. Jenny and Kate would be doing the food for the last time. But more importantly Beccie was going to win the best 60s outfit.
She had missed out at other nights by Serena as “Cruella de Ville” or Vicky’s “Union Jack outfit” on the Queen’s birthday or Claire in a stunning outfit for the Ascot Race evening. Surely it was Beccie’s turn, surely it was time fortune shone on her..And don’t keep calling her surely!!
Everything was going fine, people were arriving and then suddenly “The competition” arrived, Davina as “Georgy Girl” straight from Carnaby Street and Vicky in her “Go Go” outfit. Then came two cool dude’s Jules and Claire in matching outfits.
But she knew she was safe, with her Mary Quant block pattern shift dress and matching white tights. Of course she would be picked, after all she runs Oasis, that would swing in her favour.
The parade took place and the votes were in. Beccie prepared her winning speach and waited to be called out from the kitchen.
Beccie unfortunately stayed in the kitchen scrubbing and cleaning for the rest of the night while the winners received their prizes, vouchers and photos.
Another great Oasis evening for everyone EXCEPT for Beccie!
Oasis Christmas meal at Caistor Hall
An occasion, for which I expect we all look forward to with great delight each year, is the evening of Thursday 15th December when twenty one of us celebrated our Oasis annual Christmas meal.
This was our second year at Caistor Hall on the outskirts of Norwich.
With its ornate décor and cosy atmosphere, and the ceiling centre piece of a pair of beautiful crystal chandeliers, it was a splendid venue for such a fabulous occasion.
We started with a pre-dinner drink in one of their cosy lounges, a sort of meet and greet and get to know the newcomers. We all welcomed our newest ladies Stephanie and Glinda. It was also a chance to compare the outfits and who had won the “Most sparkly outfit” this year – Had Beccie done it again!! No chance.
At 8pm, our Event’s Organiser and Commandant, Julia summoned us into the beautifully decorated dining room, the long table laid out to perfection with crackers and place names.
As we all in a rather unladylike fashion, pulled our crackers the evening was off with a Bang!!
Compliments to the chef and the waiting staff for the presentation and speedy service as the food arrived.
With a long table it is always difficult to meet and chat to everyone, so between courses we rotated around the table in a detailed and systematic systems that Julia has spent considerable time planning. It would have been an unrivalled success if only we bothered to listen to her!!
This pleasant evening rolled on with engaging and interesting chat. A collection was made as a thank you for the hard working waiting staff and Julia was presented with a beautifully bunch of flowers from Beccie as a thank you for all her hard work.
Rock and Roll Night
Saturday 12th November
We tend to forget that Rock’n’roll music is essentially dance music, so what a treat the last Oasis night was.
Yvonne Ball, long time friend of Julia, then taught us a sequence of Jive moves and many who started the evening with two left feet suddenly found themselves spinning and twirling their way round the dance floor.
The lights were dimmed and St. Georges Hall was transformed in to a 1950’s Village Hop all to the sound of classic Rock’n’roll tracks.
A special thanks must go to Yvonne’s friends from her Jive club who came along to help us all master the intricate footwork!
If you weren’t there YOU’RE SQUARE!
Ascot Race Night @ Oasis
Saturday 16th July
In show business they always say never work with animals or children. Well at Oasis never work with technology, because when you want it to work it invariably never does.
Although the Ascot Race Night did not start off well, with the data projector not working, it finished well and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
In fact it was very cosy, with all of us huddled around a laptop screen. Beccie could have made a fortune selling binoculars (something she’ll look into next year!) and the whole experience gave an air of reality, as if we were really there, struggling to see the horses in the distance.
Most of the ladies were in their enclosures by 7.30pm and once the betting was explained, Oasis money was being exchanged for tote tickets ready for the first race, the Puff and Panter Stakes.
With 28 people attending, once the horses had been prepared in the starting pens at the back of the hall “they were off!”
After the “Rhyme Time Handicap Stakes” won by “Smug Bug”, the enclosures were prepared for the high tea provided by our resident chefs Vicky and Ann, while the horses rested ready for the next set of races.
After the “Wacky Races Derby” won by “Hobby Horse” the Ascot best outfit competition took place. All the ladies taking part had a few minutes to put the final touches to their outfits before parading to the audience. Competition was feverish, and personally Beccie should have won. I know Long Tall Sally voted for her, but ‘Nah’ It seems she told everyone she had voted for them as well!
Beccie’s hopes once again shattered!
Claire was declared the winner, with Serena and Jenny in second and third place respectively. Each was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a voucher off admission to Oasis – what more could an Ascot race lady ask for.
Anyone for G&T to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday
Saturday 11th June
At some point during the 19th Century, just after Oasis was formed, an enterprising colonial official combined their daily dose of protective quinine tonic ( to control malaria) with a shot (or two) of gin and the rest is history.
Oasis cannot thank Hannah enough for the talk she did at our last Oasis called “Mothers’ Ruin”.
To start, we were all confronted with William Hogarth’s famous print ‘Beer Street and Gin Lane’ ,with the saying
“Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence, clean straw for nothing.”
A great deal was learnt from Hannah’s talk and subsequent demonstration and tasting, and we all came away, some inebriated and others just tipsy, from that part of the evening more informed about how gin became respectable. We all thanked Hannah for her efforts.
We were also celebrating the official 90th Birthday of her Majesty the Queen, and as befitting on such occasions and with the chance of getting into another outfit to win a prize we held a fashion parade!
All the usually culprits were there and the theme was definitely very patriotic with spectacular use of red, white and blue, outer and underwear, so I’m told!
The voting, by members of the Oasis, was both rigorous and fair and the winner, by a very close majority of 51% to 49%, was the gorgeous Vicky, with runners up of Rosie and Serena. Beccie asked for a re-run of the vote but no one was interested!
All received money off vouchers to Oasis and flowers/chocolates.
Well what an Oasis party it was!!
Saturday 21st May 2016
It was good to see so many ladies taking the trouble to arrive at Oasis in their fancy dress altered egos. I understand some of the ladies spent months in the planning and execution of their outfits, whereas others just happen to have the outfit at the back of the wardrobe ready for such an event!
In one corner Mary Quant and Sister Joy were deep in religious conversation while The Big O, Roy Orbison and the Diva from the Venetian Lagoon looked on.
In another corner of the room Cruella de Vil and Dr Frank n Furter were in discussion with Frenchie the Parisian Can-Can girl on techniques of breading dogs for their fur.
Strolling in through the door was the pageant queen, Miss Sweet Corn 1939 with Jessica Rabbit. Flapper girl Jenny was in deep conversation with the Gruesome Twosome.
Wonder Women, Beccie, the demi-goddess and worrier princess of the Amazons, was on the door preparing herself to win the best fancy dress by checking out the competition.
As usual Vicky the naughty schoolgirl was, serving her detention, in the kitchen preparing the food.
Oasis welcomed the return of Long Tall Sally and Joanna, and introduced three new members Dawn, Vanessa and Rachel to the group.
The food was up to its usual and excellent standard provide by our two chefs, Vicky and Ann.
After the sumptuous meal came the fancy dress parade. Judging was done by the assembled audience based on the tried and tested Eurovision Song Contest format, fair and no political voting!
After much deliberation the winner, Cruella de Vil and her scruffy little mutt had clinched it, receiving a luxury bouquet of flowers (from the local garage!) and a voucher from Winalot for kennel accessories!
Wonder Women was in the kitchen all night cleaning the dishes and all she got was a wet tea towel but naughty school girl Vicky gets second place, a fascinator and chocolates. There is no justice in this world!
Third place was given to Flapper Jenny who received a scarf and a discount voucher off the Oasis entrance fee.
Wonder woman was last seen in the kitchen slashing her outfit and wrists in tears shouting “Never Never again, nobody loves me!”
A lot happened at our March Oasis.
It was Oasis’s 28th birthday/anniversary. Started by Barbara Ross in her home all those years ago in support of the Transgender community. For people that knew Barbara, they were touched by her openness and support. Oasis is Barbara’s legacy.
It was also our Oasis “Bring and Buy Big Event”
As I look at the array of paraphernalia that had been set out in the Octagon room, one of the more mature ladies, remarked about “them old days” when the Rag and Bone man on his horse driven cart would go down her street collecting. Being so young myself I had to asked her what “a horse driven cart” was!
Looking around the room it was a collection of “any old wigs, heels, jewellery, clothes and DVD’s”
It seemed like a good idea at the time and I know Vicky, our “ Chef to the Stars” had cold feet but the turnout on the night was fantastic with a range of lots of different items up for grabs.
Although I only made a few pounds and a couple of foreign coins and buttons, some of the ladies made enough to pay the Oasis admission, the bus fare home and a small bag of chips!! Who could ask for more!
Again all our ladies bought food in, making an excellent spread of savoury and sweet. It was nice to greet two new people Caroline and Tina. I hope we will see more of them.
A raffle was held to raise money for the Sports Relief. A huge thank you to all the ladies that contributed. Despite only having a low attendance we managed to raise £50.
It was Oasis Easter as well so as a thank you from Oasis all our ladies received a bunch of daffodils and a chocolate egg.
All in all a lot happened!
Gung Hay Fat Choy – Oasis goes Chinese
On Saturday 20th February Oasis celebrated the Chinese New Year. This year it was the Monkey which is the 4713th year in the Chinese calendar. People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.
People entering the venue were greeted with decorations of an authentic theme from Chinese lanterns, fans, coloured coordinated tableware to interesting facts on the Year of the Monkey.
With an excellent turnout of 36 people, we were also greeted to some fantastic outfits, some of our ladies had gone to a lot of trouble to create the look.
Ann and Vicky prepared and presented some lovely and authentic Chinese food for the savoury and sweet course finished off with Lotus biscuits and Fortune Cookies with their tea and coffee. In fact some greedy people made four round trips to the main course table. Finally the evening was rounded off with a raffle with some interesting prizes of Chinese music, tea infusion and a chow mein jigsaw puzzle.
Vicky asked the ladies to remember to bring any unwanted goodies to the Bring and Buy sale at the March meeting and to let her know who doing what.
Oasis Christmas Meeting
When Gemma told me that she was going to get her bathroom plumbing done at Christmas I concluded that was a euphemism for completing her transition. She said she wanted to combine the front and rear waterworks by using a vertical outlet! It was going to be a Rolls Royce of an operation.
So that unfortunately left me to put pen to paper and do the write up on the Festive activities this Christmas – but have no fear Gemma will be returning in the New Year with her improved suite!!
I cannot remember the last time Oasis celebrated such a heterogeneity of events during the latter part of 2015.
On Monday we all put on our best singing voices and performed to a packed church at the annual LGBT Carol Service at St Johns Timberhill. All of the usual culprits were in attendance, and it was nice to see some of our more recent attendees make the effort. What a wonderful service it was and so nice to hear one of the carols performed by the Pride Choir and a command performance from Lizzy. Afterwards we decamped to Bella Italia. It was indeed a full house with a 22 of our Oasis group enjoying chat and good company.
On Thursday 17th December a group of 29 of us enjoyed each others company at the annual Oasis Christmas meal at Caistor Hall, just outside Norwich. I am indebted to Julia for doing the bulk of the organising for this event, and the feedback from the evening has been very positive. The hotel was awash in glittering evening gowns and sparkly jewellery.
Finally, on Saturday 19th December, we had our Oasis Festive Fun get together. It was a record with 38 ladies, partners and friends that came along to our free meeting to enjoy the quiz and raffle run so professionally by the lovely Vicky.
“Ciao,buona sera senoras, benvenuto a la sera Italiano, come stai?”
Italian Evening – Saturday 14th November
Beccie’s welcome to the ladies arriving at our latest event.
Ferraris, Fiat 500s and Vespas cramming the car park, we gathered for our lively, pre-dinner chat, Prosecco and Chianti in abundance.
What a glamorous evening – Dolce and Gabbana prevailed. Not one for gossip but I did overhear two ladies discussing their latest shopping spree in Milan!
Dinner was benissimo. A delicious choice of antipasto and pasta dishes followed by dream deserts. Zips were screaming as those determined to squeeze into size tens wished for some elastic!
A huge well done and thank you to Vicky and Ann for their sterling efforts and all the preparation involved.
Jenny also gave thanks to Beccie for her outstanding work and commitment over the past seven years.
Without these three stalwarts OASIS would not be what it is – we are all so indebted to you.
After dinner – the raffle. Generously donated prizes, the most notable – a romantic gondola trip down the river Wensum, to the serenade, O’ Sole Mio by our very own gorgeous gondolieress – Rosie.
The raffle raised £118 for Children in Need. Many thanks to all.
Beccie welcomed returning ladies and a special welcome to newcomers – Debbie and Julie, We all wish you well and look forward to meeting again.
Many thanks also to the many helpers in setting up and clearing up.
In all another great evening at OASIS
Arrivederci e Buona note.
Vichyssoise,Chateaubriand, Tarte Tatin
Banger & Mash Evening – Saturday 17th October
Now if that was the menu for our latest OASIS gathering, wouldn’t that attract one of the biggest turnouts of the year .
No! A Bangers and Mash evening with crumble. Ok, question the dietary preference of the Anglian Sisters or rejoice in their joy of simple happy food.
Whatever, there was not a spare place to be had, countless left out, salivating and dejected.
We arrived to a beautifully bedecked dining room complete with a teasing selection of fine wines on the tables. The presentation, primarily the sterling efforts of Ann, for whom so many thanks are due.
Beccie introduced the evening by reminding us that this event last year was Barbara Ross’s last at OASIS and through her we are able to enjoy what we do.
We all raised a very thoughtful glass to Barbara.
The bangers and mash and puddings were outstanding, no need for brown sauce as the gravy was to die for. A huge thank you to head chef Vicky for her amazing, generous work in all the preparation before and expert delivery on the night.
Let us not forget the charming waitresses Kate and Joanna, not a plate or sausage on the floor and delivered to the tables with such poise and grace.
So generous the portions that Stephanie was spotted sneaking out to ease off the laces, her red face nothing to do with excess blusher!
Beccie’s after dinner speech highlighted recent media interest in transgenderism and that we have twelve new members in this past year with many other enquiries.
Where were the Caitlyns and Kellies forty years ago?
Beccie has now led OASIS for seven years together with outstanding support from Ann. We are all so grateful and indebted to them both, for their tremendous organisation and hard work much of that behind the scenes.
A raffle completed the evening with a generous selection of exciting prizes.
In addition to those mentioned, many thanks also to the many hands helping with setting up and clearing away.
In all, another great evening at OASIS.
How to beat Vicky’s quiz?
Get brain power, eat fish! – Saturday 15th August 2015
The theme for our latest OASIS gathering was a ‘Chip and Quiz’ evening.
A large turnout arrived to a formal, beautifully arranged table setting with a seating plan, a great idea which encourages mixing.
This time, the outside caterers were called in from a local but internationally renowned chippy providing a variety of choice. Rick Stein beware, Norwich could become the new Padstow!
A selection of fine wines accompanied the meal with each table having its own, self-appointed, Sommelier, guiding the ladies through judicious selection. Sumptuous deserts followed to satiate the appetite and put those magic knickers to the test.
Quiz Mistress, Vicky, then presented us with a most challenging, well prepared, quiz, covering a wide variety of topics. There was a bit of banter over some of the answers ( i.e. when does a goldfish become a carp?) but the QM’s decision was firm and resolute and gave no quarter.
Competition was intense with accusations of spying from adjacent teams but the atmosphere and humour was electrifying.
A tie break resulted, adding further excitement, with two teams in a deciding play-off. The winners, obviously devourers of fish, went off gleefully with the most extravagant of prizes – a three course seafood meal, of course!
Another great evening with overwhelming thanks to Ann, Beccie, Vicky and all the setteruppers, cleaneruppers and washeruppers.
Walk the Walk
Oasis Fashion Evening – Saturday 13th June 2015
Have you ever thought how special it would be to walk the Catwalk, modelling the latest fashion, sporting gorgeous makeup, to rapturous applause, feeling someone and something else?
Well at our last OASIS meeting some of our ladies realised just that.
Facilitated by Annie, Kelly and Beth from M & Co we were treated to a fashion show with a difference.
They brought along a variety of dresses, skirts, tops, cardigans and accessories, cleverly selected to suit the occasion, in part, for the modelling and later for sale.
Two of our ladies, Carla and Petra were to have a makeover then join the other models; Beccie, Hannah, Joanna, Olivia and Vicky to strut their stuff.
Starting with the makeup session: Annie emphasised the need for preparation. Prior to shaving (for those who can’t bare the pain or cost of electrolysis!) it is essential to use a men’s exfoliant for a closer shave and extending the dreaded five-o-clock shadow. This, to be followed by, again, men’s moisturizer, more suitable for thicker male skin. There are certain things we cannot escape from!
From there on to a suitable concealer to camouflage bearded and blemished areas prior to getting on with the real business; foundation, etc.. Crikey, it’s hard work being a woman and we haven’t had a wardrobe crisis yet!
By the end of the session, Carla and Petra looked stunning. Oh to have an Annie when the need calls, with a Kelly and Beth sorting out the frilly stuff. Just think ladies we could have another hours beauty sleep, wonder how the real Queen copes!
Next, the fashion show: The models were given guidance as to the choice of outfits to suit their look and shape. Annie described the two basic shapes – ‘Column’ or ‘Curve’ (what happened to the ‘A’,’V’and ‘H’ shapes?).
She also described how best to compliment that shape by judicious use of belts and tie dresses to emphasise and position the waist line and give impression of curve. The selection of neck jewellery can also take the eye away from the neckline.
Some models suited dresses while others more appropriate in skirts or trousers and tops.
Another good point was the use of waterfall style cardigans to conceal the more recognisable column shape especially those with an obvious liking of jam roly-poly and custard!
The models were also advised on how to walk the walk, and didn’t they do just that! The advice on how to pose wasn’t really necessary as they are all natural mistresses of that art!
The seven ladies paraded with such confidence, glamour, style and humour to grace any catwalk (Vanity Fair will, by now, heard of this – so watch out all you, so called, super models).
Of course, a certain lady, not to be named but aka Miss Congeniality (complete with cleverly concealed Colt 45 automatic) gave a most entertaining, if not characteristic, performance, only to be let down by failing to proclaim her stance on ‘World Peace’!
Annie concluded the show by advising of our welcome and helpful assistance at M & Co, and that ‘special’ appointments or evenings could be arranged.
Very many thanks to Annie, Kelly and Beth for a great evening, to the beautiful models and, of course to Miss Congeniality and her team.
“And They’re Off”
Ascot Race Evening – Saturday 20th June 2015
No! Not another Beccie special performance
Horses of course!
Yes – An Ascot Night at the Races,
For the Ladies of Oasis. Sorry Wordsworth!
That was the theme for our latest gathering , and what an occasion. Access to the ladies enclosure by, highly sought after special invitation, of course, welcomed in with lovely Aperitifs to put us in the mood.
And what a show! The most beautiful ladies sporting the most gorgeous apparel from the world’s most renowned designers. Not to mention the accessories!
Bliss! Not a male to be seen in the very exclusive enclosure ( there were unconfirmed reports of some trying to gate crash dressed as women, shame!)
Even the one and only, vetted and approved , tame paparazzi, was a lady, a real one this time. Thank you Sheila for your so discrete and professionally orchestrated photo shoots.
This year’s prize for the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ went to the most deserving and stunning, Hannah, a young debutante fresh out of Cheltenham. No, not the race course, the Ladies College! A full length, wine coloured (and wine stained) dress, topped by a classy shrug and feminine fascinator, the whole ensemble carried with the grace and style of a proper lady!
The runners up were; Rachael, in a most fetching and very Ascot, pink lace dress, , and, of course, the lady of the evening – our Mistress of Ceremonies and outstanding Event Organiser – Beccie, in an outfit to die for, or in!
To soak up the cocktails, a scrumptious, barbeque style, repast. Presented by the 2016 winner of Celebrity Mistress Chef – Vicky. As always, so glam, wearing a cheeky little number with not a bead of perspiration, despite her amazing performance in the galley.
Huge thanks from all went to Vicky with a small token of our appreciation.
“And They’re Off”.
The tension in the enclosure was electrifying – glamour, galloping horses and gambling (no gambolling was evident as all ladies were as restrained as horses in the paddocks).
Due to the current economic policy of Quantitative Easing, the Bank of OASIS was easily formed and special banknotes were printed and generously distributed to the punters. Unfortunately it is understood that some of the ladies secreted some of this new and buoyant currency for a later holiday to Greece, shame!
The well-respected company of Turf Accountants, Ladyblokes, sent along a team of honourable and scrupulous Bookies – Beccie, Ann and Sian.
They wisely decided that, to avoid confusing the punters, and themselves, there would be no odds given for each horse and betting would be for winners only, the tote to be shared among the punters with the wining horse.
However some of the wiser punters realised that, by holding back placing their bets, an odds system was noticeable, betted accordingly and, successfully! True to form and the competitive disposition of these ladies, this knowledge was not readily shared! All part of the fun!
By stealth, cunning and judicious gambling, Gemma was the winning punter with fattest purse and stomach at the end of racing. The runners up were, with equal guile, Jenny and Carla. We will all need bigger hand bags for the next Ascot night!
In all, a great evening with everyone a winner.
Humongous praise and thanks go to Beccie, Ann and Vicky for their excellent planning, preparation and hard work.