Oasis @ Christmas 2019
On Saturday 30th November Christmas kicked off in earnest with our annual Christmas meal outing, this time at a new venue of the Sugarbeat House. The room was packed with 26 people as we settled down, for some, to their first turkey meal of the season. Elegant dresses and handbags were awash. I must thank one of our newest members to Oasis, Lilly for organising this event. It’s never an easy task, I know from my own experience trying to extract cash out of padlocked purses in the run up is always difficult, as is accommodating last minute cancellations and new additions. Lilly’s came up trumps and her effervescent personality bubbled through. So well done Lilly, Oasis thanks you. To read more about this event click on this link.
Next, on the Saturday 14th December came our festive quiz evening. Although number were disappointingly low (just over 20) the evening went well, finishing with an excellent quiz by our good friend Vicky. Lilly again stepped up to the plate in Serena’s absence and headed up running the meeting. I came as my (s)elf from Santa’s Elf and Safety Department. The outfit had been kicking around my wardrobe for many years, so it was good to give it an airing. Unfortunately, there was no competition for the best outfit! Drat!
Finally, on Monday 16th December was the annual LGBT Carol Service, held for well over 25 years at St John’s Church in Timberhill, Norwich. Nine of us made the meal at Pizza Express at the Forum beforehand. It was lovely to see Shirl, Janie, Roger, Chris as well as Phyllis, Sandra, Vicky and Denise. Much conversation took place including the work Shirl does as Founder and Director of Consequences a charity to support serious offenders and their families.
At the carol service we met up with Jules and Claire, and sang our hearts out finishing with mince pies and coffee. All in all, again a great set of events this Christmas.
Finally I want to wish everyone who is involved in Oasis a very peaceful Christmas and New Year. Oasis has a special places in many peoples lives and we hope if we haven’t seen you yet we may do so in 2020.
30th November 2019
Oasis Christmas Meal
It’s 30th November, and as I headed up the A140, the radio played those forgotten songs; Slade’s ‘Merry Oasis Everybody’, Wizard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Oasis Everyday’, Elton John’s ‘Step In To Oasis’.
There was a special magic in the air, I just knew it, I was heading to the right place. The right place? What for? The Oasis Christmas Dinner silly! Tonight we were going to be ‘Rocking around the Oasis Tree’, didn’t you get an invitation?
Fashionably early (no not me!), Oasis were going to start the Christmas season off with an evening of good food, good conversation and good company.
Our servers and hosts were Dotty and Emma, served us a delicious mixture of turkey, fish and ravioli, though not on the same plate! What sort of weirdo has ravioli for Christmas Dinner? Oh me! After which there was Christmas Pud and even a little alcohol, but it is Christmas after all.
It was so nice to see many new and old friends. Olivia who had travelled all the way from Sussex to see us, Rosie, our newest Oasis member, Teresa and Lorraine who we met at Kings Lynn Pride. Lovely to see Denise and Sandra, great supporters of Oasis.
So what did the wise women of Oasis bring with them. No, not material goods, not gold, frankincense and myrrh. But much more important gifts, the gifts of friendship love, respect and companionship.
An enjoyable evening was had by all, and if you are good, next year you can come too.
With lots of love from Oasis ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’
16th November 2019
Strictly @ Oasis
Once a year, as the highlight of the season, the Strictly Come Dancing team pack up their make-up, their glitter, their beautiful dresses, their lovely heels and head north to a very special location. The BBC would have you believe they travel to Blackpool but no, my darlings, that is simply fake news! Oasis can now reveal the real location is a very special Tower Ballroom near Norwich.
Yes, this is truly one of the special nights of the year, Oasis does Strictly!
Our evening started with much excitement, as our members and contestants arrived to reveal their outfits. Latin or ballroom, romantic or sassy; one by one our ladies showed off such gooorgeous costumes and we could see that tonight there would be no disasssssters darlings, no sevennns, only 10 10 10 10! No Voguing, no disco, no street dance, no mam, tonight was Strictly Ballroom.
Our excitement only grew when our very own model girl, Serena started the evening with her fabulous Tess Daly impersonation (yes in those heels) and then, we realised that we had a surprise visit by Claudia Winkleman. Yes, it could only be the real Claudia, couldn’t it?
Next we gave a warm welcome to our newest member, the elegant brave Rosie, who we hope will become a regular at our future meetings.
Then our supper arrived, as Vicki once again proved that she is not only beautiful but such a talented chef by providing us with a very spicy meal. Vicki how did you cook in your stunning silver jump suit? You are a marvel.
Amongst much excitement and chatter, we had our line up of 12 and our judges had to make their difficult choices. How would they make their decision with so many contestants? Would they focus on technical skills or on artistic interpretation? Would they be nasty Craig or would they be exuberant Bruno? Who would be lovely Motsie, who would be kind Shirley?
Our paddle boards were all of a quiver; we had our results.
Drum roll, in 3rd we had the divine Amanda, dressed in fabulous purple.
Another drum roll, more tension, in 2nd is the sultry Dawn in her slinky evening gown.
And finally, the tension is unbearable, our winner is…….. Lilly in her beautiful velvet blue dress, with blue earrings and gold accessories. Lilly said ‘I want to thank Oasis with all my heart, yet again Oasis have made my dreams come true! Thank you’.
Tonight there were no tears, only winners and in a flash our evening is over. As the BBC returns to Elstree, Oasis looks forward to our Christmas party but in the meantime…. remember to Keep Dancing! (or even Dressing!)
19th October 2019
Bangers & Mash Halloween Evening
Although numbers were down from previous years with just under 30, we still had a wonderful spooktacular Bangers and Mash Hallowe’en evening. Serena, our new leader, had spend many hours producing pumpkin shapes which hung precariously from the ceiling and created an atmosphere of a witches cavern.
The tables were laid out with name tags written in beautiful blood red calligraphic writing and there were witches in abundance. Vicky,our chef to the stars was in the kitchen as usual, with her cauldron bubbling away as she cast her magic spell over the preparations.
Being an admirer of the famous bard she was adding her ingredients at the cooker. “Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing.”
We were in for a treat!
PC 896 Paula Gilluley had joined us in what was perhaps the most scariest outfits of all our ladies, her police uniform. She covers the Breckland area, and we met her at King’s Lynn Pride way back in August. She gave a talk on her role and hoped to see us soon. Disappointingly, and unlike Pride, there were no free pens or badges to give out!!
After our meal, the witches ( I say this in the loosest sense) assembled for the judging. Considering we were low on numbers seven of us had gone to considerable toil and trouble to dress up, make up and buy up their Halloween looks. Tesco certainly made a profit from us!!
Barry was put in charge of collating the voting slips and we waited in anticipation for the final result.
Beccie came 3rd and was certain that the false fang teeth clinched the win. Second was Theresa with a simple black dress and witches broom. I think the black nails clinched her win! Lilly took first place as “catwoman” but how that fitted into Hallowe’en is anyone guess!!. I think it was the tail that did it. She should have won a bowl of milk!
Well done to all who took place. It was all fangtastic.
21st September 2019
Hobbies and Interests Evening
For our September Oasis meeting we decided to give our members another chance to show their hobbies or interests. Four ladies volunteered to have their Andy Warhol “15 minutes of fame” moment.
Serena thanked Geri for her work running Oasis since January. Serena expressed her passion to continue Oasis, as Barbara’s legacy and her desire to take over running the group. She asked us to consider her request. If no one comes forward to run it before the next meeting she will take the reins,
First up was Geri, to tell us about her crafting hobby. She explained in detail with images about a rocking horses and motorbikes, garden diggers, dolls cots and houses and a verandah swing seat. Some of which were very intricate and time consuming. Certainly of labour of love. Finally she showed us a musical instrument she had made called a lap steel guitar. Geri is indeed a talented lady!!
Next up was Carole to give us a talk on her collect of Wiggins “Old Hall” stainless steel tea services. She bought with her four or five different sets. She talked about the influence the designer Robert Welsh had on the direction of “Old Hall” and what some of the sets wouls fetch at auction. It was an interesting hobby. I was hoping she might have offered us a cup of tea!
Food was provided by Venetia and Serena. It was an excellent spread of cold meats, hot potatoes, quiches and salad followed by apple and blackberry crumble and custard for pudding.
Next up was Joanna, whose hobby was all about transport. She showed us some of her collection of “O” rolling stock with a Bassett lowke’s coach and a horsebox that she was building to eventually run on her railway layout (Still only a pipe dream). She was also working on a model North Sea Cutter called Mary Ann, built around 1900. She had laid the keel and was now beginning to work on the masts and fittings.
Finally Rosie, talked about all things trans with her collection of CD, DVD and videos. In 1953 a film came out called Glen or Glenda, directed and starring Edward D Wood. Roll on to 1970, when the film “The Christine Jordensen story” was released. She was the first person to become widely known in the US for having reassignment surgery. In the 90s we saw “Too Wong Foo” (1995) Hilary Swanks in “Boys don’t cry” (1999), “The Crying Game” (1992), and then after the millennium, “Transamerica” (2005), “Breakfast on Pluto” (2005) and “Stonewall” (2015). Considering we only saw a tiny proportion of her extensive trans library, she spoke with fluency and expertise. If you want the knowledge on Trans talk to Rosie!
All in all, it was an interesting and unusual Oasis evening.
Look out for our next meeting in October,the annual Bangers and Mash, waitress service, two course meal with a Halloween theme. Interested?? It’s expected to be spooktacula.
21st July 2019
M & Co Fashion Show
On Saturday 21st July it was a ” small step for (wo)man, but a giant leap for Oasis” as we combined the the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and the 3rd anniversary of M and Co joining us for the Oasis fashion show.
Our sales assistants from M and Co selected 5 outfits to be modelled by, Joanna, Emma-Jane, Claire P, Petra, Carole and Claire R.
Beccie gate-crashed the parade taking Lilly’s place who could not be with us as she was modelling war planes with her father in-law. Although she had some difficulty squeezing into the size 12 clothes, she was determined to take part in the parade.
Geri talked about our forthcoming events. Norwich Pride, and our Chip and Quiz event in August.
Our ladies provided the food this month with a good array of savour and sweet items. Even Beccie provided some moon rock cakes!
15th June 2019
Oasis film character June evening recipe
A Sandra Dee (look at me!) from Grease plus a Bridget Bardot from La Parisienne. Mix this with an Ella Woods from Legally Blonde together with a Mary Poppins from the fairground scene.
Put this on one side for a few minutes to simmer.
Now add a Star Trek Communication Officer and a vampire woman from the planet TRANSylvania together with Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind and Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Finally for the icing on the cake add the original Mary Poppins with her parrot umbrella to make a practical perfect evening! Outside there wasn’t even a breeze to fly a kite!
Vicky, our Chef to the Stars, came up trumps again with a main course of jacket potatoes and a range of different toppings followed by apple crumble and ice cream or chocolate sponge cake. Everyone had clean plates! There wasn’t even enough to feed the birds.
It was nice to see the welcome return of our leader Geri, following her hip operation, with hardly a noticeable limp. Clearly that spoon full of sugar at the hospital did help the medicine go down!
After the meal, all the contenders had to step in time, preen themselves (spit, spot!) and with their voting cards, prepare for their adoring public to capture their full glory.
Don’t forget our August jolly holiday meeting is our annual “Chip and Quiz” event. If your thinking of joining us you need to pay your deposit and order food before the night.
You may wonder why there are so many references to Mary Poppins in this post. How many songs from the original Mary Poppins did you spit spot?
Well I had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time, because for the first time in many many years I won first place for the life I lead!
Runners up were Ella Woods and Scarlet O’Hara.
18th May 2019
Wartime in East Anglia
As I arrived in the sunshine, to the May Oasis meeting, it felt as if I had gone back in time to 1940’s wartime in East Anglia. I was dressed as an evacuee, having to leave Skirt-on-Thames in London, after Germany invaded Poland, along with many thousand others to the safety of the countryside to meet our host family. I had my suitcase, gas mask and favourite teddy Bobby.
I was greeted by an american MP (military police), called John. He towered over me, he was a big man with a big truncheon! Also there was a Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Navy, his brass buttons glittering in the sun.
On entering the hall, I was greeted by both civilian and military people, mainly ladies, because their men folk were off fighting for King and Country. Our 1940 themed evening is always very popular and this one is no exception.
We welcomed two guests, Chloe and Sara from the UEA Feminist Book Club, who had chosen to raise money for Oasis, on the merits of an excellent website. We were so pleased to have been chosen and after our street party evening meal they presented the donation to Geri, who during the war worked on her lathe in the Royal Ordnance Factory machining breech rings for the war effort.
After this came the best dressed 1940’s competition. The assembled participants, 8 in all, parade in front of the street party and the judges pronounced their results.
Rachel, from the French Resistance, and Lilly in a stylist outfit were runners up, with Geri, the ordnance machinist winning the competition. A range of vintage 1940’s prizes were distributed.
20th April 2019
Easter Bonnet Parade
Ever wondered where the practice for wearing an Easter bonnet originated?
According to Christian tradition, the fashion for new bonnets came thanks to Easter being known as a time for renewal. With the fasting of Lent over and people keen to mark the religious occasion, female churchgoers were eager to make and show off their new clothes, including hats.
So this started the tradition of wearing Easter bonnets and continued at our April Oasis meeting.
Considering it was Easter Saturday, and generally a time when families get together, we were very fortunate to see over 25 ladies. We welcomed some new people to Oasis. Angie and Anne visited us from Boston, in Lincolnshire where they run the Transhaven Transgender group. Katie and her partner Roz and Penny, who was a returning Oasis member from many years ago. We hope to see them again soon.
Vicky our resident “Chef to the Stars” fed us an Italian speciality of 3 pasta varieties with salad, followed by an apple and blackberry crumble.
Beccie was the “Mistress of Ceremonies” in Serena absence so after much chatter and scraping of plates we moved onto the Easter bonnet parade.
Six Oasis ladies took part and after much banter and judging the winners were announced. Despite Beccie offering chocolate Easter eggs as a bribe to fix the vote the first place went to Rachel, second came Beccie and third, Kate.
All in all another great night at Oasis had by both regular and new people.
16th March 2019
Feminisation and deportment tips
The Oasis Saturday in March was a blustery, dull “hold on to your hat’s girls” sort of day, but once inside our hall was something much more important on our minds. We were going inside the secret world of makeup and deportment. Jules was our make-up artist and Geri our expert in voice and deportment tips.
Every girl loves to look her best and strives to learn how to not only apply cosmetics correctly but also enhance or disguise how nature made us. We girls also want to know how to present ourselves, walk elegantly, and lighten our voices etc., no pressure then..umm!
Yes, such a lot to learn and whilst daughters practised with their mothers or sisters make-up when they were little, or even dabbled with the Goths and New Romantics, generally we trans-girls had to undergo a very short and steep learning curve. Thank goodness excellent help was on hand from our fairy godmothers’ Jules and Geri.
Serena opened the evening by welcome everyone including our newcomers Nina and Drew. She reminded us of forthcoming events: Easter Bonnets in April, a 40s street party in May and characters from films in June.
Our meal was a delicious paellas followed by cake topped with cream. Many thanks to Vicky for producing such a feast on a limited budget.
At last demo time!
The beautifully made-up Jules gave us all a real insight into the art of applying facial make-up, she carefully detailed each stage starting with the most basic item, a mirror.
This was followed by brush selection, function and application. Moisturising she stressed is key, morning and night and then went on to demonstrating primer, foundation, setting powder, bronze, rouge and lips. Using mascara proved to be a tricky business even for Jules. The golden rule is “left hand for left eye, right hand for right eye and no poking in either eye”! She suggested going to a beauty department in Jarrolds, Boots or John Lewis for advice.
Lots of questions were asked and answers given.
Geri then continued our feminisation demo with excellent advice on voice exercises. She advised us to start speaking in a higher pitch than you wanted to settle at. This leads into words that build up into phrases and sentences. She advised reading aloud articles from newspapers, books etc. in a higher pitch. Then followed our deportment lesson, how to sit, walk and talk in a ladylike manner. Even how to get in and out of a car, but disappointingly not on and off a motorbike! What a lot to take in!
Many thanks to our beautiful models Kay and Claire and Jules and Geri for giving us all such an informative and fun evening. Their final advice, if you wish for the right answer to “mirror mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all”, ladies be brave and PRACTICE, PRACTICE and more PRACTICE.
Boccie’s comment on the evening was “Just typical the only event in the entire ten years at Oasis that I could have improved my looks and walked like a lady I had to attend the out-laws 90th Birthday party as him!”
Thanks for the excellent collaborative efforts from Serena, Kate, Joanna and Lilly Jayne in writing this post.
16th February 2019
Far Eastern Event
欢迎 ( Welcome)
Its official, over 1000 views of the Oasis website each month. I know we’re not as popular as some sites with thousands of hits a day, but considering were a small transgender group in darkest Norfolk, last year we had a total of 12,800 views.( Up by 2000 on 2017)
As expected we had over 11,000 from people in the UK, but interestingly, as this month was our Far Eastern event, we had 24 views in China,and 5 in Japan. In fact in 2018 we were viewed by nearly 60 countries, all of them east of Norfolk.
Our Far Eastern event in February saw Chinese and Japanese outfits. We were even graced with real a geisha and joshi kōsei. We also welcomed a new lady, Wendy to our group.
Numbers were slightly down but Vicky had excelled with a lovely meal and 5 of our group offered to take part in the far Eastern parade and competition. There would have been more as Beccie promised to come as Rickshaw Girl,but at the last minute the cart developed a puncture and she was totally deflated!
The Eastern ladies assembled. Rosie claimed she had come as a Bangkok Lady boy in a stunning deep blue outfit, followed by Jenny in a red and I imagine authentic Chinese outfit. Davina was in a very traditional Chinese, black with gold inlay trouser suit, which would not look out of place when travelling around China on the Harmony train. Lilly had pulled out all the stops with a traditional light blue Chinese outfit. Clearly she had the figure to pull it off as well! It takes real skill to squeeze in those small outfits.
Serena never fails to impress with her attention to detail in her geisha girl outfit. She had researched the topic and came prepared with her Japanese writing and facts. Finally, what I consider was the star of the show, came Joshi kōsei, or translated, Japanese schoolgirl, from the comedy Manga series. She presented in a simple school girl sailors outfit.
After considerable debate from our judge and possible several recounts the winners were announced.
Lilly came first, followed by Jenny and then Davina. It was a travesty that the Japanese schoolgirl, the geisha girl and the Bangkok Lady boy, who all had spent so long researching and preparing for this event should fail to impress. Beccie wished now she had come as Rickshaw girl!!
19th January 2019
Between the Wars
Was I just dreaming of did I hear the music of Irvin Berlin, Jerome Kern and Lew Brown coming from the hall as I drew up for the first Oasis meeting of the New Year. It’s was themed as “ Between the Wars” and there was to be a best dressed competition. This evening I was all by myself. That’s why I was late getting there, as for the first time for a long time I could spend time getting ready and arriving when I wanted!
As I stepped out the car I felt five foot two, eyes of blue, and ready to Charleston.
I wasn’t disappointed as I made my grand entrance, I was transformed back in time to the 1920’s , with flappers everywhere. Did I stand a chance of winning or was I going to be, like so many Oasis’s before, nobody’s sweetheart.
Numbers were down slightly, but there was a good spread of food and the hall was warm and inviting and it was good to be all together again.
Seven of us took part in the best dressed parade, with Davina, who had provided the music for the evening, snatching the first prize and Claire coming second.
To my surprise, I had made the third place and at last it was happy days are here again for me.
All that was left was to say my good-byes to everyone, button up your overcoat, defrost the car and return the present day and reality!
I’m already looking forward to the February meeting, themed as Far Eastern, I’m setting my sights on first place in the best dressed competition as Rickshaw Girl!
Oh. by the way, for the experts that read these posts, did you spot those 7 well known music classics of the 1920’s in my rambling this month?