Reluctant Blogger who reads The Week and learnt about April Ashley

I have to admit to being a slightly reluctant blogger.   Just as I was a slightly reluctant facebooker but now I have been sucked into that time-consuming world …….. and worry that I am stepping into another yet more sinister world of self absorption and unbridled opinion sharing.  I fear I am guilty of enough of that anyway without forcing it onto a bunch of people who don´t even know me!  However here I am for better or for worse.  I promise to try to blog away from the banal and self absorption or self promotion as much as I can!  I challenge all bloggers to respect this rule.

However despite my hesitance, narrow minded I certainly am not.  I do enjoy reading good novels and news articles from around the world but have very little time to do so (as my children and more recently Facebook seem to take a lot of that time).  I am lucky enough to have my mother send me a great publication from the UK called The Week.  Their tagline is …….

all you need to know about everything that matters

Here, in a brief form I can read articles from newspapers all round the world, as well as film reviews, book reviews, gossip, talking points, finance news, obituaries, travel articles, art reviews, music reviews, a letters page, sport, Health and Science amongst other interesting titbits.  If you want to find out more, go to

Recently I was having brunch with some fellow bloggers, as now I suppose I am one.  I expressed my fears of adding to the self absorbed banal drivel available on line and that I needed to try and find a way of writing something that was worth reading and I showed them a copy of The Week.  Unfortunately, there was a picture of April Ashley on the cover and they sneered at the transexual´s picture in a rather narrow minded way.  Poor April Ashley.

I admit to being very ignorant and possibly a little judgemental like these bloggers when it comes to transsexuals but I was intrigued to read about this character and thus learn a little more about the lives of these often fascinating characters.

April Ashley has just celebrated her 75th birthday and as Britain´s first transexual she has some pretty extraordinary memories.  She grew up an abused boy in the slums of Liverpool and later as a young merchant seaman she began to grow breasts (I actually know some very untranny men that have this problem!).  After years of trauma she ended up working as a dancer in Paris and then heard about a pioneering operation she could have in, of all romantic film locations, Casablanca.  She was seen onto the plane by an American dancer called Skippy who made her promise to be her first lover when she returned.  She lost her virginity on Bastille day when the whole of Paris was celebrating in the street.  She later went on to become the toast of London with an array of lovers that ranged from Peter O´Toole to Michael Hutchence.  She however was never under the illusion about the reason for her celebrity.

You say I met everybody but it was the other way round.  Everybody wanted to meet the Freak

And yes I wanted to read about the beautiful freak and how she had turned her life around.  Happy Birthday April Ashley, and maybe I can share fascinating snippets from the Week from time to time when I am blogging.

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2 Responses to Reluctant Blogger who reads The Week and learnt about April Ashley

  1. Selena says:

    These articles appear rather familiar, you were Jessica on Mommy Brunch Tales, weren’t you? Are these the bloggers you’re talking about? I never commented there, just read the posts, though I must say they have really gone downhill with their blogging lately. Interestingly enough, the two with children in the hospital write considerably more than the others!

    I, too, am a fan of April.I’m very pleased to have found your new blog and look forward to reading some new articles.

    • admin says:


      You found me before I started!! I am just putting all my old posts and writing into my archives from as long ago as 2003 when I arrived here in Guatemala and still working on my site. I hope to be ready to go next week after the craziness of Semana Santa Yes I was very briefly Jessica but now I writing as myself and on my own. I have not read the other site since I left but I wanted to do something a little different and it was difficult writing with other people as you have to feel very comfortable with all the other writers and I wasn´t. I have 3 months left here in Guatemala and then we will be off to Cuba for 4 years as my husband will be the next director of the film school there. I wanted to write about all the feelings I have about leaving the country where I met my husband and had my 3 children and also the excitement of moving to a country like Cuba with all its challenges and idiosyncracies. I hope I can be funny and honest and informative so stay posted ….. and thanks for finding me, I think you must be the first! Jo

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