All posts for the month June, 2011

You’re The Voice, Try And Understand It…..

Published June 17, 2011 by Christine

You’re The Voice” by John Farnham, from the album “Whispering Jack“, 1986.

It’s amazing how complex the human voice is. I didn’t realise this until I started training my voice last month. I’m not going to go in to the mechanics of it, this is covered all over the web so, no point in reinventing the wheel.

I train for several hours a day (usually) and I’ve started using a spectrogram. This enables me to ‘see’ my voice as I speak and to see the harmonics in my male voice and my ‘not-yet-there’ female voice. Because the muscles in my ‘voicebox’ are still in ‘male mode’ I have to force them into a position they are not yet accustomed to. At the moment this results in either a squeaky high-pitched sound or a breathy ‘drag-queen’ voice. Once they are used to the new position and I have the resonance correct then I should sound reasonably female. It’s odd listening to myself on playback (recording is essential as your voice sounds different to other people), but looking at the spectrograph it’s amazing how different the two voices are. Here’s an example (you will need to click on the image to see it fully):

Early Voice Analysis

You can see the difference between my male voice and my female voice, which is much closer to Tracey’s voice pattern. The red line is the lower range of the female voice (160Hz) and the lower of the blue lines is the main vocal frequency and the echo’s above it are the harmonics indicating the resonance.  You can see that my ‘female’ voice still has more harmonics than Tracey’s.

As things progress I’ll post more spectrographic traces to show the differences.


I’ve (Not) Been Driving In My Car….

Published June 12, 2011 by Christine

A slight paraphrase on “Driving In My Car” by Madness, 1982.

Before anyone reminds me: Yes I know the following is the result of my own stupidity, my own fault. I am not trying to excuse that. This is just a rant at the DVLA’s DMG (Drivers Medical Group).

Right, rant time. I am getting really pissed off with the DVLA. Three years ago I lost my license on a charge of “Being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink“. Fair do’s, I received a three year ban and other punishments. This was in February 2008. I have “done my time” and accepted my punishment with good grace. In December 2010 I received the standard letter stating that I could now reapply for my license, but I would need to undergo a medical by a DVLA approved doctor. No problem. I borrowed the requisite £90 application fee and the £96 doctors fee from my mother and sent the £90 with the application form to the DVLA on Feb 22nd 2011 (which is when my ban ended). I then received, on 12th March, a letter dated 8th March 2011 giving me the name and address of the doctor I needed to see for the medical. I phoned the surgery and was told the next available appointment was on 7th April 2011, fine, no problem.

Before the medical I had to see my own doctor and had to have a blood test for liver function etc. This, surprisingly, showed everything within normal parameters, considering how much I used to drink. Even my own doctor was surprised, considering the alcohol levels and liver readings on previous blood tests. So I was hopeful for the DVLA one.

I attended the medical, paid my £96 and the doctor was quite thorough and business-like. The letter I received from DVLA stated that they should received the results within 14 days and make a decision within 4 weeks. Using these maximum parameters, the latest I should have received a decision and/or license would have been 19th May. On 9th May I received a letter (dated 3rd May), with a photocopy of the doctor’s form, asking for the full name, address and phone/fax numbers of my GP! The examining doctor had only put my GP’s name on the form, not the address and number I gave her! Fuming, I wrote back to the DVLA with the required details in a big, bold font so they wouldn’t miss it and posted it the same day (9th May).

On the 16th May, I received a letter, dated 11th May, stating that they had received the results from the medical exam and would now need to write to my GP for further information:


To allow us to progress your application further we have now written to your GP for further information. We usually expect a reply within four weeks. When we receive their reply our medical adviser will then consider your fitness to drive. This may take some time but as soon as a decision has been made we will let you know.

How very vague.

Unfortunately, prior to this letter I had changed my name at the GP surgery and on the NHS list, so I had spoken to my GP and told him to expect a letter from the DVLA in Marks name, and could he reply accordingly.

I have since emailed the DVLA several times to request an update but so far have had no reply. I am not bothering to phone them as last time I did that I used a full £10 in credit while on hold.

In 1997, I was convicted of the same thing. At the end of my ban (3 months) I had to send off my application form with the required fee. There was no medical required (despite the exceptionally high reading), and I received my license back within two weeks!

According to my calculations the four week response time is over and I am now into the very vague “considering fitness to drive” period.

Rant over.


Here endeth the lesson.

I Ain’t Missing You At All….

Published June 1, 2011 by Christine

Missing You” by John Waite, from the 1984 album “No Brakes

Now, everything in this blog entry refers to myself, not family, not friends, just my feelings and the things I miss about being a man. So it;s going to be a really short entry.

I recently wrote a post on a TS message board in a subject thread entitled “What Do You Miss The Most?”. The subject being what we miss the most about our past male lives. This is what I wrote:

I really miss the alcoholic stupor’s, the hangovers, the massive depressions for weeks on end, the constant scowl on my face (that’s left it’s mark), the constant requirement to be what I’m not. I miss all that like I’d miss having holes drilled in my head. I can’t think of anything that I really miss about my former life to be honest. 

……. <thinks even harder> ……..

Nope, not a thing.

To be honest, there is really nothing I miss about being a man. Looking back, it seemed to be one day after another, all blurring into one another: Waking up with a hangover, going to work, coming home, drinking, going to bed drunk, waking up with a hangover. 26 years of it, interspersed with other things that, most of the time, I can barely remember. (There are certain things between ’96 and ’06 that I shall never forget). All this covered by a dusting of depression that became thicker over time. Much of the depression was caused by the alcohol, but at the same time it was exacerbating a depression that already existed.

Conformity is another thing that I do not miss. I have spent my life pretending to be something I am not and now I don’t have to. Simples.

(Told you this was going to be a short one)

I really can’t think of anything that I miss.





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