I have always admired long painted nails, I don’t know why because I grew up in a home where such things were considered only the domain of ‘strippers and whores’. My mother seldom even attempted makeup, except for funerals and weddings. So as to where my love of such things came from I have no idea, it was certainly not nurtured. I guess as gaga would say I was ‘born his way’.

As a kid when I had enough money saved I would secretly buy a copy of a magazine like cosmopolitan, while picking up the family newspaper, just so I could see all the beautiful girls and all the amazing hairstyles. These magazines gave my 70’s black and white world some colour and much needed glamour. The women on the glossy pages where like creatures from another planet to me, no one even remotely looked like them in my dull leafy suburbs. I guess I was about 16 when I started to subtly gender bend, I became obsessed with Madonnas original look, I’d wear fishnets under ripped jeans and a armful of bangles and chains. I guess looked more punk to everyone than I did fem, but I knew why I was wearing it and it had nothing to do with punks. I wouldn’t have dared to wear makeup or grow my nails in those days, even if most of the time that’s all I ever thought about doing.

Mixed messages on nails
For me Nails are like claws and claws equal power, however I know society in general doesn’t see it like that, because Men who have long nails are seldom viewed as strong and are more often ridiculed as being weak sissies. Personally I don’t have a problem with the tag sissy, but I know most men would be mortified to be given that label. Another disempowering sterotype of nails projected by the media when I was young, was that only lazy ‘bimbo’ women had them. I didn’t care what people thought or said, no amount of sexist slurs or feminist rants could ever put me off my love of long beautiful nails

Why I said no to the fake option
Fake nails look great, but as someone who is trying to catch up on decades of missed femininity , fake nails were not going to cut it. Growing my Nails was one of the few ‘feminine’ things I could actually do naturally it would be stupid not to give it a go. I’ve been growing my nails for about two months now and I guess they are about a month away from being the right length for me. While luckily my nails are rather strong, I’ve still had to change the way I do things everyday just to give them a chance of getting to this length.

Just one of my daily domestic engineering tasks. 

Protection is key
I have had to take to wearing gloves all the time I’m outside, no matter what I’m doing, the minute I walk out the front door on go the gloves. I’m a hands on type of person and one day of DIY and gardening, would see all my fledgling growth split or worse. I Wear thick black rubber gloves ( very torture garden) when I’m doing house work and just to make that time beneficial I fill the gloves up with hand softener, well better safe than sorry

My nails are protected and lubed daily ;). Even strong nails are not strong enough to be used as tools so everyday tasks like prising up loops on cans now require a tool usually my tiny pocket penknife (only carry if legal in your country). I will concede I may have to keep the thumb nail on my right hand shorter for a while till I figure out new ways to grip and rip packets and alike, for all of us new to fem life every day is a learning curve which we willingly (usually) signed up for.

My novice tips on nail care.
Ok so I’m not going to pretend in two months I figured out anything new on how to care for nails,but I will give you my tips that I believe have helped get me this far:

1. Use a nail hardener, some people say that some hardeners can actually weaken nails and make them brittle. I have not found that with the product I use which is Sally Hansen advanced ‘Hard as nails’
2. keep the nail rounded not square, I wanted long square nails, but the edges catch on everything since rounding them life has proved much easier.
3. Only File in one direction, Filing back and forth is definitely a no no.
4. I take all the hardener off once a week and soak the cleaned nails in vitamin E oil for about 5 minutes, then leave them to ‘take in some air’ for a few hours or overnight , but don’t to forget to put hardener back on.
5. Every day I put a couple od drops of the vitamin E oil down the back of the nails.. does this help ? I can not say but my nails are strong and healthy so I guess it’s not hurting.

au naturel – About a month from being long enough for me 

Once my nails have reached the length I want I will start to paint them. No matter what the current trend is I want to go with a chrome look which I think is ‘way cool’. if my mum was still alive she would of been so proud. NOT lol

So the truth is long nails are superficial and not very practical, but like high heels they look great and anyone who wears or grows them gets my full respect 🙂


So today I woke up with all the joys of spring (despite it snowing again), but then alas my world was saddened. My routine every morning for the last three years is to get up and go outside to visit our hand reared Jackdaw Egg (not a very original name I know)

For the longest time we thought Egg was a boy, but when she laid three eggs last summer we discovered that was wrong

This morning, I went about my normal routine to alas find her dead sitting on her very well constructed and warm nest. She passed in her sleep, I know not why, but it was a good way to go. I must confess my heart broke, not really because of her death, but her brave determination for life.

Egg almost died more than once when we 1st found her.

When we found her she was a fledgling near to death and not in a good way at all, over weeks and months we nursed her back to health. Hand feeding her, teaching her how to drink, bathe, and even fly.

She was a tough old bird, she loved nothing more than sitting on our shoulders while we sang to her, she would fluff herself up and say her customary ‘WHAT!’ the usual sound most jackdaws make. She, like all my animals was truly spoiled. I was not allowed to release her back into the wild as she was just too tame. So her aviary and adjoining shed was massive, with plenty of water, food, shelter and toys to amuse. While it would sadden me that she could never fly outside, she did have a very interesting, safe and loved life.

Many people I guess would not even understand why we would bother to try and care for this type of bird, but Jackdaws like most animals are far more interesting and intelligent than most people think. However it requires time and patience to understand any animal, two things many people sadly don’t possess.

I could not let her life and the joy she brought to us go without comment. May this post be a fitting tribute to this wonderful and often most overlooked of birds.

eggy2015 (1) copy
A picture I made of ‘EGG’ for Halloween 

You will always have a place in our heart my wonderful friend
Egg  Spring 2015 – March 2018


What is this blog all about ?

Well simply put I’m not a ‘woman’ on the outside or a ‘man’ on the inside. I’m Just trying to create my own unique place in this world and be happy like you. Everyone is different, It would be foolish to assume what works for one will work for another. To all you brave &  people who face the world in your own authentic way everyday, much love and respect.

So what is this blog all about ? Me just being Me everyday.

 Exhumea Deadheart

Note This is not a tutorial just an overview of what I used and why.
Many years ago i decided that i should be able to do as much as i can for myself, cost came into this decision, but it was mainly because I believe that self sufficiency builds character. Over the years I’ve done loads of things from teaching myself studio photography, to building an extension onto a home, building guitars, computers, fixing cars and doing everything about the house from installing kitchens to bathrooms myself.

So when I decided I wanted to get my ears pierced multiple times, after reading about the subject (Because reading is fundamental) I felt confident my wife and I could handle it. While there are a whole host of reasons people tell you not to pierce your own ears, the main one seems to revolve around hygiene and the sanitary environment a professional has to offer. I have to be honest and say that was exactly the reason I decided to pierce my ears at home. While I’m sure professional piercers take great pride in there cleanliness, I personally don’t know any of them from Adam, and I’ve certainly never met any of their hundreds of customers, adding human error into the mix and I’d personally rather take my chances with my own common sense and cleanness.

1) I am in no way saying professional piercers are not fit for purpose, I’m just saying I’m a clean freak and like to know where everything I’m holding, eating, wearing has been, hell I wear gloves most of the day, are you getting the picture lol
2) I’m not advocating that anybody else tries to do this themselves .

While I’m a jack(or Jill) of all trades and master of none, I know my skill set. However I have no clue of yours, so I will have to assume this would not be a good idea for you, as things can and do go wrong.

That said if you are a mature, methodical, practical adult that takes responsibility for their own actions then I should imagine that once you have done your own research, cross referenced a number of techniques and tutorials you to may decide to give it a go.

Before we started

What I used to pierce my ear.
It took about a week to get all the pieces together for this project here is my list:
6x hollow STERILE BODY PIERCING NEEDLES 18g which is approx 1 mm .
6x studs I used were Hypoallergenic Surgical Stainless Steel with a thickness of 0.8 mm(20 Gauge)
1 piercing clamp and 1 pair of sanitised gloves
1 bottle of Prontolind spray (an antiseptic and after care product for piercings )
Rubbing alcohol, a candle, a cork and cotton buds, alcohol wipes and a kettle to boil the water (note I already had that)

deadheartear2 copy

One ear at a time, sweet cheese sauce ( you have to be of a certain age to get that ) 🙂
I decided to do three holes in my right ear first then wait two weeks before doing the next three in the left. This was for a few reasons, even if you have all the confidence in the World this is stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before, you need to be focused calm and take it slow. After the first ear my wife was frazzled, while I had set everything up she had to push the needle through, as I did not believe I would be able to do it myself at the correct angle (which is important). To say she was freaking out at the idea of doing this was an understatement, but she did a great job and felt really pleased afterwards at what she had achieved. Also if like me you sleep on your side only piercing one side at a time gives you a chance to sleep on the opposite during the first delicate weeks. If my ear had fallen off I would still have the other one …see you never thought about that did you, that my friend is why you simply shouldn’t be doing this lol

The Needle and stud 

How I kept everything as clean as I possibly could while piercing.
As I was piercing metal objects through my poor unsuspecting earlobe, I didn’t think I could go overkill on the cleaning. I soaked the vacuum packed studs in boiling water, then in rubbing alcohol. Despite the needles being in ‘sanitised packs’ I wasn’t taking any chances, I sterilised them with the candle flame, then wiped them with rubbing alcohol and kept them in the alcohol until I needed them. Before piercing I sprayed the ears with the antiseptic and again once I put the studs in. Because the needles are hollow, you put the stud in the back end of the needle, the stud passes easily into the piercing as you draw the needle through your lobe, being careful not to stab your neck (hence the cork)

Pain, blood, after care and losing my ear lobe.
Out of the six holes only one presented me with a little discomfort, that was the one that bled all the rest were ok. I suppose it all depends on your pain threshold, the needles as you would expect are ultra sharp. The blood, as blood usually does looks worse than it is. Over 4 weeks on and I’ve had no infection, I use the prontolind spray twice a day (it goes a long way) and I’m sure that has helped keep everything healthy. I have to say I’m very happy with what we achieved.

I highly recommend needles over stud guns no matter if you are going to a store or doing it yourself. I remember back in the 80’s having my ear done in a shop with a stud gun, it took ages to heal. I think most people agree the guns deal more damage to the earlobe, as the studs are not as sharp as the needles and the impact is much greater.

Oh as for me losing my earlobe that didn’t really happen lol, wow you actually read this didn’t you , thanks .