I made it to IMATS. There were a number of things that I intended to mention in this post, but having had a rather big weekend, I'm not sure that I'll remember them all!
As planned, I drove to Wahroonga, caught a train to Town Hall station and walked to Darling Harbour. I didn't wear a 1950s style outfit because I haven't yet bought a suitable handbag. I did, however, decide to do a vaguely 1950s eyeliner and a 1940s 3-roll hairdo (the same style as I wore to the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival but unfortunately it didn't turn out anywhere nearly as well as it did last time).
In spite of the fact that I didn't get out between the last outing that I posted about and IMATS, I didn't have a confidence problem. In fact, if anything, Saturday's outing to IMATS showed me that I have my inner f... you, as Linda Karen calls it, in spades.
Quite a bit of the time, I knew that I wasn't passing and I really didn't care. Nobody confronted me, and beyond some laughter in the background at Town Hall station that I have no idea if it was even directed at me, I wasn't even aware of anything more overt than people looking at me funny.
The only person that I bumped into who I already knew from Beauty Heaven and Facebook was Caitlin, who I first met at the First (and so far only) Newcastle Beauty Heaven Meet-up.
I also had an interesting conversation with a makeup artist from Mayfield (a suburb of Newcastle) whose opening words to me were "I read your blog!" She then went on to joke that she had been stalking me on my blog, reading the various stories and, in particular, mentioning that she thought that I was talking about the Mayfield Subway restaurant in my posts about going to Subway en femme. I informed her that no, I was actually talking about the Cardiff one (yes, this is the first time I've mentioned which one it is). My memory for names is shocking and unfortunately I've forgotten her name but I'm hoping that she'll contact me and let me know. The photo above was taken by stalker. :-P
The shoes I wore while travelling were the mustard joggers that I wore when a group of us went to the Estee Lauder staff shop back in 2011. I also wore ankle socks over my pantihose because those shoes really don't suit wearing without socks. The heels that I took with me and wore while I was in the venue were the orange suede Tony Bianco stilettos that I bought at about the same time as the dress, and have worn with the same outfit before.
Remembering last year, I took both a knitted lap rug and a cardigan. I also read the program before the event and planned which presentations I wanted to see. Because I decided to get up at 4:45 (45 minutes later than 2011 but 15 minutes earlier than last year) and took longer getting ready than I had anticipated, I arrived part way through the Eliza Campagna / Dana Nye presentation and decided to skip it and wander around the stands instead. I went to the Rae Morris presentation, which was on the main stage.
After grabbing some lunch, I had just about decided to give up and head home. I changed my shoes back, and then decided to do something that I've avoided on all previous outings. With all of the underwear that I wear to achieve a reasonable simulation of a female shape, I basically have to strip below my bra to use the toilet, then dress again afterwards. As you might imagine, that can be a time consuming process. As it turned out, many of the exhibition halls were empty, so there were a group of toilets far enough away from IMATS to be quite quiet, which included a disabled toilet. Using my wheeled case as a table, I stripped off, did what I had to, and dressed again as quickly as I could while still taking time to make sure that everything was how it should be.
I then changed my mind about heading home, and went back in. I sat down to watch Eve Pearl's presentation on the open forum stage, and realised that this was where the cardigan and lap rug were needed. The main stage has partition walls most of the way around, which help to control the cold air that blows through, whereas the open forum is cold and draughty as I noted last year.
I stayed to watch the presentation of the student competition, wandered around the stands a final time then headed home.
On the way home, I decided to put fuel in my car before I drove home, as I didn't want to have to get off the freeway on the trip home and knew that I didn't have enough fuel. Big mistake, and one I won't make again. It was only a couple of kilometres to the service station, but when I got there, there were cars queued 3 to 4 deep for every bowser. Because my car runs on LPG, I was able to be very cheeky and, when the car in front finally made it to the petrol bowser, I was able to park within about 20cm (8 inches) of that car and use the LPG bowser at the same time. I'd already parked and was opening the fuel door on my car when the guy got out, walked to the back of his car, realised that he couldn't walk between them and walked around the front instead. Once I'd paid for the fuel (using my male credit card with no issue), I had to drive around several back streets to get back to the highway just a few metres the other side of the service station.
On the plus side, I was very aware that I really didn't care what others at the service station might have thought. On the minus side, the whole fuel exercise added over 30 minutes to my trip, whereas getting fuel on the way out of Newcastle would have added 10 minutes at most.