Bra battles

There’s a woman in South Derbyshire apparently who has persuaded Ann Summers to stock mastectomy bras in their lingerie lines.

Not before time.  I hear many a breast cancer survivor bemoaning the fact that you can’t get surgery-friendly sexy underwear anywhere for love nor money.

In theory, having had a reconstruction, I could wear any bra, but in reality anything underwired is bloody uncomfortable so I stick to the mastectomy models, of which there are few.

Marks and Spencers is about the best, but I had a mini strop in there the other day because although they do have some quite pretty post-surgery bras with, it’s claimed, knickers to match, they never seem to have my size or if they do the rest of the range is kept half way across the shop floor so you have to traipse miles only to discover they don’t in fact have the pants to match which is, well, pants.

Still, you do get let off VAT on mastectomy bras…. there has to be an upside!


Animal magic










If I didn’t know better I’d say Max is Oscar reincarnated in canine form.

Apart from both being gorgeous our new doggy companion and Oscar (deceased) have a lot in common:

  • Putting teethmarks in books
  • Wrapping themselves round people’s limbs
  • Tripping people up on their way down stairs
  • Giving humans a playful nip
  • Flirting with visitors
  • Being utterly unfazed by new people and situations

I even called Max “Oscar’ the other day by mistake and he came running.

Meanwhile I’m thankful February is drawing to a close because I’ve been afflicted throughout by various ailments, the latest being a cold virus which has kept me awake coughing for the past five nights. Thank God winter’s nearly over. Roll on spring.


I’ve had dealings this week with people high-up in the hotel chain where my gym is based after a hotel guest exposed himself to me at the side of the pool. When later questioned by a policeman he claimed his shorts had ‘fallen down’ but the CCTV footage proved otherwise.

According to Home Office statistics 12.8% of women in the UK have been flashed at some point in their lives. I’m surprised it’s not higher. It’s happened to me four times!

The first time was in 1987 when Jules and I were in Portugal. We were wandering round the ruins of Sintra as it was getting dark when I saw the man. Realising there was nobody else there except him and us, we legged it quickly to the car.

Flasher number 2 was hiding in the bushes as I walked through University Park on my way to work in about 1994. He later did the same to a plain-clothes WPC and got convicted. Seems he was a regular there.

Number three was more recently on the canal-bank when we were on the boat. John was steering, facing forwards, and I was at the back, facing backwards when I saw the guy on the tow-path. John didn’t see him.

And number four was the poolside flasher. He was with two mates on a stag weekend, and acting like he was still drunk from the night before. First he mooned at me, then took his trunks off and turned round – giving me a full frontal view. I was furious. I shouted : “excuse me there’s a f***ing changing room you know,” told him his behaviour was totally unacceptable in a public place, and he ran away. The hotel is reviewing its procedures.

Fund razor



One good thing about November is that men across the globe are sprouting moustaches in an effort to raise money for cancer research.

Movember is a month-long campaign aimed at raising funds and awareness for prostrate cancer.

So if you notice normally clean-shaven men going round looking like Charlie Chaplin or Salvador Dali – chances are they’re Mo Bros.

Spare a thought for them – and maybe a quid or two – they are risking their sartorial reputations for the cause!



JP hit the big five-oh this week. We celebrated with family, food and fireworks, oh and champagne and cake as well.

I won’t be far behind him. It’s a milestone I approach with trepidation. Fifty seems so final somehow, but it’s probably all in the mind. I remember when I was approaching my 30th birthday feeling as though the world was ending, but once I’d passed that hurdle life just got better and better. Let’s hope it continues..

Meanwhile the lurgy lingers on, leaving me feeling low and exhausted. And it’s November – my least favourite month, the time of year when the SAD sets in. Having said that the weather’s been mostly mild and and the Autumn colours are beautiful.

All the world’s a stage

For years Rob has been banging on about Shakespeare. He didn’t write the plays, allegedly – he was illiterate. And for those in the know there’s lot of evidence and clues which point to this. There’s been many a pub debate about it in which those of an intellectual disposition get animated and I yawn into my cider. And for years I’ve said to him ‘whatever!’ If he could prove it that would be something, but if it’s just conspiracy theory then it’s boring.

Now someone’s made a film about it. And I’ve just seen a trailer at the cinema and it looks good!

Just been to see the Woody Allen movie – Midnight in Paris. Predictable but pleasant, and I like any movie that has nice shots of Paris.

Doing a charity ‘highway hobble’ on Sunday – running (well, jogging slowly) for 10 km on a newly tarmacked stretch of the A46, not yet open to traffic. Furthest I’ve run since the big C. Wish me luck!

Indian summer

I like extending the summer by heading off to sunnier climes in September, and usually returning to the UK you feel a distinct autumnal chill. Not so this time, It’s been as hot here as it has been in Greece! What’s going on? I’ve been sunbathing today in the garden in October!

Greece was gorgeous. We stayed in a stone cottage half way up a mountain with stunning views across the Messinian bay. In the morning we were greeted by the sound of donkeys braying, cockerels crowing and the bell from the village church chiming. The sea was warm, the wine slipped down like nectar and with no telly or internet it felt a world apart. Bliss.

After last year’s chemo-enforced staycation it has been wonderful to be able to get away three times this year. Back to the grind tomorrow but you know what they say, best way to beat the back-to-work blues – book another holiday! Hmmm, where to next?

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