I have the vague yet comforting sensation that a teddy bear has been stitched into my chest. I love it
I said I wasn’t going to mention it again — my new (fake) boob (the foob). I have to, because this week I met a reader who said she wasn’t clear, with my last column, if I was saying I had actually burned it or was just suggesting that anyone with a new foob could — so be careful. Well, yes, I did deliver a rather large, bad burn injury to myself. So, a warning to anyone having a reconstruction: remember, you have NO feeling in that new breast.
Mine has the vague sensation of a teddy bear having been stitched into my chest. It’s like I’ve a big comforting lump of toy stuffing where formerly was just the flat mastectomy scar. I love it: it’s weird, but a ‘happy’ weird compared to the cancer reminder of what was there. As regards the look of it, it’s been completely bandaged over for the last few weeks, because of the burn and because I’ve had an ongoing issue with a thing called skin necrosis on the underside: basically, a largish strip of the skin transplanted from my stomach hasn’t taken. It’s dead, or dying, and the body is forming new skin tissue beneath — fingers crossed. I peek at it when the bandages are changed and overall I’d call the look of the breast zombie special effects. It’s a shocker. And that’s an understatement. I read somewhere that you should think of the reconstruction as a process — I’m only at the beginning of that process. The plastics team in St James’s Hospital are very reassuring and I’ve had to take a chill pill about these extra hiccups and additional possible interventions (i.e. surgery or skin grafts) that may be involved. I’m still unambiguously, 100 per cent happy I had this operation. A lot of which has to do with that excellent hospital, it has to be said.
I was tweeting about the whole thing, until my tiny tweet pics ended up very much larger in a few newspapers, and I thought no. This isn’t right. So I stopped. Your boobs, even if it’s just the medical reality of your new foob, shouldn’t be plastered huge everywhere.
Changing the subject: isn’t that right, Rihanna? Thank goodness her O2 concert is finally done with, and all those big, brazen, bare-boob posters of the entertainer will disappear. It wasn’t the bareness, so much as the confrontational mien on her face that went with it, I found objectionable. I don’t want my nine-year-old niece, or any other little girls, seeing such images of femaleness. It was hard not to see them, and Rihanna being a handsome superstar, her image has added influence and impact. There was a tiny bit of modesty in the poster image, of course — a strategically placed elbow preserving it over one breast, a word splattered over the other for the same effect: Unapologetic. Rihanna entered the consciousness of someone like me when she made headlines by being beaten to a pulp by her then boyfriend, Chris Brown, whom she subsequently left, got back with, was going to marry, and now isn’t talking to.
Hey, Rihanna, I couldn’t help thinking, every time I saw the hideous neo-porn of that poster, that the notion of apology or otherwise in your public narrative shouldn’t lie with you. It should be the preserve of someone else. Guess who. He who seems to have garnered more than a little marketing kudos out of being a woman-beater. How about you find and express strength in other ways, beginning with putting some clothes on when you flog your musical wares?
As fairy tales, common expectation, and even the good old nuns would have told you, women who respect themselves, remain fully dressed in public, are well-turned- out, mannerly, politely spoken, feminine, sophisticated and a dab hand at turning out tea for two, or four courses for 20, are the type that deserve and get the crème de la crème of men. And, if Fate bestows, they are additionally beautiful, well-bred, talented, famous and possessed of a self-knowing sense of humour to add fizzle to their conversation... well, the fine gentlemen they finally settle for will likely be just that — fine and gentle.
a chap whose idea of emphasising a point is to grab you by the neck like you’re a turkey and Christmas is coming. What a shocker that was. He might be an art collection, a zillionaire, a pillar of the establishment, but, boy, what a thug. In my feminista reimagining of the sequence of photos of Nigella and Charles that appeared everywhere, at the end she dips into her handbag, her hand emerges with a boxing glove and she biffs him a hook that knocks him sideways while observing (onlookers later revealed), ‘Don’t you ever dare do that again… you OAP bully.’ That’s what I would call acceptable confrontation.
Finally, have to squeeze in a quick word about Kim K and Kanye West’s baby name. A girl called North, surname West? North West. My first thought? When she grows up, she can pass the name on, call her child North, by North West; then, I was thinking, it’s a bit like if Rosanna Davison had a child and called her Harley, or Anne Doyle had a boy and called him Bal, or you know — you could go on and on with this, if you hadn’t reached the end for this week…