Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Golly, I end up talking about boobs quite often, don't I?

One of those "Mate, you are clearly having a giraffe" moments...

I read this...

Now Angelina Jolie is a bit of a divisive figure for some people, but not for me. She is an incredible advocate for victims of sexual violence in Africa for the UN and truly does use her fame to the benefit of the disenfranchised. She also seems pretty determined to dance to the beat of her own drum.

I like that in a person.

Her openness about her decision to have a double mastectomy is brilliant. My ghast is also truly flabbered that she worked through all this without a word to anybody.

What irks me are comments like this one...

love to Angelina, but if the cure to breast cancer is that woman have to get their breasts removed before they get cancer, we are in trouble

Where do I start?

An individual woman with a "highly-unlikely-to-not-be-life-threatening" gene mutation decides to have a radical procedure that will (unless she's hit by a bus mid op...) improve her life expectancy. The writers' assumption with this statement is that we're all going to start cutting our norks off willy-nilly because we're frightened of getting cancer. An 87% risk of developing breast cancer is a pretty compelling  reason to have a mastectomy.

(See also "Why do women have preventative surgery?" - I'm looking at you, HuffPo).

The wimmins are not a homogenous mass, solely defined by hair colour, "hotness" and breast size. Please get this into your pathetic noggin.

There is nothing whimsical about making the decision to have a double mastectomy.  The BRCA gene test was only made more widely available in the last 7 or 8 years, and this discovery offers a real life line to families whose mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and aunts have died at far too young an age, or lived under the threat of a early painful death. Good treatments for diseases don't exactly fall fully formed from the sky. I once knew someone who had a full mastectomy and reconstruction aged 21, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. I think she'd rather have been on the lash, don't you?

I mean, what can be more selfish that not wanting your family (and children if you have them) to see you dying slowly and far too soon? And not living in fear that one day you're going to find a lump when you're idly showering? Having to tell your kid that, you're very sick, or that you are going to die?

Personally, I'd take the op. The ladies aren't having the boobies cut off to upset you, capiche?

*Previous breasty ruminations can found here...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Special K "How I've changed" challenge)


This is a new one for me, but those nice people at BritMums pointed me at the chance of free cereal, and I thought "Cool! Food!. People who say that I am motivated by my stomach are talking *nonsense...

*the truth

The new 3 grain Special K is actually really nice, not that I expected it to taste like wood shavings sprinkled with wee, but by comparison to the old variety, I definitely prefer the new one. The flavour is nuttier and rounder. I also think it was a bit more satisfying. I know I wasn't lasciviously ogling the digestives before 11am. To put that into context, because I have a 16 month old who gets up at the dawn of crack I eat early most of the time, then wonder why I'm ready to season my own left arm by 9.30am. I think that qualifies as two thumbs approval from me. And not just because it was a freebie.

Initially I thought "Yeah, writing about "#SpecialK30 How I've changed" will be a doodle". After all, I was 11-going-on-12 30 years ago, I'm going to have changed a bit obviously. What became apparent the more I thought about it was that, yes, there have been changes - like puberty (which is a biggy) but it's not like I've changed beyond all recognition. It's evolution, not the radical change that I'd imagined.

Believe it or not, the only photo I could find of myself from 1983 I was wearing a mask (and in fairness, I didn't have time to harass my relatives to find another) but here's one age 10 that will give you an idea of the material we're dealing with.

Not unattractive, but not in the least girly, and a bit haphazard...note the *jaunty* collars and the pink "Nashers" - NHS Specs....nuff said.  Duran Duran,  Ultravox, The Police, horses, trampolining and reading rocked my world. I was hopeless at the "being feminine" stuff and in fairness, I probably still am. I now know which bits work for me, and how to accommodate for the things I would rather keep hidden.

Age 40+ and...
...the smile is the same, the light in my eyes in the same.

 It's just that I've got better specs, have discovered straighteners and boobs (having developed some), but you'll notice there's still a strange cowlick carry one trying to assert itself. The bands have moved on, and horses and trampolining have been replaced by other stuff but fundamentally things aren't as different as I imagined they'd be at the time. I wasn't going to do kids or marriage for starters. Uh oh. That said, best of all, I'm less self conscious which works a bit like someone taking a heavy weight from my chest.

I think the question is more "what have I learned?" rather than "how have I changed?".

So what have I learned?
  1. Despite the fact I'm probably twice the weight I was at that age (I was 2nd shortest in my class and very active), I now *know* what I look like, and with not-epic amounts of TLC I can make myself look quite respectable. I thought my edges were significantly different to what they actually were.
  2. I now trust my body. After all, I've done some awesome things with it.
  3. That if a bloke likes the same bands as you, it just means that they like the same bands as you. They are not your soul mate, unless of course they actually are...see next point but one.
  4. If you are having misgivings about marrying someone, best to acknowledge that to yourself *before* you get married....#justsaying
  5. However sometimes Mr "Old Flame"was the right one all along, step forward Mr D x
  6. Depression is something you can fight.
  7. Do the study you were meant to do, rather than ballsing it up and having to do it later, it's much easier.
  8. Be nice to yourself.
Getting older, choosing to be happy, doing some stuff that scares you like becoming a parent or throwing yourself down a mountain...it's what changing is all about.

Plus I must be growing up, I've completed a deadline 90 minutes before it was due to be handed in...see point 7..... :D

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It was detestable in the 80's, it was detestable at the time.

The cropped top.

Why is this abomination back in fashion when only the very slim and very young can wear them, and most of them don't because some ass hat is likely to judge them and their body shape? Or that it's inappropriate because they're 13? Or it's cold?

Inevitably everything goes through the Northumbrian "Will I freeze me bits off later on?" filter...have you noticed?

Snowy madness

And thus I am in France, tired of limb and slightly afraid of cheese.

(I posted this one sentence BACK IN MARCH BTW while on a skiing holiday, on the worlds' shittest wifi, in an apartment above a night club and below a lot of youthful ski bums with a propensity for playing football in a room the size of a matchbox and only spotted it now in amongst my drafts).

In many ways I'm quite proud of myself about that trip, because I did a decent amount of skiing and I only cried about four times in abject terror. For those of you who actually know me IRL, and thus have probably seen some photos, I'm a nervy intermediate skier so "ye olde snow plough" is out quicker than a Howard Webb yellow card as soon as I get the fear. I didn't fall over all that much but that's because I'm paranoid about crashing.

So firstly, I love going to France, if I could foxtrot oscar anyway, that would be my first point of call.

Secondly, tired of limb...

It's been a real confidence boost that I've made this squidgy, scarred, injured thing I call my body do some really quite tough things, and keep doing them for a couple of hours. Over a number of days. And not be immobile afterwards. It also makes me very happy that muscle memory exists because I had a couple of really good days (and a couple of short ones - but always best to respect the limbs, though it pains me to admit it) where it flowed and I genuinely felt like I was flying. I can't help thinking though that I'm incredibly lucky considering how long it's taken to recover from having Mini D (c-section, SPD that didn't bugger off immediately post-birth)  injuries sufficiently nasty enough to involve extended periods of immobility and activity curtailment, weight, age and all that other shizzle. I can do it, though sometimes it hurts, and I want to be better at it, and I want to show my kid that just because of all of the above it doesn't mean you've got to give up.

Thirdly, slightly afraid of cheese.

The bright green pesto stuff they sell in the market in Val Tho.

Alpine food - Studio 54 for the cheese addict, I kid you not. *swoon*.

Thank FSM for plant sterols.

And I travelled to altitude with a small child and lived, but more of that later.