Listening to Radio 4’s Weekend Woman’s Hour earlier, a lady came on talking about the ladies who knitted socks and underwear for the soldiers in World War One. Literally millions of pairs of socks were knitted. It was a really interesting interview. She mentioned that sometimes, when the soldiers received their socks, they were so badly knitted that they unpicked them and re knitted them themselves! Near the end of the interview she was speaking about the time she spends in nursing homes. She takes in various items of World War One memorabilia and leads a reminiscing session. What a brilliant idea! We all need a prompt to converse sometimes: awkward cocktail parties (like I go to those all the time), weddings when you are an ex-girlfriend of the groom, so the bride has sat you next to the social retard and so on. Just pop an item out of your clutch bag, let’s say a lipstick and talk about it.
Anyway, the interviewer asked for the best story the lady had heard from someone about a string vest and it prompted a boob story. Every woman over the age of 18 has a boob story. I have a boob story – more of that later. Apparently, this very old lady in the nursing home had almost fallen off her chair telling her boob story: it was about her mother, who used to always wear a hand knitted string vest under her clothes. This particular chilly morning, the milkman rang the doorbell to be paid. She popped her dressing gown on over her string vest, answered the door and chatted a while. As she walked back down the corridor having shut the front door, she caught sight of herself in the mirror and noticed to her horror, that her dressing gown had slipped open, revealing her string vest and her chilly, pert nipples each poking through a hole. The milkman hadn’t said a word.
This reminded me of my own boob story, that took place in Bournemouth when daughter 4 was but 3 months old. I was on holiday with my sister in a caravan with 5 kids under 5 – one of those holidays that you go on, when you have no money but you have to get away or you will commit murder. Luckily, I had the foresight to pack a bottle of gin – we got through it. The final photo of the holiday was of my sister, standing outside the caravan in the pissing rain, miming pulling a noose around her neck. In fact, the boob story was the highlight of the holiday. We had one day of sunshine and decided to make the most of it by heading to the beach, where a fairly pleasant and uneventful time was had by all. For lunch we decided to do a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet. The problem being, that five kids under 5 eat their egg fried rice in a jiffy, so we left them all playing in the disabled toilet, where we could (almost) keep an eye on them, while we ate ours. We then headed off to the park, where there was a very enthusiastic children’s entertainer doing a free show in a large tent. We went and watched. At this point my sister abandoned me, with the excuse of needing to buy something in town. The entertainer had whacked on the disco music and was encouraging everyone to dance. I thought, why the bloody hell not, I’ve got nothing else to do, so I joined in with gusto: Agadoo, the Conga, all the old favourites. ‘The mum’s are having fun today’ the entertainer cheerfully boomed out over the PA system, catching my eye and giving me a wink. Eventually, I dragged the kids away. There was no sign of my sister, so we walked through the park, packed with people, struggling with a pram and four little sprogs, to track her down. At this point my flip flop broke, so by the time I saw her approaching me in the distance, I was walking in bare feet. When she got to us, I could see that she was pulling a weird face and I was about to explain why I had nothing on my feet, when she pointed to my chest. ‘Why is your tit hanging out?’ She asked me, as if I might have been doing it on purpose. I looked down and was absolutely horrified to see that my right boob had completely freed itself from my top. No wonder the entertainer was being so enthusiastic, I thought to myself.
That night, my sister and I laughed. We laughed so much that we almost fell off our seat and boy, did we need a laugh. There’s really nothing better than a good boob story – what’s yours?