Bog off, Mildred

Apologies may be needed for not telling the full story the other week, but back then it wasn’t time to worry, and I still refuse to believe that worrying will help now. Sadly there is an unwelcome guest in our midst and my friend’s husband has christened her Mildred*; she’s extremely thick skinned, has already outstayed her welcome and she will definitely be sent packing shortly.

When my friend and I met for art and champagne in London the other week, Mildred had already reared her head, but as friend hadn’t received biopsy results at that point, there was no way we were inviting Mildred to join us for Bolly. We toasted her, but it was in a, ‘get the hell out of here,’ capacity, not in a worry wart and fearful way.

Friend kept busy that week, waiting for the results, and blitzing any potential cancer cells with medicinal gin. I think she even baked a fruit cake.

Having mentored some Year 11 girls closely throughout their school life, it didn’t surprise me in the least to hear that friend then delayed her medical update around collection of GCSE results; the girls came first and she was going to open that envelope with them regardless of any advice to put herself first. Typically, when she later texted me with the white coat verdict, she apologised for dampening my day, as if I had more important issues to deal with. She then asked me to hold the blog because she didn’t want to dampen any colleagues’ holidays and insisted on waiting until term started to share her news.

Friend and I go back a long way and I know we will go forward with the same longevity. I don’t know this because I’ve suddenly developed some oncological super power, but I know with certainty that Mildred has met her match in terms of positivity, grit and pragmatism. Mildred is going to get a proper roasting.

More gin may be needed, and fortunately I did my yoga training with an excellent gin supplier** (makes flexibility so much easier), so we’ve got this one in the bag.

I also know that friend has the best ‘Bog Off Mildred’ team around her. Her husband texted me, ‘Mildred can go do one’, and I heartily agree. Thankfully he’s not a big drinker, so if gin cocktails are needed, we can certainly draft him in as an ambulatory responsible adult. Likewise, her sons are match fit for this journey; she won’t want any assistance, for – when sober – she’ll be driving from the front, but her lads have an excellent pedigree and will know instinctively when to step in. I’m hoping they will advise me (I’m hoping it’s as a drinking partner and supplier of dark humour because, without wishing to brag,  I’m quite good in both capacities).

I have this picture in my head of how their meeting with the specialists went. Friend and husband will have been the only ones in the waiting room tanned, flip flopped,wearing shorts and making irreverant  jokes. Surgeon will have quickly realised who was taking charge and that they would have no time to entertain Mildred as a house guest. Friend will have left with a wadge of paperwork because if she has to take Mildred on in a Mastermind challenge, she’ll research and prep properly. She’ll also win. Fact.

When we speak to discuss how the meeting actually went we discuss the important issues friend has raised around a lumpectomy – namely, will she still be able to wear a bikini and can her scheduled sky dive go ahead.

Thankfully the answer is yes on both counts so naturally we then default to some tasteless bantering about the surgeon’s reflections on ‘cosmetic surgery’. Friend is excited to hear that his needlework is so good that she’ll be ‘lifted’ and looking very pert on one side. (I think this is little disingenuous on his part, because I’ve always been very envious of friend’s pert décolletage, full stop). We chuckle that in the future she’ll be able to copy our students, and adopt a selfie pose that always selects her best side. We then take the banter way too far and decide that when she goes to a scheduled ball this autumn, she could choose a dress that showcases her best boob – asymmetrical dressing is in this season, but I feel we may be taking this a tad too far for a guest list she doesn’t yet know. Point is, there is always an up side, and it may just be in the bust region.

Personally I’m more worried about the sky dive. I know she must be too, because although her parents know about the lumpectomy – spoiler alert coming – she hasn’t yet shared news about her scheduled falling from an aeroplane. I’m also worried because there’s been no news on my own sky dive muppetry and I’ve been keeping quiet in the hope that it will go away. I know friend will rumble me if mine gets cancelled, and get me booked onto her’s –  I’m signed up to be in her ‘band of brothers’ so it may just have to be tandem jump.

Gin and fruitcake anyone?

* Apologies to anyone called Mildred
*Shetland Reel


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