The Cutting Season*

“Hello Tanya,” my plastic surgeon says, beaming his huge smile.  “How are you?” “It’s been ages,” I say, smiling back at him, sitting at the desk opposite him.  “It’s nice to see you.” “Have you been keeping well?” He says. “So, I’ve got to have some more surgery,” I say.   “Yes, I’ve been talking […]

How’s The Pain?

Current Physical Complaints: 1. Upper back pain – probably from sitting at office computer for two solid days: there’s a reason why I don’t go to work too often. 2. Headache – presumably from staring at screen for two days. See above. 3. Aching in thighs – from working legs in training, therefore good pain […]

In Bruges

Have a Date tonight: first one for a couple of weeks. Am nervous as he looks absolutely gorgeous in his photos. He’s half-Belgian/half-Danish: lots of shaggy brown hair, great cheekbones, wide mouth with naughty grin, hazel eyes. He’s not a Bright Young Thing either: this one is forty. A man of Experience. Works in telecoms […]

Sparkling Cyanide

“How are you, Tanya?” My plastic surgeon says, beaming his big smile as I sit across the desk from him. Mum is sitting next to me. “OK, I think,” I say. This is the first time I’ve seen him this year. He looks jolly, as usual. It always cheers me up to see him. “So, […]

Queen’s Gambit

“You like Magnus Carlsen, nice!” The Tinder message flashes across my screen. It’s from a new Bright Young Thing, age 31, so not even very young. He’s got brown hair and blue eyes. Good cheekbones. “I do,” I reply. “The red dress in your picture is very nice. Do you play chess?” He says. Ah. […]

Our Day Out

“You know, we’ve been coming here for nearly thirty years,” Mum says. We’re at a pizza restaurant round the corner from the museums, sitting outside in December because it’s not too cold as long as we keep our coats on. It’s our Family Day Out: all four of us. “When I used to bring you […]

Last Drain To Clarksville

Let’s liven things up with a list: 1. Drain is still in. It hurts where the tube issues from my right side. Hopefully this is a good sign that healing is taking place as it doesn’t look infected. 2. Plastic surgery nurse will have a look later today anyway and will either remove drain or […]

Blackbird

“So, Tanya, how has your mood been?” Dr Stein my psychiatrist says – pen poised over my notes. “Well, actually I think it’s lifted a bit,” I say. “You certainly seem a bit brighter,” he says. He’s wearing a cashmere sweater – the same bright blue as his eyes. “Maybe the tramadol is lifting my […]

After Darwin

If only the chaps could see me now. This is what am wearing: 1. Hospital pants: knitted, white and enormous 2. Post-operation socks: to prevent thrombosis – white, knee-high, hole underneath toes 3. Black secret-support top 4. Drain tube dangling from right side Arjen has gone to the Galapagos without me. His Facebook page is […]

Something In The Way

“That’s enough water,” Mum says, turning the bath taps off. I’m sitting in the bath and the drain bottle is on the floor. The water covers my thighs but the dressings are all down my right side and mustn’t get wet. Turning over, I lie on my left side and feel the warm water wash […]