Aimee Horton



“WHAT are they?  …and why do I suddenly want chicken?”

Oh crap.  These were the immortal words that froze my champagned New Year’s self after I’d drunkenly kicked off my shoes and flung out my fillets.  Reaching into my bra I had unthinkingly yanked out the uplifting chickeny wonders and dropped the boob boosters with a resounding slap onto the coffee table.  And there they sat, a pair of rubbery secrets unashamedly glaring at us both.  How he explained my ample chest and how it had become such, I fear he didn’t question, passing it off as some Christmas miracle.  And as it was New Year’s Eve I was merry in a fog of bubbles and dancing, it didn’t cross my mind to try and preserve the magic.  I just whipped them out.  I looked at him, a little deflated (literally) and he laughed.  I laughed.  He wasn’t bothered; he was hungry and wanted chicken.    I wasn’t embarrassed, it was practicality, I didn’t fill my dress so I added a bit of oomph.  I spent my teenage years constantly worried about the size of my bee stings and I can assure you that positive thinking and “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” mantra does naff all.  Now, at the grand old age of 27, I couldn’t give a sod if I’ve been a bit short changed in the boob region and if a top or dress has a bit of a saggy chest hammock, then a bra or fillet will sort that out.  Was this epiphany a mature realisation?  Have I become empowered, learnt to love myself and not care about such trivialities?  Course not.  I found a lump.


I don’t know how I found it but I did.  A hard pea of a lump sat under the skin.  So I did what we all (ahem) would do.  I ignored it.  Probably for about 6 months, maybe more, I pretended it wasn’t there because it would disappear of its own accord.  Except the bloody thing didn’t.  So I told my mum who packed me off to the doctors (who shouted because I should have been there 6 months ago) and once I was sufficiently frightened, she packed me off to the breast clinic.  One big needle, a lot of tears and a relieved call later I was told I had a blocked milk duct.  Thank Christ for that.  The doctor will be in touch to drain it they told me.  He wasn’t and that was a-ok with me.  It could just sit there and when it was ready it would disappear.


Two years later it hadn’t disappeared, it had got bigger.  Changed shape too.  The unwelcome little invader had morphed from a frozen pea to a broad bean and I didn’t like it.  I wasn’t going to leave it another 6 months; I needed to go to the doctor’s about the lump in my boob and the fear in my stomach.  Off I went to the breast clinic where I had another ultrasound and heard the doctor say, “Ooh that’s definitely not a blocked milk duct”.  *cue hysteria*  I had kittens, they deciphered my high pitched panic and reassured me as well as they could that it didn’t look sinister.  I had a biopsy but they were pretty sure it was a fibroadenoma, a benign (brace yourself) tumour, so they gave me a leaflet about it.  A week later it was confirmed, I had a ‘breast mouse’.  A non-cancerous blob of tissue that had joined forces with other blobs of tissue and was quite happy just sitting there.  It might go, it might not, but it was fine.  So there it stayed.


Four years later I lost some weight, enough weight to shrink my bee stings to mosquito bites which meant my lump was nearer to the skin.  I was more aware of it than I had been for the past 6 years so planned to nip down to the GP, get the nurse to pop it out in between her verruca freezing and injection giving, et voila!  I’d be lump free therefore eliminating the risk of it being mistaken for my actual boob.  Off I skipped to the doctor and expected to skip off just as quickly, nurse de-lumping appointment in hand.  Instead I was fast tracked to the breast clinic.  Again.   Another ultrasound, another biopsy but this time no “it looks fine”.  They were concerned.  Shit.  I hadn’t signed up for this, I just wanted the little bleeder removing, I hadn’t agreed to concerned consultants and whispers behind the curtain.  It was hard, immovable and had got bigger.  It was now 12mm and the surrounding tissue was dense, too dense.  All of these things?  Not too good.  I was 25, I was young, too young for the word I’m skirting around.  Nope, not necessarily and if I had got the big C, my age would be against me.  Cells work quickly when you’re young, the good ones AND the bastard bad ones.  So if it was sinister, we needed to get a wiggle on to stop it in its tracks.


The biopsy was inconclusive.  The tissue had been too dense for them to be 100% certain that they’d actually managed to get a sample from the lump itself.  They reviewed my case; they called me at home and told me they wanted to operate as soon as possible.  Sorry, what?  Erm, I’m in my final year at uni, I’m embroidering vintage fabrics, my biggest concern is that I’ve run out of thread, I’ve no room for any of this “we can’t remove it via keyhole in case further surgery is required” malarkey.  Except I had to.


I went into hospital (make up and nail varnish-less, Christ, kick a girl when she’s down…) and decided that no, I wasn’t happy about this operation business.  It wasn’t helped by the surgeon’s “I don’t know how long it will take, it depends how bad it is when I get in there” surmise.  Operation?  General anaesthetic?  Consent forms saying I won’t be miffed if my nipple falls off?  Get stuffed.  I was going to get off that bed, push past matey in his scrubs, and then I just had to get pa-


When I woke up I was groggy, lump free and desperate to get outta there.  They wouldn’t let me leave until I’d eaten.  Bring me the toast and the marmalade!  My oxygen levels were up, I’d eaten and I’d be back in a week for my results.  I went home and rang the hospital every day, despite being told repeatedly that the results normally take two weeks and that I was lucky to be getting them in a week, when I came to see the consultant.  Pah!  I needed to know there and then.  I needed to know NOW.  After the longest week in the history of the world ever, it was results day.  I sat in a waiting room full of other frightened ladies, I was the youngest there and when I saw the consultant he told me straight away, I was fine.


I burst into tears.  I was fine.  How could I be fine?  I’d got myself braced for the worst, I’d done enough Google research I was virtually qualified and I was fine?  I left the hospital in a state of sobbing disbelief (six lumpy years does that to a girl).  I was lucky.  The luckiest girl in the world and from what the consultant said, it had been fifty fifty.  It could have gone either way and who knows where or even if I’d be sat writing this right now if the story had ended differently.    It was a shock to the system, a bloody big booby wakeup call and a reminder to always Coppafeel, whatever age you are.  As October nears and we’re encouraged to be tickled pink and all that jazz, I’d point anyone in the direction of their doctor if they’ve got even a spec of concern.  I’ve got a spec of a chest but I don’t care.  They’re a healthy pair and that’s all I can ask for, the fillets do the rest.

When it’s Easter Weekend.


Ah, Easter Weekend.  A FOUR day weekend. A weekend, which until the last four and a bit years was mainly about eating long leisurely meals, lying in, sitting in pub beer gardens reading, and perhaps the odd job in the garden if we were in the mood.

Not any more.  Now our Easter Weekends are a gaggle of family, hyper children, chocolate arguments, early mornings, chocolate krispie cakes and day trips to the coast.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this year we had probably one of my most favourite Easters ever, but I can’t pretend that I didn’t feel a huge wanting to throw self on the floor and strop little bit of jealousy when Uncle John ate out probably every day, along with probably having an afternoon nap, and a leisurely walk.

However, that stuff doesn’t matter, because this year we got THE MAGIC (do I sound convinced?).

This year was the first year that I think The Beast really *got* Easter.  Previously he’s obviously he liked the eggs and the “making” (baking), we’d not really talked about the Easter bunny, but there was no escaping it this year, he heard about it from his friends, from pre-school, and from our friends and family.  So obviously, I took full advantage of this new obsession (a rabbit that will BRING YOU CHOCOLATE!), and did what every good mother should do.  I used it as a bribe.

Therefore, the first half of our weekend consisted of abusing “The Bribe” AKA “The Easter Bunny Story” AKA “Mummy’s peace and quiet”.

We went to my sisters on Friday.  We haven’t been for ages, and the last few times we’ve been bedtime hasn’t been as relaxing.  Something to do with the set of drums in one room, the Hornby Model Railway in another and the lack of stair gate blocking the child in his room.  We had tried a travel one previously, across the door, however he managed to head-butt the bottom out, crawl under it to go and play in one of his worshipped older cousins bedrooms.

This time, this wasn’t an issue.  When I tucked him in, we had a little chat, I explained that the Easter Bunny was watching, and it was only two more sleeps until he decided whether to come or not, so he couldn’t get out of bed for anything other then a wee.  We had two false wee alarms, then silence.  Well, from that one anyway.

I knew I was on to something with the bribe, so on Saturday used it when it was time to leave my sisters house, time to get off the ride in the arcade, time to avoid the bouncy castle and time to get in the car to go home.  When we got home he was tired, so we all lay on the sofa’s watching Toy Story, he wanted Spiderman, but I reminded him that The Bribe would be disappointed if he picked something that Fatty didn’t like as well.

Then came the stinker.  Bedtime.  He’d been hyper and excited, he knew it all happened tomorrow. So we had a serious chat.  I explained that if both he and Fatty weren’t asleep by the time the Easter Bunny came to our house, he’d hop on past and give both their eggs to Heidi (one of his girlfriends). It was met with a very solemn face, before turning directly to his brother who was sucking his toothbrush and pulling the books off the bookshelf “YOU BETTER GO TO SLEEP LARRY OR NO CHOCOLATE FOR YOU AND THAT WILL MAKE ME SAD”.

Silence came quickly, and we opened a bottle of wine, cracked open a, er, spare Easter Egg, made the baskets up with all the chocolate and left it on the middle floor landing, like we did the stockings at Christmas.  Then I sobbed my way through Senna before falling asleep.

7am, after a night of waking up to a sobbing in his sleep Fatty (teeth), I heard a wail “BUTT WHATTT ABOUTTTTT MEEEE??!!!” and “IT IS MORNING TIME ISN’T ITTT????” We tried to pretend we hadn’t heard, but then the Fat one woke up too.  By the time we got up to The Beasts room his light was on, and he was ransacking his chest of drawers, sobbing hysterically.

“But…BUT…BUT I WAS A GOOD BOY…I WENT TO SLEEP, LAWREEENNCEEEEEEEE”.  It took us a few minute to calm the sobs down and determine that he thought as the eggs weren’t in his room, the bunny had hopped on past and left them at Heidi’s house.

The rest of the day was a battle, he was grouchy, he wanted chocolate, and I think he was off colour, he claimed he wasn’t hungry, his cheeks were flushed and he was hot.  But I put it down to over excitement.  We made Krispie cakes in the morning to take to Nan and Grandads for dinner, and he held on tightly to the tin in the car almost all the way there. Almost being the key word in that sentence.  He dropped them randomly, then we went around a couple of corners.

They were just salvageable if I placed them on the plate, so after dinner he carried them through proudly, just a few inches from putting them on the table he sneezed.  All over them.

The Beast turned out to be not great for the next 24 hours.  He had a high temp, was off his food, and was tearful and on a short fuse, I think he’d caught what I’d had a few days ago.

Because of this he’s still got loads of chocolate left and appears to have forgotten about it.  I’m still deciding whether to do the best thing for him and eat it or myself, I think I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

Chicken with Spinach and Coriander


Another AMAZING “Superfood” Curry.*

It may look a bit green, it may not look that tasty, but it actually tastes FANTASTIC.  Very yummy, very fresh, and I also LOVE that it’s good for you and I get to blend stuff.  I love to blend stuff. (more…)