When I tell people that my speciality is smears – there are are two distinct reactions. Men squirm, look very uncomfortable and slightly sick, whereas women grimace but open their mental roladexes and wonder when they last had one… Perhaps this is the lasting effect of the very public suffering and cruelly early death of Jade Goody. In 2009 there was an rise in the uptake of cervical smears for the first time since 2002. This surge has now become a downturn as the numbers are dropping and surely we should be remembering to book in..
Luckily for me, my speciality doesn’t involve latex gloves or cold steel, but snot and glitter. Anyone who has had a child at nursery school has seen it, that fabulous sparkling smear from under their nose heading towards their ear. Well, that’s my favourite moment of my working day, when they are so involved in what they are making, cutting, sticking, glueing, that when the sniffing finally won’t shift that runny nose, the only way to deal with it is to wipe it away, usually with the hand holding the glitter. And I wouldn’t swap it for the world.