Janis Hetherington – Part 17: "Tittle-Tatler"


Janis bolted out of the doctor’s surgery to chase the mysterious woman who had circled the Tatler article on bisexuals… but she was gone

Janis Hetherington was the first UK woman in an openly same-sex couple to be artificially inseminated. In this, the 17th part of her exclusive autobiographical series for Biscuit, Janis visits her doctor’s waiting room and gets an unexpected thrill from an old copy of Tatler…

So here I am in my dotage, plonked outside my doc’s door awaiting my annual flu jab and excitedly whizzing through the voluminous titty bitz that entice my attention on the magazine pile.

Anything to bury my head in and avoid the glum faces of those eager to engage me in conversation about how many relatives are piled in the family vaults. Or worse, the looming demise of Britain under the weight of refugees. Or worsererer still, what they thought of my latest Beeb broadcast that eulogised my desire for flushing lavatories when in fact I’d always pleaded the case for environmentally friendly sewage farms. Well taking the piss is allowed on chat shows!!!

How the decades have passed. My darling editor, (that wondrous being Lottie who can turn her multi-faceted talents to many an art form) was barely screaming her first cries of birth when I first graced this building, with my not-yet-middle-aged torso wrapped in aubergine corduroy jeans and puce silk shirt. Not the usual attire for this then farming neighbourhood that was miles from the nearest motorway and benefiting only from the slowest of slow trains to London. Now it’s easier to hit the “Smoke” door-to-door from my manse than it is to get from batty Bethnal Green to horrid Harrods and no half million ackers for an attic ghetto. You could still buy a five bedder here for that sort of spondulix. But I digress. Magazines aplenty adorn the waiting room tables these days, moving beyond the dog eared Reader’s Digests and invitations to join the WI of yesteryear (before the nudey calenders and film star status).

So whooping silently with delight my eyes latched on to a pristine copy of the Tatler (albeit June’s edition) which sat seductively on top of a pile of House and Garden and well- thumbed Country Lifes. Hooray..I could familiarize myself with all the glam bangs I was missing out on buried here in the depths of the leafy Shires. Crashing through the index at speed before my nursey call-up, wham bang and thank-you ma’am my bifocled peepers alighted on a piece entitled “Feeling greedy? Now you can have it all!” Crikey, I hoped I wasn’t going to yanked in toooooo soon. Having the self-taught ability to speed read (something I acquired whilst sitting out the various trials I had been forced to engage in yonks ago )I’d reached the riveting spot of STDs and how to take precautions when I realised to my dismay I was “next” in line. Having scanned the section on “trisexualism” in a fit of pique ( I had always assumed copyright over that having aired it some 20 years ago on a TV chat show) I was summoned into the nurse’s cavern where I knew they would be expecting my usual Carry On banter. Not before I had noticed, however, that some daring peruser had marked said passage in triplicate lines of unmistakeable blue/black real ink. CLASSY.

Carefully I plonked the revered magazine in my vacated seat, feeling quite confident that the two old buffers in flat caps left in the flu jab ensemble would hardly purloin the piece – which I determined could be printed out in the copy machine at reception. I might even ask if said precautions for avoiding female-transmitted STDs would entitle me to a free pair of surgical gloves? Perhaps worth a try, methought. Now those who have been blessed with the exquisite pleasure of reading my memoirs will know that usually the sight of a nurse in uniform, her thermometer throbbing away inside her breast pocket, would have me almost in the throes of orgasmic pleasure . However so engrossed was I in working out how I could relate said article to you Biscotti readers it was all I could manage to reply to the nurse’s smirk…

“Come for your little prick Ms J?”

Knowing what was expected of me I could hardly let the double entendre side down (of which I’d crowned myself olde Queen):

“Olde age dear… I wondered where I’d left it. D’you know my cupboards are a disaster zone searching for it and here it was all the time. Left it under the examination couch did I?”

Well you have to keep your end up don’t you? And after a few more exchanges, including of course my instructions to read the latest Biscotti, I rolled up my sleeve and pretended to swoon when my pulse was taken. That over I literally threw myself out of the door in my quest to honour my pledge to you faithful readers to give you chapter and verse on Tatler‘s take on the fashionable pursuit of bis and tries.

And there looking back from my still tepid chair was a big fuck all, nay, a nothingness.

I gazed at the two flat-capped coves still wrapped in guttural debate at the End of the World being nigh. Actually, they referred to the demise of the local skittles league with the threatened closure (for the 10th time in as many years) of the Conservative Club. Anyway, I realised I could hardly engage them in any coherent conversation about the demise of the missing mag and proceeded to enquire at the reception desk if it had been purloined for the evening shift by some tidy-upperer.

“Any chance you could photo-copy an article for moi pretty please… I left it on the chair right outside the jab room?” I blew my usual mwwwwahh.

“Oh! Dear… So sorry Ms J. It didn’t belong to us… But if you hurry the lady who left it was parked in the car park and you might just catch her. You can’t miss her. She wears a trilby with a pheasant’s feather sticking out. Quick!”


“Has anyone seen my mysterious feathered Ladye?”

You see we know about such matters of attire here in shootin’, huntin’,and fishin’-shire. So important – lickle details that define your suitability to share a soufflé. Having thrown myself towards the safety glass door leading to the exit corridor I was confronted by a women bearing a belly full of what looked like triplets ready to plop out. Being the gallant person I am I immediately gave way and scrunched myself in a corner that chaperoned a billboard with a cancer-bearing fag and numerous numbers for depression counselling adorning it. From that stance I caught a glimpse of the side road that transported all vehicles seeking or leaving the health centre and spied a black Range Rover driven by a ladye with unmistakable plumage emerging from her titfer speeding away towards…. Well any-frigging-where. Her car was so mud-splattered all I could ascertain was a D or possibly P on the number plate and side windows adorned with NO HS2 posters.

I have been recommended to the funny farm having approached the local Parish Council to track down a ladye who has a fountain pen, reads Tatler, drives a huge four wheel drive and shoots game to adorn her head gear. Oh! Dear…. She sounded just my type as well!!


Janis Hetherington, Part 16 – “Ex-bisexuals?”

Janis Hetherington, Part 15 – “Nothing is black and white”

Janis Hetherington, Part 14 – “Arabian Ladyes”

Janis Hetherington, Part 13 – “Blow-up dolls and secret cells”

Janis Hetherington, Part 12 – “Major Ronald”

Janis Hetherington, Part 11 – “Fatwa”

Janis Hetherington, Part 10 – “Split personality”

Janis Hetherington, Part 9 – “Eccentricity”

Janis Hetherington, Part 8 – “Polyamorality”

Janis Hetherington, Part 7 – “We still weren’t ‘normal’…”

Janis Hetherington, Part 6 – “The publicity years”

Janis Hetherington, Part 5 – “Meeting Biscuit”

Janis Hetherington, Part 4 – “The custody battle”

Janis Hetherington, Part 3 – “The death”

Janis Hetherington, Part 2 – “Breaking the rules of 70s family life”



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Janis Hetherington

Outrageously, rebelliously outspoken. Sexually incontinent. Avid supporter of lost causes: ever hopeful they will be transformed, ever fearful that once they are they will become the monsters that trampled them. Janis is the author of "Love Lies Bleeding: Memoirs of a Sexual Revolutionary".

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