Indecent proposal

Now she's on the extra-strength HRT, will Lynne turn into the sort of predatory female mothers warn their sons about?

Lynne Mortimer

Top ten scariest things you have ever seen?

1. The first shark attack in Jaws

2. The entire film Don't Look Now

3. Drivers overtaking on the bendy bits of the A140

4. A hen night

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5. The amount the Government has borrowed to shore up the economy

6. A spider emerging from the overflow while you're in the bath

7. Your council tax bill

8. The graveyard bit in Carrie

9. A maggot army in the wheelie bin

10. Lynne smiling seductively and beckoning

Some of the above are imaginary, of course, while others are all too frighteningly real. In fact, the last one on the list hasn't happened yet but it's best to be on your guard.

As my husband is all too painfully aware, I am currently in the throes of menopause - surely one of the most highly publicised changes of life in the long history of wimmin's things.

You have been with me all the way through this seemingly endless journey to the now barren meadows of my ovaries.

There were years of hot flushes during which my husband, endured icy nights in danger of hypothermia as I threw off the duvet and flung open the windows, pulsating with heat. It was all I could do to stop him from signing up with Sir Ranulph Fiennes for an Antarctic expedition “Anywhere's got to be warmer than this,” he said warming his frostbitten fingers against my cheeks. (the ones on my face)

Then there were the night sweats when the duvet was on and off like a demented bed bug.

Then, worst of all, were the panics. I would suddenly wake up in the night and recall something I said or did that might have hurt a school chum's feelings in 1964 and spend the whole of the rest of the night fretting about it.

What if my thoughtless words had blighted her whole life… perhaps, if I set up a Face Book account, I could track her down and apologise… maybe give her my car…

Yes, I know it was daft and irrational but try telling that to my ebbing hormones. It was like having a good angel on one shoulder and a goody-goody on the other.

Good angel: “Now you're just being silly, Lynne

Goody-goody: “Ah but what if, at this moment, she is lying awake remembering those harsh words?”

Good angel: “But you were nine-years-old, for goodness sake.”

Goody-goody: “Old enough to know right from wrong.”

Good angel: “What if she's a millionaire businesswoman with homes in London, New York and Paris; a 30-year-old cosmetic surgeon husband and a yacht?”

Goody-goody: “Um… now you're just being silly.”

I was also temperamentally unpredictable.

You've heard the expression 'walking on eggshells'? It was me that broke the eggs. Friends and family would check my mood before venturing a visit.

“Thought we might pop over?”

“If you like.”

“Will you be in?”

“What time will you be over?”

“About four?”

“I'll be out.”

After the petition signed by my trembling work colleagues and the pleading (I hate to see a man cry) of my husband, I went to the doctor and asked for Hormone Replacement Therapy.

“Just put down the stapler and untie my hands and I'll write a prescription,” he promised.

It wasn't quite like that but he didn't argue when I suggested it.

I have now been on HRT for a year and, up until the last month or so it's been miraculous. Then the hot flushes, sweats and panics started to come back so, at my last three-monthly check-up I was prescribed a stronger dose, doubling the amount of oestrogen.

Now this is the hormone that is mainly responsible for women. This is the one that kicks in at puberty and it can have extreme consequences.

Add oestrogen to the child that played happily with her dolls on Monday and by the following Monday the dolls will be a pile of scattered torsos, lying dismembered on her bedroom floor. She will also come to the conclusion that her parents were never young, never had fun and know nothing of love.

In short, she discovers boys.

Having largely disregarded them for the last 12 or 13 years, she suddenly notices them and, in an incredible change of attitude, begins to find them interesting - even attractive.

About 40 years later she decides she was right the first time.

But will extra-strength HRT make me revert? Will I once again become a predatory female intent upon seduction?

Obviously, I've warned the men at work (that includes the men at work widening the footpath at the bottom of my road) and my husband looked a little bit worried too.

I'm hoping my concerns are without foundation and that I shall continue to be the same crabby colleague and wife that the men in my life know and have just about come to terms with.

But, if I should turn up in a corset, fishnets and high heels, it will not be because I am in rehearsals for the part of Frank n Furter in the Rocky Horror Show. It will be because - much as it embarrasses me to contemplate it - I am on the pull.

I know what you're thinking. How on earth does a 54-year-old woman in a corset, suspender belt and high heels imagine she's going to pull anything but a muscle?

It wouldn't really be me, you see. It would be the oestrogen-enhanced me; one of the Desperate Grannies of Wisteria Avenue - an address where no man is safe, especially if he takes off his T-shirt to trim the hedge.