Apparently, women's boobs are getting bigger. Bendon's flagship Newmarket store has seen the average bra size balloon from a 10C to a 12DD in the past two years.

Triumph, another popular corsetiere, says its average bra has shifted from a 12B to a 14D.

Although some of the inflation can be put down to surgical enhancement, for the most part the population is getting bigger all over. The latest health ministry figures record that one in three of us is overweight.

I know that when I was training seriously for my first marathon, my boobs were the first to go, which made running a lot easier. Post-marathon, I was on a cruise from Istanbul to Athens and, as we women arranged ourselves on deckchairs, one of the slim, lovely ones among us looked over at those of us with well-cushioned bodies and sighed that she wished she had bigger boobs. Her farming husband looked us over with a professional eye. Easy enough to get, he said. It's all just fat.


Which is true. But a Turkish jeweller gave me a kinder interpretation. As I was trying on a necklace in Ephesus, the owner of the store appeared behind me, his hands cupping my boobs. "When you have the rich blessings," he said, "the necklace, she must be big also. Otherwise, she disappears."

On the way out, I stopped by the table. If women with big boobs have rich blessings, I asked, what do women with small boobs have? Those madam, he said, are precious blessings.

And indeed they are.