- 34 Noses and breasts
Meanwhile her nostrils were also being enlarged gradually, with swellable studs, putting in new and slightly larger ones each time we changed, until she had holes through, large enough to take the old 5/32 inch silvered rings in the piercings. But I had made a delightful pair of Indian type basket rings, with jewels and tiny pendants, with 5/32" wire, which she could wear at home. I had also made some jewelled ornaments to wear dangling from her septum, with a a small chain of pendants and other things too.
As for her nipples, these were healing well and we started to stretch them with a pair of tapering perspex rings starting from under 1/8 inch up to well over 3/16 inch. Every few days of so we would push them in a little further, and follow up with a lock ring, so that they could not slip back. One day we found they had gone right through at the thick end, so we inserted a tapering spear, to pull in the small ¼ inch solid gilded rings. But the weight was too much for her as her nipples were still tender. So after a few days I made a pair of rings nut of ¼ inch diameter aluminium tube, about 1¼ inches diameter and put these in place instead. They went in quite easily, without a spear to guide them then she found she could wear them easily, with comfort and pride all the time. I found that the aluminium was quite sterile and was ideal, for it was so light. Later I made another pair about 2¼ inches circles, which looked very savage in her breasts. In fact I thought the aluminium tube was too light, so I loaded them both with a little melted solder run down inside, which made them hang heavier, and after some time I could see daylight above them as they hung in the loops of flesh at the base of her nipples. She liked them and when I touched them and pulled them, or moved them round, it stimulated her sexual desires, as I guessed they would. The loops grew bigger as the weight stretched them, so one day I gave her a new pair of rings made of 5/16 inch aluminium tube about 2¼ inch circles, and with a tapering spear she inserted them with surprising ease, and she could now wear these brutal adornments in her breast nipples, and did it with the utmost ease and quite unconscious of them.
As I have said I gradually increased the holes in her nostrils to 5/32 inch. It had been a bit of game putting studs of smaller sizes through, then trying to get nuts on to hold them in, as it was not easy in the confined space up the nose, but now, when we were on our own, I could insert the old silver rings she had once worn one of in her septum. But I wanted something more elaborate, and having soon just what I liked in an illustration of an Indian lady, I made a nice pair like them, with 5/32 inch silver wire in the top half, which clipped home into the lower half circle, made of fretted silver, with little jewels hanging from it. They looked terrific. I also made a smaller pair, about 1 inch diameter, instead of 1¾ inches, but these I had gilded and these looked very nice and neat.
But now I made some nostril studs of colours and types, some with diamante heads, in various sizes, from very tiny ones to some quite large, also pearl headed ones, red ones green ones and other. For if I saw what I considered an attractive pair of ear studs I bought them, then converted them to nostril studs, which could be put in and taken out very easily, without having to screw any nut or fitting inside. This I did by turning up some thick silver stems to fit her hole, which were drilled down, then slipped on over the old wires, fixing with a spot of solder. But the stems were made to taper, with the largest end to go through to the inside of the nostrils. They were about 5/32" on the large inside end, and about 1 inch at the outer end, near the stud. To wear them, the large end was forced through the holes, where they were a tight fit, but after it had gone through, then the thinner part was through the nostril, thus it held it firmly and the taper pulled it in tightly to the side of the nostril.
I tried these out on Ethel and they worked perfectly. She could press them in, or whip them out with no time or trouble. To fill up the very obvious holes now to be seen in her nostrils I made similar studs in pink perspex which filled up the holes making them less noticeable. I had been going to the meetings of the British Astronomical Association in London when possible, and Wilhehmina had come with me until she left the London ballet school in 1951. Then I suggested that Ethel should come up to a meeting with me instead. I had found a nice restaurant in Oxford Street, where we had all gone together on several occasions. Ethel was wearing a small cloth hat with a veil and we were on our own for once.
So after the meal, I suggested that when she left the toilets at the rear, she could be daring and insert her jewelled diamente nostril studs. She had never done this in public before, but in London one could get away with anything. She said, "Well I will see if I feel brave enough to do it in front of all these people." So I sat and waited then at last I saw her approaching me, tottering on her high heels, and as she passed under the light, there from her nostril, I caught the gleaming flash of her now jewelled nostril. She had one in there and it looked most fascinating too. I tucked her arm in mine and we strolled up and down in Oxford Street, showing off her nostril stud. I said, "It looks delightful, but why did you not put in both of them?" She said, "I did not think I would have the nerve to do it, and I nearly lost one as it was, and had to search around on the floor for it. So we gazed in the shop windows and I urged her to change the other one. She soon whipped out the plastic and put in the second stud. I know lots of people saw them as we walked along in front of the brightly lit windows. In fact we were looking in one window, which the girls ware busy dressing out, and one called the others attention to her and then pointed to her ears, and we knew what was said. We eventually mounted the bus like that, where the conductress stared at her. We changed them over at King's Cross station. But another barrier had been broken down.
On another occasion we put them in near Charing Cross and walked a long way, and she got quite unconcerned about them, and always when we came out of the Oxford Street restaurant she put in one or both, sometimes large ones. Some one must have seen us, for there was a letter in one of the daily papers about seeing a lady wearing jewels in her nostrils. "What was the world coming to?" The cookery teacher next door to me said something one day, when I was talking about earrings showing her a pair I was making. She said, "Your wife wears lots of them, and I think they are all pierced in. Did you do them for her? I have never seen any ears done so before. Very unusual. Did they hurt much to do? I have noticed and I expect she can wear them in her nose too?" I asked how she knew, and she said, "I've got eyes and I can see those pink studs in her nostrils quite plain. Anyhow I think it is a good idea. I like them on Indian women and I see no reason why they should not suit her well. I've been thinking about getting my ears done some day. I can see you've had your ears pierced too, as they are quite large piercings to be seen."
As a matter of fact, there had been quite a boost for ear piercing, for there were accounts in several papers, including Reveille, about the Queen having her ears pierced by Cyril Wilkins Wilkinson, and in 1953 there was quite a lot about a cabaret dancer Annette Gaye, having her nostril pierced by Cyril Wilkinson so she could wear a diamond stud in it. There hall been a picture of a French coloured artiste wearing a diamond in her cheek, but I found it was only stuck on, but it was a nice idea. When we went up to the December 1953 meeting of the B.A.A. I saw a copy of London Life on the stall and bought it. It was a pale shadow of the old L.L. and only came out monthly. However there was a letter inside from Wilkinson about nose piercing and in the next December issue I was pleased to see a picture of Miss Gaye, wearing her nostril stud. By this time Ethel had got used to wearing hers in the evening in London. Things began to really move now for astronomy became a news item as it got into the local paper with a picture of my astronomy class at Orchard Street School. At the end of the year there was a controversy about hair styles, to which I wrote an answer, and they came down to take a picture of Ethel's long hair, but never noticed her waist. Pathe Gazette made a film of Annette Gaye having her nostril pierced, shown in the City Cinema at my request in February 1954. I got a copy of it too. It supposedly showed him piercing it, but I could tell it was already done but he did push the diamond stud in and she wore it.