All exposed and on display

Rachel with Alison Valenti and Julie-Anne Townsend at the Diamond Women's Support Gala Ball

In the past I have shared more than was perhaps prudent about the more underwhelming parts of my anatomy. Some women are blessed with womanliness. Others are blessed to resemble an ironing board.

Last weekend I attended a spectacularly glamorous event, supporting Diamond Women's Support. It was their 10 year anniversary Gala Ball and it was a wonderful celebration of the inspiring work of a fabulous organisation. Such an auspicious occasion required a suitable gown.

Now many of you know, such gowns are not constructed with regular underwear in mind. These are not high coverage affairs. In fact, extraordinary minimalism is generally what's called for. My problem is that I have extraordinary minimalism all on my own. What I need is maximum assistance. For this occasion, in minimalist.

I headed to the shops.

As is often the case for these excursions, I had a somewhat recalcitrant junior recipe tester in tow. I was extolling the virtues of underwear shopping to the junior who wanted to be elsewhere as we entered the shop.

When I left home, I had thought that I was about to experience all the exposure I could handle for one day. At that moment my phone rang. On the other end was a journalist. Who wanted to chat about Dinner on the Table. A colleague once commented to me that there is nothing to sharpen the mind more quickly than a chat with a journalist. Perhaps it was because I was already poised for exposure, I gathered my thoughts as quickly as I could and gave it my best shot.

I was mid-pitch and beginning to feel that it was going pretty well when I realised my assistant was looking distinctly uncomfortable. He is not old enough for underwear embarrassment, so I looked around wildly for the cause of his awkwardness.

A mannequin, sporting a very luxurious dressing gown stood nearby. One of its hands had been amputated. Continuing my indepth discussion with the journalist, I spied the missing limb in the hand of the junior recipe tester. He was attempting to hide it on a pyjama shelf.

I took the hand from him, but was unable to say anything without alerting the journalist to either the failings of my parenting or, worse, my anatomical inadequacies. I gave the junior my best scowl and crawled under the dressing gown, in an attempt to reattach the poor woman's hand.

Buying underwear to disguise your inadequacies will make you feel exposed. Talking to a journalist about something dear to your heart will make you feel exposed.

But neither holds a match to the exposure of crawling around a shop floor, posterior raised high, and trying to hide the misdemeanours of someone for whom you are responsible.