In the middle of last week's media storm, he was the man I instinctively turned to. Yes, Pascal, my loving husband of four years, was behind me all the way, telling me that to him I was the most beautiful woman in the world. But Dad immediately knew—as he always has—what to say to make me feel better.
I called him from my home in France to ask what he thought. As ever, his support was instant and unwavering. First, he reassured me that those lambasting me were 'very sad people with very shallow lives.'
Then, unable to understand why I'd become the focus of so much bitterness, he asked: 'Why aren't people directing such anger towards the real problems going on in this country? You've done nothing wrong, you've struck a nerve and you've proved that your point is valid. Treat them with the contempt they deserve.'
Unashamedly, I am a daddy's girl, utterly confident in my father's love. For as long as I can remember, I got birthday cards from him addressed to 'my No 1 girl'. While he was probably referring to the fact I was his eldest daughter (he has five) I interpreted it as meaning I was No 1 in his life.
And it's an outlook I have taken with me into my adulthood. It's the reason why when I look in the mirror, I don't see a 40-something woman with crow's feet, squidgy cheeks sliding southwards and the beginnings of a crepey chest. I see a twinkly eyed temptress who grins confidently back at me—one who stands tall, proud and with masses of va-va-voom.