The idea of taking a Spring holiday, of feeling the sun on winter bleached skin (the colour of poor quality parchment) and the joy of light filled hours that stretch beyond late afternoon is attractive. And in the spirit of family bonding the Medley Clan is indulging in such a vacation this very week; the prospect is quite delicious in a devilishly funny kind of way. Imagine all the challenges a traveller could face: mobility both age and non age related (i.e. of the party of 4 two will be popped into wheelchairs from the moment we check in); one insulin dependent diabetic (with integral pump requiring specific explanation liable to intrigue the curious); and finally one passenger carrying large quantities of controlled drugs (with accompanying over detailed letter from enthusiastic GP including the phrase ‘intractable pain’ –note I’m rather hoping I get away without having to show anyone the letter!)
Personal preparation thus far has included:
A preparatory spreadsheet analysing the profile of prescription drugs needed; I kid you not a spreadsheet was required – when growing up I confess I did not have a hidden ambition to require specific cupboard space to accommodate the array of pain medication and association remedies to resolve the side effects of long term opiate use as well as other unspeakable items (certainly not to be discussed in sophisticated conversation even if a certainly advert when ladies at lunch discuss ‘bowel stuff’ in hushed tones would suggest otherwise!). The consignment was delivered by the Pharmacy in two card board boxes and four carrier bags; translating into one medium leather holdall nd one small suitcases. One to check through and one to carry on (or in my case to be carried on for me)! Oh do you remember the days when an overnight bag was all you needed for a fortnight in Greece? No well I don’t either but I remember hearing about those rake thin lasses who favoured string bikinis and (very) cut off denim shorts who did!
An amusing foray into sunglasses shopping – I intend to wear my contact lenses whilst away but was browsing said item whilst wearing my glasses. It’s a little tricky seeing how they look when one is SO shortsighted that without my glasses I literally can’t see beyond the end of my nose! After a few moments I decided there was only one way to see how the sunglasses looked – having tried unsuccessfully to put one pair on top of the other – I was going to have to get VERY close to the tiny mirror on the edge of the sunglasses stand.
Now this was all going fine until someone else suddenly peered round the corner to see me apparently kissing the mirror as my nose was about 2 cm from the reflection! OK this wouldn’t have been a problem for most people but I omitted to factor in the balancing on two crutches thing; yes you guessed I ‘leapt’ backwards dropping one crutch that gathered an item of clothing on its way to the floor (which actually muffled the sound thankfully)! As our eyes met – mine and the person peering around the sunglasses stand – I smiled nervously as of course I couldn’t actually see her face as I wasn’t wearing my corrective lenses at this point. I busied myself rescuing my orphaned crutch and avoiding eye contact (easy to do when you can’t actually see). Consequently I purchased two pairs of sunglasses on the basis that it was likely that one of the two was the pair I had been trying on when rudely interrupted; thankfully this assessment was correct and neither was expensive!
And then came the foray into swimwear; as a regular pool swimmer I have chlorine resistant functional garment in black with some token neon flashes a little like ironic go-faster stripes. But surely a beach based holiday – we will be staying in a villa on the beach – calls for something well ‘a little less functional’ (whatever that means). I trawled through the rails at M&S curious that some came in longer length; a longer body is great for a tall gal as it avoids the constant yanking either the bottom down (to avoid being ‘cut in half’ as it were) or the top up (to reveal a little less breast as by this time the ‘reveal’ has gone way beyond what ordinary persons would refer to as ‘cleavage’)!
I shy away from patterns as when there’s a substantial body mass to encompass the effect can induce a form of visual disturbance akin to travel sickness in even a casual passer by. Ditto bright colour especially of the neon variety added to which these shades clash awfully with sun burn giving the impression of anything from third to first degree burns! By now there’s not huge amount left especially when M&S advertise but don’t stock the longer length in the mammoth Culverhouse Cross store (and of the 4-5 lines on the website only 1 seems to be available).
And I’ve been intrigued to see the addition of the little skirt is back; now I know I’m not alone in having a bit of a flesh overload problem at the joint of the thigh with the body – what pray is the function of the little extra roll; where does it come from this little extra unkind fat deposit? OK I’ve said fat deposit – happy now! Either way it’s there, and whilst I might be happier if it wasn’t it is, so why not mess things up with a distracting little skirt?
I turned down the hot pink with white polka dots number; not me for too many reasons to go into and a price I can’t justify for an item I will never where to the Barry leisure centre pool! But I did find a black halter neck number couretesy of Florence and Fred (or vice versa) at less than half that price so I took the plunge into the world of the forgiving distraction of a skirted swim suit!
It was all going swimmingly ha ha until I casually asked the guy who cuts my hair (and has a keen eye for design as this is actually his main profession these days) what he thought about the renaissance of the skirted swimsuit. Oh what a mistake that was; he doesn’t mince words nor does he limit his feedback if he feels there’s more to be added. The main phrase that’s stuck in mine mind is ‘sea cucumber’; that was he thinks the skirt makes you look like especially if the bodice is ruched which mine is (a bit)! So a discrete black sea cucumber will be gracing the beaches of this particular resort; do I care? No! Have I told my travelling companions not to take photos of me in swim wear? Yes! Likelihood of them remembering – 50% – but hey I have BIG Audrey Hepburn style sunglasses to hide behind!
So ladies I will be absent for a few weeks, let’s call it March, and maybe on my return I’ll spill the beans about my own version of paradise….