Today I decided that I simply must now kit myself out with credible beachwear. The sun was glorious again, and my conservatory was the place to get a tan - if suitably attired. I suppose that in the privacy of my own home - and it really is private - I could sunbathe in my underwear, or even in the nude, but I am extending my convalescent range to nearby bits of coast, and clearly some decent female beachwear was indicated. I didn't have any, because of course up till now there hasn't been any point buying - say - a bikini when you were still sporting the wrong type of private parts. But that's all changed.
So off I went to the Holmbush Centre at Shoreham, and to the huge Marks & Spencer store there, which I reckon is the best one between Southampton and Canterbury. What fun it was to make a choice of things for the beach. It was at first tempting to go for bright, eye-catching colours. But then, on reflection, did I really want to catch the eye? And there always comes a moment when you need to put on a cardi or jacket against the inevitable breeze, and then - ouch! - you can so easily have a dreadful clash of colours. In the end, then, I went for blacks and navy blues. Here are the results, as shot in the fitting cubicle.
First up, black shorts with a nice loose black-and-white 'belt' that hangs down in an appealing way:
I'm wearing my ordinary white bra for modesty. Have to admit, I'm a bit pudgy around the middle! Next, a dotty little number in navy blue and white:
I like it because it's striking, but those big dots or spots sure do reveal the shape of my tummy! And yet really that's exactly the effect I'm looking for. I want other people on the beach to register 'typical middle-aged mum who's past her prime, but still pleasant to look at, though only for a blink of the eye'. That's right - take me in with one glance, then completely dismiss me from your mind. Perfect camouflage.
Next up, another one-piece in black with a crinkly effect up the front:
The second of these shots is perhaps the more flattering. Yes, solid black definitely has a slimming effect, and anyway goes nicely with my hair colour. I think this is the costume I'd wear most often, certainly in front of masses and masses of people. My thighs seem to be fattening up nicely - they got a bit thin and wasted while in hospital and immediately afterwards.
Finally, I tried on a black bikini:
Oh dear. Decidedly not. I'll have to get a lot more toned up if I want to think two-piece - that flabby midriff is not a good look! Apart from that, the top was rather tight around my chest. They didn't have a top in the next size up, so I didn't buy. I'm sure you'll agree that this was the right decision! Of course that means that I can't strut about on Copacabana Beach this autumn in just a yellow thong. Damn.
Well, that's the show over. Tomorrow promises to be another fine sunny day, and I for one am going to bask in the conservatory, in one of my swimsuits, sipping my elderflower cordial. Aaaah, that's the life.