If the swim­suit fits, wear it

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

You reach a cer­tain age when it is a re­lief not to have to pose by a pool. Well, you could pose but it would make no im­pact as you’d be in­vis­i­ble, which is a most agree­able state of af­fairs. Pools are for peo­ple who are fond of their physiques and have in­vested heav­ily in swimwear, the irony be­ing that the smaller the cossie, the more ex­pen­sive. Fit­ness and beauty are not mea­sured by the me­tre.

I have re­cently been at a lovely re­sort for a few days with my (usu­ally) stay-at-home hus­band and it oc­curred to us, pos­si­bly si­mul­ta­ne­ously, that our swimwear is hor­ri­bly daggy and, quite pos­si­bly, smells of moth­balls. I felt like say­ing that I couldn’t be seen in my sen­si­ble navy one-piece with the dodgy elas­tic but then I re­alised I wouldn’t be seen any­way. I would be about as riv­et­ing to passers-by as a palm tree or an um­brella. No one would even stop and ask me to take their pho­to­graphs as they would be equipped with selfie sticks. And so they were, stalk­ing about like wad­ing birds in high-heeled beach shoes (yes, a thing, ap­par­ently) and wav­ing said sticks and those mad GoPro de­vices like but­ter­fly nets.

Sud­denly it was all very lib­er­at­ing to be un­seen, so much more re­lax­ing than when I was younger and in peril of hav­ing pool­side spasms as I held in my al­waystubby tummy so tightly that I couldn’t breathe.

Then there was a pe­riod when I tried those mirac­u­lous swim­suits with in­dus­trial su­per­struc­tures that keep ev­ery bit of you firmly in place un­til the ma­te­rial gets wet and you re­alise you can’t take off the cossie un­til it’s com- pletely dry. It’s all very well look­ing like an hour­glass but only if you can sup­press the need to wee for many hours at a time. Surely there is a law of physics that elas­tic act­ing upon the body causes a rip­ple ef­fect. All that sup­pressed flesh has to go some­where, and hope­fully not up your decol­letage and un­der your chin.

Back at the re­sort pool, with no au­di­ence, we splashed like chil­dren and swam day and night and at­tracted not even one cu­ri­ous gaze. I no­ticed a man swim­ming in a caf­tan, which seemed re­mark­able, but he shook him­self off and dried con­fi­dently in the sun like a splen­did po­ten­tate. An­other chap was wear­ing his un­der­pants but that was OK, too, and who hasn’t left their cossie at home and longed to be bold enough to swim in their smalls?

On the way back to Syd­ney, there was a woman at the air­port in a set of Qan­tas in-flight py­ja­mas and not just the fly­ing kan­ga­roo-logo top (be­cause, frankly, what fre­quent flyer hasn’t gone out in one of those to the cor­ner shop) but the whole kit and ca­boo­dle. She kept hitch­ing up the trousers, which were sev­eral sizes too large. Yikes, then she took off the top. I gasped. Even the tem­po­rar­ily out-and-about hus­band was in­ter­ested now. Un­der­neath she was wear­ing the dag­gi­est of ill-fit­ting biki­nis and she pro­ceeded to ap­ply roll-on deodor­ant and snap her bra straps.

I hope the up­com­ing sum­mer hol­i­days pro­vide you with many re­mark­able sight­ings and that time feels mag­i­cally elas­tic.

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