By: Blonde Two

I belong to a lovely community of swimming friends and we often use our swims as an opportunity to celebrate in times of joy and commiserate with each other in times of sadness. Last week I had to pleasure of attending a small and very socially distanced 70th birthday water celebration for a fantastic and most excellent lady.

Our invitations were clear, we were asked to ‘wear something beautiful or glamorous’. Contrary to what you might observe on social media beach swimming, in my experience, is rarely either of these. More times than not I arrive in whatever my bleary early-morning head has told me to throw on over my swimsuit, stuff that same head (I only have one) into a hat that is far too small, squeeze my face with goggles and flop into the water. Leaving the beach after my swims I might feel alive, vibrant and beautiful but I am fairly sure that is not the perception of others. Particularly as I often leave underwearless because I have forgotten to pack those items.

I have however always secretly fancied a bit of swimming glamour. There is a shop along the road from us that sells rather expensive ‘traditional’ retro swimming caps decorated with all kinds of flamboyancy. I have often gazed longingly at these and wondered if I could carry the retro look off down at the beach. In the end, I bought online because I wanted an over-the-top colour scheme and as many flowers as possible.

On the day of the gathering, I rose early, selected a swimming costume close in colour to my hat, slipped on a shiny black petticoat (a bit dress-like), applied some bright red lipstick, popped my hat on and drove to the beach. Upon arrival, the outfit was finished off with a pair of sunglasses and I have to say I felt rather swish as I walked to the beach. I must have looked very different because my friends didn’t recognise me when I arrived.

We had a lovely swim-party complete with mermaid and unicorn (a swimming first for me). I enjoyed wearing my retro swimming cap so much I wore it again on Friday. Perhaps Fridays should be beach glamour days for the duration.