I am relieved to discover that I am not alone. This year we are ditching our annual jaunt to some Mediterranean hotspot and are heading to Cornwall. The idea was to save money. The sums we've spared ourselves on airfares and car hire have, however, been swallowed by my extravagant summer accessories. I insist, you see, on feeling good on the sands, and perfection comes at a price:
These thermal vests should flatter any contours and shield my skin from the most extreme summer temperatures. I've experimented and can fit all three at once under my beachwear.
Who says that essential accessories can't be funky! This is small enough to stow in a handbag and, in extremis, to shove up the three vests when stretched on my lounger.
I always think that beachwear should be brightly coloured and, if possible, striped to get you into that holiday humour, so I should certainly strut the summer look in these, especially when accompanied by my other rainbow extravagance below:
The real cost of a beach holiday is, of course, absorbed by those soothing scientific potions. You can't let your kids frolic half-clad or venture a summer swim without them and, although, like everyone else, I have half-empty stashes of the stuff left over from previous holidays, there's never a reassuring use-by date. So off I went to Boots to buy a new supply, which should hopefully see us through the next two summers:
I've been saving my guiltiest extravagance until last. The highlight of beach body is, of course, the swimwear in which you flaunt it. I searched long and hard for the perfect costume and, finally, I triumphed. The confection below has everything: the seasidey stripes, a cosy and capacious brushed-cotton fabric, beneath which I can fit those three vests, and enveloping leg sections which will keep the breezes out. I've twinned it here with a pair of wool tights for maximum effect:
Hold on! Just listened to the weather forecast, which is predicting slightly warmer temperatures next week. That might mean I have to surrender the tights so I've had to get my shrinking wallet out yet again to make sure that I'm prepared:
Right, I'm off! See you in a week. While I'm gone, do tell me: how much do you spend on your beach body?