Easing into the sea, right foot first, thanking the Lord that I had had the sense to bring my ‘sea shoes’, I negotiated the stony bed with confidence. The water was cool to say the least but sure doesn’t it get warmer, the longer you’re in it. Walking out up to hip depth, I thought ‘No use hanging around you silly aul one’ and plunged my ample body into the the next wave. ‘’Jesus Mary and Joseph,” I spluttered aloud as I jumped back up. It was feckin freezing!!
Not to be deterred, sure hadn’t I been reared in the Atlantic ocean, on the east coast of Ireland, I forged on. To my delight, getting back down again wasn’t so bad and I was soon swimming around like a fish..a large fish. Having lived in Spain for 14 years before moving to the UK, I had swam topless quite a bit and to be honest I missed that. Gone were the days of the bikini, so I couldn’t even feel the salt water on my belly.
A light bulb moment followed and I peeked out from under my straggly wet hair which was dripping salt water into my eyes and down the front of my face. Looking to see if there were any other eejits, willing to freeze to death before actually enjoying the English channel, I realised luck was on my side. There was nobody close by. I could put my bright idea into action, with haste.
Walking further out towards the distant horizon, I stopped, when the water was just above my boobies. Easing the straps of my red swimsuit down off my shoulders, beneath the water surface, I revealed my floating bosom to the tiny fish below. They scattered likely thinking this was a predator with bulging eyes coming to swallow them whole. I laughed out loud with the exhilarating feeling of freedom and naughtiness combined. It was wonderful.
Checking again to see if any swimmers had appeared since I had last looked, I was comfortable that all was grand. It was the one time I was actually grateful for the social distancing that has been imposed upon the world in 2020.
The tide was in, so the water became deep very quickly, meaning I was close to the shore, able to keep an eye on my belongings. It also meant that the people on the beach, who liked watching the eejits in the water, could see me clearly. Hence staying underwater in deeper depths.
All of a sudden there appeared to be a strength in the wind, which had been a mild breeze up till then. The waves were getting a tad larger. By this time I had peeled my swimsuit down to my waist. The need to feel like I was just wearing just a bikini bottoms, as I had done for years, had become irresistible. Sure, I was as happy as a pig in shite, confident that nobody would be interested in an aul one swimming bare-shouldered, with the rest of her body submerged, when she was standing.
Fate was not on my side that day. The gods must have been in a playful mood, seeing me having such fun and wanting to join in, in their own way. The feckers took it a step too far. Who is that aul fella who is God of the sea? Thor? Nah, he is the aul lad associated with thunder and lightning! It is Poseidon, god of the sea and water. He must have been having the craic with his beautiful wife, Amphitrite, goddess of the ocean.
There I was swimming away, careful not to lie on my back in case my aged, deflated, though beloved titties were spotted from the shore. Mind you, floating titties might have looked a lot better than if I had been sunbathing topless on the beach. Less likely to tilt to each side.
I digress, me swimming, the gods looking down, their mischievous side prevailing….!! All of sudden, there was a huge wave, it swallowed me whole. I spluttered under the water, but in fairness loved the excitement of it too. The adrenalin surged through me and with the help of the energy it produced, I shot up out of the water, arms spread apart above me, the thrill of those 20 seconds fuelling exhilaration….until….I realised I was facing the wrong way!! My ample bare titties and naked upper body, which is kept intact within a swimsuit for a reason, were dazzling white against the rest of my tanned body and there was a relatively large audience watching from the shore. MORTIFICATION!! FECKIN MORTIFICATION!!
You never saw an aul one duck back under the water so quick in her life. Even if there had been ice cubes floating in the sea, I would have stayed there. What the feck could I do? Turning back towards the horizon, I took a peek to my right side and noticed there were actually swimmers nearby. They must have been dragged closer by the current. Had they seen my white titties?
What could I do? I couldn’t stay in the water until everyone had gone home. It was a warm day but sure I’d get hypothermia. The fun was gone out of it all now! Swimming around wasn’t as much fun. Then a thought struck me. There should have been a Festival of the Sea in our town shortly but the pandemic had put a stop to that. If things had been different I would have had a tail and been on that beach with hundreds of other ‘mermaids’ of all shapes and sizes, during that festival. Sure aren’t mermaids often portrayed topless!!
Feeling a little less embarrassed, I began the walk of shame, out of the water. I wasn’t helped by the stones at the edge as my sea shoes weren’t so accommodating on the return journey, meaning I walked awkwardly, sometimes stumbling. This resulted in my boobies spilling out over my swimsuit a little. It was like an encore, but not quite. Ah sure hadn’t they seen it all before, quite literally.
Trying to look composed in a swimsuit when you’re 58 years old, size 16, with cellulite and varicose veins in your legs, is difficult at the best of times. However, when you’ve just bared your beloved but saggy titties to the shore of a seaside town, trust me it’s a lot worse. Thank God I can see the funny side of a situation, even if I’m the butt of the joke. Getting into that mode, I glanced right and left to the entertained onlookers, waved my hand and said ‘Just practicing for The Festival of the Sea 2021…..I’ll be wearing my tail tomorrow!’