Pieces of my world

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Au Bord de la Mer + Maillot de Bain

Most people go to the seaside for the front. The sand; the sea; the hot tang of fish and chips lashed with vinegar and salt wrapped tight in paper; for the rides; for the worn glamour of the promenade. Breathing clean deep lungfuls of salty seaside air; gnawing on gummed up sticks of rock; taking a ride in the rattly old trams which ferry back and forth along the front, peering through the grime smeared windows at the gaudy arcade lights. You walk over the wooden slats of the pier, gazing down at the sea sloshing back and forth below your feet. You remember how, as a child, you would grip your mother’s reassuring hand fiercely, petrified that if you let go, even for one second, your small body would slip through the gap between the slats and plop, lost, into the murky grey tide below.

I am not most people.

This once, I did not go to the seaside for the front.

No. I went for the books.

This seaside town must have a lot of book loving, book donating residents, because the sheer amount of second hand bookstores, for its size, is phenomenal. On my last visit, I picked up an old (but fully serviceable) Harraps French Dictionary for the princely sum of £4 (AND it’s better than my modern Oxford Concise!!) along with a stack of French novels. On this visit, I added some more paperback friends, along with some weighty hardbacks, to the mountain quickly accumulating in my room. My bedroom floor is now a non-navigational minefield of stacked novels, where it is an expedition in itself just to reach my bed. When on earth I’m going to find the time to read all these titles, I just do not know, seeing as there’s only a week until I depart for university, but I’ll deal with that as I deal with most things- by leaving it until another time.
Which leads me on, not so smoothly, to the fact that I’m having an unproductive day.

And my swimming costume is broken.

Now, I love that swimming costume. It is hot pink and spotted with white, cut-as-flattering-as-a-costume-can-be, and has under wiring that supports and shapes my figure. Together with matching hot pink varnished toenails, a black plastic cap and black goggles, I (would like to believe I) look spiffy and co-ordinated (not that co-ordination has ANYTHING whatsoever to do with how quickly I can swim a lap, but a girl has to feel stylish when she’s ploughing up and down the pool, ya know). So imagine my cry of horror when, on coming to inspect my costume this morning, I found a jagged hole and a nasty sharp length of wire protruding from it. I promptly pulled the wire out and tried the swimming costume on to see exactly what the damage assessment was. It wasn’t pretty. One breast under wired, one not. The fabric of the costume, as a result, has twisted and shifted to leave me looking, for want of a better way to put it, like a lop sided Mongrel. (What a lop sided Mongrel looks like exactly, I cannot tell you, but it sounded good when I was typing this). The carefully crafted plan of swim-every-day-this-week-so-my-stomach-is-nice-and-taut-and-thus-can-take-the-junk-I’m-no-doubt- going-to-shovel-down-in-Freshers-Week is obviously a no-go. I currently ponder two things: firstly where the running tracks are in Durham and secondly, whether opting to not pay the £100+ for using the sports facilities was such a good idea after all…

(btw: the treasure trove for books is not the place featured in the picture...that remains top secret- a girl can't reveal trade secrets, you understand :p)



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