Tim Davey Naked ambition
I had, I confess, failed to take into account how difficult it is to remove one's trousers in the great outdoors without causing offence. It's not something I normally contemplate. But there comes a time and place... and mine was on a searing hot September beach in Brittany.
The sun blazed down relentlessly from an azure blue sky and the sand beneath my feet was doing its best to reduce my soles to cinder. There was, declared my wife, who is good at such declarations, "only one thing to do. You will have to go for a swim."
You note, I am sure, the singularity of all this. But, secretly, I agreed with her, for if I had lain prone on the beach much longer I would have turned redder than any lobster being served up in one of the local restaurants.
Thing is, I hadn't come prepared for such an eventuality. The last time we had holidayed in this particular spot it had been mid-summer, grey, miserable, and wet on a daily basis.
Yet here we were in early September enjoying balmy barmy weather of the sort normally associated with the Caribbean. So how was I to change on the beach, given that the only towel in our possession was a somewhat slim-line number supplied as a freebie by a budget airline some years back.
"Ah," said Mrs Davey, "you could go back to the car and change in there." We had parked beneath the shade of some nearby pine trees and it seemed a sensible proposition. So I sauntered back, carefully checking no one was overlooking the process, then moved the front passenger seat right back and attempted to swap my pair of jeans for swim shorts.
I got as far as removing one of my shoes and realised that I should have probably persevered with those yoga lessons after all. A certain degree of flexibility was called for and I don't possess it. Disappointed but determined now to take a dip in the briny, I headed back to the beach and wrapped the towel around me and… made a complete hash of things.
As you would of course with one hand holding the towel and the other trying to remove one garment and replace it with another. All the while, of course, retaining one's modesty. the deed was eventually done and I waded out into the water, which was absolutely freezing. I stayed in, though, for what I felt was a decent amount of time, before heading back up the beach.
While I had been immersing myself, one of the local chaps had, apparently strolled down to the beach, and, towel-less, whipped his trousers off and his Speedos on. It was, my wife said, far more impressive than my pathetic one-man contortion show.