Friday, 10 April 2009
At the age of ten, an age I was easily embarrassed, we went to Fraserburgh on holiday for two weeks and although it was in July the weather was (as usual in Britain) very indifferent so I had little use for the new swimming costume my mum had bought in Ayr at the January sales.
One day though we awoke to a bright sunny morning and at last I was going to get wearing my new trunks. Although they were bought at the sales they were supposed to be the latest thing in fashion being made of wool, tightly woven to preserve ones modesty. They were dark blue with a white belt around the waist, more for decoration than anything else I thought as I slipped them on under cover of a beach towel. Never learning to swim until I was in my late forties I was in no hurry to go into the water and was quite happy playing on the sand with my two sisters, building castles and eating ice- cream until the sun rose a bit higher providing us with more heat.
After we had some sandwiches and a drink of orange I decided to try the water so running over to the edge I waited till the lapping waves swirled round my feet and concluded that it was warm enough to venture further.
My two sisters had decided to join us but as Dorothy was only five my mother stayed with her while Margaret and I edged our way deeper and deeper until I could feel the cold waves splashing at my waist and as each wave hit I would jump to try and avoid the cold hitting my chest but each time I jumped my trunks stayed under the water slipping farther down over my bottom each time. In all my excitement I never noticed that I was exposing my front parts for everyone ahead of me to see and carried on until it got too deep to go any farther. It wasn't until we turned back and reached shallower water that the weight of my trunks became too much
even for the snazzy belt to keep them up and all sodden and saggy they slipped right down to my knees, water pouring out of them as they kept slipping until I realised what was happening.
My face immediately turned red as I look at the throngs of people that were sitting around the sand looking out to sea, some of them laughing at this small boy struggling to keep his trunks around his private parts as he ran for a towel.
Needless to say the trunks were never back on again and if they ever were a fashion item other folk must have experienced the same embarrassment hence the reason you never see woolen bathing costumes now. Its no wonder I never learned to swim until late in life, that was enough to put me off going into the sea for years but but not enough to stop me going on it even though I could not swim and if anyone out there ever wore these fashion items they will be able to relate to my story. You can imagine what would happen if the man in the photo had been wearing woolen trunks.
They were as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike and were domed to failure from the start and I often wonder who thought of the idea in the first place and obviously marketed them without testing them but as they were bought at the sales not too much money was sacrificed for my first and last fashion statement.