There I am in the paper #70

Here in Ireland the weather has gone a bit ‘off’ so I thought I’d cheer you up with another of my pieces from the Examiner’s Feelgood, in which I star… in a wet suit. Thankfully only visual pictures supplied.

I’ve waxed lyrical about holidaying in Ireland recently, but what do you do when you wake up to a day of thick fog, misty rain or both?

If it was up to me I’d have thought, stay in our pyjamas? Unfortunately, my family thought, let’s go kayaking. Are we even related? Their logic was, it didn’t matter if it rained as we’d be wearing wet suits.

Yes, wet suits!

No clothing in the history of the world, including a bikini, is more capable of triggering an allergic reaction in me.

Less than an hour later we were looking out onto water, as still as if it were a mirror beneath us, reflecting distant mountains cloaked with fog. It was both eerie and magical.

Unfortunately, another family had gone before us and forgotten to return with our pre-booked kayaks, so we decided to eat our picnic two hours early.

As luck would have it, we were finishing the final packet of crisps when the lost family returned. Oh joy, I thought, wetsuit time. Wet, cold, previously worn by another, wetsuit time.

We gathered in a small hut filled with wetsuits of all sizes.

“I bet I’ll get the one with holes in it,” I groaned.

A teenager sized us up. Squinting, he looked me up and down and reached for a suit, but then looked again and changed his mind. I sucked in and tried to look tall, but he handed me his second choice.

Once inside the ladies dressing room I looked at my wetsuit. Dear God, I thought, had I sucked in too much? How on earth would I fit into it?

Sitting on a small bench I pushed one foot into the leg but it stuck half way. I pushed and pulled and eventually my big toe appeared. Unfortunately, despite a herculean effort, the rest of my foot was nowhere to be seen. Panting, I noticed my daughter was already togged out.

“I’d zips on the ends of mine,” she smiled, seeing my look of disbelief at how fast she’d entered hers.

“I knew it,” I said, “I got the dud one.”

I pulled at the ankle with all my might but it was no good.

“Do you think I should tell him my feet are too big for this wetsuit?” I asked, as my daughter unkindly exploded laughing.

Many grunts and groans later my right foot finally appeared, unfortunately I was startled to discover my left foot was even larger. I’d given birth to 9lb babies with less effort.

Having finally delivered both feet, I stood with the wet suit around my ankles wishing I could go home. If we were being charged by the hour a sizable chunk was already up. Taking a deep breath, I grabbed the wetsuit and proceeded to scrape it up my legs. Mid-thigh it ran into serious trouble. However, by doing a mock dance involving knee jerks and gyrations any lap dancer would be proud of, I managed to haul it up to my waist.

“I’m exhausted,” I sighed, collapsing onto the bench, “I definitely got the wrong size.”

Putting both arms in, I tried to pull it up by raising my arms in a ‘praise the lord’ type hail, but I didn’t even get half way.

“Help,” I wheezed.

My daughter stepped forward and with a series of yanking motions pulled it up the final few inches.

Barely able to breathe I followed her out feeling every bit my age. She and her brother looked like wet suit models. Yer man and myself… like two weighing in on operation transformation.

Was it worth it? Possibly, but a word of warning, however hard it was for me to put on the wet suit… it took two to remove it!


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