Maybe it’s a middle-age affliction, I don’t know, but I’ve grown to really, really dislike online shopping of late
• WE’RE going on our first holiday in years, in a few weeks’ time and I must admit I’m a tad nervous. Not about the flying, or the expense (or the air miles, I’ve made my peace with that) but the heat. It was already on my mind before I heard about the recent record breaking 40 degrees Celsius in Spain, then I got all hot and bothered completely. I’m at my best when conditions hover in or around 18 or 19 degrees. I will still function up to 24 degrees (I might be a bit irritable and flushed looking, though) but anything past that and I’m going to be a mess – physically, emotionally and mentally (is that the same thing?). I’m forecasting a lot of huffing and puffing when we touch down on foreign soil, and have already stocked up on those little face mists and have my mini fan at the ready.
• Naturally my usual ‘uniform’ of leggings and hoodie won’t work where we’re going, so I pulled down my vacuum packed bag of ‘official sun holiday clothes’ from the top shelf of the wardrobe to see what my options were. Let’s just say they were … very limited. The gear last had an outing pre- Covid and sure we know what Covid did to us all, so online I went in search of a few basics. That was a fortnight ago and since then I can safely say I’ve lost endless hours to scrolling, along with also losing my sanity along the way. I’ve also nearly lost my job what with all the time I’ve had to spend co-ordinating collections and deliveries and all I have to show for it so far is a new pair of Birkenstocks. I think it’s a combination of my age, and the ridiculous choice online that has me totally flummoxed. It used to be so much easier, or am I imagining it?
• For example, I was looking for a swimsuit. How hard could that be I thought? All I wanted was something straightforward and in black for its slimming powers (here’s hoping). I went to a fairly middle-of-the-road retailer and put in my search and got back over 300 options. Then when I eliminated anything with elaborate cut outs (I’m just not feeling it) all I was left with was those sturdy cossies with ruching. I mean is there anything more guaranteed to knock the holiday feeling from you than the word ‘ruching’? Well, maybe ‘built-in support panels’ (and in this case it’s not referring to some sort of advisory group). Depressing.
• I am still thinking about one particular togs I came across called a ‘Miraclesuit’ which is at the pricier end of the scale and which promises you’ll look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds. I know, I’m embarrassed for myself too, but this is what online shopping does to you … turns you into a mad woman. Anyway I’ve just discovered there’s an enormous water park not far from where we’re staying so I imagine I’ll spend most of the week on gravity defying slides, needing as much support from my togs as possible, given my fear of speed and heights. ‘Miraclesuit’ it is then.
• Looks like we won’t have to worry about soaring temperatures at home … not yet anyway. It’s probably just as well as I haven’t yet ‘pimped my patio.’ Isn’t that a phrase that’s nearly as annoying as ‘look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds’? I think I’m going to rebel against all that this summer, and stick with my perfectly imperfect, unpimped patio. Growing up we’d just pull out some mattresses that were kept under the beds for our marathon sunbathing sessions. I can recall them vividly. They were … let’s say, well worn. And there wasn’t even the nice smell of sun screen to mask the ‘earthy’ odours from them either as we didn’t wear it back then. We were ahead of the curve alright with our hammock. My dad welded a frame to hang it from and it looked very cool ... until we all climbed in together and got grass stains on our pants and we’d be killed. The hammock is long gone but the frame is still in the garden like a modern art installation. Anyway, back to being angry! Now it’s all aesthetically pleasing corner couches, outdoor rugs and coffee tables. In the words of Logan Roy … get a grip. (Obviously I’m still going to enter every single Insta competition to try and snag a corner couch for myself or some awning … what?)
• Speaking of getting a grip (on the ‘hang tough’ bars), Fittest Family is looking for applications for its eleventh series. The cash prize of €15,000 is enticing but I know my limits. Dermot Bannon is also looking for people taking on unusual, small scale projects to get in touch for a new series. If you need your patio done? Until either hit our screens I recommend the superb dark comedy Beef on Netflix. But what I’d recommend above all is a walk among the season’s glorious bluebells, breathe in the gorgeous smell and tell yourself that it will all be ok (once you find a swimsuit).