Well, this is a first…. I have actually walked past the enticing windows of Hobbs and Jigsaw and I have ended up in……. Millets camping store! Yes, really! This place is so alien to me, I might as well be in a Hoover factory. The last time I ventured in here I had to get Daughter a tent for a festival. I selected a bargain £25 pop-up tent which blew away at 3am on the first night of her trip. This meant she spent the next 2 nights sharing a tent with her best friend and best friend’s boyfriend. The downside was that she learnt way too much about her mate’s sex life. The upside was that she has never had any desire to go to a festival again.
So, I have my list: ‘sleeping bag, mosquito net, water bottle, head torch etc’, but worst of all…. SANDALS. I have an aversion to any sandals with Velcro straps normally seen at country pubs and at Gatwick Airport in summer, in the check-in queue for Switzerland. They are normally accompanied by socks and trousers with detachable legs. Sorry, I just can’t do that. I really do want to blend in on this trip and not look like the Middle-Aged Suburban Misfit, but there are some bridges I just cannot cross, and wearing Merrell sandals is one. In fact, I have huge problems with the entire wardrobe requirement for this venture. I am Jayne Webb with the silk shirt, skinny jeans and loafers and this signature look does not, and never, will include amorphic sack-like baggy attire. The dress code reads ‘shoulders and knees must be covered at all times.’ This would not be a problem here in winter, a good quality cashmere coat can do that stylishly, but in 30°C heat and 80% humidity, I am going to have to adopt a whole new look. The ‘Glamourous Granny Look’ with long floaty skirts, linen blouses and chinos. And, it gets worse. Normally when westerners go to Goa, Sri Lanka and the Maldives they stay in resorts where Western dress codes apply, but I am staying with the Muslim natives and women swim in ‘Burkinis’. I Googled this word and was utterly horrified. The model actually had a complete hijab headdress on as well! Suddenly my fear of looking ridiculous was replaced by fears of actually drowning, as the tails of my headdress got caught in some speed boat propellers. Fortunately, I worked out that this addition was because she was a Muslim model. Anyway, I have come up with a solution. I am going surfing. By that I mean I have bought a cool pair of multi-coloured surfing leggings and a coordinating Lycra rash vest. No one said it had to be black….