My news vacation

disney birdsI recently went on vacation. My first real ‘away from home, the dog and my laptop, sleeping in a hotel, eating out every day’ vacation in 4 years. To build on the relief of having no schedule, no must dos, laundry or dying veg in the fridge, I decided to also take a vacation from the news.

Nothing. No newsletters, no social media posts, no hitting refresh on CNN, BBC, The Guardian or even the tv. In fact, I didn’t watch tv for 7 days.

The bliss of no Trump for 168 hours. I highly recommend it to anyone feeling ragged, angry, frustrated, furious or just terrified. Its like sitting in a warm bath of innocence while fairies sing songs and fat suddenly melts off your thighs for no reason. I actually felt lighter. I heard birds again. I learned to hike without a annoying ping of texts or emails. I actually did.one.thing.at.a.time. It was like 1994 all over again.

Of course I returned to find out that we’re heading steadily towards some kind of nightmare scenario with the only leader with worse hair than ours, Houston had a Katrina (but the First Lady looked fabulous because fashion matters when dealing with immeasurable loss), and Dreamers will now be deported (or not be able to stay as citizens). Landing back in reality felt more like a car crash than even I expected and my shoulders are once more up by my ears. This shit ain’t going away.

You can argue that having the luxury to ignore the news is a sign of my privilege that millions can’t afford to do. That turning off the news and social media is sticking your head in the sand and if everyone did it… blah blah blah.

But no one can be angry and frustrated and fighting all the damn time. And I found new time in my day by not hitting refresh, liking posts, adding snarky comments or reading sites, that gave me the chance to actually breathe. I returned to the news with more energy, and a clearer idea of what is important to read vs. the piling on vs digging a deeper hole. How my time is better spent doing, instead of posting. Finding ways to create and contribute instead of wallowing in despair.

I’m back in the real world now. The fairies may have left and the weight has returned, but for now, I can still hear the birds. And I’m hanging onto that for as along as I can.

 

 

 

 

Boobs on the beach

Its mid summer and as thoughts turn to sand and surf, its time for the dreaded death bikinimarch known as ‘swimwear shopping’. I’m not going to moan about crappy lighting, lumps and bumps or the awful southern migration of everything once pointing north. Thats not my problem.

After all, having no kids means I’ll probably die alone and unloved, but I won’t have saggy tits or a mom pouch. Hey, there’s an upside to everything. So what’s my problem with swimwear?

Its boobs. Specifically big boobs.

Living in the US means 90% of all female attire is designed for 5ft 10 waifs with flat chests and a 34 inch inseam. Clothing options for big boobs are limited to the ‘Misses’ section, Fredricks of Hollywood hoochy section or the nude granny bra’s hidden next to the flannel nightgowns. Its like the tits fell off the immigrants when they came over on the Mayflower or something, because America sure doesn’t provide for those of us who are blessed in the breast department.

And before you start playing the worlds smallest violin, check out Miss Tits in the picture. See the challenge? Nuff said.

Hailing from the UK – the original land of the pendulous breast – I was used to skinny model clothing everywhere, but stores did still recognize that women – by and large – have tits. And sometimes, big tits, monster tits. Check out a lingerie department in the UK and be awestruck at the sizes. Most Americans would claim ‘fake news’ in the face of a 28GG. But I’m here to tell you – its normal and it does exist. In fact, I’ve seen more than a few IRL.

But here in the US, you’d think that big boobs don’t exist, young chicks definitely don’t have them and they certainly don’t exist the moment you step on a beach.

I discovered this my first year in the US during one of the most depressing days of my life. With a beach vacation looming (and many years before online shopping), I spent 8 hours traipsing around every store I knew in search of something, anything that would cover more than a nipple.

Every store was the same. Tiny triangles designed for mutant sexless elves. Fabric so thin you could see my heart beat through it. And for every top, a bottom designed for an 8-year-old boy. I sized up. I sized up again. I moved into the plus section. And still I couldn’t find anything that covered more than my nipples or my ass crack. I wound up eventually in the ‘Big Girls’ section of a department store, flicking through swim suits with skirts and spaces for my future mastectomy. I felt like a mutant.

So that was my choice. Sexless grandma, cancer survivor or porno reject.

I wound up laying out in a Speedo that year.

Thankfully these days we have the world at our fingertips and I can summon the best swimwear from anywhere (where women have tits), for just $4.99 shipping.

I can look like a 50s pinup, an LA madam or even Aquaman if thats my thing. There’s  ‘full coverage’ or ‘partial coverage’, underwired, ‘bandeau’ (aka wrapping them around your back) and even the mumsy ‘tankini’ to hide that lunchtime prosecco pot belly. Hell you can even go whole hog and grab a burkini. And of course, they still make those triangles.. just bigger and with sturdier straps for us grown up girls.

I still struggle to find options that don’t push my tits up to my chin or come with extra padding (because my DD’s NEED TO BE BIGGER?) but at least there are possibilities.

So thank you internets. Thank you Brazil, Canada, Germany and the UK for acknowledging that women do indeed come with chesticals which we can’t remove for our summer vacation. That our asses have curves bigger than two limes and most of us don’t shave from here to next Tuesday just to pop for a swim.

And for those considering heading out to find that suit for Labor day. Don’t bother. Google ‘bikini’ and your chest size on Amazon and be prepared for the onslaught. It’ll be the best bikini shop of your life.