Have been on weather patrol for last five days (Italian Riviera has been submerged in near biblical heights of water recently) so as soon as I opened shutters and saw that big, yellow ball of joy in the sky I was out on beach.
I was looking forward to having the beach to myself, armed only with a bottle of Ambre Solaire and an Italian phrasebook, but it seems early morning is prime visiting time for the elderly in Italy.
I ended up in sea with three very little old people, who wanted a big chat. They had a strong Genoese accent and that, combined with vats of water lodged in ears, meant I couldn't really understand what they were saying at all. Spent entire conversation furiously treading water, trying to keep afloat and thinking ‘isn't it strange that I am essentially in a big bath with three old people, basically wearing our knickers and bras.
After ten painfully long minutes I decided to swim off but it’s tricky to extract yourself politely when you can't really speak the language. I have found it easiest to claim a headache and to announce lethargically ‘ho maldi testa’ (I have a poorly head) like a sort of sickly Victorian woman.
Its even harder when your swimming is poor at best. Tried deftly to breaststroke away from the Italians but they kept following me. Was like nightmare where you can't run away from somewhere because your feet are stuck to ground. Cursed my former Year 5 self for not paying more attention in swimming lessons and spending too much time floating, not enough time learning front crawl.
Proceeded to spend next fifteen minutes slow-motion breast stroking away from elderly shouting 'SPIACENTE, HO MALDI TESTA', 'HO MALDI TESTA'.