Strange(rs) By The Pool

May 23, 2013 3:11pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 50 Comments

 I eventually relaxed into my holiday. It takes me about four days to get to this point as I’m not very good at ‘go slow’. Finally, when even walking to the pool became an effort, I’d collapse on a sun bed, rev up my iTunes and put my big sunglasses on.

 Big, dark sunglasses have several benefits but the most important one is being able to spy on the fellow guests without them realising.  People fascinate me normally but on holiday even more so: There’s the couples that don’t talk to each other; like EVER and just sit there staring into space for a whole week. I wonder if they’ve perhaps got Alzheimer’s and actually haven’t got a clue who they are with.  I like to watch how people arrange their little areas ready for sun worshipping and see what book they are reading so I can analyse their personality.  I pay attention to who’s getting pissed at 10.30 am so I can avoid them like the plague incase they want to become ‘bezziez’ and I don’t go in the pool when they do. And so on. 
Anyway, this particular fine day I noticed a new, middle aged couple had arrived. Their area was very pristine with posh towels and bottles of ‘Evian’ and other named waters. A selection of ‘Piz Buin’ suntan lotion was neatly displayed on their little table with face sprays and electrical equipment.  She had a massive bag like ‘Sac magique’ and I wondered what the hell she had in it that wasn’t already on offer. I noticed she had Gucci sunglasses on and the side arms of her glasses matched her animal print bikini. Obviously they had money so I let the animal print thing slide from judgment because they did make the place look pretty. It’s not that I’m averse to animal print (in very small doses) but when it’s adorned with matching glasses, matching sarong and mules I tend to get a bit safaried out by it.  And you shouldn’t wear mules by a pool. In fact, wear red shoes.  Everyone looks good in red shoes. Or put your flip flops on and stop pretending it’s Milan High Street.

 I got sidetracked for a moment, as is the case, by some rather horrendous flying bug with a red body and green wings and when I glanced back I noticed they were both lying down, looking non sweaty and elegant and reading their novels. How do people do that elegant thing? Anyway,who cares.

 After a while I noticed her foot was tapping furiously,  which was kind of irritating as it was in my peripheral vision. It was then that I realised she was reading ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ – OH HOW TWO THOUSAND AND LATE!  That book annoyed me so much that I couldn’t even get past chapter two of book two. The main girl in it drove me bonkers and I could have manacled her to a wall and whipped her arse myself for being so annoying, but that’s another story.  Fair play to the author who’s now minting it and and lying on a yacht somewhere.

Going back to the lady, I figured she was probably at a steamy part of the novel and her sex life had never reached such heady delights as were being read. So, of course, this made me pay attention to her husband. Average looking bloke really, nothing to shout home about.  Seemed well together and wasn’t in matching animal print which went in his favour. I couldn’t see what he was reading but it looked historical and was a thick book which made me like him a bit more. He wasn’t likely to start being an arsehole.

 The woman was becoming more and more agitated and clearly not comfortable on her sun bed despite her fluffy posh towel. Husband was oblivious to her horizontal shuffle and well engrossed in The battle of Trafalgar, or such like. 

“Boy, are you in for a good seeing to later.” I thought. “All your Christmasses are about to come at once.” So to speak. Bless him.  He didn’t look the sort to be spanking his way through the animal clad bottom, but you never can tell can you?  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  The irony.

All of a sudden, the lady jumped from her bed and pulled another towel from her bag and quickly wrapped it around herself. I was then distracted by my Mother next to me who was already on her fourth novel.

“Why aren’t you reading your book?”  She asked. This is typical of my Mother. Everything has to be educational. Unless we’re at the cocktail bar which, well…that was an education in itself.

“Shhh…There’s far more interesting stuff going on elsewhere.”  I whispered. 

“You’re strange.” She replied.

“Your genes.” I retorted.

As I looked back over, the woman was taking off her bikini under her towel. Why? She’d only been there half an hour. Had Mr Grey had that serious an effect on her already? Good grief. She then pulled another bikini from the Mary Poppins bag and, all credit to her, it was a nice turquoise ensemble that was rather fetching. She put it on under her towel, straightened herself out and began to wander slowly to the pool steps. 

Obviously she was a little hot. 

She began to swim the breast stroke, slowly up and down the pool (glasses still on) pink lippy to boot and making desperately sure she didn’t get her hair wet.  Have never understood that.  Don’t go in water then.

Then, to my surprise, she began to freak out in the water.

“Oh, Oh, Roger!”  She shouted across to her settled husband. What an appropriate name, I giggled to myself.

“Quickly!” she urged as her hands flew to her ears, “My earrings are swelling!” 


Roger leapt up from his bed and rescued the swelling earrings from the clutches of his Mrs and all calmed down again.
Who has earrings that swell? Even with my superb analytical skill at over thinking, I couldn’t come up with an answer. This woman was starting to disturb me.

She then got out of the pool and went back to her bed, retrieving the other fluffy towel and removing her now turquoise bikini.   What?  I mean can somebody help me out here?

Out of the bag came bikini number 3 in the space of an hour and a half! A red and gold one, to be precise. 

“Mother,” I whispered. “That woman has changed swimsuits three times.”

“My Mum glanced over. “No she hasn’t, don’t be silly.” She said.

“Yes she bloody well has! Do you think she’s allergic to material?” 

Later that evening as we made our way up the manmade road to the strip, I stumbled on a pot hole and went my full length cutting my leg and foot. Karma?

All week long I’d been telling my Mother to be careful of the dodgy roads as we made our way home, half cut from alcohol, in the pitch black and there goes me, sober and together, across the whole street.  The funny thing was the people who picked me up, promptly carried me straight to a cocktail bar where I was plied with free drinks to make me feel better.

Whatever gave them that idea? People can get you so wrong… 


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Literally laughed out loud several times reading this. I’ve been wondering about your vaca since seeing your gorgeous photos on instagram. Of course I knew there was pooltime involved but had no idea just how interesting it was!!! I also hated 50 Shades and wanted to flog Anna. I didn’t even attempt the second book. Maybe if it had been available at the library but I wasn’t about to pay good money for it. Sorry to hear that you hurt your foot but free drinks are certainly a very good thing! 😉

Jennifer! My long lost A-Z pal! I hope you are well (I haven’t forgotten about my award…I’ll do it after these holiday posts finish and I’m back to normal…well, I say normal…)

I know! Isn’t she a dithering pain in the arse? I wanted to slap and shake her.
Yeah, free drinks definitely have their medicinal qualities. I don’t know if it’s the ‘free’ part or the ‘drinks’ part…hmmmm. 🙂

Obviously not a lover of literature, judging by her reading material. She sounds like a woman trying hard to look like a trophy wife but not quite succeeding.

Hell Mr Gorilla Bananas 🙂 No, definitely not a lover of literature, or swimsuits or earrings.

You seem to have got the gist of exactly how she was? Were you there?

My wife read all three of the books when we had a weeks holiday in Devon. I was worn out.

I hear what you’re saying Tony. It’s always the same when someone gets a good book and they stay up until the early hours of the morning reading it with the light on. I’m not surprised you were worn out. That is what you meant right? 😉

Oh gosh LOL! Firstly, my sister warned me against reading 50 shades… because I’m the type who’d want to kill Anastasia – or at the very least, set the book on fire.

And then, who the hell swims with their sunglasses on, not getting their hair wet? And changing three times? Sounds to me like someone was all hot and bothered and didn’t know what to do about it.

It takes all kinds to make this world go around Miss Jellybobble 🙂

Az, Az, beautiful Az! I’m eating some very nice fudge at the moment;) It tastes surprisingly like a solidified version of a screaming orgasm.

Oh My God Azra – don’t read it. You will hate her! I know it!

She was a lulabelle that woman. It’s the only thing I can come up with. Logic has no application here.

Um…. I swim with my shades on. Please don’t set me on fire.

Juli, please use your powers of observation to determine my personality type from this description: i’m currently upright, wearing a Borat thong, slippers with dark socks, Goofy hat, and i’m reading the Bible for the first time.

This is a tough one sweet phoenix. See, I can’t get the Borat image from my mind. Everything you have said screams Borat. Ok let me try: Upright so standing strong in your convictions. I think you may have cold feet since you’re only wearing a thong and to be honest, the socks on thing is a very bizarre male trait. A goofy hat? Slightly comical and yet practical at the same time. Clearly the extremities get cold? Looking for enlightenment somewhere? The Bible for the first time? Or is it you’ve suddenly found God! This is your epiphany and you’ve dressed for the occasion! Or maybe…just maybe…you hide your inner pain with a comical mask? 😉

Maybe I’m projecting but I felt sorry for the guy next to the pool who was with the crazy woman reading her semi-porn book. You know that the guy had to deal with her angst, sexual hang ups and need for at least three changes of swim suit per pool outing.

No, I felt sorry for him too. He was actually a very nice friendly guy as it turned out. Clearly looking for any means of escape!

congrats on another pant wetting post Juliette – one can only feel the deepest sympathy for the average bloke who would rather read about the last hours of Nelson than be blindfolded and whipped by his high maintenance, bikini switching missis – hope the leg is OK

Why thank you David 🙂 Ha! Yes, I think most blokes would be like “Oh for the love of God, why did I agree to this hell of a holiday when I could have stayed at home with my book, my computer, a bacon sarnie and six pack of Fosters.” I felt his pain. I noticed he managed to avoid her as much as possible once he got confident in his surroundings. I wanted to steal her bag to see if she went into meltdown. God, I’m horrid.

Definitely a stranger stranger. Who does that???

The strangest of strangers Dee. I mean I’m all for quirkiness and eccentricity, I love it but she was bonkers!

Maybe those bathing suits started swelling? What a strange woman! It is fun to people watch. Sorry you hurt yourself.

Yes Belle! Maybe that was it. Maybe, everything she owned had a swelling issue. Her bag alone was swelling with endless items!

Ahh yes, always fun to watch your fellow holidaymakers… especially the weird ones. Just be aware that they are probably watching you too!
I remember on one holiday, we had a couple who would always have the same spot by the pool. He gained the nickname “Mr Won’t-sit-down”. Because he wouldn’t. His wife would lay on the sunbed all day, reading or sleeping and he would just stand next to her, sometimes wandering over to the bar to get drinks. And that’s all he did. Never lay down or sat down. For hours. Maybe he had piles.

As for Fifty Shades… my missus read that last holiday. I had a great time!

It’s great fun! I don’t care if they watch me. Knock yourself out!

How bizarre! A standing man! He would have been a great addition to my swelling lady!

Definitely a book for blokes to buy for their missus! Although, I’ve heard many stories where it caused a ruckus in the relationship as many men didn’t meet Mr Greys outstanding, oh so perfect, really girls it can’t be possible, get a grip, land of fairytales, demeanor. I only relented to reading the first book cos I heard a bloke had emptied a bottle of tomato sauce over his wife’s head over it and that made me LOL!

Haha, I look forward to finding out what’s up with three-swimsuits-lady! 🙂
Some Dark Romantic

I think she swelled up and floated away!

Of course you realize that the Greeks are a bit testy these days, what with the banks taking most of their money (I wonder how that finally worked out!!).
I have been busy with spring things and have seriously insulted my blogger friends lately, but all is well. Tomatoes planted, dogs de-ticked, grass cut, ducks fed and watered and on and on.

I trust you have a contract with your local newspaper to publish the “travels of Juliette” there in the rag (there is a gal who publishes a small writeup about her adventures on her farm, in the NY Times, so there is precedent).

I always thought “arse” was a formal term, but you guys really say that!
Don’t get that sunburn there in the Med.. And say hi to mom for me.

Goatman! Alive and well! Yay!

Well I like the sound of what you’ve been doing. Just glad that all well 🙂

Yeah, the Greeks are pretty desperate for money and not too happy about taxes. Taxes? What are they?!

I don’t think a paper would publish my travels, not BBC posh enough!

Yes. We really say that!

I love people watching, and I often think it would be wise to own more than set of bathers, but sadly I don’t. My bathing suit takes forever to dry. seriously, FOREVER.

That’s because you’re normal Deirdre and I love you for that 🙂

You spend four days trying to relax when you holiday?! Good lord. I’m like a zombie before I step off the outbound flight. Don’t be jealous. I hang on my cross for other things.

I’m sorry but animal print never looks good on anything. I don’t care what you pay for it, it looks cheap. Sounds like she was trying awfully hard. lot of work. And you thought YOU couldn’t relax!

S’up UB! Yes, I’m bad at relaxing. Awesome at procrastinating and languish anguish, but takes me some time to change gear.

Let’s start a movement to ban animal print. You in?

I hope you’re okay Juliette. Karma seems to get back to me very quickly too – the circle must be very small, lol. As usual, another funny story. 3 bathing suits! Good lord. Matching animal prints are very tacky. I have a little Longchamp bag with Tiger prints on it but my only consolation is that it’s about the only animal print thing I have.

Continuing spying, Juliette 🙂
Those pics on instagram are gorgeous btw.

*continue spying

I can forgive that on a bag Jaya and since you’re ultra stylish I know it will be good. 🙂 I have a red animal print scarf and sometimes that looks cool – if I’m in a Tigery mood. GRRRR.

Thank you 🙂 I love picturegramming!

I shall continue spying, and can’t help it!

Good afternoon, Juliette…

Personally, I think three swim suits is overkill…;oD


Why hello there Shoes 🙂

Well, I totally agree with you. As it happens 😛

I swear… every time I read this post, I fnd somethng different!!!


Hmmm… ;o)


Shoes! 🙂 don’t you just love it when that happens though? It makes it all the more fun! Maybe I shall go and change the odd sentence, OR go and add a new one, see if you notice ;P hmmmmm .. Indeed 😉

I DO love a challenge!

HA!! ;oD


Challenge set shoes! he he he…don’t worry, I’ve made it easy for you 😉

I like ‘easy’… ;o)



LOL. People watching is such fun. Living in NYC was awesome for that, and some days I kind of miss it. Characters come out in big cities. =)

It’s my most favourite pastime 🙂 Yes, big city’s are RIPE for it!

Awesome possum! I enjoy this as well. People watching!

Thanks baba Zed!

I like a kindred person watcher. Welcome 🙂

I came back to re-read this again today…I love it 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend!

Thanks Keith 🙂 You too

Priceless anecdote, Jules. Perfectly naughty style, too. I knew you were very perceptive but never did I suspect you could easily outspy James. I wonder what you would write about your blue friend should he ever find himself skinny dipping in the Bora Bora sea thinking you and your spy shades are preoccupied with a book.

Ha! I am spy extroadinaire! Well I wouldn’t be laughing at your lack of Or your tights. Or the fact that you eat strawberries. No. I would push all that to one side and try and fathom out the things that you aren’t so up front about! 😉

Anyway, I’d probably be too happy to care cos I’m in Bora Bora and would be so ecstatic I’d probably forget my sunglasses in the excitement.

Shit my tight…. will you ever forget, Ms spy extraordinaire…. But did I read Azzie wants to set that book on fire? Dear Lord, I’m on the verge of starting to suspect that maybe (though definitely maybe still) one of us needs a very real holiday.

I never forget.

I will help her set said book on fire.

Yes – very much needed.

Why do the Lottery Gods hate me?

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