World o’ Nylon, Kingdom of Lycra

Someone has to stop me.

If my calculations are correct, and I’m hoping that they’re not, in a few days, I will have moved from a relative swimming costume drought to a position in which I may quite possibly drown in the damned things.

I will explain.

As the attentive among you may have noticed, I have been making subtle little ‘I’m going on holiday soon’ noises. Attentive you may be, but curious you’re not: you haven’t asked about it, so I’m not going to tell you. Insert rasberry noise here.

This is an incredible and exciting thing in many ways – not the me refusing to tell you things, that’s just petulent. The me going on holiday thing: that’s ace – but the area in which it is not exciting at all is the area concerned with stripping off in public.

Oh no, that’s not a good area at all.

Remember the blue-dress related unhappiness of a few weeks ago? The hateful shopping experience, the despised retail industry and their million lines of clothing for no one who looks like me? Well you can take all of that, and do it nine times over with whipped cream when it comes to the idea of swimming costumes.

I don’t have a swimming costume. Well, I didn’t. A few weeks ago, once the holiday had been booked, I realised that if I was going to be spending x amount of time lying about on beaches and y amount of time in swimming pools, I was going to require z amount of swimming costumes.Z can, in this instance, safely be assumed to be “1”.

Or that’s what normal people would think, anyway.

I ordered a swimming costume from a large online home shopping thingo. It didn’t arrive. Emails flew back and forth – mine angry, theirs automated.

Eventually, they admitted they had failed. I panicked. Time was running out, my ‘number of swimming costumes’ was still running at a stable ‘None’, my confidence was running low. I ran into the arms of eBay.

Searched for swimming costumes. New, you understand. Not second hand. Brain fuzzed. New to eBay. Bid on swimming costume. Bid on another. Lost them both to snipers. Panicked. Bid on another few. Found one that I could ‘Buy now!’. Did that. Found another. Did it again. Large online home shopping thingo emailed offering to re-send orginal order. Grumpily agree that they might. They do not respond. Then I start winning eBay auctions.

Yesterday, a stressful day, is made a little ridiculous by emails that keep arriving, saying “Congratulations! You are the winning bidder! Now pay for your item.” By the fourth, I am hitting my head against the desk.

I still have no tangible swimming costumes. I still don’t know if any of them fit or suit me. One is coming from Canada. I’m not even sure how their sizing system works: In a quiet corner of the office, an eBayer possessed, I measured my hips with my ipod earphones and a ruler against the numbers they suggested.

I haven’t got a swimming costume to my name, but have a feeling that there are four in the post. Maybe five.

I’m hoping that what I have bought is the right thing. One of them. But every time I go to eBay to check, I seem to start browsing, only aware that I don’t have, in my possession, a single swimming costume. I have a post-it note stuck to my desk, another to the laptop at home. It says “NO MORE COZZIES”.

I’m now hoping against hope that I’ll be outbid on the remaining auctions.

Otherwise there will be more. Several more.

Someone has to stop me.