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Nancy Bush

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You Can't Escape
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Sophie Kinsella
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It's that time of year again. Spring fashions have hit the shops, the sun's peeking out from the greyness and I have a vacation coming up. Which can only mean one thing. The dreaded swimwear shopping expedition. Now, you know me. 'Dreaded' and 'shopping' don't often make it into the same sentence. But what is it about swimwear shops? I'm not sure if it's the lighting in the changing rooms (blue-grey), or the assistants (size zero, permatanned), or the fact that you're struggling out of your winter woollies into a bikini and have never felt less beach-ready in your life... but it's rarely a great experience. Sometimes it's a terrible experience. Sometimes it's a soul-scarring-years-of-therapy experience (yes, YOU, green tankini that looked so great on the mannequin). Swimwear shops should be as feelgood as holidays themselves. If I ever went into swimwear retail, I know exactly how my shops would be. Flattering, rosy lighting everywhere. The heating cranked up high. Hawaiian music playing over the sound system and complimentary cocktails on arrival. A spray-on instant tan booth. The smell of suntan oil in the air... sun-loungers around the place... maybe even a couple of gorgeous "Baywatch"-type lifeguards to flirt with... in fact, why would I even bother going on vacation if I had all that? :) But until that happy day, it's back to Plan B. Sitting down with a glass of wine and ordering six swimsuits online. One of them has got to fit. And if not, I'll order another six. Now, if I could just find a website for "Baywatch" guards...

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Photo: Sophie Kinsella
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