There is something about the lurid lighting in the change rooms of most dress shops. It makes my already pallid flesh look like uncooked tripe – complete with ripples and bumps. There I am pulling up a cossie over my knickers (hygiene you know, you never know who’s crotch has left an imprint) and then I am pulling and pushing bits of my anatomy into what was last year’s size – oops, think I need the next size up, they must be making them smaller (yeah right!! – dream on)

I’ve pulled the sucker up, tucked in my 57 year old boobs and pulled in my tum. There is nothing I can do about the bulge of thigh and bum which is escaping the leg area. More tugging, more pulling. I thought black was slimming. They lied. As for my tuck shop lady arms. I could weep. All those upright rows at the gym have made the top of them look like Madonna’s but underneath they ripple like the surf at my local beach.

Turn this way, then that. Hmmm. take off glasses, yes looks better blurred. Maybe if I tie a sarong and drop it at the water’s edge and then dash into the water without looking around. Why does my skin look so yellow? do I have jaundice, no its those dammed lights.

Ok, back view – ugh, quick back to front view. Not much better. Fake tan might help, but I always look like an escapee from a carrot farm – no matter how much pre-tan exfoliating it still settles into the craters and sticks to any dark blemish on my skin, therefore screaming to the world “She doesn’t know how to put on fake tan!!!” What a failure.

Already tired of all the requirements of being a full time beauty devotee, I have pretty much given up and minimalised the whole routine. I am not going to start getting sprayed with a fake tan hose any time soon…And OMG, what is that shadow, oops need to mow the lawn and clip the edges if you women get my meaning. Oh the bloody tyranny of womanhood. Think those Victorian women had the right idea with neck to knee cossies.

Shall I buy it? There is 30% off today, perhaps it will do. I am meeting my little sis in Sydney next week for a weeks R&R which will involve some close contact with the hotel pool and spa. Hmm, perhaps we can go in after dark.

I walk to the counter with the size 14 pair under my arm. I live near one of the most beautiful beach areas in the world. In a few weeks I won’t give a damm and will be diving into those beautiful blue waves having hopefully forgotten the trauma of swimsuit shopping in spring.