Bubble racer

In Malta, 2006

In Malta, 2006


Claudia came down to the pool to take her place for the day next to the inflatables and the life-guard chair.

The walk down through the hotel took commitment. She had brought four swimsuits with her for her week of sun. She’d endured several undignified trips to horrible changing rooms in various places trying to find the best, most flattering ones. They were an investment. Not too high in the leg, double-layered, good fabric quality and firm support at the bust. Too many times she’d embarrassed herself with an ill-fitting suit that had exposed more flesh than she was happy with revealing.

Her body was in good shape. Toned and strong. Not athletic but she worked hard at the gym to keep herself lean and fit and to keep everyone guessing at her age. She’d had her eye-lashes dyed so she wouldn’t need to fiddle around with waterproof mascara every morning. She did like to apply a light coloured lip balm through the day that contained a high sun protection factor. Her years of smoking had left its mark on her skin particularly vertical lines along her upper lip line. She was careful now to treat her skin well.

Fiona would’ve loved it here, she’d said to the receptionist when she phoned to change the room booking. But the silly cow has met a man and wants to go on holiday with him! I shall be coming on my own.

The receptionist had coughed a little and acknowledged the change in booking.

That’s no problem, Mrs Beaker. There will be a supplement charge for a single booking. How would you like to pay?

The supplement’s no problem but please could you make sure the booking’s under my maiden name Miss Pink. My husband died last year. I don’t like to keep his name. He was a bully of a man and I don’t need to be reminded of that.

The receptionist coughed again.

Certainly, Miss Pink. We look forward to seeing you.

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