Friday, 7 October 2011

The other me?

I was on holiday lying on my sunbed at the pool, sunglasses on my face and kindle in my hands, and from behind them I was intermittently people watching (as one does). I watched the comings and goings around the pool.
The young and newly in love couple playfully throwing each other into the pool and laughing made me smile.

The three year old boy learning to swim who was so excited on finding he could move through the water by himself, all his family were called to witness this auspicious occasion. He brought a tear to my eye.

  Mr poser man in his g string swimwear. Well he just  made me cringe in embarrassment for him.

He was standing,  reading his book to enable him an all over sun tan. Everyone who saw him  had to look twice as they couldn't believe their eyes. His body was not offensive to look at but no one wants to see a male adult bum at the poolside. His girlfriend was taking photos of him posing and he did the same for her, I say girlfriend because no wife would have allowed her husband to go out like that, what a silly man.

From my sunbed.

As I continued my people watching from behind the safety of my sunglasses and kindle I watched a woman enter the pool, as she backed  tentatively  down the steps into the freezing water, I thought she looked roughly the same age as me, her hair was the same colour and style she wore a similar black swimsuit  and I was busy wondering whether she was fatter or thinner than me and had decided we were just about the same size and vowed to go on a diet as soon as I got home.
She splashed into the pool (no one enters a pool without a splash) and started swimming in my direction, she was wearing sunglasses so I couldn't see her eyes but swimming towards me was me. No I'm not going mad, I know I am lying on the sunbed but she was me, my double. I felt a bit uncomfortable as I couldn't take my eyes off her, thank goodness that I too was wearing sunglasses. She was my double and my husband agreed down to the grumpy look on her face.

My husband says I don't smile enough, I am often told by bus drivers to "Cheer up hen it might never happen." Which of course does not make smile but makes me grumpy. I cannot walk around with a grin plastered on my face, if I did men in white coats in a big van would cart me away to a padded cell. I am happy inside but it seems that I don't often tell my face.
Please don't think I always look grumpy or that I am a grumpy person, as soon as I start speaking my face gets the message from my brain and it knows what to!

Back to the woman swimming, as I look at my double with the non smiling face (do you smile as you swim?) I realised what I looked like better than any mirror or photo could have ever shown me and I didn't really like what I saw, too fat, old looking and not very happy.

After her swim, her friend and her gathered their clothes and her beach bag which was identical to the one I had at home and had decided not to take on holiday, ( good decision)  and went for lunch (I'm surmising this is where they went) and as my double walked past me I heard her speak German.

Now there's nothing wrong with being German except for the fact that they rise really early and book all the sunbeds, but I had just been reading A Woman of Secrets by Amelia Carr. It is the story of three women who join the special ops during the second world war and go undercover in France to help the French Resistance, because of this I had been getting a bit spooked every time I heard a German voice, thinking myself as part of the story I was reading. So to hear my double speaking German really spooked me, between that and realising that I, like her had a grumpy face, I didn't feel so relaxed at the pool.

I  have always been fascinated by stories of the second world war. It had been over for  twelves years when I was born so maybe I just think I am lucky to have missed it. I say to my husband perhaps jokingly that I think in a past life I was in Germany during the war because I am a bit scared to go there and I have no other explanation why except for the books I read.

I should really be thanking my doppelganger for making me realise a few things about myself, and as Rabbie Burns wrote,
"Oh would some  power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us"
So this year instead of New Year Resolutions I am making post holiday resolutions.

1. I will loose weight.
2. I will smile more when walking, going for a bus, swimming, sleeping.
3.I will visit Germany and love it.

                                                                                                                      Auf  Wiedersehen.
                                                                                                                                  ANNE X


  1. That's so funny. :)

    There's actually a recognised term for people who don't appear to be smiling and look a bit, um, grumpy. I have, of course, forgotten said recognised term. However, I know it exists because my sister, who vows to strangle the next person who tells her to cheer up because it might never happen, was ecstatic when she found it. :)

    I don't need to see my double to realise certain things about myself. I only need to look in my wardrobe at the clothes I can longer squeeze into. Ah well, maybe I'll start that diet tomorrow. Then again...

  2. Thanks for reading it Shirley,yes I know what you mean a bout the clothes in the wardrobe and it gets harder as you get older to shed the pounds.
    On bus driver said the same to me as your sister that it might never happen,I told him it had! That wiped the smile of his face!
    Not having a smiley face has a name then, how interesting.

  3. Your'e so funny Anne. At least I didnt cry this time!!! Stop lying by the pool and watching ladies, there's a name for that aswel u know!!! :-) x

  4. Ma Frog I'm glad I didn't make you cry I tried to be a bit lighter this time..but watch this space...xx

  5. As if that thong-wearing guy wasn't freaky enough, you had to go and see your double. Weird. There are quite a number of story ideas there though. Hope you had a great holiday and don't worry about the smile. They say it shows in your eyes when your heart's smiling and I'm willing to bet that's the case with you.

  6. You write very well and I really enjoyed reading this.

  7. Rosalind, thanks for your comments your very kind to say that. Mrsmac3,thanks for reading and for. your comments it's lovely to have someone new read my blog.

  8. I need to make an effort to smile more in outside world, too! :)

  9. Talli,I've been trying but it's hard not to look silly! Thanks for reading.

  10. Great post Anne, you certainly made me smile! I love people watching too, helps to be wearing shades, You do see some sights. When ever I come back from holiday, I'm always going on a diet and promising myself to get fit. I'll do it this time. I'll still be grumpy though :-)


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