This holiday to Oman we’re going on, I’m sure you want to know more – it’s to a hotel we have been to before, called Zighy Bay. We last went two years ago, when it rained for the whole week. All of it. The locals were dashing about going “It’s a miracle! Rain!” while we just sobbed and looked at each other, dumbfounded. IT’S THE FUCKING DESERT.
Anyway we liked the hotel so much, despite the rain, we’re going back. Hoping for no rain.
I am doing my absolute best to be very restrained about buying new clothes as I think we all are, aren’t we? I felt like last year was this hideous new-clothes buying circus; now we’re all waking up with a terrible clothes hangover, with piles and piles of clothes that we probably won’t wear. I blame Stacey Dooley! (She’s got a point though.)
I haven’t bought a pair of expensive sunglasses for probably 15 years and I just felt like having a new pair. I will lose/sit on them within 24 hours of arriving in Oman, I promise.
Oh no wait hang on sorry I also got a new pair of sandals. Last year I got the most fantastic sandals from Accessorize and I wore them all summer – they were so brilliant because a) they covered up most of my foot, which I feel is the most flattering way to deal with my feet, which swell up in the heat b) they had thick straps, so nothing rubbed or dug in and c) they were backless so I just shoved my feet in and off we went, no fussing about with a buckle.
But those have now fallen to bits, so I have upgraded to these, above, from Ancient Greek, called “Thais”. You can buy Ancient Greek on Net a Porter, but they don’t have a very wide range of styles – so I went to the actual Ancient Greek site and got them.
There was a small problem with my order and the customer service lady was really good. I fear the Greeks even when they do good customer service! Actually I don’t, Greeks are lovely aren’t they? Except that thing where they always want to eat dinner at 10pm.
Oh no shit I also got a new black dress from Hush, because I really think it fits the bill of that great black summer dress I’m always saying you need.
Okay, this is no showstopper, but as I have said before in the summer a good solid black dress is your best friend. I like this one because it is nice and loose around the middle and you can wear proper underwear with it.
This is a dress for a nothingy hot summer Saturday that you can stick on with a hat and sandals or plain white trainers to take the kids to the park and it won’t get tangled in the buggy and you will just look completely together and chic even though you’re just wearing quite a black dress. OR it’s a good thing to wear when travelling.
When I wore this on Instagram it wasn’t very popular, but that is one of the (many) problems with Instagram – plain dresses, especially black, don’t do very well because they just don’t look as good in photos as colourful or patterned clothes do. But they are absolutely 100% a total, basic, building block of your summer wardrobe.
My kids really do need new stuff for holidays because they will insist on growing all the time. I hit Boden, of course – where else? Who were offering a very weird 12% discount.
Kitty now has this new swimsuit
And then two sets of swim pants only, which I suspect she will wear to tootle about on the beach with a shirt or t-shirt on over the top. From experience I know that Kitty likes most of all to beach comb, and is also prone to sunburn, so this combo will be practical for kneeling about in the sand but will also keep the sun off her shoulders. My top tip is if you’re buying holiday t-shirts for kids, get them a couple of sizes too big so they’re flappy and cool.
I also really like the look of Boden’s new surf bikini set, which just a bit more tasteful than sticking your 8yo in the sort of bikini I think it is okay to wear, but more breezy than a one-piece. (Starts massive row about appropriateness or not of bikinis on pre-teens.)
Sam for some reason insists on wearing a rash vest even when he’s just swimming in the pool. I don’t know why, it looks the most hellishly yuck thing to have on but there we go, I’m sure I’ve got plenty of strange habits too. I prefer these short-sleeved ones from John Lewis.
Speaking of sunburn, I discovered last year a sunscreen called Altruist, which is very good; it delivers a fine mist which is neither sticky nor irritating and provides excellent protection. We used it last summer and it was just great. They also donate to a charity for African children with albinism, which explains the name.
I have used special face SPF in the past but I’m convinced it’s made me break out (although I suspect pretty much everything of doing that – sunshine! Air! Oxygen! London water!) but all the same this holiday I am taking this stuff from Vichy, which is non-greasy and specially made for oily yet sensitive skin (mine).