Don’t leave home without it!

Dear lovely readers and commentists, firstly I just want to say a big big thank you for all the supportive comments and emails we have received about our recent very sombre post: “Help, My teacher is an alien”. There is a risk that I have completely lost my mind so your support and comments mean more to us than you could possibly know. A big “muchas gracias” to all.

As it was such a serious post, I decided it was time to balance it with something much more frivolous so here just a quick story that the children have mostly written themselves.

When we were planning this trip, we had to spend a long time deciding how and what to pack (although those of you who have been with us from the beginning and remember the airport/luggage allowance drama will (rightly) say we did not spend long enough!). One item that I definitely wasn’t leaving without was my beloved beach wrap. It was a gift from good friends in Bora Bora about 15 years ago and back in the years before children, when I travelled the world with work I never left home without it. It weighs next to nothing and has a variety of uses – I reckon I had used it for about 5 or 6 different purposes up until this trip. That was until the children got hold of it and now the list is much longer! They were not able to bring many of their toys so they have really had to use their imaginations with the few things we did bring. This simple bit of cloth has provided more entertainment than I could ever have thought possible. Here is the list of things the children can remember it has been used as:

  1. Beach cover up (its intended purpose)
  2. Sheet
  3. Parachute
  4. Batman cape
  5. Turban
  6. Tent
  7. Wedding veil
  8. Wedding dress
  9. Matador’s cape for a raging bull
  10. Skirt
  11. Dress
  12. Cloak of Invisibility
  13. Sun lounge saver (when the German’s are in town!)
  14. Veil – for dance of 7 veils (well dance of the one veil in our case)
  15. Shawl to swaddle restless teddy
  16. Helicopter
  17. Duvet
  18. Mosquito net
  19. Kite
  20. Balloon
  21. Ribbon for a rhythmic gymnast
  22. Towel
  23. Dog’s lead
  24. Horse’s bridle
  25. Scarf
  26. Umbrella (not very effective)
  27. Parasol (much more effective)
  28. Blindfold
  29. Lasso
  30. Skipping rope
  31. Ball (roll it up, tie a knot it in, hey presto)
  32. Changing room (Granny and Grandad have struggled in and out of their bathers at the beach using it as a privacy shield)
  33. Table cloth
  34. Picnic rug
  35. Pashmina
  36. Serviette
  37. Sleeping bag
  38. Glasses cleaner
  39. Den
  40. Bag for collecting shells
  41. Limbo dancing pole
  42. High jump
  43. Hammock

And sometimes I even get to put it on over a bikini at the beach! Great kids, great fun!

Post Script

I had intended to take a few photos of the beach wrap in some of its more ingenious roles to illustrate our little story. Unfortunately there is a sad PS to this tale and this story has become the obituary of my beach wrap. As Rich mentioned in another article, it was one of the items which was stolen from our washing line last week. But instead of feeling outraged that we have been robbed, I am feeling a little more pensive and viewing our theft as a charitable donation to someone in the community less fortunate than us. We have lost some items which have a high sentimental value but that’s not really important. We are very fortunate in that we can afford to replace the stolen items with similar ones but there are plenty of kids in our neighbourhood who walk around without shoes and that is much more heartbreaking than losing a few clothes.


  1. Ted Walkden says:

    Well Alison, this is more like you than the previous school saga !!!! I’m sure the children have had a far better time with it than you had, sorry it’s gone to another unknown home. Reduces the weight you have to carry home :-)
    P & D’s home (and yours) is looking very smart now with new windows at the front, I don’t know how the back is progressing but the weather forecast for tomorrow is good so I would think all will be completed by tomorrow night.
    I passed your instructions over to Doreen this afternoon so all is arranged.
    Have a good holiday.

  2. Nana says:

    I wouldnt have believed that something intended for your body could have been so versatile so it proves how many uses it had. So sorry it was stolen from your washing line along with other items but it can be replaced or something similar anyhow and i love your thinking in getting your priorities right I am certain that it wont be put to quite such good use from hereon! Ithink we can get another in Florida.

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