“Did you bring Kate’s bathing costume?”
“A bathing costume?” Frances looked at me as if I were an exhibit in a museum.
“Alright, alright, but did you?”
“No,” said Frances firmly. Then she smiled. “But I did bring her swimsuit.”
In addition to my arcane bathing terminology, Frances found my family’s English beach etiquette mildly amusing. She watched as we staked out a piece of beach with deckchairs. Within short order, Mum had taken off her hat and shoes and cardigan, and begun studying racing form. Meanwhile Lew had unbuttoned his shirt, taken off his shoes and socks, and rolled up his suit trousers to his knees. I was still ripping up my jeans, trying to create shorts, as Kate rushed towards the water’s edge.