We went to Agistri this weekend, a small island about an hour by ferry from Pireaus. It was the first time I took to the water with gusto. Not a hint of fear or mental preparation, in fact while Mr Zeus was complaining about the asset shrinking properties of the water, I has already waded out neck deep. God bless the extra 1 or 2 kilos I put on since last summer. My butt cheeks act like flotation devices now. It's wonderful. Swiming is fun when you don't have to feel like a stick being dragged under the currents.
It made me think about how dizzyingly far I've come in the last four years. Four years ago I couldn't swim and was terrified of the sea. I also wouldn't hear of going in public in a bikini. When the issue of a summer by the sea came up, I said I had to go shopping to get a bathing suit.
Mr Zeus: "You mean a bikini."
Me: "Ha! In the next life maybe. There is no way I'm showing my body on the beach like that."
"But everyone wears a bikini here, even the haggy old ladies who you wish wouldn't wear them."
"So what. I have my values. I'm not wearing a bikini"
And so on and so forth, toing and froing until finally I agreed.
"Okay. I will buy a bikini."
"But only on the condition that there's no one else on the beach when I wear it."
"!!! Where am I supposed to find an empty beach in the summer just for you?"
"That's not my problem."
Anyway, Mr Zeus wouldn't tolerate my shenanigans and dragged me off to the beach where I soon realised how conceited it was of me to think that I would peel off my clothes and the whole beach would come to a standstill and point at me, "Bollybutton is wearing a bikini!!! For shame! For shame! Don't look, little Jimmy, her heathen skin will turn you to stone!" When I realised no one was watching my every move and also that without my glasses I couldn't see them even if they were, it didn't seem all that terrible.
Over four years the trousers have turned into capri pants and then to shorts. Shirts turned into T-shirts and then to vests. Gypsy skirts that brushed my ankles crept up and over my knees. One begrudgingly bought bikini turned into four.
And I learnt that it's not a sin to enjoy the sun and sea on your skin.