30 August 2016

Me and my burkini in Brexit-on-Sea

“The person who invented the burkini did it to free women!” says someone I know, every five minutes on Facebook or Twitter. But I do not feel free when I wear it myself. I am hot, I can’t hear, and I’ve been rubbed sore by a cross-shaped seam on the crotch.

I am sitting on the river bank at the genteel Hampstead Ponds in London, the first of two destinations where I’ll see what reaction I get from the public when I appear in a burkini. The second is Clacton-on-Sea, home of UKIP’s only MP.

.... I am happiest hidden in the water. It brings my temperature below boiling point and I’m no longer in danger of hallucinating. However, when I get out, my water logged head-encasement means I’m isolated from the sound around me.

.... When I come out, I am freezing as the fabric doesn’t dry in the sun. If the breeze could get to my skin I’d be OK, but the soaking wet fabric is stuck to me. We go for a walk along the pier and this is when I get relentless crotch-rub. With every step, the wet seams between my legs make me wince. [The Spectator] Read more