“I don’t know where he finds the time,” I said as I pegged another towel onto the washing line.
“I know,” Anne replied. “I could give him a few jobs if he hasn’t anything better to do than that.”
“It’s every time the sun comes out. Even if the damn thing only appears for six seconds, out comes the sunlounger, off comes the bathrobe and on goes the oil.”
“I know,” she agreed. “Coconut. Can you smell it?”
“No. The wind must be in your direction.”
“Must be. Definitely coconut.”
“It was melon last year,” I said.
“Melon? Never knew they did a melon.”
“Nor did I till last year. But it was definitely melon.”
“Wasn’t that the year he burnt his …?”
“Explains why we’ve gone back to coconut.”
“You wouldn’t want to go doing that twice.”
“I should say not.”
“There’s just one thing I find weird,” I said.
“I know just what you’re going to say. You’re right. Weird, isn’t it?”
“Exactly,” I said. “Weird, I call it. I mean, the sunglasses, that’s obvious, but otherwise. Weird.”
“Yes,” Anne said. “Weird.”
“I always thought if you were, you know, one of those, you were naked all over. So you wouldn’t have any white bits.”
“Yes,” she agreed. “I thought that was the point.”
“So what would be the reason then?”
“Search me,” she said.
Robin, the man lying sunbathing in the garden between Anne and I, sat up, removed his sunglasses, put on the robe and went indoors. Three minutes later, he came back outside, removed his robe, put the sunglasses on and lay down again.
Anne and I looked at one another.
“He’s taken his socks off,” we said in unison and burst into fits of giggles at the two white bits at the end of the tanned leather body.