Friday, 1 August 2008


A few years ago I had to travel to Australia on business. Leaving the UK in a grey, cold, wet November, it was difficult to remember what decent weather felt like, so as I emerge squinting like a new-born kitten into the bright Sydney sunshine I realised I had not brought sunglasses with me.

The first opportunity I had, and it was off to the local sunglasses ("sunnies" in the local vernacular) emporium for some cheap jobs to last the 10 days or so I was there. Blame the glorious southern hemisphere's summers day, the jetlag, or the charming company I was enjoying, but rather bewilderingly I walked out with the most expensive pair on the shop.

Four years later, I'm convinced I had actually chosen the best sunglasses know to man, made with love by a company I'd not heard of until then. They were effortlessly comfortable, had superb optics, wieighed 11 grammes and even suited the SS7 facial features.

So imagine how I felt when last weekend, 4 years later, I lost them while messing about off 'our' beach in the kayak. Young SS3.5 managed to tip me out, and as I clutched the paddle I felft the glasses slide off my face and into 6 feet of water.

Attempts to find them proved futile, especially with the tide coming in, and although I returned a couple of times to search the foreshore later in the evening, I returned to work the next day knowing they were lost for good, and wondering where I was going to find £160 for a replacement pair.

I got a phone call from SS3.5 at around lunchtime. The family had gone down to the beach at low tide "just to see", and within 2 minutes he had found my Maui Jims, apparently none the worse for 20 hours immersion in the English channel!


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