Tag Archives: swimming

Towelling turbans

Swimming is a fairly big thing in our house. I don’t swim in winter, because I am a wuss. But my children do. In the summer, however, I swim every day. Sure you can wrap a towel round your head turban-style. But these (see links below) make the job so much easier, because you can fasten it up so it doesn’t fall off. Also of course, these are super useful every time you wash your hair. Especially now that I have LONG HAIR (almost). Indeed, I am actually writing this post with a turban on my head whilst my hair has a conditioning treatment on it.

Talk about method writing.

I must interrupt this post to tell you about the time I had to go to a party and face my nemesis, an ex girlfriend of my boyfriend who had caused a lot of trouble (this was the first and last time I ever let this happen to me). I took ages getting ready. And I thought I looked great. Except for one problem: I still had my hair all piled up on my head in a towel, turban-style. Without the turban it looked all wrong. Anyway, I went to the party – without a towel on my head – and I faced her and she was actually perfectly nice and we sort-of became friends. There is no moral to this story other than, sometimes, you can demonise people you’ve never met and there are very few people who don’t suit a turban.

Don’t be tempted to buy cheap ones. I have an Aquis Lisse one, which is made of microfibre; I was sent it ages ago when I wrote about beauty. For an adult head I think they can’t be bettered. But they cost £15 odd. For children the Cuddledry ones, £9 odd, are perfect and well worth buying. Once properly secured they pretty much stay put.

Speedo Swedish swimming goggles

I swim a lot. This sentence seems an incredible thing to be able to write given that, I didn’t learn to swim until I was 26 and I am scared of water. But, I control it. I swim only in pools that I know, that I’ve checked out for giant plugs into the underworld. I also swim, these days, almost exclusively outside. I don’t mean in the sea or in rivers, that would be too scary. But in outdoor pools.

And swimming outside necessitates mirrored goggles. At least, it does for someone like me who is never out of prescription sunglasses the rest of the time.

My last pair of goggles lasted about 20 years. Perhaps because there was a fifteen year gap of not swimming very much in the middle. But as they were starting to fray, I looked around for a replacement. Goggles are so individual and  you see most people, in the pool, between lengths, adjusting theirs and shaking out the water. I just thought this is what you had to do.

Then I saw Swedish goggles. These come in a kit. They are so cheap compared to normal goggles: I paid £10 for two pairs, one mirrored one plain, which is just what I need (mirrored is no good at night time/dusk, you need clear then). The reviews were glowing.


I never think that same experience will apply to me. I read about people finding things amazing and ‘the best ever’ and I think “I bet that won’t be my experience”.

I hesitated before building the goggles because, for some reason, I thought it would be tricky. You get the goggles in pieces: a latex head band, two eye pieces, a nose bridge and a piece of string, per set of goggles. But it was easy. Sure, I got my partner to help me hold the lenses in place whilst I tied the string. And sure, I didn’t bother to tidy up the string over my nose so it looked slightly bonkers, until my friend Jess (an ex jeweller) offered to sort it out for me and made them look really cool. But it was easy.

The big thing about Swedish goggles, other than you make them yourself and fit them exactly to you, is that there is no padding. What can I tell you, they’re somehow really comfortable and… best goggles ever. They fit brilliantly, I never have to adjust them once I’m swimming and no fogging up so far. You also get great all round vision (you don’t realise how restricted your vision is with conventional goggles until you try these) and I love how minimal they are.

You will need to do an internet search for them. Mine cost £10 for two pairs, you can get them even cheaper. And if you need any help in putting them together you can look on You Tube. Just put Swedish Goggles Fitting into search.

Little towelling dress, a great buy

This is an absolutely brilliant toweling dress that comes in blue or white (I have it in blue). It zips all up the front and has a draw-string and a hood and short sleeves.

It’s perfect for putting on after a swim/on the beach. (I’d always envied children their toweling cover ups.) Because I am not tall, the style fits me really well (I didn’t want anything too short) and comes to a few inches above my knees. I’m a size 14 and the L fitted me with room to spare. I swim every day and put this on after my shower and when I can’t be bothered to get dressed back into proper clothes, but don’t want to lounge around in a dressing gown, either. I love it, and am resisting the urge to buy two in case anything happens to the first one. But be warned: doing this (buying two of the same thing) will immediately render the first less special.

£35 from John Lewis.

Snuggle suits, aka all in ones

Fleece snuggle suits. Be warned, they also come in adult sizes.

All in ones are an inescapable feature of your wardrobe when you’re a baby. But as you get older, these frankly super useful items of apparel are jettisoned in favour of separates.

Some years ago, Gap sold waffle cotton all in ones for grown ups. Think cowboy style long johns and long sleeved vest combined, in jolly colours like red. Reader, I had some and they were fantastic. I wish I could tell you that I saved them for nights in alone. But no, I didn’t.

I won’t go into any further detail on this.

Last year my mother, who is able to find items of clothing I never find in shops, that my children both love and find incredibly useful, found an all in one navy PJ thing for my eldest (who is eight). Okay, it had a picture of Mickey or Minnie Mouse on it but my daughter loved it. She felt all cosy in it and it was great for after a bath in the way that draughty separates just aren’t.

We live in a small, draughty house in the country and after a bath, I wanted something for my children to be able to put on that would be snug, so I was thinking: fleece. These all in ones with a front zip are so easy to find when your child is under 24 months, but over that? Forget it.

I eventually found the All in One Company.  I ordered two – made to measure as they all are. I ordered them in a colour that had chocolate in the title, because you can’t really go wrong with this I thought. I was right. Although my children do look like small bears wearing them.

Do please read the sizing instructions as you can’t return them unless they are faulty, but you have to order a basic ‘age’ size and then you can customize it so if your child has particularly long legs or arms or bodies – they can do it accordingly. The variations – colours, combination of colours, add ons (tails!?), etc, are a bit mind boggling. But you’ll get there in the end.

They are all made in the UK, so they’re not the cheapest you can get. But let me tell you that the customer service was INCREDIBLE and the quality of the finished items superb. The only extras I had were hoods, to keep the costs down.

The Tangle Teezer

Probably loads of you have already heard of this. It was a ‘Dragon’s Den’ reject a few years ago. But I hadn’t heard of it, or seen one, or noticed them hanging there in haircare aisle. One of the juniors at my hairdressers used one on my head two weeks ago and I said “what’s that?”

And what it was was a Tangle Teezer or a hairbrush that looks like a dog/horse’s grooming brush (I actually think the addition of a strap around the back of it would be no bad thing).

They come in three permutations. This one which is the original, and you can pick them up from £9 to about £13 depending on where you shop and what colour you go for (I actually choose black but I got this flourescent pink, that’s Amazon for you). Purple glitter, for example, costs the most as it’s ‘limited edition’. There’s a child’s version which is round and comes in a flower pot and then there’s a mini version. I think this is the best – read easiest to use.

Anyway, children love it – it sails through dry or wet hair with ease and every one fought to use my daughter’s at swimming (because of its design, it’s really easy to clean so that didn’t freak me out like it normally would). The the point of it is that it’s a tangle destroyer that works without pulling the hair. I love it, it’s kinda massaging. You can’t style with it, it’s really for just combing knots out. Not 100% sure how it’d cope with really thick hair, it struggled with the thicker bits of mine.

You might be able to see here that the ‘teeth’ are in two lengths – that’s apparently the secret of its success. And they’re bendy.

Anyway, you can buy them on line or in Boots/just about anywhere.