Anyone who’s a fan of the wonderful Sex and The City series, based on the novels and columns of the brilliantly talented Candace Bushnell, will remember the pool terrace scene shot on the roof of Soho House in New York; where Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha fight for their sunbed spot right next to the pool.
Well, fast-forward some ten years later (yes that long!) and in the less salubrious confines of Shoreditch, in London’s terminally groovy East End, the scene remains pretty much the same. Come Sunday and a promised parting of the clouds; the crowds start to gather outside the building before 7.30am in the morning. Such is the premium of a poolside spot on the maroon and white striped towels that clubbers forgo any shut eye and join the harassed, been-up-since-6am, breeders in the queue.
So it was at 8.30am one morning a few weeks ago I found myself, poolside, a little dazed and confused at such an early exhumation, staring into a strong cup of coffee, while the blond curls of my four-year-old son bobbed happily around in the water. I have to say I was a little smugly satisfied with my spot, in the sun, with a pool view, and the possibility, with one eye on the child, of perusing the Sunday Times Style section. Pure bliss!
But then I stood up. The antennes de cafard (cockroach antenna: the gentile french way of saying pubes) popped out of my bikini, the woolly sheen of the my shins caught the light, my dry skin puffed a little white cloud and my chipped toe nails splashed into a puddle. I looked like a horrific Egyptian God nightmare, a woman’s head, with legs of an elk and clawed bird toes. A hush went out around the pool. A hundred pairs of Tom Ford shades spun in my direction. I immediately sat down again.
Two weeks later, the forecast was good, sun’s up and the Shoreditch House option was looming again. Now I may be a lazy old slut; but I am not a stupid lazy old slut and I was not going to make the same mistake twice. I had a quick wax – shin 'n' minge (just the corners, I’m a feminist after all!) and then I launched in to some serious poolside prep.
Wow, Pop & Lock, Crystallite Shellac , £14 – gob a blob on the hair and prepare for those shinny silky fronds that you see off off the telly. Seriously it was good, and prevents dry frizz.
Structure, Beach, texture spray , £8.95 – for that just out of the sea sunbed head giving you the full Pammy Anderson flicky-haired Baywatch look.