Saturday 9 November 2013

Barnaby thinks about topless sunbathing and bare knees.

Today, Barnaby walked along a pebbled Devon beach in glorious autumn sunshine with his partner and her dog. Although the beach was uncrowded, a few others were also taking advantage of the weather and the exercise.
Now, Barnaby has a theory that people like beaches not only for the bracing air, but because they allow behaviour that would be deemed antisocial, improper or childish in other places.
For example, on the beach one is allowed to play with mud (or sand) whether adult or child. It is also acceptable to throw stones, (towards the sea of course and only when safe to do so), douse other people with cold water and to remove one's clothes down to whatever is the locally acceptable minimum. In some places, to nothing at all. Curiously, folk who would die of embarrassment to be seen strolling around in their underpants, or bra and knickers, are totally unphased by doing pretty much the same thing on the beach.
Barnaby was reminded of a time he was at Lake Geneva at Evian les Bains. At this point the Route Nationale hugs the shore of the lake. At various points, however, there are narrow strips of shingly beach, which are heavily utilised by sunbathers and swimmers. There is a low wall, no more than eighteen inches high separating the busy road from the small beach. On the beach, topless sunbathing is quite acceptable, though the practitioners are clearly visible to pedestrians and vehicle drivers alike. It would be entirely unacceptable, however, to step over the dividing wall from the beach onto the street unless fully clothed. Barnaby is somewhat at a loss to understand how an eighteen inch wall can make this difference, or is it the presence or absence of water that is the determining factor?
None of which, of course, has anything to do with publishing e-books, though Barnaby is disconcerted to find that his volumes of short stories are still not being listed on the Kobo website. Could it be the bare knees on the covers that are the problem? Luckily, all Barnaby's books, in e-book or paperback format, can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and many other bookstores. More information about the books and where they can be bought at

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