You’re supposed to use it for your bum. Not for THIS.

“Perfect timing!” my mum cried, as I climbed back in the car, and shook my head at her.

We’d just spent 10 days in Thailand, babysitting my tiny niece, while my brother and his wife were away. I was leaving a few days before they got back, and had just checked in my bags at the airport. An airport, which is very close to a beach.

My mum – ever the maximiser, and the rule-breaker – had suggested that, having dropped off my suitcase, we jump back in the car, drive to the sea, and I have a quick, last swim, before I get on the plane.

I really like airports, and LOVE sitting around by myself, reading while waiting for a plane. But… once my mum gets what she thinks is a great idea in her head for something fun to do, if you don’t have a really good reason, it’s hard to dissuade her. So I was going for a quick, last swim, before I got on the plane.

Pulling up at the beach, I grabbed a towel, kicked off my flip-flops and, with my swimmers on underneath, pulled off my dress. Leaving my niece with my mum on the sand, as I clambered into the waves and shouted over my shoulder, “I’ll just plough up and down for five minutes!”

It wasn’t very deep, but the water was rough, so I stayed in the shallows. I figured I’d do a bit of breast-stroke, in one direction and then back, and keep my hair relatively dry before I got on the air conditioned plane for the 15 hour journey back to London. Just as I was thinking of wading back out –

– a huge wave picked me up, and chucked me under the water.