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Dateline: 25 July 2017



On the beach, most of the men over the age of 45, wear Speedos.

The swimming trunks, carefully cut to accentuate genital size and to tuck neatly below the spreading waistline are so popular that I wonder if there is not a container load nearby, recently snaffled and sold off cheap.

The young display their beauty, those older stand with their hands on their hips, stomachs bursting from Speedos and flowery bikinis alike; to the untutored eye it would seem pregnancy is no longer gender specific.

A woman of fifty is standing, talking to her man. He is suntanned, his back is muscled and his buttocks still good until he turns in profile. Then he, like his wife, looks pregnant too.

As she speaks with him she does not look into his face; she is focused on the round brown belly he displays and speaks directly to it. It is her investment of course. In Ukraine, the paunch is called “social savings”; after the first few months of marriage and passion the woman will seek to tie him to her apron strings with constancy of food and drink.

Her man has a moustache which he uses to punctuate and accentuate his speech. She cannot see for she is looking lovingly at his belly. When she replies she thrusts her own stomach forward and looks at him up meekly.

There are slim men on the beach. Silver haired, military bearing. They are slim I think, because they uniformly smoke. I, too, am slim.

Clothed now, the crowds are leaving the beach. The older ones are stuffed into oversize shirts and shorts, the women in impossibly tight jeans.

The young leave too, still beautiful.

The same scene is re-enacted by similar people across our beautiful world.

The sea takes on a deeper blue as the sun dips and the waves lap the beach, clearing from the sand the footsteps of a thousand feet.

Love Ukraine.

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