If I'd been contemplating swopping my short break in North Norfolk for a sojourn to the South of France - don't get me wrong, I love Norfolk, but guaranteed sunshine might be nice - I'd be rapidly re-thinking my plans right now.
You see, I don't want armed Police to surround me on the beach to make me remove my kaftan, sarong or other cover-up clothing.
There are numerous reasons for this, which I will share:
1) my less-than-toned bits are my concern, and mine alone - not for public viewing at home or abroad;
2) my skin is so breathtakingly white - growing up my brother nicknamed me Data from Star Trek - that everyone else on the beach would need protection from the brightness reflected back on them or they may sue for retinal damage;
3) without said protective garments, even with Factor 50 sunblock slathered over any exposed skin, I will, without fail, go bright red within nanoseconds and resemble a lobster. I will then blister, peel, and never tan, ever.
OK, so although the above is written slightly tongue-in-cheek, I'm trying to make an important point here. What I wear on the beach is my choice and mine alone. It's what I choose to wear. If I could wear an all-in-one outfit that kept me completely covered, or use a Victorian bathing machine, I probably would.
The Muslim lady who went to the South of France beach wearing long sleeves, well hopefully that was her choice too.
It was shocking to see her surrounded by armed Police, forcing her to remove her clothing. It must have been embarrassing and humiliating for her.
I wonder if a white woman sits on a beach fully clothed - like I have done in the past - or perhaps a Nun in a habit visits, will the Police response be the same?
Every woman should have the freedom of choice as to what they wear, wherever they are. Is that too much to ask?