Thongs: The Essential Accessory
In Western Australia, everyone wears thongs. They’re ideal beach wear, really, especially with our hot summers. Women, men, even little kids all wear them.
I mean, look at the benefits. They’re light, easy to slip on and off, they feel like you’re wearing almost nothing at all, and come in almost every colour and fabric imaginable.
My favourites are some made of leather and sparkly silver fabric that I bought for a trip to Broome a few years back for a family wedding. I’m proud to say they still fit, too!
My husband wouldn’t wear anything else to the beach and he’s definitely a typical Aussie bloke. His are certainly more manly than anything I’d wear – plus a lot bigger, too.
The problem with thongs for kids is that the kids grow so fast, so you have to keep getting them in bigger sizes before they’ve properly worn them out. They’re not really the sort of thing you give away as hand-me-downs, either, as they’re cheap to buy new and usually aren’t too clean after extensive wear and use.
On a trip to the Cocos Keeling Islands, where parts of Ocean’s Infiltrator are set, I discovered that the item most likely to wash up on their beaches were thongs. There were hundreds of them, strewn across the rocks and beaches near the outer reefs. That and toothbrushes, though I have no idea why. Maybe they were so light they floated easily on the ocean currents.
So, while writing books set in Western Australia, I could hardly include a story or a beach scene that didn’t include thongs. Joe Fisher, the electrician-turned fisherman in Ocean’s Gift and Ocean’s Infiltrator, happily wears his to breakfast in the hotel restaurant before flying home, on the boat when he’s working and generally most of the time he’s at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.
I believe many romance heroines (and the authors who write them) would agree that thongs are an essential part of their wardrobe, but I have a slight problem in that the heroines of Ocean’s Gift series are mermaids, who aren’t really used to wearing anything at all.
Right, now I’m done with my paeans of praise for thongs as essential for one and all, it’s time for the obligatory author photograph.
Here’s the photo, showing not only me but my daughter – both of us in thongs at Exmouth in Western Australia. My husband just had to wear his sneakers that day…
Of course thongs are shoes. What did you think I was referring to?
Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.
She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.
Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.
Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.
The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.