Last month in New York, an unidentified woman was seen strolling about the Bowery in a black A-line skirt and flip flops, handbag over one shoulder and as topless as the day she was born, as seen in the photograph above, taken by a (possibly astounded) passer-by.
So much was she the exception that proved the generally more dressed rule, that she made it onto the Village Voice website.
"Sometimes it's so hot you just don't want to wear a shirt, right ladies?" the accompanying commentary read.
Fair enough and, certainly, the disarmingly straight-faced nudist in question was a more edifying sight than anyone spotted in the not-quite-so fashionable Weymouth area the weekend before last. True, there was a weather warning, but should that really necessitate a mass stripping-off in public, presumably in a bid both to stay cool and make the most of a skin-scorching opportunity?
There's a reason why the majority of those living in hot climates remain covered up – that'll be to avoid roasting alive.
Then, of course, came the inevitable three-hour hold-up on the M3 on the journey home, causing more frolicsome antics still, in particular any number of exposed breasts that have clearly seen better days (his) and Lycra boob tubes and micro-minis (hers), all dancing around on the hard shoulder, before dutifully joining the ever-increasing queue at the nearest service station. The sight of such a large expanse of flushed flesh put me right off my roadside KFC bucket. And there aren't many things that do that.
Back in London, watching Wimbledon the following afternoon and – despite a supposedly more well-mannered location – things weren't entirely decorous. While the American contingent seemed as cool as cucumbers in their navy, brass-buttoned blazers, and Camp Nadal saw no reason to expose either heat-flushed décolletage or even upper arms, the Brits in attendance were less restrained.
Blame our northern European constitutions for the fact that we feel the need to bare ourselves any time before August and anywhere but on the beach.