Oh gawd. It’s time to teach the kids to swim. Now that they are both back to school it is time to create a social diary of exciting extracurricular activities with the express aims of i) teaching them valuable life skills, ii) emptying my purse and iii) shortening the “arsenic hours” between 4 and 6 when World War III is likely to erupt if someone has eaten the last fig roll.
Swimming has to be on the list. It’s just I’m rubbish at it. I’m so short-sighted the last time I went on my own, I walked into a caretaker’s cupboard and tried to dive into a mop bucket and now, with my dodgy hearing, I fear becoming a kind of water-logged Helen Keller. Let’s be honest here. It’s hard to be a swimming superstar if your swimming style has to encompass keeping your contact lenses in and, more importantly, keeping your hair dry.
I was lucky enough to attend a comprehensive school which had its own swimming pool and remember the joy of having to stuff a large ponytail into a swimming cap. It’d bring tears to your eyes. I just remember the water being freezing and having to spend the rest of the school day soggy, tired and extra hungry.
I have nothing but admiration for those brave souls who cover themselves in goose fat and swim the Channel like an aquatic oven ready roast potato.
Whenever I swim, I stick to a regal breaststroke and the distance I swim is calculated on the likely distance I’d have to swim to a lifeboat, should I be on a sinking cruise ship. I have Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” playing in my head, together with an image of Leonardo Di Caprio. (Not enjoyable because he always looks about 12 to me).
So I look forward to reporting back about our swimming successes as I teach the kids to swim. You never know, while we’re on the waiting list we might go the whole hog and actually inflate their paddling pool.
Mind you. we’ll need plenty of goose fat.