I've been trawling through some stuff of old and I'm posting them here (again) before the vanish into the ether.
More might come in the next few days if anyone is interested.
I went swimming this morning. To be accurate I went and splashed about in some water, but it was in a swimming pool.
It wasn't a health kick, or anything like that.
The reason is that I took my kids yesterday, and while they were in I sat in the spectators enclosure watching them.
Turned out that I was the only guy amongst loads of mothers who were there to watch their kids having swimming lessons.
After a while I felt very uncomfortable.
Probably just paranoia, but I doubt many men would have felt at ease.
I waved at my kids more than normal, even got them to come to the barrier to speak to me occasionally as well.
There was no real reason for this except I was wanting to reinforce the fact that I was also a parent, and not some pervert hanging around to watch all their children swimming about.
This was the catalyst for me to consider brushing up on my rather poor swimming skills, and the next time I could be splashing around with my kids instead of skulking poolside.
That was the idea anyway.
So with this intent I trundled of this morning, shorts and towel in hand.
I reckoned that I could get there and be in the pool for 9am and no one else would be about.
I'm not big on public swimming to be honest.
I don't like people staring as I'm fairly heavily tattooed.
I usually wear long sleeved tops to hide them and consider that I got them all for myself, and I'm not some freak show for public consumption.
The other thing is that when I said I was a poor swimmer I was really downplaying it a bit.
It's actually a scientific fact that I have the buoyancy of a brick.
Even when I do manage to float and get some forward momentum, I am then the cause of tsunami size waves that may be rather disconcerting to others.
So between the tats and my thrashing around like an aquatic epileptic I don't normally entertain anyone requesting that I go swimming.
That was all going to change this morning though.
I was going to start going a couple of times a week and once I was fairly competent and comfortable I would join my kids in the pool.
Funny how you have it all planned out in your head, and then the reality doesn't come close.
First, the pool wasn't that empty.
There was about twenty old women there.
No men, just women.
Secondly, the majority were all gliding back and forth with minimum effort.
You now the sort.
Fuckin' show offs that wiggle their toes and one finger and that's all the need to propel themselves through the water at about bloody ten knots.
I had thought that I would start off by looking for the shortest route and swim from one side to the other and see how many I could do.
No chance of that though.
The few women that weren't shooting through the water were floating in little huddles talking to each other.
They were dotted about everywhere and left no straight routes to swim…..and I can't turn.
After a little while of standing at the side, and trying to push the air out from my shorts that had ballooned around my waist, I noticed the lifeguard looking at me.
It sort of flashed across my mind that he would be wondering why I wasn't swimming and had my hands under the water playing around with my shorts.
He probably thought I was Wayne Rooney looking to score with one of the OAPs.
So I decided I better take the plunge and start swimming, or as others call it, drowning in style.
I thrashed my way across to the other side and I was fucked.
Simple as that.
The amount of effort it took was phenomenal. It's not that I'm that unfit, but I just need to exert an outrageous amount of energy just to manage a few feet afloat.
There must be a trick to it, but I don't know it.
So by the time I was across I was exhausted, and I'm not sure how much water I had swallowed either.
I did this about five times and that was it.
I threw in the towel.
I'm not sure what I was going to die with first.
Embarrassment, or drowning.
Guess what time it was?
Just leaving twenty past nine.
I scurried away with my tail between my legs.
The whole morning was a disaster.
Well, that is if you describe thirty minutes all in as the whole morning.
I've decided that the role of spectator is far more my style and I may invest in a t-shirt that says I am not a paedophile for future visits to the pool.