August 28th 2017

Today we went for a swim at the local pool. It’s a bank holiday, and by some struck of good fortune it was actually warm and sunny. Unthinkable. We went for a walk around the park in the morning, and on the way back we could hear kids screaming at the pool. And that kind of inspired us to go home, grab some towels and head down for a paddle.

In the entire time we’ve lived here we’ve never been to the pool, even though it’s a pitching wedge from our house. (If you don’t play golf, a ‘pitching wedge’ is about a hundred metres) 

In hindsight choosing to go for the first time on a bank holiday Monday in 23 degree heat was probably a bit of daft idea. It was packed. We struggled to find a patch of patio large enough to throw our towels down onto.

Even though we were surrounded by noise, I think we both managed to fall asleep in the sun, only to be woken up by the child next to us screaming his little head off. From the words that I could decipher between blubs, I gathered that he’d trodden on a wasp. Poor thing — the wasp, that is.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be there,” he cried.

It was around that time that we decided to head into the pool. That was, after all, our reason for going to the pool.

It’s kind of a bizarre and disgusting concept when you think about it. It’s a 10 metre by 50 metre by 1.5 metre cuboid bathtub, filled with tepid water and the germs of screaming strangers. And you have to pay £4.80 to get in it.

There’s too many people so you can’t swim, so end up just bobbing around and kicking your legs about a bit. Fortunately, I’d had the forethought to bring entertainment. A little rubber ball.

Alice and I stood in the shallow end throwing the ball back and forth, back and forth. Well, she threw it, I used my palms as ping pong racquets and volleyed it back to her with varying degrees of accuracy, relying on strangers to throw it back to me on the inevitable occasion that I missed completely, and the ball ended up outside of the pool.

When Alice and I were in Split, Croatia we spent three consecutive hours in the sea throwing a tennis ball back and forth.

I could have played our game with that little rubber ball all day.

And we would have, if we hadn’t all been ordered to leave the pool so that the lifeguards could investigate the Unidentified Floating Object in the deep end. You know something’s up when they get that big-net-on-a-big-stick out of the cupboard.

Thankfully, it turned out to be a hair scrunchy and not something… murkier, and people were allowed to get back into the pool.

We, however, took that to be a bad omen and decided to head back home and disinfect anyway.

Until tomorrow, it was just a hair scrunchy.


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