Thursday, June 04, 2009
To the Lido for more of that swimming habit I get at this time of year. Summer is really here now and this morning is cool but sunlit so I still take my wetsuit. The decision to do this is less than obvious because I'm not sure which is better for swimming; should it be 'wetsuit mode' which is like being held in the water by a kind of giant buoyant rubber fist but which definitely creates more drag as I swim..or should I go trunks only which, even with the warmer water temperature (19.5 C this morning) is a big shock to the system and makes me work a bit harder to stay afloat?
Sweating up and down the pool I notice a group of kids arrive from one of the local schools. I'd reckon them to be about eight years old. They are accompanied by five teachers/assistants and a yellow tee shirted instructor. They spend some time being told about the pool, at some length. The minutes tick by and I start to wonder what it is that anyone needs to be told about the concept of a swimming pool. Then they get changed into their togs and then they do that thing which drives me up the wall, ie just stand shouting, splashing each other and throwing a ball around.
The staff just stand there on the side and laughably, one of them tells off a child for screaming. You get in here lady, I think, and see if you don't scream. Looking at the teachers, and I admit I am in a greenhouse stonethrowing here, one or two of them could use some exercise. After a bit the kids get out. Nobody has taught them a single thing about swimming. Is this Health and Safety or something? Because surely the real risk to a child's health is not to be taught to swim.
** Hat tip to the Brockwell Lido website for the lovely vintage picture featured above..