When it rains, it pours

Today the weather was mild, occasionally wet but nothing too dramatic. Talking about the weather is a common conversation topic in Britain, many call it small talk, a way to break the ice. I like talking about the weather and really, genuinely, find it interesting, to some degrees, Fahrenheit.

I was coming back from work this early evening, tired and zombiefied from staring at a computer for 8 hours when the rain began to pour. It was raining cats and dogs, raindrops fell at a rapid rate hitting the ground with a thud, making ripples in the newly formed puddles, it was such a sudden change in weather I perked up and saw my surroundings shift from normality. The shower was so brief it was as if it wasn’t reality. For those 5 minutes the city turned, changing from the mundanity that comes with routine, into a frantic beautiful mess.

I got off the bus and was immersed, running to my next bus stop, my face was forming drips of their own and my shoes were filling up, soaking my socks. There I was running through the city with a grin on my face, it woke me up from my post-work coma. I observed the alternative rush hour, the spontaneous reactions to the unpredicted weather and the inability to change it, to stop it from happening. The city was full of adrenaline; Pedestrians attempts at remaining dry were in vain the umbrellas didn’t work and hair was getting wet crimping and curling,  no match to the down pour. Cyclists became even more erratic with their faces poking out from their tightened hoods, squinting their eyes as a result of the poor visibility, from the splashing vehicles (Not looking so smug now are you cyclists).

I felt liberated from my rotten routine, my ‘get me home’ blinkers switched off and I saw the world in the present, reacting to this sudden shock of the shower. I’m never one to run through the city but I found myself jumping over puddles, dashing for the crossing, smiling and laughing to myself at this 5 minute down pour, and how it changed my expectations of the day.

And that’s why I like talking about the weather, so how was your day? What was the weather like where you were today? The forecast here said showers likely, I’d say.

Like a fish out of water

1…2…3…Jump

My Mother always said I was a water baby. She told me that she would throw me into mother and baby swimming classes and wait to see if I could swim, my little bald baby head would always emerge like a buoyancy aid, it all sounds rather dramatic but its what they did in the 90’s and apparently babies can swim really well,  it comes naturally.

Mother and I are making a regular habit of swimming. Sticking to our schedule for a once a week mother and daughter swim club at our Olympic sized swimming pool just out of town. It is perfect, big and new, making the water look even more driveable and in a location where we won’t bump into anyone we know in an attempt to re-invent ourselves as Olympic hopefuls.

It took a bit of adjusting to the whole swimming business, I used to swim lots as a child having lessons where we would have to swim to the deepest part of the pool and pick a brick up, that brick was no object for me, thanks to mum throwing me in I would always surface pretty quickly. Recently I haven’t had the opportunity to swim so my first week at this new pool was a shock to the system. What is the pool protocol? After the compulsory warm shower we climb down into the pool, the contrast of temperatures hits me, the pool is cool and surprising after that nice warm compulsory shower. I start to sneeze, which is always questionable in the pool, as my body adjusts to the temperature my eyes adjusted to the bright white lights, beaming down lighting up the tempting blue water. After the sneezing outburst I settle into the water, feeling streamlined like a fish I start pretending to be in competition with my neighbours in the next lane, there is even a spectator stand with, spectators staring. This pool couldn’t be better if it tried. This week I even wore goggles, things are looking serious now.

Kids can use the pool, which is a major dilemma especially when one child decides he wants to splash everyone that passes him, the grown-ups of the pool huff and puff at the child’s naivety of the pool protocol.  At least I have my goggles on, I gave him a mean scowl, as much as I could with bug eyed goggles on, regardless he carried on and I took to a new lane.

I was getting used to inhaling an exhaling between strokes and then slowly my goggles began to fill up, is this meant to happen, it says they were water tight? I hadn’t prepared for the effects of them not being water tight and now my eyes stinging with the chlorine, a fuzz appears over them and my vision is impaired. I got to the safety of the side of the pool, my mum was waiting for me I told her of my dilemma whilst removing the dishonest goggles. She stared, looking a little concerned. Trusting the goggles would keep my eyes dry I didn’t take of the remainder of the days black mascara, what a faux pas, what a no –no, I don’t think Olympians ever face this problem. My stained black eyes illuminated by the fluorescent white bright lights.

I’ve always loved swimming, its therapeutic and stress relieving qualities make it a favourite hobby of mine. I like that you don’t have to worry about your hair or clothes, you are submerged, released from any anxieties or worries. I don’t find it strenuous or do I need convincing to swim after a tiring day at work. Just pop my bathing suit on and jump right in. I just need to remember to take my mascara off next time, try not to sneeze and look out for the splashing child, I don’t have any goggles now so I need to be careful.

What is your pool protocol? Do you have to remember to take your eye make-up off? Or do you forget the ‘No Diving’ ‘No Splashing’ rules?