Last Saturday, the day before Mother's day in France (hint) the air temperature reached at least 31 C at mid-day and the pool temperature – according to the pool duck – was 27 C. So I decide to give myself a pre-Mother's day treat and go for a swim. This is a little more complicated that it would seem. First I have to find a swimming costume that still fits, secondly the 3/1 oil so that I can connect the post-pool shower to the water supply, thirdly I have to weed the shower base. Tasks one and three successfully completed, abandoned two in favour of bathroom shower.
Then there is the habitual pool entering ritual: remove twigs, leaves, dead amphibian bodies from the pool floor – anything that Dilbert the pool robot has not dealt with. Also eject any swimming bodies that might get in my way. This involves cupping the hands under the unfortunate insect (they are usually insects, some even alive) performing a swift upward movement to eject water and suspect insect from pool. With luck the intruder lands on the tiles, shakes itself dry (if alive) and wanders off to where I think it should be.
This last Saturday the pool was almost pristine, mostly because the 'pool technician' had recently visited. There was only one dead lizard in the shallow end, a few leaves and dirt on the steps. Unfortunately this same 'pool technician' had left pool skimmer on the longest length of its pole which I could not manage at all. But in the shallow end a dust-pan and brush works just as well.
So I did a few leisurely lengths. Checked that the wave maker machine really was working again, that I still could not judge the length of the pool when swimming on my back. The sun caressed the salt water and all was briefly well with my world.
As any dedicated swimmer knows, the most annoying thing in a pool for those concentrating on doing lengths is to be – literally – crossed by others going slowly from side to side. There was a lady-bird, all minute with two red wings, black spotted, determinedly crossing the pool. Rather than drown her in my wake, I cupped my hands below her, heaved water and lady bird out of the pool on to the tiles at the side.
She sat on the side, opened and closed her wings, shook her head. After a while it occurred to me that, if I could have seen her face, it would have expressed crossness. For, after the shaking exercises, she flew right back into the pool and set off for the opposite side. So, sometimes the insects are just waving, not drowning.