I’ve been having back problems for some time so, at the advice of my physio, I’ve foregone the leaping around like an idiot, sweat inducing step and combat classes that I used to do in favour of more sedate exercise. At first I was just walking but recently I’ve added swimming at our local baths which I’m really enjoying and, luckily, doesn’t trigger any back pain.
This is really a blast from the past because it’s where I taught myself to swim as a child whilst my parents were playing badminton in the neighbouring leisure centre, and where we were taken from school for our weekly swimming where we used to dive to the bottom to pick up big black bricks. Weird things you remember from your childhood. We used to go on a coach and there was a bump in the road on the way so if you bounced up and down in your seat (before seatbelts were compulsory) and timed it right, when you went over the bump you flew into the air. I’m surprised the teachers didn’t stop us doing this. Maybe they tried!
Back then the pool used to look like this.
I don’t remember them ever having the white divider across the middle – you could always swim the full length which was thirty three metres. I don’t even remember a barrier to stop swimmers entering the diving board area but that doesn’t sound safe, even for the 80s!
The pool was refurbished a few years ago. It was closed for years because they found asbestos in the roof and these recent visits were the first time I’ve been since it reopened but it’s not really very different. The cafe is no longer there, which is a blessing and a curse really. It always used to smell of delicious chips and those chips tasted amazing when you were hungry after a long session playing in the pool and I still think I can smell them, but it’s a good job they’ve gone because the temptation, I’m sure, would be too much to bear! Apart from that, the only major change is the addition of a wall to transform the L shaped pool into two twenty five metre pools.
I choose to swim in the health and leisure sessions in the top part of the pool in the above photo but the separation means they can have lots of dedicated lane swimming sessions in the diving board end.
My Apple Watch really comes into its own with swimming. I always used to forget how many lengths I’d done previously because my mind would wander but I don’t have to even try to remember now because my watch does the job for me.
Speaking of my mind wandering, I do like to keep my mind occupied whilst I’m swimming in order to not get bored, and this week I found myself playing word games with the words that I could see which, unsurprisingly, were deep water and shallow water, depending which way I was heading. First of all I found myself seeing how many smaller words I could make out of these words, and once I’d exhausted that, I started devising crossword clues for the words I’d found. I thought it might be fun to share some of these in case it might entertain the fellow linguists amongst you.
- 1) mouse or honey
- 2) not an apple
- 3) found in a church
- 4) unwanted garden inhabitant
- 5) USS Enterprise speed
- 1) gentle traverse around a park
- 2) blue, pilot or narwhal
- 3) wise adviser to Winnie the Pooh
- 4) eye protector
- 5) you can sow them or eat them
Hope that’s provided some light brain entertainment on a grey Sunday afternoon. If anyone wants any answers, shout up.