Total Immersion

March 1, 2011
Well, this morning I visited my local swimming pool for the first time in years.

I'd been building up to it over the last few weeks and having finally purchased a swim suit (Speedo. An indication of my ambition), waited until Half Term had ended and, unable to find any other excuses for putting it off, just gritted my teeth and arrived at the pool around 6.45 to join the dozen or so hardy people already steadily swimming up and down the length of the pool.

I guess there is one big advantage to getting older. I no longer worry so much about what people think, whether they look at me in a swimsuit and shudder, or even whether they look at all. So, I seem to have shed the awful self-consciousness of past years and walking out to the pool area held no terrors at all.

Having to remove my hearing aids and seal my ears with Ear Putty meant sounds were very muted, an attempt at conversation by another swimmer was a disaster (I explained why) and I had to make myself known to the Lifeguard before swimming, so he knew about my deafness. It was a strangely disembodied experience, with all that activity and virtually no sound at all.

Having lowered myself into the pool (via steps, not a crane) I just acclimatised myself before setting off on a swim to the other end, thinking I wouldn't make it and surprising myself when I did. I then needed a few moments to get my breath back, and off I went again.

I tried freestyle (crawl, in my day), breaststroke (for the first time ever I managed to do it properly and made forward progress. Yay!) and backstroke. And a kind of on-my-back, underwater hand-waving, leg-kicking action.

I did about 20 lengths, two lots of two straight off, and was in the pool an hour.

It was great fun, the ear plugs worked (my biggest concern) and I'll be going back in a couple of days. I knew how much I missed it and am so pleased to have plucked up the courage to try again.

That was the best part of the day. It's been another precious day off and yet again cold, gloomy weather. I have looked at my cameras but that's been about it. Far too horrid for any little bugs to be venturing out to pose prettily.

The birds have been so busy - two very smart male Bramblings earlier, though I haven't so far seen the Siskins or the Redpoll from yesterday (a nice new garden tick).

So...I've been sorting out images for the website, getting the watermarked copies ready for the links, and general household stuff, to make use of the day.

What's the betting it'll be a nice day tomorrow, when I'm back at work?

Toe in the water

February 22, 2011
So...I've decided to try writing (keeping?) a blog, though how it will develop, who knows?
I guess I'm feeling a bit fed up at yet more dismal weather, and with a precious day off tomorrow I'd hoped to get out with my cameras but - guess what? - the forecast is rain. Again. The winter seems to be dragging on and on.
Times like this I have to try and focus on the good things in my life and (wait for it) count my blessings.
Being at work the last few days has been okay - I don't mind when the weat...
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