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Friday, July 20, 2012

Bitter and Sweet


There comes a time in every thinking adult’s life when he looks around at the sources of public pleasure that he has and debates one of the pressing questions of life: how much would you be prepared to pay to keep kids out of where you are.

I am still being blessed in the local pool by my continuing to have an empty lane to swim in but, even with ear plugs and one’s head underwater the piercing screams of the under age cut through placidity and contentment and spoil the experience.

I have come to the conclusion that I would be prepared to pay double the membership cost of any club that strictly enforces any ban against children being found anywhere on the site of any organization of which I am a member.  Especially the swimming pool.

Even though I was in a separate lane a few children drifted from their watery enclosures like deadly jellyfish, their legs trailing like the poisonous filaments of that irritating sea creature, towards my solitary route – almost as if any disruption in the surface of the pool dragged them unerringly towards my scything progress from end to end.

In the end it was not the children who slowed me down but rather their besotted father who, to amuse his ADS kids lurked underwater like some grotesque octopus, limbs akimbo rising slowly to the surface and straddling the area between separated lanes, including the one I was in.  To such depths are adults driven to keep their offspring amused, ignoring the justified and necessary space which is a sacred right of those who actually swim in swimming pools!

And the torture is not confined to the pool itself.  Outside the leisure centre is a café with a delightful outdoor, tree shaded sitting area.  I sat there with my two-bag cup of tea and settled down to read my new Lucky Bag Kindle with the Kindle version of the Independent on it.  This laudable determination was almost frustrated by a small, but disproportionately loud child who refused to shut up.  Her female guardian did try and shush her a few times but her guardian’s general level of speaking was at a shout so it was perhaps easy to see why the smaller version was no objectionable.

During my cup of tea I thought that paying three times the membership fees to exclude the young would be a bargain.

However I am not stupid.  I know perfectly well that the place which has provided me with a free lane for my 20 minute intense swim is only there because of families, which are the mainstay of this organization, pay their fees and keep the place alive.  The links with schools and the number of groups of kids paying their money for summer activities actually allow me to enjoy the facilities without paying a fortune for them!  So reality informs prejudice!

My new watch (another part of the Retirement Lucky Bag) arrived this morning and became the first thing actually delivered by Amazon’s choice of Castelldefels delivery agent!

 The watch is almost perfect having all the major attributes of an acceptable timepiece that I demand: numbers, day/date, sweep second hand, luminous, waterproof.  As an added advantage this Seiko watch is solar and therefore powered by the sun.  How I don’t know as there is no obvious “cell” but it means that the battery never need be changed.  The only cavilling objections are that the clear white face is a little small and the metal strap a little thin – but I am pleased and will see how it manages tonight and during the hours of darkness.  It certainly hasn’t stopped yet!

Tomorrow Toni’s mum’s respite comes to an end and we will be going to Terrassa for the celebration of a birthday in a particularly family-fiesta heavy period of the year.

Over the next few days the rest of my Lucky Bag should arrive – the last elements of which I am much looking forward to!
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