It must be admitted by the most hopelessly prejudiced observer of what is correct and appropriate that every up-and-down swimmer has rights. They, OK I, swim from one end of the swimming pool to the other taking up but a small proportion of the total pool area and that small proportion is taken in an easily predictable way.
Nevertheless this small imposition remains something that mere paddlers, especially those of stunted years, find impossible to take on board as they frivolously splash their way around the pool.
Children are, therefore “fair game” and, over the years, once I have ploughed out my furrow in the pool, I take no prisoners.
When the “swimmers’ lane” is a narrow length of water clearly delineated by float lines children enter it at their peril. One particularly pernicious inadequately parentally supervised little boy thought it a good wheeze to swim against one of the restraining lines of floats thereby reducing the narrow width even further and causing a potentially serious accident as a strong swimmer producing a semi-professional crawl, OK me. It wasn’t serious but it was irritating and I used the traditional aggressive technique of choice in these situations and adopted a space-filling breaststroke.
The most effective aspect of this anti-invader stroke is the leg kick, with the emphasis on the “kick” part. I have recently cut my nails so the “slicing” part of the arm action was unfortunately lessened. He got the message.
A small girl who I bumped into at the other end (entirely her parents’ fault) was more frightened by my apology (instinctive rather than heartfelt) rather than the collision.
Otherwise I have had a lane to swim in each time that I have gone to the pool which is in itself remarkable. Long may it continue!