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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's all in the stroke




The swimming pool this morning was a mass of humanity (in it’s widest sense) swarming with kids and a bizarre class of more aged water leisure practitioners who were standing in the pool in lines while waving those tubular flotation thingies presumably for the benefit of their health, or possibly merely to frighten the unwary.  Even though the pool looked full a swimming lane was clear and so I was able to plough my furrow with impunity.
            My fairly newly developed extended stroke is coming into its own and I am fairly powering my way down the pool.  My new technique is to break my traditional rhythm of breathing on my left arm stroke by adding three extra strokes before the breath.  This means that my head is down for longer and the speed is increased with very little extra effort.  The breathing, retaining the breath until after the second left arm stroke and then exhaling the breath over the next three strokes until the next breath, is still something for which I am counting.  Eventually it will become second nature and I can begin to think about whether I really ought to find someone to teach me the tumble turn.
            The fluency of my swimming is obviously interrupted by the fact that I touch the end of the lane and turn myself round and then set off again.  This is hardly efficient, but I have made little effort to develop anything more sophisticated.  There is a gentleman of, shall we say, late middle age who does the most inefficiently cumbersomely magnificent tumble turns that my clumsy turns seem polished professionalism by contrast!  However, he is at least making an effort and I still hesitate to humiliate myself by turning and finding my feet are nowhere near the wall of the pool.  This I have already done on various occasions when the spirit moves me to assume a higher professional profile and got a mouthful of water as an added bonus for my effort as well.  Perhaps I could leave that as a task for the summer.  And for a teacher.
            Perhaps I could ask one of the lifeguards to give me a few hints, though trying to understand Spanish or Catalan for such a technical effort might be effort that I am not prepared to make.

            I am prepared to put the effort in for the Magnum Opus Poeticus.  More work was done on this today, though most of it, nay all of it was more in the way of preparation than anything else.  I am getting nearer to what the poems (I have decided on a sequence of seven) should contain, but that need polishing and then the real hard work of getting the content starts.
            At the moment I am beset by cliché and all my original ideas seem more tired the more I think about them.  The process of refinement should produce something of more interest and I am keeping my powder dry to get me through the Day School which looms.
            Diane, who has been with me through three OU courses, now, seems prepared to make arrangements of our evening meals for the two nights that we are likely to be in Geneva.  God bless her!
            It will be illuminating to meet my fellow students.  The last time I met students on OU courses was in the eighties, and in Britain.  I wonder how the present crop of students will be different.  Or indeed be the same.  Instructive is the word that comes to mind.
            I will have to pack tomorrow, as I have to be at the airport by 10 in the morning for a half past twelve flight.  I will also have to print out some maps and information about Geneva.  Not that I will have much time for sightseeing.
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