Posts Tagged ‘swimming pool’

Summer in England

Ah. Summer in England. What a glorious thing to behold. It took a while getting here but now it is fabulous.

The skies are blue. The grass is green. The flowers are emerging.
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Trees are a shock of loud greens instead of the twigs they have been during the seven month winter.
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Colourful clothing is being worn again. Pale sun-starved flesh is getting an airing with mass shorts and t-shirt wearing.
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Iced coffee is fashionable. The new ice cream shop in town finally has customers!
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Groups of trendy city-workers let their hair down and drink pink champagne from plastic cups on the green.
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My neighbours are feeling happy and generous and I get home to freshly baked biscuits on the doorstep.
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We greet each other cheerily across the street, welcome each other in for cups of tea or homemade lemonade. The children who annoyed us yesterday suddenly seem sweet and funny.
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We even go so far as to say it feels ‘too hot’! Older men play golf again, younger men get out their bikes again. The outdoor pools are open again and rammed with kids splashing about on sponge floats, almost hitting everyone else.
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We drink more tea as, according the age old adage, it actually cools you down….?!
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We eat dinner in the garden. We have barbecues.
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We unearth the lawn from the general leafy debris that has gathered for months while we looked sadly out from the back window, not daring to step out. We get excited.

We love England. It’s the most wonderful place in the world. There’s nowhere else we’d rather be (except when the winter kicks in and we all run away to take holidays elsewhere).

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S is for….

SUN, SEA AND SAND! (actually pebbles, rather than sand but you catch my drift)

Yesterday was fabulous. Breakfast in the hotel was fresh and healthy and typically Mediterranean. We then headed down to the Marina Grande on the funicolare to take a boat trip around the island.

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The boat dipped up and down on the small waves and the water splashed in my face and it felt wonderful. I felt a million miles away from everything familiar. I was on a boat next to an outcrop of rock in the Mediterranean Sea and I could have been anywhere. It felt how you want holidays to feel. Different and exotic and exciting.

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After this, we headed out of tourist central, teeming with day trippers from Napoli, back up the hill on the funicolare to ‘our’ part of town, for some lunch. A panini type thing, with a typical Capri filling – tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil.

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We then headed to the pebble beach at the Marina Piccola to write postcards and lie about pretending we were the only people in the world.

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After a quick stop for cappuccino, we went back to the hotel and went for a quick swim to cool off from our heart-attack-inducing climb back up the hill.

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Staying on a mountain is tough on the legs! I’m very glad we brought walking boots.

We then went for dinner but the evening was rather eventful so I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.

P.S. We’ve decided that this is our new holiday home, by the way.

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My favourite Namibia memories

Making pizzas on Friday nights with one of our student’s mums.

Stuffing our faces at the Nest Hotel because we were pretty poor and ate mostly rice at home.

The time Fiona and I took a road trip round the whole country and had no radio so had to sing to each other all day.

Our comedy dog, Diaz, barking at the kids at school or following us around or weeing on the floor.

The time we were stranded in the desert with no water, no money or bank card, no ID, no suncream and no keys to get back into our car.

The time Lucy and I were painting murals on the wall in the creche where we taught and the kids started singing Atomic Kitten to us.

When I used to jump in the freezing cold swimming pool every morning at the guest house where I lived and worked in Namibia.

The time we walked out to Diaz Point, which took hours and hours, and we had three apples between us.

The time I lost control of the car and went on a little spin off the road with Fiona yelling “Steer into the spin!” and clinging onto the dashboard.

Singing the Amarula song with the kitchen staff at Grootberg Lodge.

One of my students, Zara, saying “Thank you for teaching us,” after a class.

Bungee jumping, like a loony, over the Zambezi River during a stay in Livingston.

Sleeping through the most important day in the Namibian calendar, their independence day, then making a story up for the newspaper afterwards (we ran the local town newspaper and we had to make up the main story of the whole year. Shoddy).

Climbing into the big wardrobe in Lucy’s room with our friend, Andre, to look for Narnia. We were sober, by the way.

Packing a tent, some sleeping bags, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and a knife and walking to the campsite just out of town, Shark Island, and camping for the weekend to get away from it all.

Flinging ourselves in the pool to cool down after a hot sweaty bus journey back from Victoria Falls to Windhoek.

Taking a load of disadvantaged kids away for an activity week in the desert and, among other things, teaching them how to swim.

Drinking cups of rooibos tea and watching the sun set over the Atlantic ocean and the clouds and sky turning pink and purple and orange.

Fiona and I going to the coolest bar in town, Rumours, and graffitiing our names behind the bar.

Cutting my own hair because I had no money for hairdressers.

Going out to an old abandoned town in the desert with our friend, George, and him giving us Namibian names. Mine was Naufiku, which means ‘born in the evening.’

Fiona chucking a glass of triple shot Jaegermeister and coke on a car.

Going to badminton club on Tuesdays and being rubbish at it.

Search terms 2

I’ve had a few interesting search terms recently so thought I’d do a second part to my previous Search Terms post. The last search term in this list worries me a bit, although I am pleased that people are stopping here to learn about social etiquette….

baobob
highgate bookshop roof
book maze festival hall lego
my first bikram
wealthymatters
london eye chairoplane
“unspoken rules if social etiquette”
first bikram class
yoga “notify me”
first hot yoga class
i ve made my first wedding cake
cows for brides
evil peppa pig
lasy son resit university
portmanteau words sandwich
gary barlow neighbour
smiking
bikram tickling legs
i can be a worst manager
is big mag cow or pig
all embracing naked photos on olympics
yggdrasil afghan for sale
preschool watermelon temple
renegade squats
sun glasses one direction in eygpt
national estimayed costs bird droppings
the emptiest swimming pool in sf
sexy peppa pig

As a P.S., I’ve tried checking whether big mag is a cow or a pig but the truth is, I may never know….

Being friendlier

The day I finished my exams, I told myself (and all of you) that I was going to give ‘being friendlier’ a go. I did ‘getting excited about stuff’ and that was good fun. I did ‘being sporty’ and I still swim most days (people have started to comment on my arms in a complimentary way but I’m still worried they’re getting Madonna-ish).

So now it’s time to try being more friendly. Now I’m not unfriendly. I’m perfectly nice to people I like. But I don’t often go out of my way to be nice. You know when people have those stories about how they met their new best friend in the launderette? Or on the train or something?

That is never me. I am never saying those things. Firstly because I don’t ever go to a laundrette. I don’t think I’ve ever been in one in my entire life. I also try to avoid public transport by living my life within a distance that doesn’t require me to go on public transport. If I am on public transport, I put my earphones in and listen to a book. I don’t look around for people to chat to.

I usually think I’m kind of ok without new friends. My phone book has as many names in it as I need and, to be honest, I’m quite busy a lot of the time.

When I started law school, my excited classmates gathered in the hallway after tutorials, chatting enthusiastically and working out which pub was closest to get to.

“Yeh, that sounds great. Let’s go there. Come on guys! Is everyone coming? Yeh? Yeh, come on. Laura, are you coming?”

And me… Little old me… Little old antisocial me…. What did I say? Did I say “Sure, I’m there! I don’t have any plans. I’m definitely coming”?

Of course I didn’t. I said something along the lines of “I’m sure you’re all really nice but I’m here to get a degree not some new friends, so actually, I’m going to go home and get started on the stuff they told us to read for next week.” Paraphrased slightly, but essentially that.

I’ve always thought it’d sometimes be great fun to be the person who’s all carefree and lovely and nice to everyone. But most of the time, I don’t feel like being nice to people, especially when they’re swimming at me in the swimming pool or standing in my way in the shop.

But I am going to try. I am going to try to be friendlier, to not be annoyed by people who don’t stick to the unspoken rules of social etiquette, or who swim in my way, or who push in front of me in a queue, or pronounce something wrong, or appear to be unfriendly to me. I will be relaxed and smiley and friendly, regardless. I’m not sure how well this will go, or how long I will last before someone annoys me. I am going to try though. I am up at the crack of dawn today so by about mid afternoon, grumpiness will set in. That’s when it will be hardest to keep up the friendliness. Wish me luck. I’ll report back.

Things to remember when swimming

I have had a long think. A think about my anger. I have decided that, rather than work out where it came from, it will conclude that I was having An Off Day and move on. The following are my new things to remember whilst swimming.

– I am here to have a nice time.

– Most other people don’t think about things in such detail.

– Just keep going up and down, don’t take any notice of other people.

– If people get in my way, just move around them and keep going. It’s not a big deal. Don’t flip out.

– If it seems like people are intent on ruining my swimming session by annoying me, just remember, it’s only because they’re jealous.

– If someone hits me by accident while swimming, don’t hit back! It’s just an accident. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

– Holding people’s head under the water to ‘teach them a lesson’ is NOT an appropriate reaction to a minor irritation.

– Sighing loudly and shaking my head to let people know I’m annoyed doesn’t actually work in a swimming pool. Most people’s faces and ears are under the water.

– All the other swimmers have not formed an allegiance with the intention of annoying me. It just seems like it.

– When I win the World Championship At Swimming and they give me a massive trophy, as big as my house, then all this will mean nothing anymore. I’ll go back to that swimming pool and show them all my trophy, then they’ll know. That’ll show them…. Focus on the long term.

– If all else fails, take a couple of small piranha along and smuggle them into the pool.

Big fat swim challenge fail!

It’s my first week of Being Sporty. So I thought a good starting point was to challenge myself to do something active every day for a week. I decided to swim. I am calling it my Swim Challenge Week. No sooner have I spent hours deciding what to name my ‘challenge’ and I’ve already failed it. I am here to ask for your forgiveness.

Day 1 and 2 went well. I just went after work. On Day 3, I knew it was going to be a bit of a squeeze finding time for it as I was working early, going straight to Yaya’s 4th birthday party, then going straight to a leaving party for some work friends. But I thought I might be able to squeeze it in somewhere. Off I went to work, then off I went to the first party. There was a pirate ship cake! There was a new bike! There were fun temporary dinosaur tattoos! (I obviously got one too. A stegosaurus on my left arm. I have officially joined the Cool Gang.) There was an amazing racing car game and a shooting gun thingy with foam thingies to fire at stuff! It was all huge fun.

But it was getting a bit late. The work party wouldn’t go on forever and I would have to go straight from one to the other if I wanted to make it. But what about the challenge!? I couldn’t fail before I’d even been doing it for long! I panicked slightly. I thought about just writing a blog saying I’d done it anyway but I knew I’d be too nervous of being found out.

Then I had a brain wave. I’d go to a swimming pool nearby and have a quick swim here, then when I left later I could just go to the second party, without trying to swim in between. So I pottered off to the nearest swimming pool. It wasn’t my local and it wouldn’t be outdoor with lovely trees around it so I could pretend I was on holiday. But it would be fine for now. I walk to the main desk and say I’d just like to go swimming please.

The lady at the desk says… Are you ready for this?….

“Yeh, it’ll be open again in 45 minutes.”

Fail! I don’t know whether she realised that, with that one little sentence, she had ruined my Swim Challenge Week and, hence, my life. Life ruiner. Ruiner of lives. I couldn’t stay for 45 minutes to wait and then swim and then go back to the party! I would have missed all the fun by then!

I didn’t say anything for a while. Then I mumbled something or other about it being ok then I left. It was NOT ok. It was really annoying. There I was, ready to swim. Towel and costume in bag. Goggles at the ready (that’s right, I have invested in some goggles, this is getting serious). But no. No swimming for me.

I weighed up my options on the way back to Yaya’s party. Should I give it all up, blame others for my misfortune, start living off fast food and become house bound due to my depression over being thwarted in my efforts? Or should I swim every day for the rest of my life to make up for the guilt of having missed a day? Or should I just keep going tomorrow and not stress about the missed day? I’d like to say I chose the last option but in reality I’m leaning toward a mixture of the last two.

I swam this morning and did more than usual to satisfy the Swim Gods, who count your lengths and decide whether to punish you with a guilty conscience or not.

In other news = when I went swimming this morning, I was midway through doing a whole load of back stroke when I realised I still had my ‘cool’ stegosaurus tattoo on my arm, which I’d been lifting out of the water a lot. If anyone saw it, they must have thought I was dinosaur mad.

More news = Yaya got a bike for his birthday and had learned to ride it by the afternoon! Also, my name has become Lau-lau in babyspeak.