Sunday, 29 October 2017
No two pools are ever the same!
MY pool is being refurbished. Personally I was fine with the slightly tatty pool, although I prefer the term 'well loved', however as it now has new owners, and unlike me, they would like more people to come. Unfortunatley I am completely unimportant and so MY pool has closed for a whole month for a spruce up.
The new owners have luckily lots of new other pools (sometimes two at each venue) that I am now allowed to use, all bigger than My pool, and if I were to be on holiday or a trip away I would thank my lucky stars for this facility, however I live almost an hour away from the nearest one, and so for the next month it won't so much going for a quick dip to the pool, but more of a day out! Still, it's that or not swim, and so for the next month I will be unable to meet friends, go shopping, cook, clean, iron or walk the dog; I simple won't have time!
And so I arrive at the temporary venue I notice some immediate differences. Some good, some less good:
1. At MY pool I can walk in and help myself to a million towels if I wish. I could have one to dry every strand of hair, every limb or every digit if I chose. I don't, I stick to two, despite probably needing three, but no-one likes a greedy cow, especially not the cleaners! At this pool the towels are behind the counter and closely guarded by a diligent receptionist who is managing to talk on the phone, type on the computer whilst keeping one close eye on me. I asked for two towels, although suspect I may really have needed a few more, they were tiny. She placed them on the counter and said "three silver coins please." My first thought was to consider locating the nearest Ikea- you can buy a hundred towels for three silver coins, but that would add more precious time, and so thinking on my feet I decided to assume she was talking to the person on the phone still and so with a flamboyant "thank you' and wave of the hand I hot footed it at neck breaking speed to hide in the changing rooms (if I can locate them before I'm found).
2. At MY pool they provide shampoo and conditioner. This nice touch is not a facility at this pool, and so after my swim I am afoot in the changing room bartering the contents of my kit bag in exchange for some (what is the going exchange for used ear plugs? Anyone know?). Unfortunately the time I got in the shower coincided with the children's mini gym session finishing, and so the best on offer (which I took gratefully) was baby shampoo. Two helpings later were not quite enough to rid the smell of au de chlorine, but beggars can't be choosers and all that.
3. At MY pool I know my way round. It is familiar and quite compact. This pool (and surrounding gym) is cavernous and the way to the pool from the changing room really could do with directions, maps, compasses (or colour coded lights would do) and small snack for the journey. I regret now not doing my Duke of Edinburgh award in my youth, but unfortunately it clashed with disco night... sacrifices that had to be made at the time are now coming back to bite me on the bum it seems.
4. This pool is longer than MY pool, and so in theory less turns should mean that I have a faster time. Unfortunately I lost count at thirteen, or could have been fifteen, or indeed any other odd number in the vicinity, and so couldn't be sure whether I was actually quicker or not. Disappointingly it would appear that no matter the length of the pool I still can't keep count...
5. Toe tapping is not a thing in this neck of the woods it seems, no, from my very limited experience of only one day, they appear to prefer more body parts touching when they are establishing superiority over the fast lane. This is achieved by actually swimming over slower swimmers without a backwards glance to see if the same slower swimmer has actually survived the ordeal (unless it was a complete accident). I shall have to find out what the protocol is for the return favour when they run out of steam and the slower swimmer catches them up. Over? Under? Around? Just in case it were to happen to me...
6. This pool had the biggest coffee machine ever, and when I clap eyes on it I am practically skipping into the cafe (I say practically - firstly I haven't actually skipped since I was 9 and really can't remember what to do, and so without running the risk of ending up in a heap with my legs pleated together at the foot of the machine I actually do some king of fancy looking legwork from my disco going years that I think Michael Jackson would have been proud of). I noticed though that it was not accompanied by any cake of a similar size, or any other for that matter. There were plenty of alternatives that all seemed to be sprinkled with healthy, but I'm not sure how I feel about no cakes. On the bright side though, being a huge cafe and all that, there are plenty of blind spots, and lets just say that if someone were to have a huge kit bag to hide contraband, and they were pretty stealth... well I'd go as far to say I think they may well get away with having their number one choice of post swim nutrition without being noticed.
Shark and I have been at the pool for what seems like the best part of the day, and as we depart for our long journey home, I notice an electronic suggestion box on the way out. In a bid to claw back some time I send Shark off ahead to warm the car (do people still say that now?), whilst I take time out of my (our) already long day to leave some constructive feedback and recommendations... They are after all stuck with me for a whole month and it's good to have things right from the off!!!
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Open Water Woman