Dawn swimming

life

When I was a kid, I used to go swimming every week at our local swimming baths (as we called it then, rather than 'swimming pool'). It was a lovely Victorian building1, with the original tiles, a cast iron turnstile that could stop a charging rhino (handy for all those occasions on which a rhino is desperate to get in for a swim without paying), but rather short on modern conveniences like footbaths or a metric length. I loved swimming. I wasn't fast or particularly stylish, but I could plod up and down for hours very happily. In fact, I spent most of the time swimming underwater, loving the feeling of exploring another world.

I've got quite long eyelashes, and the water on my lashes generated rainbows from the lights whenever I blinked. And I must be the only person in the world who actually likes the smell and taste of chlorine. This is a slightly shameful confession, but after I'd been swimming, I used to secretly lick my own arm, because I liked the faint residual taste of chlorine. I don't do that now, of course...

I have started going swimming recently at the University, though, and I love my dawn swims before work, watching the rainbows burst from the lights.

1 Unfortunately, the baths were demolished many years ago to make way for an office building.

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