Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Only 2 days .. Diving Venus

to listen to this fascinating radio documentary … don’t miss it

Swimmer and explorer Kate Rew tells the fascinating story of Annette Kellerman, the 1920s Australian vaudeville star and champion swimmer who dived into glass tanks, popularized the one-piece swimsuit and became the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel.

One of the dilemmas of organs is how interconnected they are, thus the ear, though it mainly sits on the side of the head and doesn’t get a great deal of attention is a vital aspect of doing the hoovering. Because the old ear and its parts keep us upright.

I have been forced to seriously address the quandary of whether a decent woman of forty should be able to swim. I think she should. I think she should wear a good green cardigan and she should swim. If a ferry sinks say she should swim away from it. How and ever, it appears that if the process of attaining such decency means said daycent cardigan’d woman has her ear on the pavement, well then a reassessment is in order.

I may have to give up the swimmin, which is not yet quite swimmin because the ear is keepin me awake and I don’t think there’s any point in being awake and pained, when the swimming is fact so shite.

Ce soir it threatened to derail the Wednesday tumbling. The serious sport! The real sport! At one point when throwing a back handspring my balance was so off I was rotating with and on only one arm and the prevailing wind the entire time was acute dizziness.

There are some wonderful new characters in the class. A round faced enthusiastic man who beamed to me that he was going to the splits by next Feb. Very good says I, work away. More males who have joined and who are fixated on somersaults. The people are really good fun and were very inquiring of our recent performance art piece and the gymnastic elements. Howd it go, they all wanted to know.

Indeed I’ve been v touched by the level of inquiry generally into the piece, long distance video calls pressing for every detail, bless, bless, I am blessed with loving and supportive friends. It is one of the greatest pleasures of my life, friendships so full of consistent caring and warmth.  As my sister said in June, my friends are too good to me.

I am molto perplexed by the current weather system. This in part because for the first stretch of it I was in Victoria and following what was happening up on the North of Vancouver Island. I have yet to entirely understand which way the system has gone since. I thought I was reckoning on it, and then today — what the heck ? Somehow someone turned on the sunshine. Er? I am still dipped in the green indicators on the map of epic precipitation.

See the weather requires adept daily study. You cannot assume you’ve got your eye on it, you literally need to be necking with a barometer three times a day. I am dissatisfied with my level of study. Plus things remain dubious on the swimming front.  But I was watching a most uplifting sight! A bunch of women over 60+ who swim each day in some frosty coastal spot in Ireland. And only an ordinary swimsuit on them! Mna na h’E appear to be furlined against the deep freeze. There’s me with my swimming jumper heading into the indoor pool. I even wear it in the hot tub.  Clearly I need new feathers.

The 4 decade mystery of the act of swimming may come down to the legs. I thought it was all in the lungs, but there was much hiccuping on the legs in this evening’s lesson. I am beset with a deep desire not to get into the pool as soon as the lesson begins. I actively want to just run away. I’ve decided to do everything they tell me in this lesson in the hope that I never have to another set of lessons. Usually I have my own menu and refuse to do 40 per cent of the instruction.

Old me:

Get in the dive tank.

No thanks.

Get in the dive tank.

No thanks. You get in it. I’ll watch.

Get in the dive tank.

Thanks v much, but I am quite happy here on the stairs.

New me

I have not yet been requested to get in the dive tank.

Long may it stay that way.

If I am asked to get in, I’ll ask for a set of shoulders to stand on.

**

My son tonight remarked isn’t it strange these really sporty kids who end up with the least sporty parents?

I couldn’t quite fathom his drift til it was clear he was talking bout himself and moi!

Wha! Who! Wha! says I but I do gymnastics.

“its not a sport” he says firmly and uses badminton as an example of a much more demanding sport before a lunar landing on the word Hockey. Hockey he says triumphant. Case closed.

The lifeguard hailed me at the swimming pool yesterday to tell me I was not breathing. He demonstrated what I was doing and I agreed with his description of my lungs. It was very generous of him to offer these helpful hints, he told me a few other things to do. I tried to do what he suggested and took in galloons of water and visions of drowning came up to greet me in the shallow end.

I reported back that I was unable to do what he proposed and we discussed the adult brain briefly in relation to swimming.

Then we started discussing gymnastics and I proposed he take up the sport.

Alas, I am not sure that my 454th attempt at learning to swim from next week will be a fruitful one.  I was very confident watching the swimming instruction video, but once head hits water the chemistry changes drastically. I wonder if some are simply not born to swim, but instead to stand on their hands.

poolish

Hello Kitty flip flops belonging to seventy year old feet.

Stomach scar on pale flesh that was too low to be open heart surgery.

Two female in their late seventies high five each other on recognition in the shower.

Aquafit, an undefeatable nation that once bounced in the shallow end, has morphed to rule the entire pool.

Aquafit: Resting place for house music rejected by aerobics.

No lifejacket if you are more than 90 pounds.

Industrial noise protection ear plugs worn to keep water out of ears while swimming.

What is the definition of swim continuously?

What if you cannot swim continuously?

Are you swimming intermittently?

Can continuous swimming be policed or is it based on an honour breathing system?