I had yesterday afternoon off work and decided to go for a swim to try and release some of the cash machine anguish that had occured earlier on in the day. I checked the local pool timetable online and saw that 2-3pm was reserved for a Ladies Swim session, which seemed perfect. Driving into the leisure centre, however, I started having doubts. There appeared to be an extraordinary amount of 'mature' women going in through the front entrance, carrying suspiciously bulky Tesco bags. There were even more of them in the changing rooms, moaning about the slightly nasty smell coming from the drains and storing their fleeces and woolly hats in the lockers.
I showered and entered the main pool area.
It was awash with elderly women. All wearing plain black swimsuits, all with identical white perms and ALL doing breaststroke. I stood in the shallow end watching their white heads bobbing up-and-down, up-and-down rhythmically in perfect unison, none of them ever going so far into the water that they got their perms wet. It seemed such a shame to ruin this peaceful watery idyll with frantic frontstroking, so I found a relatively empty spot and joined in.
But I just can't seem to get the kick right. Old people kick just like frogs, only a bit more slowly. But, try as I might, I cannot get my frog kick to work. It took me about 2 minutes to swim a length using this method. And it only takes me 30 seconds if I just pump my legs up and down.
So I resorted to my time-honoured freestyle kicking method, with a front crawl arm movement, which annoyed the olds no end because there was a lot of splashing.
About half an hour in an old man appeared at the poolside wearing a pair of tiny speedos. A ripple of apprehension (or was it... hunger...) travelled through the pool. Surely this, this man was not going to attempt to enter the water, surely the lifeguards would do something about this travesty. The old man stood reading a notice for about 2 minutes, I suspect he was stealing sneaky gawps at the old totty out of the corner of his eye. I did a length backstroke and when I emerged from the water he had disappeared. Poof. Gone. I think the old women rose out of the water like aged Medusas and dragged him into the murky depths never to be seen again. I think that's why the leisure centre have to reserve an hour in their pool schedule, to provide hidden cover for these aqueous harpies. And I think the old man was provided by the leisure centre as a human sacrifice to sate their lust for the taste of human flesh and prevent them from reoffending in public.
I think that's what goes down at the Hudson Pool in Wisbech on a Tuesday. I'll never know for sure, because I'm at work on Tuesdays for the next couple of weeks and will be unable to observe the goings on.