Saturday, 13 October 2007

Pool Boy

Written to friends in an email in August
I’m sitting on the terrace that runs the length of the back of the house and typing this on the portable, so that I can enjoy the view over the garden to the fields beyond.
Tod has just been “pool boy” – straw hat, calf-length trousers (de rigueur for men at this time of the year) and bare chest. The weekly pool clean is a mystic ritual of valves on and off, pump on and off, terms like “backwash” and then a long slow vacuum of the pool bottom. All this you understand for something only slightly larger than a garden pond – four and a half strokes end to end, 10 lengths in under 5 minutes. As it is only heated by the sun it still takes courage to go in – better fast than slow, with associated gasps of shock – but after a sweaty day of emptying boxes and sorting books and pictures (we’re still unpacking!) it’s a joy to jump in and cool off.

When Tod swims, Clara runs alongside, barking anxiously, like a worried mother at her toddler's first swimming lesson.

video

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