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Monday, October 16, 2006

Reminiscing ...

Went for a stroll down memory lane, late yesterday afternoon - to Mount Wise swimming pools, overlooking Plymouth Sound.

It wasn't like that in my day!! Aged about 11 or 12, I used to come here, with the school, for swimming lessons. There was no wall to protect you from the harsh sea winds then - and it was always winter-time - generally, it was snowing. We used to stand, up to our necks in this freeeeezing cold water (heated pool? don't be silly!) - and were dragged along by ropes and poles. I remember when Susan Mitchell's regulation black nylon swimsuit took in too much water and the top fell down under the weight. A bunch of pre-pubescent girls, giggling at the sight of the first flushes of mammary buds, was about as cheery as these outings got! When we eventually escaped from this frozen water, of course still non-swimmers - an even worse ordeal followed, as we had to attempt to dry ourselves with towels from home (generally thin, 2 foot square ones). Pulling knickers and socks over cold, wet skin is about as miserable as it gets. Before returning to the bus, and back to school for lessons, undoubtedly in scripture or latin, those of us fortunate enough to have a couple pence in our pockets, would drag our trembling little bodies, over to the refreshment hut where we would purchase a cup of hot oxo (yes, an Oxo cube dissolved in boiling water ...) and huddle together on the steps. Today's kids don't know they're born!

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