Grebbies and Eech

The Commie Pool is now closed until mid-August because of the Commonwealth Games, so today I went to Warrender. Warrender is a Victorian, 25 yard pool, with the tiles shaped to make sloping surfaces where the walls meet the floor. I know I’m very lucky to have an Olympic-standard pool less than a ten minute walk from my flat, but after swimming at the Commie, Warrender is like swimming in a big dirty bath.  Maybe the Commie is that dirty too and I just can’t see because the bottom is so much further away.

The floor of Warrender pool is on a gradient to make a steady transition from the 6ft deep end to the shallow end, unlike the Commie which is set at either 2 metres or 1.25 metres deep. This is going to sound bonkers, but I found swimming towards the shallow end much easier and swimming towards the deep end much harder – like swimming downhill and uphill!

Also, there was a woman doing head-out-of-the-water, very slow old lady breaststroke – with her eyes tightly screwed shut! I think she might do better if she treats herself to goggles.

Stroke development class is finished until the end of August. I’ll miss it. It’s defnitely helping me improve my technique and fitness and become a better swimmer. The other week we tried butterfly again, and I found I can do a 25m length of almost competent butterfly kick, as long as I’m wearing pool fins and have a float under each arm. 😀 For our final lesson of the term, we spent some time doing porpoising. I hadn’t done it before – it’s when you sort of duck dive to the bottom of the pool and put your hands down on the bottom and then bring your head and your top half down and through and then push off from your feet up and into another dive. It’s ace fun, and I was so good that teacher asked me to demonstrate to the rest of the class. 😀 #teachers’pet #waterupthenose I think teacher missed the bit where I got so carried away I forgot to breathe, turned purple and thought I was going to die. It’s such good fun I want to do it again, but you can’t really do it in a lane for public swimming!

The 40-minute round trip to Warrender is going to be a pain compared to the 15-minute round trip to the Commie, and I’m slightly concerned that 2 months of a 25 yard pool will decondition me for a 50 metre pool. As much as I’m looking forward to the Commonwealth Games, I’ll be glad when the Commie opens again.

 

Well done Andy Murray, and congratulations Amelie Mauresmo

I know very little about tennis, and nothing at all about Amelie Mauresmo, but in a year where the misogyny inherent in sport has been so apparent, I’m delighted that a top sportsman would appoint a female coach, recognising that she could be* the best person for the job and shouldn’t be discounted because she’s a woman.

 

 

 

 

*I say could be rather than definitely is, because we won’t know how successful Murray’s new coach will be until we see his results.

The deaths at Tuam: a voiceless testimony

Edinburgh Eye

Tuam Babies unmarked graveThere is an unmarked mass grave in Galway which has become briefly famous by the work of historian Catherine Corless, who spent years tracing the death records of each child whose remains may have been buried there. (You can hear her being interviewed about her work on the mass grave here.)

Timothy Stanley, a Telegraph blogger who converted to Catholicism from the Anglican church, argues that the mass grave is “a human tragedy, not a Catholic one”. At more length, Caroline Farrow, a spokesperson for Catholic Voice, explains that first of all, this wasn’t really so bad, and anyway, everyone except the Catholic Church is probably lying. (I note for the record: the sheer quantity of misinformation and distortion provided by both Stanley and Farrow is quite astonishing.)

View original post 2,265 more words