Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Have I missed something here? Has some major celebrity suddenly endorsed the backstroke as the swimming style of the season? For, out of approximately twenty people in the pool this morning, at least half were doing that particular stroke. Not only that: they were doing it in my lane.
Look, my dears, don't you all realise this is the most ungraceful of all strokes? More importantly, it’s also the slowest, which means either you're holding me up, or I'm forced to overtake. And, as you're unable to see where you're so inelegantly going, chances are you'll smash your head against the poolside. Or, as was repeatedly demonstrated this morning, collide into me.
And, as for attaining that classic 'V'-shape for the summer, may I remind you that, aerobically, this is the least effective of all the major strokes. And may I also point out that, while Ian Thorpe has a swimmer's body, so does a walrus.
And a final word to you ladies of a certain age. Yes, you all look so lovely and swan-like, gracefully holding your heads high above the surface, protecting your perfectly-coiffed hair from the nasty chlorinated water. However, dear ladies, if you are going swimming, you must expect to get your hair wet. Available at the information desk are some perfectly pleasant bathing caps decorated with pretty yellow flowers. Please make use of them.
This may all seem trivial, but, at 7.30 this morning, for me it was the Beating of the Butterfly's Wing. Already I have pouted queenily, slammed shut my locker door, sneered at the city gent's purchase of the Sun in the newsagents, and politely and diplomatically informed a cycle courier that excuse me, mate, that red traffic-light f**king applies to you as well, you know.
Given these escalating hostilities, I'd stay off Old Compton Street tonight, if I were you. I'm telling you, there'll be blood on the streets of Soho before the day is out. Don't say you haven't been warned.