Gilli Allan is joining the Summer Fun today and tells us about a childhood summer
Summer Holiday Highlight - A childhood experience revisited.
When I was twelve I went on a family holiday to Spain. At the time I was more of a flailer than a swimmer. My dad had bought himself a full-face snorkelling mask which I borrowed. When I went in the sea wearing this mask the fact that I was able to breathe, as well as having a wonderful and colourful underwater world to look at, allowed me to relax in the water. And it was on this holiday I learned to do the breast stroke almost entirely without thinking about it. From that holiday onwards I was a swimmer.
I didn’t go on that kind holiday again - the kind of holiday where the sea is as calm as a mill pond and you have to go in it just to cool down - until I was a young woman. By that time a full-face snorkelling mask was no longer legal (something to do with a build-up of carbon dioxide) and my dad’s was long gone. I cannot count the number of snorkelling mask I’ve bought since, but every one has let in water. I am still not a very confident swimmer and I have very sensitive eyes. The combination of water mixed with sun tan lotion going in my eyes makes them sting so badly I have to close them and keep them closed for many minutes on end. In fact, the word ‘sting’ does not adequately convey what I am experiencing. Therefore there is zero chance of relaxing in the water and the experience is ruined.
This year we were due to holiday in Fourni, a very small Greek island near Samos. Before we set off, I visited a specialist diving equipment shop and was “fitted” for a new mask. Triumph at last!
|The ladies of Fourni who, hats on and fully clothed, go for a dip in the afternoon.|
|This devil bird (type of goose?) lived on one of the nearby beaches. He attacked me one morning, pecking my ankle|
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