Sunday, July 25, 2010

In My Element

There are many situations where I'm not in my element.

I enjoy most of my work situations: I love my work - though I think it's true that both the work with the actors' agency and the work I do with healthcare professionals are more interesting than many people's work.

I am not, however, comfortable in many social situations, especially those which involve big groups of people. I'm never sure how to behave, or how to dress, and I tend to feel very shy and very self-conscious. Sometimes I flee. Sometimes I don't turn up in the first place.

However, I do enjoy meeting congenial people in small groups, and so it was when Silverback and I met Jay from The Depp Effect and her husband Yellow Swordfish on our way down to Camberley on Thursday. I thought I'd like them - Jay's a big Johnny Depp fan, for goodness' sake - what's not to like? They treated Silverback and me to a delightful lunch in a pub and I left hoping to meet them both again.

Here they are: Yellow Swordfish, then Jay, then Silverback, after our lunch.

This got me thinking. One area where I'm not in my element is in photos of myself, though I must say that Silverback, who is an excellent photographer, has taken some that I actually like, and some he has put on his blog, and I have always been quite happy with that.

But I don't, in general, like photos of myself: I just don't look how I feel inside, and I don't look eighteen any more. This could, I agree, be something to do with recently having had my fifty-fourth birthday - - but anyway, I don't like it.

So there has never been a photo of me on this blog. But today I'm going to change this. And, what's more, there's going to be a video. Of me. In my element.

Which is, of course, water. This morning I was swimming in the open air, at the delightful Ilkley Lido, trying to get used to swimming in my wetsuit. Stephen was my Personal Trainer "Go on, do another couple of lengths, you're getting more relaxed now!" He did a great job in getting me to persevere with it as I was really tense to begin with.

The Lido is unheated but as I've mentioned before, for me, cold water isn't really the problem. For the Great North Swim, which I will be doing in September, you have to wear a wetsuit.

I haven't had much chance to practise in the wetsuit since I bought it, and I hated the wetsuit for ages this morning - - I felt really trapped and claustrophobic, and far too buoyant. But finally the air mostly came out of it, and I began to feel a bit more like I usually feel when I swim, which is relaxed and free.

I'm still not a hundred percent with it, but finally I feel I'm getting there: I think I just need more practice, as the wetsuit means my stroke has to be slightly different from usual. And, since I've been swimming breaststroke for - oh, ye Gods - fifty years! - - it takes a bit of adjusting to doing it slightly differently.

So here I am, in my element, and I do apologise for anyone who found this by searching Youtube for footage of the Loch Ness Monster.

And here I am, when I'd finished swimming, just before I ate everything in the cafe. Yes, swimming makes me very hungry and I was in the Lido for an hour and a quarter!

I'll be back there next weekend to practise some more.


Anonymous ruth said...

Excellent to see you in your element and congratulations to Stephen for capturing it.

4:14 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sorry but the video reminded me of "Jaws". It was such a relief when a famous role player arrived at the poolside and not a Great White!

11:46 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

I thought it was great, Daphne. Mind you, as far as I'm concerned, air in the wetsuit would be a considerable advantage!

10:20 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Action footage of you swimming plus hearing you speak! Be still, our collective blogworld hearts! But my American ears can't make out what you said at the end of your swim.

5:12 pm  
Anonymous jay said...

Woo hoo! Look at you, swimming like a fish out there! I've never worn a wetsuit, much less swum in one and I don't think I'd like to, so I'm very impressed - especially with the mention of the Great North Swim. Sounds coooooold! And it's a whole mile! Well, all I can say is 'good luck!'

Thank you for the kind words - we left hoping to meet you two again, too - it was a fun day, wasn't it?

I don't look how I feel inside either. Does anyone? But we didn't think you looked 54!! Looks like you're doing pretty well.

9:35 pm  

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