Sunday, June 26, 2011

In the Big Waves

We are in Tenby for the week. I think it's something like our forty-sixth annual visit to Park Hotel, which has been owned by the same family all this time.

Today was perfect weather for swimming in the sea: just how I like it, with cloudless skies, but not too blisteringly hot.

The sea was quite choppy - huge waves, some bigger than me (mind you, I'm not very tall)

My mother, who is eighty-seven, insisted on coming into the sea, of course, in spite of the white crests everywhere. She had already swum in the hotel open-air pool with Olli and me, before breakfast, so now that it was about eleven o'clock it was definitely time for another swim.

Here she is amongst the big waves:

The beautiful North Beach is very safe for swimming: but not if you're eighty-seven and slightly built anyway. So eventually, she realised that the waves were too strong for her and she came out, but she wasn't pleased about it.

I pointed out that she was probably the only eighty-seven-year-old swimming in the sea in Tenby today - and perhaps the only eighty-seven-year old swimming in the sea in the whole of Britain. It cut no ice with her. The rest of her day included a walk round Tenby, another swim in the pool and an evening walk up a steep path to a local view. She doesn't compare herself with eighty-seven-year-olds, but with how she used to be and she doesn't like it.

The last time I was in the sea here was on Boxing Day, when there was snow on the beach and I did the Tenby Boxing Day Swim. Today it was much warmer. I stayed in for an hour, swimming and gliding in on the waves and jumping through the big ones - - and very occasionally getting caught unawares and knocked over.

I realise that I am still using all the big-waves skills that I learned here when I was nine. If you take your eye off the incoming waves for a moment and a big one knocks you off your feet, you must instantly jump up, because the one behind will be even bigger.

I jumped into them, and floated over them, and swam through them - - and I loved every second.

Here I am, just after a wave had gone over me:

If it rains for the rest of the week - and I do hope it won't - then I couldn't have had a better day.


Anonymous Jo said...

see you soon!

9:05 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

The last picture is like the background to a glossy magazine ad for a new body spray... "Tenby" - A refreshing new cologne for active women - with a hint of ocean spray.

11:56 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

You are blogworld's equivalent of Florence Chadwick, and I salute you!
And so's your old mum...

12:58 pm  

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