A little after waking up this morning a little voice called from the children’s rooms. I grinned at my other half, and predicted the next sentence.
“Are we going swimming?”
I looked at the clock. Half past eight. There went the plan to get up before 7am again. Another empty square in the bullet journal – I really am doing fabulously badly at the whole “accountability” thing. I’ve eaten chocolate today too. Go me. Not.
An hour later we were all downstairs, I was out of the shower, freshly shaven, shorts and a scruffy t-shirt on, and a swim bag slung over my shoulder with a towel and underwear in it. Miss 12 had been wearing her swimsuit since the moment she got out of bed, and burst out laughing.
“Your swim bag is PINK Dad!”
“And? It’s just a bag.”
“BUT IT’S PINK!” (more laughter)
Three daughters, and a grown up lady in the house has kind of bashed any kind of gender stereotypes out of me. Where we might once have daydreamed about weekends watching ballet lessons, volleyball, and netball matches, instead we have always been stood on the touchlines of football and rugby fields – or at judo tournaments. We never pushed the kids in a particular direction. Apparently Dad’s carrying pink swim bags are hilarious though.
An hour later we got off the train in a nearby town that has a much-more-fun swimming pool than any of the local ones. By “fun”, I mean it isn’t full of lane markers, and grumpy old arseholes swimming up and down. This pool is filled with families not unlike my own, with tired parents attempting to either make sure their young children don’t drown, or having circles swam around them by pre-teen future olympians (me). Miss 12 recovers from a couple of lengths shifting thousands of gallons of water in less time than it takes me to take my goggles off and rub my eyes.
Oh yes – goggles. I bought some goggles today. Last time we visited this particular pool, I suspect somebody read the quantity on the chlorine bottle wrong, and almost burned everybody’s eyeballs out. I therefore stopped on the way into the pool and picked up a pair of the most reasonable looking goggles I could find. Here’s the thing about goggles though – surely if you wear them, that marks you out as a potential pervert – sitting on the bottom of the pool, oggling the young mums figures as they dance past distracted by their young charges. I therefore made damn sure I only put the goggles on to do Mark Spitz impersonations chasing after Miss 12.
The thing about swimming – apart from being absolutely knackering – is that it gives you a raging hunger. After an hour and a half, I caught up with Miss 12 and suggested we get out and go have some lunch somewhere. Before we even got out of the pool, she asked if we could go to McDonalds. I think perhaps swimming may have been secondary in her “real” itinerary – a Big Mac Meal was probably at the top of the list, underlined in rainbow colours, and decorated with stick-on stars.
At least the coffee in McDonalds is great though, right?
After feeding our faces, we wandered around the shops – killing time until the next train might appear to spirit us back towards home. A second hand game store was selling Pokemon cards. Apparently these are “the thing to collect” at the moment, according to Miss 12. While she salivated over them, much to the amusement of the shop staff, I spotted something else. Something from the past. If not for the store not having a later model Playstation 2 in stock, I would have had some explaining to do when I got home. I spotted “Jak and Daxter”, and “Ratchet and Clank” on the shelf of used games. They were easily my favourite games about fifteen years ago. I’m tempted to look them up on E-Bay to see if I can get a PS2 with them. Somebody remind me I’m supposed to be saving money.
While writing this the rest of the family is out buying groceries for the week ahead. I suppose I should go and throw half the contents of the fridge away (you know – the stuff that is actually being held prisoner in the fridge, to stop it escaping to the rest of the house and evolving into new life-forms).
Back to work tomorrow. Waaaah.