Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Just at the moment, I’m drowning in work.

It makes me remember near-drowning experiences of the watery kind. First: when I assured my mother I could swim when I was four years old (though I only thought I could) and she chucked me in the pool to teach me not to tell lies. I think I only went under once or twice before I was fished out. I don’t blame her, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

It taught me not to tell stories, but gave me a fear of putting my head under water. Oh, my mum got her just deserts, she had to wash my hair thereafter, and it was only to be achieved by force. I got over it of course, but I still had a fear of putting my face in the water, which meant I was slow at learning how to swim.

The second time I nearly drowned, I was in high school, and my swimming teacher instructed us to swim lengths of the school pool. Of course, I was the weakest swimmer. I swam for as long as I could, then moved to the edge of the pool and hung onto the side.

‘I can’t do any more.’ said I, between gasps, but the teacher stepped on my fingers and said: ‘More! Swim more!’ So I duly swam back to the middle of the pool and promptly sank like a stone. I don’t remember coming up again.

I actually lost consciousness that time, and when I regained it, I was lying at the side of the pool having water pushed out of my lungs while mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was being debated: you can bet your life I opened my eyes quickly!

After that, I stopped going to swimming, even though it was compulsory, and for some reason ( I wonder what that could be?) the teacher never reported my absence. Smirks. I doubt she tried the stepping-on-fingers trick thereafter at all events.

Anyway, right at the moment, I feel as I did then: clutching the edge of the pool and saying: ‘I can’t do any more!’. No-one’s stepping on my fingers, but I also know that no-one’s going to fish me out. A week without overtime, would be very, very nice.

The joys of spring as a horticulturist…

Today's pic: a flower, of course! Pity I haven't had time to try out my new camera. Oh: and in case you were wondering: the butterfly is dead. I posed it there. Yes, I know its a cheat...


  1. Swimming is easy if you have enough body fat. My theory on Jesus was that he was too obese to sink. Now get back to work, butterfly killer.

  2. Well- it makes perfect sense that you would be drowning in work at springtime as a horticulturist.
    I've taken swimming lessons four times growing up and once as an adult. I'm still no good at it.
    Can't believe your Mom threw you in. One of those split second parental decisions that didn't go quite as planned.
    And as far as the teacher stepping on your toes, now that was just evil. I think in athletics, the rules are different.
    Hope you get some well deserved down time soon!

  3. Sorry you're working too hard.

    I'm part of the not-good swimmers' club--almost drowned a couple of times. The last "drowning" was after a month of adult lessons. I waved to my friends, jumped into the deep end, and sank--I could not tread water and could not get my nose above water. I saw my son running to get a life preserver; remembered to float on my back, got to the side of the pool, and got out. End of swimming.

    Mother's sometimes do the damndest things. Your teacher has no excuse.

  4. If you're still looking for blogs to read:


    I mostly post little songs, poems, and bits of prose.

    Please come check it out!

  5. My mom has a fear of water, when she was a kid a swimming instructor threw her into a pool in an attempt to teach her to swim... it didn't work.

    Drowning seems like it would be very scary I would imagine the thought would haunt you...

    By the way great pic... I love flowers & butterfly! When you feel like you are drowning at work take a coffee break... the work will still be there when you get back.

  6. Good advice, Grant! Beer will definitely make me a better swimmer at this rate.

    PAMO: we seem to have a lot of little things in common, like not being good swimmers! I was really good at athletics, but though I was fastest, they never let me compete because I didn't have enough 'sports credits'. Grrr!

    Hw: Maybe being a bad swimmer is part of being a good artist? In that case, I have potential to be a GREAT artist! Glad you survived :)

    Mey: nice blog you've got there (even though you're a hippie :))! Folks: check it out...

    Karl: Sure as heck it doesn't work! I used to have drowning nightmares. Then I'd wake up and I'd STILL be drowning. It would take me a second or two to realize that it was because I'd stopped breathing. Great advice about the coffee break. Another nice unwind is stopping for just a minute to say 'Hi' to one of the many pets on the farm.