Saturday, 24 August 2013

Householdering on a walking stick

My stint as Rosemary's householder reminded me of my schooldays in an odd way.  I had to hobble, with walking stick and Rosemary's arm, to the small school, and I held up both schools while they had to wait for me.  Then the kind Ghanaian brother who conducts the second school let us go straight to our seats in the front so we didn't have to get up and down again.  Which really helped. I had been worried about that.

My last appearance in the Ministry School - I hope not ever! - but certainly until after my operations.

Anyway, during my second year at big school, our House needed a swimmer - was it Compiegne (spelling?), Picardy, or The Other One - I can't now remember and can't imagine what the point of the House system was - trying to bring some sort of ersatz public school spirit into our Convent High School? - anyway, Sports Day - horrors of horrors - or any rate a Swimming Gala at our local baths.   And - tragedy for Compiegne, Picardy or The Other One, their champion swimmer, the only girl in the House in my year who could dive and swim was off sick. And I was press-ganged into my House (whichever one it was, I'm not sure I even knew at the time) swimming team, to swim for the honour of Whichever House It Was.

Why?  I suppose it was because I was the only other girl who could stay afloat in the deep end.

So we all lined up.  They dove in like speedy arrows.  I jumped.  And then I started my laborious breaststroke.   Slowly slowly I trundled down the first lane, and even more slowly back up the second.  The audience got out its sandwiches and had its lunch while it waited for me.  I did get a cheer at the end, but I think it was a cheer of relief, as finally the next race could begin and they would be that bit nearer to going home.

They call old age "a second childhood" and so its proving to be.

Yesterday was my second pre-op appointment at the hospital. Terrifying.

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