Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Liquid happiness

I nipped out for my Swim Like a Fish lesson. In the pool, an elderly lady rested against one wall, her eyes closed, basking in the sunshine, in seventh heaven.

As I got in, she exclaimed how lovely the water was. She was French, had a sweet disposition, and we talked in that blend of French, Portuguese and English that seems to overcome any individual language deficiency.

She was surprised that I was bothering to put on goggles; I could be lounging at the side of the pool, sunbathing. I explained my fish-swimmy thing. She said you tan three times quicker in the pool; her brother is a doctor and told her.

At this point I recognised the scent that was lingering over the water: whiskey. Either she'd already had ample that morning (this was about 11.30am) or she was processing the Night Before, her system distilling ethanol at a rate that Guinness Distilleries would be proud of.

I started my fishy drills. Over the half-hour, she'd float over to where I surfaced several times to chat about the weather, the local dive spots, the weather (hot topic). Then she'd return to her sun spot, basking, eyes closed, smiling.

When my internal clock chimed to say 'that next batch of salsa has chilled nicely', it was time to go. I left her as I found her, in utter bliss.

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