There are some hardy folk who specialise in swimming in freezing cold water. For example, a group of them defy winter by taking a dip in the Serpentine on Christmas Day. However, sensible people wait until the water is at a reasonable temperature before dipping a toe in it.
The first year we lived here, I could not wait to get into our new pool and so once the water was at about 18 degrees I was in there. I can tell you it was damn cold. Since then I have waited until early summer before taking the plunge and in the case of Pamela, it has to be at least 28 degrees before she will enter the water.
This winter has been possibly the coldest that we have had. I was therefore surprised to hear that one of our neighbours had already gone for her first swim of the year. The brave lady lives on Calle Holanda at the bottom of the estate. Those who live here will know who I mean if I mention the name Eddie.
Before you jump to any conclusions about the bravery (or stupidity) of this woman, let me explain the circumstances. Celia (there I have given her name away now) was outside having a walk around the garden, Eddie was taking a siesta inside. She was on the coronation stones that surround the pool when she slipped and fell into the icy water.
I understand that Celia does not like to have her head under water but this time she had no choice because she was at the deep end of the pool. Actually that was lucky because the deep water would have broken her fall; at the shallow end she would have hit the bottom and likely hurt herself.
Thankfully, Celia was able to drag herself out of the water and shouted for Eddie to come and help her. Celia’s clothes were soaked and she had some difficulty removing her top which was heavy with water. Having struggled to get her top off, Celia managed to drag her pants off and so was left standing outside in her underwear. It was at this point that Eddie appeared, also in his underwear.
I wonder what first went through his mind. Had Celia been reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” or had she taken a funny turn. What was she doing, stripped off to her underwear, going for a swim on a cold February day. This was clearly not normal behaviour for Celia. We all know that people of a certain age can do strange things but we don’t expect that of our loved ones.
It is not certain whether any of the neighbours caught a glimpse of Celia and Eddie cavorting around in their garden dressed only in underwear. Any that did now have an explanation of the circumstances.