Monday, August 20, 2012


Went swimming today for the first time in twelve months! I cannot believe how quickly the last year has flown. I was away on holidays in the Dingle Peninsula this time last year, swimming most days in a freezing, but deliciously cleansing Atlantic Ocean

It has been a crazy year, what with musical theatre productions, my father's illness, his subsequent death, and my younger daughter's relocation to Canada. Not normally given to routine, unless teaching or rehearsing, this year was filled with it for one reason or another, and with precious little time for luxuries like writing or exercising. Routines and watching the clock appear to make time pass more quickly. Having said that, I am terribly grateful, there never seems to be enough hours in the day and that I wake most mornings with a sense of wonder about what each new day will bring.

I've spent the last week decorating a spare bedroom, which faces south overlooking the garden and would love to put in some french doors to open out onto a decking that has a small table and two chairs with an abundance of trailing wisteria, roses and potted maples. My idea of heaven would be to put in coffee and tea machines, and then with the help of the french doors, and croissants....of course, I could breakfast on the terrace, without having to shuffle into the kitchen or meet or talk to another soul. Bliss. That solitary hour or so in the morning, which so seldom happens, nurtures a drifting, a floating into the day, and time seems to pass more slowly because of it. Anyway, back to the swimming.

In between coats of paint, I headed over to the pool in Dundrum Leisure Centre, part of  Dundrum House Hotel, which also boasts a beautiful golf course. The 50 metre pool is encased in glass, and looks out onto the extremely well-maintained golf course. At the deeper end of the pool, adjacent to steam and sauna rooms, there are several lush plants in blue pots, which persuade of the Mediterranean.

Walking through the foyer of the leisure club, I noticed there wasn't a soul in the pool, and so I changed into my swimsuit as quickly as possible, to have it all to myself, if only for a few minutes. Lowering myself into the water, I stretched out in front and pushed through the water with the curving outwards arm movements of the breaststroke with its customary leg movements akin to that of a frog. Boy did it feel good....did it feel sexy. So what has breaststroke got to do with sex? What has sex got to do with swimming?

The experts or 'sexperts' tell us sex is good for us; that a healthy sex life can add years to our lives and supposedly, helps to maintain a youthful appearance. I imagine the enjoyment of  sex is rooted in a sensual awareness, which involves the use of all five senses. If we open our eyes, our ears, our sense of smell and touch, and really talk to people, how can we NOT be sensual beings. If we can also strive to maintain an open heart and mind, and say 'yes' instead of 'no' more often and say: 'I'm not sure how I feel about that piece of music or that work of art, but I shall endeavour to understand what the composer or author is saying, by looking or listening again.' Surely, we need to be stretched and challenged as human beings, to find out exactly who we are. How exciting to eat different foods, to speak different languages, to read new maps, to listen to different bird calls, to smell different spices, flowers and plants. So 'yes' now to swimming.


It's all about the surge, the broadening and the stretch. The surging forward of the arms, followed by their broadening circular movements; the symmetry of the legs as they open outwards, together with the stretch from the tips of the fingers to the tips of the toes, can be compared to the welcoming embrace of a lover; when heart, mind, body and all the senses proclaim together an'YES'! 

I for one, am afraid to miss anything and remind myself to say 'yes' more. So what has swimming got to do with sex? Damned if I know! Hello....(just slapped my wrist!!!) 'YES' I do senses told me!

Ciao for now!

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