I was shivering with cold, wet and exposed, brushing up against hoards of nearly-naked strangers with spotty backs and miserable faces. The urge to escape smothered me as children's screams bounced off the walls and made my ears hurt. Boredom pinched me with its cold mean fingers as I forced myself to smile, aching to be home reading the paper and drinking hot tea.
Thirty l-o-n-g minutes earlier we had approached the front desk: "Four for swimming please", smiled Big G. The children scrambled into their swimsuits in a froth of excitement: "Watch me!" they whooped a hundred times, swimming from Mum to Dad and back again, daring to go, gasp, "right under!" Goggles and wet hair got crazy and tangled. What fun. The wave machine came on (with the Hawaii Five 0 theme tune at top volume), so the children leapt about like seal pups, diving down, bursting up for air, laughing with skinny legs and arms sticking out all over the place.