|How the Daily Mail reported "Black Friday frenzy"|
[First printed in The Journal, Monday 1st December 2014]
It’s taken a while but yesterday morning we had a breakthrough: Izzy is swimming backwards.
Lying like a tiny turtle on her back, she first flapped one arm like a propeller, which caused her to go in little circles while gradually sinking beneath the surface; then, gingerly, she introduced the second, till both arms were beating the water like a sealion’s flippers. To be accurate, it looked more backflap than backstroke, but she eventually got the hang of it and was soon storming around the deep end bumping into all the other pupils.
After 55 years of swimming, I’ve never worked out how to see where I’m going when doing backstroke, so I doubt Izzy ever will. But I guess this is progress of sorts. Her teacher was so pleased, he gave her a badge and promoted her to the school’s “Crab” class, while presenting me with a bill for next term’s lessons, where he promises me he’ll begin to teach her to go forwards.
“But surely crabs go sideways, not backwards?” I protested, but Juan, who is Spanish, pretended to not understand. It’s a profitable business, this swimming school.