I am not a couple

04/04/2010 at 6:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was a little disappointed today as I went to the Porchester Spa, the borough of Westminster’s cut price steam and sauna extension to their public baths, in the hope of some proper girly steams and saunas as well as a swim. However, Sunday after 4pm is couples only. I had naively thought that ‘the couples’ session meant that men and women were sharing the space, not that people on their own were not allowed. Both the attendant and the bloke in the caff implied that if I hung around I’d find someone to go in with me (it’s not restricted to different-sex couples) but I sort of thought that would be against the spirit. Besides, paying £23 for a swim, sauna, steam, jacuzzi and lounge around on the bed, when a swim alone costs a fiver is worth it when you are staying a few hours, but not really when you’re really only going to be there an extra hour.

So, I went to the other entrance, paid my fiver (which is a lot, but I assume the discounts are being passed back to residents) and cheered right up when I got the pool, as I’d forgotten how pretty it is and how full of natural light (the last time I was here it was raining cats and dogs, whereas today the pool was bathed in sunshine). When I arrived there was tons of space as well, although it filled up a bit (not with children – the children’s pool was open separately, which was a great boon to all). Strangely, having made the decision to stay in the slow lane (because I wanted to concentrate on my leg action, not because I’d had a snack a bit too soon before swimming and had mid-afternoon hungover sleepiness, honestly), there was only one genuinely slow swimmer in it with me. Presumably the others were put off the quite fast swimmers in the medium lane who were put off the fast lane by some olympic studs, but I couldn’t see that far to the other end of the pool. Outdoor Swimming Friend claims that men always go to the fast lane and won’t be overtaken by her. I disagree – it’s just as bad when, as we did here, there are swimmers who would rather be emperor of a slower lane than have to work really hard in the fast one. To be fair, the worst offender was a young woman who wanted to be in the same lane as boyfriend (the one genuinely slow swimmer) – and maybe he needed moral support if he wasn’t confident – but she didn’t need to look so bloody smug each time she overtook me…

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