Saturday, 19 November 2011

Misty morning at Bondi and a humiliating moment in a day in the life of a woman of a certain age

Bondi Beach: it's not smog, it's fog
Today Ms Fivestar came to the beach. She'd heard my stories about the head-honcho swim coach Mr Mean and wanted to meet the man who refers to himself as "old school". 

Mr Mean is a product of the good old days before political correctness brought the Western World to its knees and took all the fun out of blonde jokes (thank God the Irish can still laugh at themselves). Mr Mean likes to shout a lot and make examples of those not doing it his way. He is definitely a 'my way or the highway' sort of bloke. 

This used to get my back up, when Mr Mean would occasionally berate me or another squad member in front of our peers. After a while I got used to it. You might think my resignation is lame and that I'm spineless for not biting back. 

But Mr Mean was right to pull me up for not paying attention while he was talking - often about himself but also about stroke technique - and for being late for squad.

I could have got mad and stormed off, which is what I did one morning when he lambasted me for arriving late to squad. He basically told me to piss off if I couldn't be punctual. I was furious. I mean, no one talks like that to a woman of a certain age. 

Anyway, after stewing in my own juices, I returned the next week and I've never been late since. 

Today I wasn't listening again and ran into the surf with a bunch of the elite squad members when I was meant to be with the rookies. 

Ms Fivestar, who was relaxing on the sand, heard Mr Mean shout out my name not once, but three times. She said it was funny. I was mortified when I finally heard him and turned to face the group that remained on the beach. I then had to run back to the group who looked embarrassed on my behalf.

C'est la vie. Overall, it was a fantastic morning but check out the pics. The mist covered Bondi for the duration of squad and was still hovering around at 11am. Ms Fivestar and I reckon the cooler air off the water collided with warmer air floating over the land, with the resulting haze. The water temp was a crisp 19 degrees (my guess). On the drive home, my car's temperature gauge sat on 35 degrees Celsius. 

Tomorrow is the Dawny swim at Balmain on the harbour in Sydney's inner-west. My teeth are already chattering... and not just because I'm thinking about the water temperature. It's what lies beneath that makes me shudder.

I hope to post tomorrow night unless of course I get a fright because a sharky took a bite... ARRRGGGHHHHHH! 

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