Yesterday we went to a local swimming pool. My son had asked to go swimming and as it was the Last Day Before He Starts School, it seemed churlish to refuse. The only problem was that he had no swimming trunks in London – we tend to leave them in the IoW. So I went to M&S … and then to H&M … and then to GAP. No swimming gear! They now have their autumn stock in, which does not include swimming trunks. It’s a bit peculiar really – I mean, it isn’t as if there are loads of outdoor swimming pools in the UK.
In the end, I wandered down Chapel Market in desperation. The nice lady at JD Sports suggested I try Sports Direct. This is a shop I never go in – but it was the only place that had swimming trunks. They were even reduced.
There was one shop on Chapel Market with an absolutely enormous queue outside it. I was a bit puzzled until I realised that it was one of the main shops selling school uniform for the Islington schools. It was a bit surprising though – why hadn’t these people sorted out uniform before now? The schools all start this week.
I can’t remember who once described going swimming as “standing in other people’s chlorinated piss while your children jump about shrieking “Look at me! Look at MEEEEE!”” but I do think it was spot on. Except that public swimming pools have RULES – the lifeguard told me that my son had to stay in the non swimmer area because “he looked like he was struggling”. My son? The boy who learned to dive this summer, the boy who swam in the sea right up to the yachts moored there? Clearly, I didn’t say any of this because it would have made me sound like a nob. But I was really quite put out.
Ah, my son. He started school this morning. All the photos of children in their new school uniform started coming up on Facebook yesterday. I know it’s a cliche but it did make me slightly nervous. This morning I put my own photos up.