Retired Bloke and The Ladies

OUR week in Puglia is but a fading dream (I know what you are thinking here: ‘I am confused,’ you muse; ‘according to his blog, this Retired Bloke fellow is only on Day Three of his Italian odyssey. Now he says he’s back home. What’s up?’

There is a simple explanation. I’m still catching up with myself. Bear with me. We’ll get there together in the end.

I digress. It was back in the pool with The Retired Blokes Swimming Club this morning. 19 minutes 30 seconds for the usual 800 metres Australian crawl. Not at my quickest, but I’d say pretty reasonable when you take into account my generosity to Italian wine industry revenues in bars and trattoria up and down the heel of Italy in the previous seven days.

In addition to which, my progress through the H2O was somewhat impeded by a preponderance of Ladies Who Don’t.

To explain: swimming pool etiquette dictates that, when rapidly closing on a slower swimmer ahead, one administers a firm but courteous touch upon  a flailing foot. This way, the sluggish one is informed of what’s going on behind, and gives way at the next turn.

This avoids the necessity of attempting an overtaking procedure mid-pool, with all the attendant dangers of collision and stern words (well, as stern as is humanly possible when the spluttering nose and mouth are full of chlorinated water.)

There is, however, a species of human being that responds to the aforementioned tap on the foot with nothing more than an obstinate determination to plough on regardless of the mayhem ensuing in the wake. There are Ladies Who Don’t and Blokes Who Don’t, and today I had three of the former in my lane.

All of my tap-tapping away resulted in a certain froideur. Chilly doesn’t quite cover it; I thought I’d need an ice pick to extricate myself from the pool.

It’s enough to make a Retired Bloke question his belief in basic human decency.

PS: Got home in time to hear The Current Mrs Feeney talking on the ‘phone to Grandson 1, the first-born of our son The Gamekeeper. After the usual pleasantries about school (he likes it) and his little brother Grandson 2 (ditto), Mrs F somewhat riskily expanded the conversation, as follows:

“And what do you want for Christmas? A puppy? How lovely! And why do you want a puppy? Oh. To catch the rats.”

Obviously the little man is going to be one of Life’s Gentle Souls. Good lad.





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