In a flash of inspiration, as so many of these things start for me, last week while sat on the train to work, I started writing the opening to a book I want to write - because all bloggers have books these days and well I actually wanted to write the book before I started the blog - about my relationship with and experiences of swimming. The book will be called: A Calm Crossing (obviously) and will hopefully be for sale, soon after I (finally) swim the channel and give my book the ending it deserves.
Here are the opening few paragraphs of what I wrote (very much a first draft):
"This story starts back in the summer of 2013. No actually it starts back in 1990 when at only six years of age I had just swam *distance* of the local swimming pool. Or maybe it really starts nearly 9 and a half months - I didn't want to come out - before my birth, when all the swimming really began. I can die happy knowing that I won at least one race.
But let's start it on Friday 4th Nov 1983 at 9.10am when I was finally born, 11 days after my due date. You see I liked being in the water so much I didn't want to come out, I was even born with the embryonic sack still on my head. I was so happy in the water I simply didn't want to leave and it's been that way ever since.
I recall my first ever swimming lesson. I remember it vividly. It was in the baby pool at Connah's Quay swimming baths in the small North Wales town of Connah's Quay where I spent my formative years, and then a few more between university and deciding what to do with my life.
I was four years of age and will no formal training I got in and swam 10 metres on my back without aide and without stopping. Which was no fluke of course. My mum had had me in the pool, teaching me to swim from a very young age. At the end of the lesson Mrs Lynn Tovey, the woman who would become my swimming teacher for several years, gave me my first swimming badge, which of course was quickly attached to my swimming trunks.
From there I quickly amassed an array of swimming badges, right up until the summer of 1990 when something rather special was about to happen."
So there it is, the beginning of a work in progress that will hopefully become a sort of autobiography of my life in and around water. I will be working on it slowly but surely over the next 12-18 months and hopefully with a little bit of luck and a serious amount of hard work - in and out of the pool - you will see it on sale in all good book shops in due course. Wish me luck.