Each Summer I went swimming

Apart from wanting to spend Christmas with the family, one of the main reasons we went over to the UK these holidays was to be at the wedding of my lifelong friend, Vanessa. Living so far from friends and family means missing all sorts of important occasions, so it was fantastic to be able to get there for this one. And what a beautiful, elegant, warm, joyful occasion it was! Well worth the jet lag and all those hours trying to get the volume right on the in-flight movies. (Is it just me or does everyone spend most of the flight with your hand on the controls, trying to make out the dialogue without damaging your ears in the process?)

Hitchin swimming pool, Hertfordshire, EnglandAnyway, the wedding took place in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where I was born, in the Church we used to attend. An intimate, song-filled, smiling afternoon. The morning of the wedding we went for a wander round the town, to show Doug where I lived for the first eight years of my life, and on our explorations went past the swimming pool. Not long after we left the town to move up to Cumbria they built an indoor pool, but when we lived there there was just the outdoor pool. And we went all the time. Most days of the Summer, we would head there for the day, with a blanket, a picnic, and probably a pile of books. It doesn’t look much, but it’s where I started learning to swim. On the last days of 2012, gearing up for a year of journeys and adventures, it seemed appropriate to be in the place where my own journey began. And without that pool, maybe the many swimming adventures of my life would never have taken place…

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