SWIMMING in a pool is a great way to unwind and cool off in the scorching summer sun.
Spending time in a hotel's offering of late has prompted me to make an achievable New Year's resolution - to swim more.
However, no matter how comfortable I may feel in a public pool, I know it's not my own personal splash pond.
Sadly, some people don't share in this belief and dive headfirst into the deep end of rude behaviour.
After witnessing an egregious breach of pool etiquette by a scowling mother and her brats, I asked my mother if my siblings and I were ever that bad.
To which she said "no", and I praised her parenting.
I mean, it's not fair to be mad at some eight-year-olds running amok, but when I see the parents watching this and doing nothing about it, I can't help but get upset.
It's not that my siblings and I weren't as enthused about being at a pool when we were kids.
After all, what's not to love about splashing about, playing Marco Polo and taking part in a seemingly never-ending game of ships, submarines and sand scrapers?
But I do remember that our family and friends were all considerate if there were other parties in the pool.
If there was a big group of us we would head up one end and keep the splashing of poor fellow patrons to a minimum.
If we did get a little rowdy, and it's hard not to when Marco Polo is involved, our parents would keep us in line, telling us not to run or yell. And I have to say kudos to them.
I don't want to be a killjoy here, folks, but the pool has rules for a reason and they really aren't that demanding.
So here goes my list (rant) of dos and don'ts:
- Don't be a space hog. If you have the desire to go swimming, chances are that other people do as well.
- Watch your kids. Sounds simple, right? Except if everyone did this there wouldn't be as many kids running around and making life difficult for other people, or as many drownings.
- Rethink doing butterfly if there's another person in the pool. I've seen it done beautifully, and if that's you, you are magnificent. The rest of you? Stop. You are drowning children in your backwash.
- Don't hog the ends. If you're standing at the end, please make sure there's room for some obsessive (ahem) to touch the end and push off again.
- Be aware of where you are in the pool and who else is in there.
- Be nice to the older folks doing head-up breaststroke or walking in the water for exercise. It may be you one day. I hope I'm still in the water when that's all I can manage.