In a moment of relief and with the seed of delight that my sore back was much released by the chiro yesterday, I decided to go and check out our local public pool this morning. I have been there before, with crowds of local kids on sweltering afternoons, but never before in the early morning.

I was greeted by two police people at the desolate gate and box office. The ticket seller wasn’t at work yet so I was snuck in with the suggestion that I would pay the R6 entry fee when I left.

I walked through the spotless cool of the building into the beautiful lawned park that surrounds the old but immaculate pool.

I was the only swimmer there. I did widths across the deep end while the life guard and another maintenance man did work in the middle section. On the width back to the near end of the pool I stared at Devil’s Peak. Going in the other direction I was welcomed by the big blue sky. I only stopped because I didn’t have goggles or earplugs and my ears started throbbing.

I sat on the low wooden bench and drip dried in the sun. A flock of hysterical sea gulls swooped in and paddled and washed and shouted. When I was dry enough I threw on my sundress, stuffed my feet into my takkies and walked home again. It felt like the old days, and it made me so happy.

For those of you who live and work in Woodstock, I am sharing my secret with you. Morning swims at Trafalgar Public Swimming Pool.