Mrs Running Buffet goes swimming

Through this blog, you have heard plenty about my attempts to keep fit and active. Today, it is Mrs Running Buffet’s turn.

You know what it’s like. You start a new job and all of the old routines are thrown up in the air. You have to create a new routine. Find a formula that works for you.

Mrs RB had decided to start swimming again and, luckily for her, had found a swimming pool not far from her new drive home from work. So it was that, after work one night, Mrs RB parks up outside the swimming pool. She is nothing if not well prepared and has already raided my wallet for both a 50p and a pound coin. “I don’t know what the lockers take” she pointed out, annoyingly reasonably. Unbeknownst to her, however, this swimming pool has a pay and display car park. The charge: £1.50.

Now somewhat lacking in loose change, Ms RB makes her way into the swimming pool. “I’m sorry, but the car park took the last of my change. Can I borrow a pound for the lockers?” she asks. “No problem” says the girl behind the counter and hands over a pound coin. Mrs RB asks the girl for a swim and, because it’s been a while since her last visit to the pool, for a new swimming costume as well. After trying on several likely looking options, the right costume is chosen and the credit card is being suitably abused. Returning her credit card to her purse, Mrs RB exclaims “oh look at that! I had a pound coin in there after all”.

Looking at her over the counter, the girl asks “that wouldn’t be the pound coin I just gave you, would it?”. Cue embarrassed murmurings from Mrs RB.

Mrs RB changes into the new costume and gets into the pool. She has paid for a combined swim and sauna (a combined entry price, not an actual combined swim and sauna; how would that even work?) and, after a good number of lengths, she is looking for the sauna. Not able to spot it, she keeps doing lengths, her head turning this way and that, trying to locate the bloody annoyingly discreet sauna.

Eventually, she has to ask a lifeguard and is directed through a nondescript door and down a corridor to the steam room and sauna. She settles into the steam room, which is (perhaps understandably) pretty thick with steam, shutting her eyes and silently relaxing at the far end of the room. Presently, a couple enter the steam room and sit at the end near the door. The opposite end to Mrs RB. The lady starts chatting to her other half and the conversation soon turns to this lady’s various ailments. After some moments, and after the recounting of several tales relating to her particular health issues, her husband/boyfriend/partner glances around and mutters something under his breath.

“No there’s not” she responds, indignantly.

More muttering.

“There isn’t!”


“Don’t be so silly.”

Mrs RB gets up to leave at this point and, emerging from the steam at the far end of the room, nods a greeting to the couple as she passes them on her way out. As the door swings shut behind her:

“Well I never. There was…”

Having embarrassed one lady already, Mrs RB decided to call it a day and heads back to the changing room. The trouble being, the door to the changing room is at the far end of the pool. The opposite end to the corridor leading to the steam room and sauna. Not wanting to parade herself down the entire poolside, Mrs RB looks for an alternative route back to the changing rooms. Something a little more discreet.

Spying a door off of the corridor, she ventures through it, finding herself in yet another corridor.

In this corridor are two doors. And two small boys. In her swimming costume, dripping slightly, Mrs RB pads down the corridor and tries the first door. Locked. She continues, passing the boys, sat on the floor, looking at her with mild curiosity. She reaches the second door and tries it. Locked. Feeling a little self-conscious, she hurries back past the boys and back through the door she came from. The boys shake their heads and return to whatever they were doing.

Back in the first corridor, there is another door. Mrs RB takes this second door and emerges into…

the poolside viewing area. Replete with bored-looking spectators. “Excuse me. Sorry. Pardon me.” A damp Mrs RB works her way through the viewing area and arrives at poolside. Except, there’s still a barrier between her and the poolside proper. Does she vault the fence?

“Sorry. Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through.”

Back in the corridor, Mrs RB is rescued by her friend, the lifeguard. “Looking for the changing rooms? That door there.” Mrs RB peers through the door. She turns back to the lifeguard. “That’s reception.”

Encouraged by her lifeguard friend, Mrs RB finds herself padding across the nice parquet flooring of the reception area. She smiles at the girl behind reception. A trail of wet footprints leads all the way across reception and, finally, back into the changing rooms.

Mrs RB arrives home.

“Nice swim?” I ask, fulfilling my husbandly duties. She looks at me. “Do I get my £1.50 back?” I enquire. A wet towel hits me in the side of the head. Charming.

Next week, Mrs RB is trying a different pool. I’m not sure why…


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