Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Boxing Day swimming

Posted by Oli on Friday 26th December, 2008

Boxing Day starts slowly with an 8.30 alarm call upon which I find K still sound asleep despite claiming to be getting up at 8am to shower and wash her hair. I nudge her awake and we realise her alarm failed to go off, largely due to a failure of being set.

Devoid of any major urgency for the day, she ambles out of bed and into the shower while I sit in bed and read awhile until she’s done, when I get myself up, washed and dressed and we head down stairs. I grab coffee, K tea, and Mama D cooks us up some French toast and bacon for breakfast to sustain us on the drive to Ipswich to catch up with my folks.

We load the car up with bags of gifts from yesterday and head off, stopping in at the flat on the way past to drop some bits off and pick up the various bits we forgot, like my swimmers, and some extras we need having arranged to stay another night after tonight, rather than shoot back tomorrow night.

We eventually leave MK around 11.30 and arrive in Ipswich after an amazingly quick and unproblematic run between 12.30 and 1. Once there, I unload the car and say my hellos to the fam and to my Godfather and his fam, plus the other guests at the Boxing Day lunch, a work colleague of G and his family. I’m slightly embarrassed by the familiar way his daughters greet me as I have no recollection of meeting them before, but they seem to know me instantly. I’m sure they noticed, but we still ended up all getting on really well.

After a chill and a chat, we hit the dinner table for a cold-meat and salad lunch which we crack through. The wine on the table in five separate decanters is from a single, epically-sized 5-litre bottle of red on the side. I forget to look at what it is, but hate to think where it came from and what it cost.

After lunch we head up to the cinema room to play with the newly-installed Wii Fit on the giant screen – it’s an amazing experience which could only be bettered were I to have any kind of balance whatsoever.

A little later in the afternoon, once the dark has drawn in, we all change into our swimmers and hit the pool. The outdoor pool. Swimming outside in England is strange enough at the best of times, but on Boxing Day in the middle of winter it’s straight-up surreal.

We mess around and throw balls to-and-fro across the pool into the inky, steamy blackness where we hope to find a person to collect and return the ball and then start playing “toss the ball at the girls in the jacuzzi” which is fun for a while until I managed to nearly knock Mum out with a badly-aimed and over-powerful throw. The games cease.

I swim properly for a little bit, but am not feeling my fittest, filled as I am with nearly a week’s worth of gourmet over-indulgence, so settle in for a quick jacuzzi before calling it a night and showering, dressing and grabbing a beer.

Post-swim we all sit around nattering, drinking a little more and enjoying the chlorinated glow of the night’s festivities. The others leave sometime after midnight and we all hastily call it a night to get some rest before tomorrow.

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