Who Needs a Personal Trainer? (Samsung Mob!lers)

So, a few weeks ago I was saying how we increasingly find ourselves using mobiles phones in every area of our lives. Well, guess what? I’ve found something else to use mine for.

I’ve never been a fitness freak but in recent years I’ve developed (or, more accurately, rediscovered) a love of swimming. I go at least twice weekly, it gives me a buzz and hopefully helps to counteract the less healthy bits of my life. Not to mention turning my stomach on the odd occasion, but I try not to let that put me off.

I’ve always felt at home in the water but my lessons stopped when I finished school (and most of them seemed to involve waiting for the boys to stop pushing each other in or watching my friend go into full blown panic because she had water up her nose) so I’ve never had chance to hone my style as an adult. I’ve seen posters advertising adult lessons at the pool but they tend to be for people who can’t swim at all (*laughs and points*) rather than people who want to enhance their techniques. Step forward then, the Go Swim app (a companion to the website) which provides tips and instruction, as well as photos and films, to help swimmers of all abilities improve their strokes.

I’ve found it incredibly useful, especially the pieces on warm-ups, which I never considered doing but now seem obvious, given that I often swim full pelt for over an hour at a time (yes, I know it doesn’t look like that’s possible but I promise you I’m quite a graceful beast in the water, like those ballet dancing hippos in Fantasia!).

Obviously you can check out the website when you’re online at home but it’s great having the videos on your phone to study the examples before or after your swim – I’d suggest NOT trying it during but if you’ve got an underwater phone, who am I to stop you?

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Babaaaaaa!

If anyone read my post regarding Parkin last year, they might remember I mentioned wanting, nay needing, to locate someone, somewhere that makes Rum Babas. At the risk of sounding like a reminiscing war veteran, I remember Tesco selling them when I was a nipper, I’d always get one after I’d been swimming in Goole (oh, the glamour!). A few years ago the dish came up in conversation with my OH – he’d never heard of them, which I found a bit odd being as he was actually alive in the 70s (I wasn’t) when they were de rigueur. In an effort to prove a point (and also that I’d not imagined their existence) I decided to try to track some down, a task which, until last month, was proving particularly challenging.

Hurray then for The Indulgent Tarte (fab name!), a patisserie and delicatessen in the ever pleasant town of Beverley. Walking down Butcher Row I spotted a window full of gorgeous looking cream cakes and, predictably, got tractor beamed inside. While N bought some of his own particular vice (that would be sausage rolls) I tentatively enquired if they had any Rum Babas. No they didn’t – *sad face*, but they could make them to order – *hallelujah face*. I ordered four (well – I needed to be utterly positive that they were as nice as I remembered). Happily they were as nice as I recalled, perhaps even better (being as they were from a proper patisserie not a Goole supermarket). Moist and creamy and, I suspect, if they came in packs with that stupid nutritional wheel on, it would be all red – but that just means they’re REALLY good for you, right?

I can highly recommend both the cake and the bakery that make them. Beverley isn’t short of nice eateries but this is definitely one to bear in mind should you find yourself in the area with a grumbling tummy and a yen for something a little bit naughty.

To strip or not to strip?

I swim at least once a week – it’s the only exercise/sport I’ve found so far that I really enjoy and that I’m any good at (unless you count snooker or Wii golf, which I don’t). I’ve been going to the same pool for a few years now and get to see the same faces most weeks. However, much to my consternation, it’s sometimes a lot more than faces that I end up seeing.

I’m far from an exhibitionist, but I’m no prude either. The human body is a wonderful, beautiful, natural thing and I’m not ashamed of mine or anyone else’s. That said, I draw the line at whipping my bits out at the slightest provocation. My post-swim showers (which, at this pool, are communal with no option otherwise) involve soaping up under my cossie and a quick rinse down with a scrunchie sponge. Not so for one of my fellow regular pool goers, who likes to bare all and wander around, without so much as a reddened cheek (on her face, you mucky lot!), often while trying to engage you in pleasant chit-chat about the weather or holidays. The fact that this lady is well into her 70s makes it all the more….. well, I don’t know if it makes it more shocking or more worthy of admiration. She clearly doesn’t give a damn, so why should anyone else I suppose. Part of me admires her unabashed disposition and thinks “More power to her!”, but the other part of me, the part with eyes that don’t quite know where to look thinks, “Arrrghh, old lady muff, make it stop, make it stop!”.

What say you? Fair play or no way? Do you wave your bits in the air like you just don’t care or do you go for the stealth option like me? And does the sight of a fully naked OAP send your brain into momentary spasm while it convinces itself everything is fine but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE don’t look below the neck?!

As an aside – at some point last year a sign went up in the changing rooms saying something to the effect that ‘Proper swimming attire must be worn in the pool. If customers are unsure, please consult a member of staff’. It had me scratching my head as to what exactly constitutes ‘improper’ attire and what event had transpired to warrant the sign being put up. I’ve seen women swimming in leggings and t-shirts, ill-fitting bikinis and even half wetsuits along with elderly gentlemen in horrendously snugĀ  ‘budgie-smugglers’ and they’ve all been left alone, so the mind boggles as to what someone must have sashayed down the poolside in to cause such a kerfuffle that it required a sign. A Borat mankini maybe? Or perhaps someone went the full monty to save on washing. If they’re happy to throw caution (and everything else) to the wind in the showers, why not the pool itself? Most pools already do ‘Ladies Only’ sessions, perhaps ‘Naked Only’ ones would catch on too.