I spend all last weekend on the beach in a chalet (will be doing the same this weekend).
Everybody had a great time; especially the kids in the rock pools and jumping off the South bay sea wall at high tide, though one or two were hesitant at the 5 foot drop..
Jumping off the wall reminded me of the old South Bay pool high board; where up to age 10; I would walk up the concrete steps “legs a wobbling” getting to the top, looking down at the long drop below, watching the wet drips from my feet fall down to the water and disappear. Later I would do the obligatory walk of shame back down, much to the jeers of those spectating.
One day in March my sister and I received “shorty wetsuits”, I think so that we would spend longer in the South Bay Pool and not come home and bother mum and dad in the small hotel they ran; even though – the wetsuits were well received.
From a Distance
My wetsuit was red and black, very stiff material and kept me warm for about 1 hour longer than without; it also I found offered me much valued protection from the odd “belly flop!”
So one day aged 11, I went with my friends to the pool and also down there was a young lady I was rather taken with, anyway I wasn’t getting very much response with her, so I just got up and walked away.
I soon found myself for some inexplicable reason* doing the “wobbly leg walk” all the way to the top of the high board, I got to the top and looked down, it was a long way and my stomach was turning, but down in the crowd was the young lady I liked.
Well it was decision time, jump? Or walk of shame?
I then realised I had my Batfink suit on (MY SHIELD OF STEEL), I also realised that the young lady of my attentions was now watching me, as my dear friends had started shouting at me to “Jump!” and other shouts like “chicken!”.
Now everyone in the South Bay Pool was watching ME! (in those days about 200 people). Needless to say I was now very nervous.
Well the next 3 seconds were the longest of my life so far! I stepped off and my whole life seemed to be at an end – down I went.
Needless to say I survived, and resurfaced with a big grin on my face and my friends speaking between themselves saying “He did it” “ I don’t believe it”
As i was getting out (remember the enormous wooden steps?) one of the life guards came over to me said “How old are you?”
I answered “11” Expecting to be told off!
He replied “Well you had better get back up there and make another 3 jumps, just so you know for certain that the last jump was not a fluke!” (don’t think this advise would be allowed in today’s health and saftey world)
So up I went at least another 10 times, that day, No wobbly leggs too!
The news was all over school and I was quite proud at my achievement.
All that summer I was a bit naughty as I would wait for an older boy or a man to do the “wobbly leg walk” then I would follow them up and speak with them while I was up there
- “long way down isn’t it?”
- or my classic “someone died last week jumping of here”
- or my other favourite “you first” (to be followed by “come on I haven’t got all day”) then I would jump off.
The older boy or man would then have to do the walk of shame! ALONE!
Anyway if you want to see how high the board was have a look at the following http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f1dKY7vmbI
*= Look this is a “man-thing” that you ladies make us do!