Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Apero at the Pool


Françoise on the right, Annabelle and Marie-Jo behind her to the left.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Simon and I belong to an informal group of regular serious swimmers at the excellent public pool in Preuilly sur Claise. One of our members, Françoise, fell in the street, injured herself and was told by her doctor that swimming was forbidden for a fortnight. She missed her daily committment to chugging up and down the lanes followed by chat in the showers so one day she brought snacks and drinks for apéritif at the end of our session, just before lunch. Laid out on the tuckshop bench were two homemade savoury cakes, cubes of cheese, olives, falafels and different juices. Jean brought a rosé and I brought some chouquettes. Françoise was so organised she even brought a crate of wine glasses.

Yohann the pool manager and life guard (Fr. maître nageur) on the left, Paola and Anne.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Left to right: Paola, Sylvie, Ingrid, Annabelle, Marie-Jo, Françoise, Jean, André, Huub, Ludovic, Carole, Paris Bruno and Tristan.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Look at all that scrumptious food.
Françoise, Annabelle, Chantal, Claire, Carole.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Photos courtesy of Anne Guillé and Ingrid de Winter.

This year I'm pleased to say that the dominant language at the pool has been French. In the past I worried a bit that all us Dutch and Australians using English too much as a lingua franca would put French people off. Next year we will have to 'train' a new maître nageur, as Yohann has announced this will be his last year in Preuilly. He's a family man and needs to get a fulltime permanent position now. Despite the heatwave, we've also had some unusually cool weather this summer and numbers are down on last year, according to Yohann. Our group are regulars, but there have been fewer visitors this year.

Everyone is very proud and supportive of Simon this year. His swimming has improved immensely, with help from wonderful instructor Ingrid and encouragement from everyone else. (She is also responsible for the tremendous improvement in my technique over the past couple of years, and I'm sure Claire and Chantal would say the same.)

 The pool, photographed by me on 29 June in the middle of the heatwave.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Sadly the pool closes for the year on 2 September. We will continue to swim occasionally in Loches or Tours (Piscine du Lac) and maybe try out Chatillon sur Indre, until next summer and we all get together again.

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