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Monday, 30 August 2010


Last week was hard.  Lots of staff off sick, away on courses, having meetings etc. and it became quite a struggle to get all classes covered.  As usual, the magnificent collegiality of our staffroom saved the day, with some teachers volunteering their only free time of the day to cover someone else's class.
When I finally staggered home at about 5, I remembered I had promised to my beloved that we would go swimming.
I quite enjoy having a dip in the summer, and the swim I had over the Great Barrier Reef was absolutely delightful, but going for a swim in a busy public pool in winter is not really my idea of fun.

My beloved insists we go, to keep us doing things together, and to make me take some exercise.
"It'll help you relax" she said.
I went uncomplainingly, swam my 30 lengths, had my obligatory soak in the jacuzzi, showered hard to remove the scum of human fat which always seems to accumulate in these public jacuzzis, and went home.
Was I relaxed?
No. I was worried.  What about Tinea pedis, athlete's foot?  Could I have contracted it?  My skin itched, it always does after a swim in the highly chlorinated pool.

At one time, I was a salesman for an industrial gas company, and our gases included Carbon Dioxide (CO2).  We sold a lot of gas to swimming pools, as part of a more gentle approach to water treatment, using the CO2 as an acidifying agent for the water.  It was during this time that I learned more about public pools and their care and maintenance.
I always used to think that it was the Chlorine in the pool that caused my eyes to get sore and my skin to get itchy, but I learned that this is not the case.  It's chemicals called chloramines that cause the irritation and itch.  Chloramines are formed when the Chlorine reacts with urine in the pool water, so the more urine, the higher the concentration of the chloramines, the greater the irritation and itching.

Shower very, very well after leaving a pool.
So was I relaxed? no, not yet.
A large whisky was poured and gently sipped.
Was I relaxed? Ahhhh yes.

Thank goodness for the discovery of yeast fermentation and the art of distillation.  Best bits of Scotland, Barley, Peat and Water.
Alcohol in moderation is a boon to civilization, it probably stops us going completely insane.  It provides a gentle blanket of warm comfort, insulating us from the sharp edges of experience.
I often wonder why the Wine Guy doesn't mention alcohol as part of his description of his favoured wines.
Without alcohol it's just grape juice.  Alcohol preserves the juice, adds flavours and subtleities, gives that warming glow at the end, make sit worth while to drink.
If there was no alcohol in wines, would anybody bother what type of grape juice they were drinking?
Everyone would be drinking Schloer, or fizzy Chardon.

Back to relaxation.  A little nightcap before bed.  Warmth throughout, muscles relaxing, sleep.


  1. "Alcohol ... provides a gentle blanket of warm comfort, insulating us from the sharp edges of experience."

    Kind of like peeing in the pool.

  2. Urgh! That foot!
    I must say I am now very greatful to have a pair of jandels to wear to the pool tonight!

  3. I hate pools - won't go near them.

  4. Some men think that alcohol makes women look better. I find that shallow. Are you one of these men, TwistedScottishBastard?

  5. That tart Wendy gets around. For God's sake (sorry Second) will someone give her one!

  6. Give her one what, Curmudgeon? I've noticed that Richard (the bass bag guy) calls you Comeinyourpants. I guess I won't be 'getting one' from you. Yes, there is a god!

  7. "Yes, there is a god!"
    Well said fellow believer. I can cross you of my list. Sleep well my son.

  8. "Give her one what, Curmudgeon? I've noticed that Richard (the bass bag guy) calls you Comeinyourpants. I guess I won't be 'getting one' from you. Yes, there is a god!"

    Richard (of RBB), when posting as one of your alter-egos (in this case Wendy Brunt aka Liv Tyler) you should remember to actually sign in as her.

  9. Curmudgeon, you're a dirty and smelly old man! I pity the woman who has to have sex with you! Is it Mrs Palmer by any chance?

  10. Would you perverts stop making such comments on my blog.
    I find it disgusting and stimulating.

  11. "I find it disgusting and stimulating."

    Which is how I would describe those seaweedy Island Malts like Laphroaig (Highland Park excluded).


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