12 April 2012 19:46

By Lucie Robson
I don’t go in for extreme sports so don’t enjoy, for example, being dunked underwater to the bottom of a swimming pool by a dead weight without so much of a warning to at least take a deep breath that will see me through submersion and emersion safely.
This hasn’t quite happened to me yet but I have been constantly feeling it is about to at the hotel swimming pool I visit every day.
English Easter has been upon us and the normally peaceful pool frequented by grownups has been taken over my noisy, reckless British sprogs who don’t look before they jump/ throw/ kick/ splash/ playfight/ dive/ handstand/ dunk.
Honestly. They don’t.
I swim for an hour which means going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in a straight line. I understand when a public pool is busy we all have to stop and start and swerve and watch what everyone else is doing so as to avoid a mishap.
But what if you don’t have half a chance? What if someone’s beach ball whacks you on the side of your face without someone calling at you to take heed or a flippered foot obliviously punches you in your kidney when you were sure the coast was clear?
(And who needs a flipper in a swimming pool anyway?)
Keep in mind that the pool I use also has a sort of adjacent shallower pool which is perfect for the kamikaze shenanigans which have been getting on my nerves.
Yesterday, as I was nearing the end of a length I lost my patience and hauled myself out of the pool to complain to the management at the reception.
Four noisy, bratty boys, each aged around ten, were standing around the pool edge tossing a ball across to one another (which kept landing on me or in my path), cannon-balling in with huge slapping splashes and generally being pains in the butts.
“I’ve told them three times already,” the manageress said as we returned to the pool. “I don’t know where their parents are.”
My complaint exactly which is why I am writing this miserable cow column.
What is it with the parents of these unruly kids? More to the point: where are they?
Naturally kids get excited when they are in the vicinity of a swimming pool and don’t think about what they are doing. That is what parents are for, isn’t it? To monitor their children so they don’t disturb other swimmers?
Out of the four boys the manageress told off for the fourth time, not one set of parents materialised to take things in hand.
The pool is in a sort of glass conservatory so you can see outside and I think I spotted someone who resembled a dad sitting a few metres away reading a book. He was close enough to claim to be paying attention if pushed but far away enough to claim ignorance too. This, he was doing marvellously I observed as someone’s child landed on my neck and nearly broke it.
All you invisible parents, make your kids behave will you? You might think your sprog is the most darling, delightful, clever and amusing creature to walk the face of the earth but not everyone feels the same way, as anyone who has had a flipper slapped viciously across their face will tell you.