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I’m off to a swimming lesson. Bonkers, really. I’ve been swimming for 50 years. I’m a great swimmer. And the pool I’m learning in is tiny – barely 15m. How am I going to break it to my instructor, Jhonn Carvajal, that I’m so bloody good that this is all a bit pointless? To be honest, I find the Guardian’s suggestion that I can improve my technique a tad insulting.

Strangely, I cannot remember taking lessons before. And it is funny how all those elderly ladies doing breaststroke whiz past me in the next lane. There’s something else, too – maybe I shouldn’t be knackered after each length and have to stop for a while. Perhaps there is something Jhonn could do for me. I’ve booked six hour-long lessons. So I’m thinking that if we perfect the crawl (my regular stroke) in, say, the first hour, then I learn to race on my back and master the breaststroke (for all my brilliance, I must admit that I never actually move forward when attempting breaststroke), in the final three lessons we can focus on the butterfly.

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Vijay Nanda

The author Vijay Nanda

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