After I took over from Luke for my last shift of the, clouds came up and soon it began to rain. The pool had to stay open, so I put on a red poncho and carried on cleaning the poolside, keeping things tidy.
Misha came by. He had changed into grey jogging pants and a thin hoodie.
"Have I missed the advanced swimming lesson?" he asked.
"Yes, you have," I replied. "Do you want to borrow a poncho or get wet in the rain?"
Misha took one of the ponchos from the railing. It suited him. We sat by the poolside, enjoying the rain as it ran off our ponchos.
"Is it easy to swim in these?" asked Misha.
"Yes, once you get the hang of it." I smiled at Misha who looked bemused.
The teenagers from the morning came back, dressed in jeans and polo shirts, soaking wet from the rain. When they saw the ponchos on the railing they asked if they could borrow them.
Wrapped in wet red nylon they sat down beside us and asked lots of questions about swimming and water safety. A lively conversation unfolded as the rain got heavier.
"Are you still dry under your ponchos?" asked Joey, one of the teenagers, looking at me and Misha.
"Yes, more or less as long as we keep the hood up. Why?"
"Maybe you could show us how to swim in these ponchos."
"I see, same trick as this morning, you just want to see me get my dry clothes wet, right?"
"Of Course!" Joey and his gang grinned from ear to ear. They knew I had no choice but to help and assist, and took full advantage of it whenever they could.
"We know your job includes going into the pool immediately whenever guests ask you to help or teach. So we decided to get you and the other lifeguards wet every day while we're here. Come on, then, show us how to swim in ponchos."
He had a valid point there. I had no choice but to get my dry clothes wet again and go into the pool to show them how to swim in a poncho. Why do I even bother changing into dry clothes so often?
I walked into the shallow end, followed by everyone including Misha.
The boys were amused by the way the ponchos floated around.
They had great fun splashing around in the heavy rain,
learning how to be safe in the water no matter what.
After the rain shower the sun came out, and they played around in the ponchos for almost an hour. Finally they got out of the pool and hung the ponchos over the railing again.
"Prepare to get wet tomorrow again", Joey said with a grin as they left. "It's your job."
"We're always prepared to get wet. Have fun!" I said.
"Will you join me for dinner tonight?" asked Misha.
"Wet or dry?"
"We'll see," said Misha with a knowing smile.
I got up early and headed for the pool to clean the scum line just below the pool edge. This is best done from within the pool using bicarbonate soda. I put on a nylon suit and hopped in to get started.
Joey walked by on his way to breakfast. "Hey, that's cheating. You have to wait until I tell you to jump in!" he said.
"I'm just doing my job. Come back after breakfast when I'm dry again. Maybe I can teach you then," I replied. Joey laughed and went on.
Soon the pool edge looked clean after a while of scrubbing. I got out, took a shower to rinse the nylon suit before enjoying breakfast in the poolside restaurant while my suit quickly dried in the sun.
Misha had woken up and joined me for breakfast.
"Nice outfit," he remarked. "Have you been in the pool already?"
"Yes, did some cleaning. What are your plans for the day?" I asked.
"I'll run into town to get some bits, then come to the pool for more training."
Back at the pool, I changed into my regular uniform (tracksuit bottoms, shirt and anorak) and watched the first swimmers doing their lengths, up and down. Most were just in swimwear, some wore T-shirts or had Lycra speed suits on, looking good. I wondered if they ever get bored doing endless lengths.
After an hour, Luke showed up and took over from me to guard the pool so I could do some of the regular chores. I swept to poolside and safety checked the railings by sliding into the pool.
Joey and his gang showed up shorts and tees. They asked if they could borrow some clothes to swim in. I gave them some rain pants and anoraks to play with.
"Are these waterproof?" Joey asked as he got dressed.
"Well, not really. Maybe if you keep the hood up. Shall I get the hose pipe out?"
They laughed and giggled as I hosed them down.
After a few minutes I stopped and they lifted their anoraks.
They were still mostly dry underneath, just a bit wet around the collar where the hood had leaked.
"Now show us how to swim in these clothes."
I put on my rain pants to match my anorak and we all went into the pool.
After a while they swapped the short anoraks for long cagoules which I had put onto the poolside. Swimming in them is fairly easy once you know that you only need to raise your arms to clear the water from the sleeves.
< to be continued >