Today I began my rest cure proper. For I have decided that my sojourn on this island is in the manner of the Victorian style 'taking the waters for nervous exhaustion' type thing.
There are no waters to take.
So instead I joined a health club. Me and gyms aren't friends in general but this club has something I enjoy. It has a pool. And, although it's mostly populated by yuppy Londoners who frequent the nearby yacht club, it is also pretty much guaranteed to be child free a lot of the time. Which I find the most essential selling point to anything I do these days. I know it's an unpopular opinion. And it doesn't mean I don't like kids. Well, not specific kids. Those related to me, for example. And those of my friends, of course. As individuals they can be charming and funny and interesting. En masse I find them something I want to be away from. Far, far away from.
I went for my first swim this morning. As I walked into the changing rooms, my eyes immediately began to burn. Not, as you might suspect, from the chlorine, but from the sight that greeted me. The sight of an enormous, pendulous fleshy arse.
I don't know what it is about old women in communal changing rooms but I dunno that it's the wisest choice for everyone in the vicinity to park yourself immediately opposite the entrance to said changing rooms and then bend over while drying one's toes. She was winking at me. And it's really difficult to unsee that kind of thing.
I flinched and ran into the toilet to change. I don't do communal changing rooms. Ever.
The swim was perfect for about 20 minutes. Well, except for the immediate burning sensation in my under used muscles. This passed and I plodded up and down.
Two women joined me, at least 65 of they were a day and immediately started ploughing up and down in a proper crawl.
The same women were in the changing rooms afterwards, again with the blatant nakedness. Chatting to each other about the yacht club, they looked at me rather like I'm another species and carried on gossiping.
One enthusiastically sawed a towel briskly in between her legs while shagging off someone or other.
I tried not to see the things I saw today but they are burned on my retinas. I'm considering fashioning some blinkers from socks or something tomorrow. This is meant to do me good, not add to my nervous trauma.
It was good though. I followed it up with a walk in the stinging rain along a wild and stormy sea front. There is nothing like the sea when it's angry and grey and wild and ferocious.
After all of this unaccustomed exercise I felt amazing. For about an hour. Then I passed out. And am now struggling to walk. But it's a start. And that is good.