This vignette was written as part of a writing workshop in The John Roan School library at a creative writing session lead by author-in-residence Matt Dickinson, who successfully climbed Mount Everest in 1996. He now writes for children and young people, drawing on his intimate knowledge of the Himalayas. We were asked to include sensory descriptions and a story within a story. I loved sitting amongst the children in the newly-refurbished space, furiously #writingforpleasure and sharing the fruits of our endeavours!
What would I miss most as I climbed Mount Everest would be breaking the surface of Charlton Lido with my finger, toes, or more often than not, my huge backside. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in my day or the colour of my mood. That moment. I live for it; it’s akin to re-entering the womb.
The lido’s surface is ever-changing, a watery reflection of the sky above. I don’t have a favourite. It’s all perfect to me: the smooth, glazed blue expanse; pebble-dashed by driving drizzle; velvet stillness rippling as the wind stirs.
Last week as the sun set, I was shedding my school ‘uniform’ in the pool-side cubicle when a torrent of rain fell from the sky. All of it – at once. It was deafening, leaving me wary of getting soaked before my swim. Irony mocked me over the din of the downpour. Finally, shivering in my costume and flip-flops I squinted through the crack in the door. There was no respite. I shut the door. What could I do? It was obvious. I pelted along the edge of the pool (don’t tell the Elf and Safety bodies), deluded that I was dodging the fattest, cruellest drops of rain. Ignoring them crawling all over me as I approached the surface. Breathless and without pause I plunged straight into …
silent, suspended perfection.
Check it out for yourself here. You won’t regret it.