Monday, January 15, 2007

The Little Mermaid

My daughter's half-fish.

She's just had her first swimming lesson and it's like she was born with gills. It's weird to watch - I didn't learn to swim until I was about nine or ten, but here was my girl tearing up the pool at just five.

There wasn't the same pressure to learn to swim so early, back when I was a littlie. Even living on the south coast of England, beach culture wasn't that huge for me. Sure, we'd be searching for a sandy spot in amongst the rocks at Tidemills when the mercury dictated summer had arrived (somewhere around 15 degrees), but you were more likely to die from not taking antibiotics after swimming in the water there than you were from failing to stay afloat.

Down Under, with trips to the beach outnumbering trips to the supermarket, and the absolute certainty that someone you know has a backyard pool, the risks of water-related death for children seem much greater than they do in England (sorry - torrential rain doesn't count). As a result, all parents are encouraged to get their kids swimming as soon as possible.

So it was that I spent half an hour this morning watching my daughter being taught to dunk under the water and blow bubbles (I would have had no trouble with that either, aged five. Only I'd have called it 'drowning'). Her teacher was highly impressed. Didn't have the heart to tell her that my girl had spent the previous day body-surfing at Leighton Beach.

While we're on aquatic matters, it's around six months now since I started to write this blog, so I've been having a look at who's been reading in that time. There's the usual suspects, of course - my regulars - but there are also those who stumble across the site after googling something specific. The top google searches to ensnare the unwary has a watery theme: here, in reverse order are the top three.

3. A Night With Robbie Williams. Stick a superstar's name on your blog and watch the punters trickle in. Get someone to mention spending a night with said superstar and see what happens then ...

2. Show Me The Money. Tom Cruise fans, or people seeking cash-creation schemes? If you're the latter and you find a better one than the Perth Royal Show, stop back and let me know.

1. How Do You Kill A Shark? You'd be surprised how many people out there want to know this. More than care about Robbie and Tom, it seems. I don't believe this will have helped them too much, though.


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