Tuesday 28 October 1986

…We did our Grade 3 in swimming today.
I failed I think, because – hang on, I PASSED, because
after many tries at doing my racing dive I did it right…

I was never a great swimmer. I couldn’t do breast stroke, found the crawl too much hard work, while doing back stroke meant you could never see where you were going. But I faithfully worked my way through the system. Grade 3 was a blue certificate, if I remember rightly. Grade 4, which I think eluded me, was pink.

I wasn’t to know it then, but the last time I ever found myself swimming in water would be just three years away.

Since that day in November 1989, when I fell out of a canoe on a river in north Wales, I’ve never been in the stuff.

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