If I were still at school and blogging was part of the coursework*, then my efforts so far at writing posts have been somewhat abysmal.
However, m'lud, in my defense, I haven't been able to park my derriere on a seat to hammer out any ramblings for a fair few days now ... and when I did get the opportunity, I fell asleep!
Somehow, I managed to book a couple of days off work at the end of last week by telling my boss that I was helping Pygmie and Shagwell to move halfway across the country. Which was the truth. Partly.
The little nugget of information I neglected to pass on was that I was to spend Thursday diving with Pygmie at Vobster Quay where we undertook our EFR training a couple of weeks ago (another little nugget I haven't passed on). Oddly, for me, I didn't feel guilty about it either.
As my kit wasn't going to arrive in time, I opted to hire the kit at the quarry which, for an all-in fifty quid, proved to be something of a bargain. I could have taken my own BC, mask, snorkel and weights, but the cost of hiring the rest of the kit would have worked out dearer than the complete package, so I shall hopefully be wearing a fair amount of new stuff on the next dive in a couple of weeks. Hopefully.
The first dive, for me, is always the hardest. I could argue that it is because I don't go often enough so it is still not second nature to me, but if the Red Sea is anything to go by, the first dive will always be the hardest: we had three days of open water diving and I got tense on the first dive every time!
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect down the bottom of the quarry, so tried to take my time, take it all in and practice my buoyancy. When I have settled underwater (which was actually quicker on Thursday than it has been before), I am happy to just float and gently swim, taking it all in. Especially if there is some wildlife to look at. Its the one time I truly, happily relax.
You should try it :-)
Pygmie, on the other hand, is something of the energetic explorer, raring to go and look in things and then disappear off to the next target, an underwater version of Hammy. Seriously, don't give him caffeine ... especially if he's driving a white van!
At the end of the first dive, we were both a little tense and had gripes**, but we got them out in the open and I learned that even after all these years, he doesn't really understand me all that well. In fact, I don't think many people do.
Anyhoo, each dive got progressively better, the best bit for me seeing a foot-long trout that came to see us out of the water at the end of the second dive, the first sign of life we had seen that day. Quite surprisingly, we also discovered other aquatic life in the form of snails and what I think was some form of freshwater shrimp, burrowing around in the shallows where the leaves had fallen from the trees. I shall have to remember to take my camera next time...
All-in-all, it was a really good, relaxing day. I can't say the same about the next two days!
Friday and Saturday were the moving days, getting Pygmie, his wife and several tons of belongings halfway across the country. In a transit. Sounds like a plotline for a run-of-the-mill Hollywood flop-buster. Luckily it wasn't!
With several pairs of hands available, we succeeded in knocking the planned five trips down to four and, in the process, mananged to lose everyone but the two of us for packing and moving the final load by the end of Saturday: the other six all opted to stay at the new place. Despite how tired this made us, it actually worked out quite well as furniture was knocked together and boxes unpacked whilst we finished off the last bits, which would still have needed doing over the next couple of days if they hadn't been around.
I have to admit to succumbing to a little envy about their new place. Okay, they are renting, but it is a decent size in a friendly little cul-de-sac and it felt like home-from-home the moment I stepped through the door, even moreso when I visited Sunday and most of the stuff had been unpacked and set in its place.
Beats my pokey little studio flat!!
Maybe one day I'll set myself on getting a new place ...
* It wouldn't surprise me if blogging became part of the curriculum for English! Remember, you heard the idea here first!!!
** If you say Gripes in Australia, do they think you're talking about fruit?