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Friday, 05 May 2006

Guarding your life


Today’s Extraordinaire interview is with chaz, a local lifeguard.

BM: At what point did you decide to become a lifeguard?
C: When I found how much they get paid in comparison to where I was, in the caf�
BM: I see, so no heroic tendancies?
C: Well, lifeguards become heroes, don’t they?
BM: Depends. Have you ever saved someone?
C: I threw a rope in for a boy once.
BM: Once?
C: We’re very busy around Easter time, so there was that one time. All holidays, actually, and weekends. I haven’t been doing this very long, though.
BM: Right. Have you ever had to do anything else?
C: I like to think I’m more in the business of preventing accidents rather than saving people from them. I blow my whistle a lot.
BM: Especially on weekends and during the holidays?
C: Yes.
BM: Do you have to wear a red swimming costume?
C: Everyone always asks that! I used to have a blue uniform - shorts and T-shirt - but now it’s changed to yellow and green. So no, I don’t
BM: Doesn’t a uniform like that weigh you down if you have to jump in, thus slowing down the whole process of saving someone?
C: As I say, I just threw in a rope once…
BM: Ah, yes, of course. Easter.
C: Yes, that’s right! We get very busy at that time. Any hol—
BM: I’m sure you do.

Thanks for that, chaz. I know I feel safer going swimming knowing you’re around to throw in the rope!

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Tuesday, 02 May 2006

Bonnie sights of spring


I was in the saddle today for the first time since March. Instead of riding Clyde, I was on Bonnie. I couldn’t believe the difference! She was so smooth, and had a wonderful gait; I didn’t realise how heavy-hooved Clyde is. Bonnie was quite a piglet, though, and I had to continually stop her from trying to eat (luckily Clyde has given me good practice in this area). She is the one who also happens to be afraid of drains, and I discovered that this is along with everything else - the sound of tractors, birds, sheep (although the ‘baas’ were particularly frightening, I must admit)...

Another thing that Bonnie kept doing was refusing to go in puddles, even if this meant trying to trot off into the trees. This was most annoying when we were in full canter, Bonnie spotted the leftovers from the April showers, stopped, backed up, and did a flying jump over it. This was all in the space of about three seconds, so as not to be left behind, and I nearly went over. Luckily, I recovered quickly enough, and I knew for next time.

It was very strange to feel my legs in a different position over Bonnie’s (rather smaller) belly, even though her light step got quite annoying when we were sailing over puddles or arrived back at the yard and she made for the hay buckets after rubbing her sweaty nose all over me. All in all, though, it was a great ride, and I’m looking forward to trying some other ponies (or, if the tall people aren’t there, horses) in the future, too. I am ever loyal to Clyde, however. Apparently he always tries it on with Bonnie, the only mare in their field, but she kicks him and makes for Henry. Ah, the perils of teenage lust…

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