Thursday, 5 June 2008


In the early spring of 2007 I betook me to the tranquil, unspoiled seaside resort of Sidmouth, East Devon.

Strolling along the pebble beach one afternoon, I notice a tall figure emerging from the sea. Wondering if he is the same gentleman that I've seen swimming at other times during my visit, I approach him.

'Excuse me, sir - do you swim all year round?'

'Oh yes, every day - except when it's very rough. I've had to be rescued a couple of times. A bit chilly today, so I was in for only fifteen minutes''

I'm about to congratulate him, when he says briskly: 'I suppose you are going to ask my age.'

'I wouldn't dream....'

But he cuts me off again: 'I shall be eighty-five in June.'

I have subsequently decided to make this splendid gentleman my role model for the almost thirty years before I reach my mid-eighties.

By the way, this picture was taken on 7 March.

Hurrah for him.

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