One of my very old friends, S****, who I saw while I was in England was almost speechless. Which is quite something for her.
''Wakeboarding?! L**** H**** going wakeboarding? And climbing? And scuba diving? Gymnastics? L**** H**** doesn't go wakeboarding."
Which is a fairly accurate appraisal of my sporting prowess.
When the DFP asked,
"Would you like to start diving lessons?"
"No. That sounds really scary. I definitely don't want to do that."
So it will come as no surprise at all to you that for the past four Saturdays from 5 - 6.30pm we have been taking diving lessons.
To clarify, when I say diving I mean Tom-Daley-diving rather than scuba-diving. Though what I am doing doesn't resemble what Tom Daley does, apart from both of us leaving a springboard and soon afterwards entering a swimming pool.
The pool complex we go to is like those I remember from my childhood in England. Proper local authority, slightly crumbly around the edges, not shiny but very functional, cheap to get into and well used by everyone. There is a 'caf' where you can buy your crisps or your cup of tea after your swim. Or, because this is Singapore, your noodles.
Surprisingly, I like it. Like wakeboarding it's a good thing to do in Singapore where it's so hot that most of the time you want any excuse to submerge yourself in cold water. The bright colours of sky and water remind me of those David Hockney prints of swimming pools in California.
The first week we turned up the coach was an amazing Scottish woman, O***, who had trained the Singaporean junior national team. Unfortunately it was her last week teaching before returning to Scotland to train to be a doctor.
The diving club seems to have been a bit lost since her departure. We've had almost a new coach each week of varying levels of competence.
Last Saturday T**, who we'd seen training the first week we were there and doing the most amazingly complex looking spin-ey, hurtle-y dives, was our coach. T** looks like he should be on a plinth. He also has a fantastic eye and gives very precise, useful notes. And he takes no s***. For example:
Him: I think it's time for you to go and try that from the 3m board.
Me: No. That looks really frightening. I think I'll just stay and do some jumps from the 1m board.
Him: There's quite a long queue for the 1m so you can go and get a couple in from the 3m board and not loose your place. Off you go.
Hmmm. I cannot fight tactics like that.
In between wakeboarding (Saturday morning) and diving (Saturday afternoon) we watched the Olympics opening ceremony. Shamefully, this is the first time I have ever seen one. I absolutely loved it. It was completely how I want my country to represent itself. A mindful celebration with shades of dark and light, humourous and zany.
This evening I have (for the first time ever) watched the women's weight lifting, white water canoeing, a bit of table tennis and I'm just about to watch the diving. I have broken all my sport watching records and achieved my personal best.
What has happened to the girl who in the two afternoons a week allocated for sport while doing her A-levels chose to do community service and art? That's the girl that S**** knew. Where has she gone?
Well. Not that far.
I showed this to my 7 year olds on Sunday morning. They weren't that impressed. I love that about 7 year olds.