Pool Rules

When I win the lottery the first thing I am going to do is buy a massive house with its own swimming pool, as any decent lottery winner worth half their new expensive Fortnum & Mason salt should. But my reasons are perhaps less, mmmm, what’s the word?


You may remember from before, I love swimming with the kids but I find paying thirteen quid to fester in a giant bath full of the saliva of the general public whilst dodging someone else’s pubic hair traumatic. Swimming pools are the epitome of all that is wrong in a world run by health and safety nutjobs. Because like most health and safety rules, they are outdated and pointless. The rules below? Yeah. These rules need booting in to the 21st century on a foot free of verucas.

swimming pool rules

We went swimming recently, and I’d been bobbing about, dodging the norovirus for five minutes and had already determined a new and more appropriate set of rules for the swirling cesspit of septicity.

1) You need a swimming passport.

If dogs and cats need a health MOT certificate to get in to other countries to prevent the spread of infection, people surely should be required to show a health MOT certificate before they have a soak in a giant tub with 100 others. Ultimately, everyone benefits from this. You can go in if you are clear of runny noses, stomach bugs, fungal infections, yeast infections, skin infections, head lice. No one will catch anyone else’s foot funghi and there would need to be some kind of vetting booth, so there would be jobs created for people thus boosting the economy.

2)  No speedos.

The 2012 London Olympics really ruined eyeball rights for us. It took decades to convince people that speedos were inappropriate and gross but along came 2012 and a wave of tiny waterproof men’s knickers. But there are new rules in Pool Town now. You wear speedos and we will put a spotlight you and point and laugh and laugh. They are called budgie smugglers for a reason and if you wear one then we will hit your budgie with a swimming float until it breaks it. The penis, not the float.

3) No mean Lifeguards.

Anything with the word “guard” in it demands respect from the public. A guard of any sort is is there for our protection. Lifeguards. Fireguards. Railway guards. But respect is a 2 way swimming lane. This weekend, this happened.

“OI!!!!” bellowed the lifeguard, his “OI! OI! OI!” echoing round the swimming pool like the Welsh rugby song.

“PHHWWWWWWWEEEEEEEE” boomed the lifeguard’s whistle

YOOOUUUUUUU!!” thundered the lifeguard, as his laser-glare threatened to bubble and boil the water surrounding the weedy, bobbing 8 year old he was publicly balling out.

The lifeguard’s BIG POINTY FINGER jabbed towards the kid.

“WHY did YOU tell HER” *the lifeguard’s big pointy finger jabbed at another lifeguard* “That YOU had lost your LOCKER KEY?!?”

“Erm” said the little boy, treading water, treading carefully, scrambling about in his brain for the right answer to this interrogation “Because…erm… it’s lost?”

NO!” Boomed the lifeguard, juddering about like John Cleese in a Faulty Towers sketch. “It’s NOT LOST! BECAUSE YOU ALREADY GAVE IT TO ME WHEN YOU CAME IN AND I PUT IT OVER THERE!”

*lifeguard jabbed finger at some point in the distance yonder*


Never has “silly billy” sounded so threatening.

So, power-drunk lifeguard bastards, you’re fired! Nice polite ones need only apply. Come in and act like a nice 1990’s David Hasselhoff (before he was heavily drunk on booze) or DO ONE.

4) Pretty lifeguards.

No pretty ones, thank you. And I mean pretty women AND pretty men. The top of my ample thighs rubbing together as I wheeze my way up the steps to the water slides, my drawn-on eyebrows and mascara half way down my face, I don’t want to be greeted at the top of the steps by some hottie who wears a swimsuit that frames her perfect body like the masterpiece it is. With her blown dry hair, eyebrows above her eyes, not on her cheeks, and a small ray of light shining between the gap between her upper thighs, where mine only have body mass? No. I am not a fan of hers. Neither do I want to be greeted by a handsome Adonis with a cheeky flirty smile for the teenagers in front of me, and a smile for me that screams “You remind me of my mum!”.


Just plain lifeguards please. With powerful, strong legs (bigger than mine) and respect for their elders (appreciate that even the older woman sometimes likes a little flirt).

6) Personal care.

I don’t want to see where your phwit phwoo hair meets your leg hair. I’m not saying go bald, I am just saying, go away and get some scissors.

7) Employ some kind of trained, clever mammal to constantly clean the changing room floors, in return for free edible body bits they find.

They have pigeons that hop on to overground train carriages in London at train stops, eat the dropped bits of food, hear the whistle blow and hop back off before the train departs. If fucking PIGEONS can do this, then there is an animal that can be trained to eat old puss-lined plasters, soggy scabs and the long strands of stray hairs that get caught round my toes and want to trip me and smash my face into the hard floor.

8) Packs and tribes.

Large groups of people who visit the pool at the same time should be banned. If you want to go as a big group either all club together and hire the pool for a kid’s birthday party or something, or be less intimidating and cliquey. I don’t mean by “don’t be cliquey” that I want to engage with the strangers, and partake in their jolly little group outing and in-jokes, but I do want them to acknowledge the existence of others (me) in this confined space. Swimming pool group outings are the cousin of groups of people who walk 3 people wide and 2 people deep along the pavement, talking all at once so you can’t even be heard to say

“Er excuse me, erm, do you mind I just…”.

Swim herds arrive loaded with “in-jokes” and “big group pool games” like they are loaded with arm bands and woggles. They wade in, in a pack, confident in their numbers and it’s all a bit “high school”.

“HEY JERRY! GO DEEP!” as shouter hoons a pair of rubber arm bands at Jerry who falls backwards and splats into the shallow end water, causing a tidal wave that smashes into your face, and you watch your last bit of make-up float off on the surf forever. They shoal about, like perky dolphins, and you, a tiny group of 4 sea snails, getting whipped back and forth and knocked about as they swarm past.

This happened to me this weekend. There was a pack of them. At least 8 adults and an undeterminable number of children. And this horde had an added negative counting against them. They all looked really scary, like the mean kids at school who were the reason why

“ONLY 3 SCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE SHOP AT ANY TIME!!” was written on a piece of A4 in thick felt tip pen and stuck on the newsagent’s window.

One even had a side ponytail, tied with an elastic band, her hair all wet, stuck together and pointy, swinging about like a helicopter propeller, as she jumped and screamed about in the pool desperately hoping everyone would notice her. Which was hard not too. Her Primark leopard skin print string bikini was struggling to hold in what it was supposed to, and was sort of, book-ending her buoyant midriff. I’d clocked her ages ago, when all the hair on my arms stood up on end as I entered the baby pool zone. I had clocked and concluded ages ago (alright I am not proud but I WAS ULTIMATELY RIGHT!) that she was terrifying.

Helicopter Head led her adult flock off towards the water slides, leaving one solo tribal elder to monitor the huge fighty swarm of children’s arms and legs as it bundled around the baby pool, knocking into kids left, right and centre like they were skittles. Tribal elder sat against the wall of the baby pool. Near the slide. An appropriate and acceptable distance from me, someone he didn’t know, but suitably near the angry pile of children as it argued and fought up and down the baby-slide.

A wave appeared at the bottom of the water slide. Arm bands left by innocent families on the side of the pool hurtled through the surf, lost forever. Helicopter Head emerges from the wash. Her beaming face, buzzing from the thrill of the ride, blackens instantly to stormy thunder and rage as she eyeballs me. She wades through the water, arms schwoooping back resistant water, turns, presents me with her bottom, backs herself up in to the 2 foot gap between me and this bloke, flips her feet up so she is resting on the balls of her feet and WHOOSHES her body down.

She was pretty close. Let’s just say her thighs were rubbing against mine. That’s how close she was.

I like my personal bubble and not only was she in it, but I think she was trying to kill it.

She turned her head to me, smirked, held eye contact, shepherd-hooked one arm round her prey, and gave him a full on snog. All, creepily, whilst looking me in the eye.

And then it hit me. Like someone had just drop kicked a plugged-in electric toaster into the pool.

SHE THINKS I FANCY HIM! She is marking her man! And marking my cards! But I didn’t even do anything! This is just like the time Kirsty from High School thought I fancied her boyfriend Craig because I lent him my pencil sharpener and she told me she was going to kick my head in under the train subway after school!!!

I had been pool-bullied. I mean, granted, most large pool groups don’t resort to violating others by making them witness their foreplay, but large pool groups do establish a pack mentality, a majority view that their significant numbers mean they are in charge.

So there you go. My new pool rules. It’s the future. Have I overthought this?


Now…you may remember last year I was nominated in the MAD Blogging Awards, and I made it through to the finals (didn’t win). It meant bucket loads to me to get nominated (even though I didn’t win). Just to know that people found my blog lightened their day a bit, and perhaps had a giggle, meant that I was doing something right, and doing something that I set out to do. Nominations for 2014 are now open, and if you did want to load up an entry, for me, or for any of the other blogs you follow, then the link is below. You have to enter a blog of the year, and this can be anyone, but this is sort of the key to the door. The next page that opens is where you can nominate in any category. Entries close 13th March.

MAD Blog Awards 2014

Cheers, Han





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9 Responses to Pool Rules

  1. Emily says:

    Fab as always, hate swimming for many of the reasons above, have promised the kids a trip on Friday as it’s inset day, and will no doubt be remembering this!! Also I’ve voted for you 🙂 and in all the categories that I thought applied to you xx

    • Hannah says:

      I ADORE YOU!!!! ps, when you go “swimming with the kids”, I hope you mean you will just watch from the observation seating and don’t actually get in the pool? Don’t get in the pool, darl. Please? PLEASE?!

  2. Emily says:

    Gosh I wish! I will be the only person in the pool trying to keep head/face out of water, looking like I’m vain but not wanting my face to go near the human soup! Grim x

  3. bonniecroft says:

    OOOO you left one out Han, THE changing room when women don’t use the cubicles and proceed stark naked ,put one foot up onto the bench and rub the towel between their legs and then swap legs !!!!!!
    Love the blog ,but how will I ever enjoy my swim again ?

    Emily if you are taking the children swimming on the Island it has got to be West Wight pool .Well worth your drive across to it and times with fun sessions on line ( I felt you wince then Hannah )

  4. Emily says:

    Can’t stand naked people at swimming changing rooms, I never know where to look! Unfortunately we don’t live on IOW anymore, so are going to guildford pool :-/ xx

  5. hitmanharris says:

    I use that pool too! Although If you have having a nightmare day you can safely ignore me as without my glasses you have to be REALLY close for me to be able to see you. Seems like you are a being a magnet for the weird and socially unacceptable again as I never have these problems.

    On a separate note, did you know that in France they make all men wear budgie smugglers as part of their ‘hygiene regulations’? I was refused entry to pool because my swim shorts were too expansive.

    • Hannah says:

      No way! They refused you! That’s hilarious! Andy, the world just needs to see more of you, obviously. Those cheeky French! 😉

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