I believe swimming pools were put here to test an owner’s patience … and the depth of his pockets.
Yes, on a sweltering December afternoon there is nothing better than diving into a crystal blue swimming pool to cool off. A big cannonball in the deep-end is equally satisfying, and brings back wonderful memories of one’s youth, while late night January swims are equally refreshing.
Good times indeed, but unfortunately swimming season is less than half the year due to the unpredictable weather of late – and maintaining a pool is a fulltime job.
While I was growing up I could never understand why my dad always threatened to fill up our pool with sand, and grow a vegetable garden, if we didn’t use it. His decision to choose a house without a pool when we moved in my teenager years was a further sign of his frustration.
I understand now. My pool, in its current state, is as green as the Proteas cricket shirt – a colour and item you don’t really want at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly fortunate to have a pool. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing the kids splashing around for hours on end. But it also results in some serious head scratching when things aren’t going well.
Over the last few months I’ve taken my pool water to be tested to a number of “specialists” in the area. Each has their own view: “you need to change your sand” or “this has been the worst year for pools”, or my favourite “throw this in, you’ll thank me the next day”. Alas, it is still green despite throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the problem.
I finally cracked last weekend. While trying to change the Protea green water to a Sri Lankan blue, the Kreepy fell off in the deep-end. Because I couldn’t see the bottom of the pool I battled to locate where it was. No problem, I’d get the net out and feel around. Wrong, the net fell off, too. My son and I bravely stripped down to our jocks, but after putting our feet in the freezing water, decided against doing a winter swim – much to the relief of my missus.
I had no option other than to visit the local specialist again – the guy that promised me sparkling blue water within two days, some three weeks ago. Since buying the only ingredient I haven’t poured into the pool, it’s been another week. The pool is a murky England blue now, and I’ve somehow found the Kreepy and the net despite still not being able to see the bottom.
Maybe filling it up with sand is not the worst idea … it would certainly be cheaper.