The cement pond

Cement Pond 3

It was so hot today even the cicadas pulled up stumps. The dog shuffled from one shady spot to the next, panting, pooped. The laundry basket festered and the pantry moths multiplied. I looked at the pile of dishes beside the sink, the greasy pots and pans too grubby for the dishwasher, and walked away.

It was so hot I went for a swim.

Desperate times.

We have a magnificent backyard pool with crystal clear water, fringed by low-slung loungers and aqua egg chairs. It has a purple feature wall with water spouts, a deep centre and shallow ends. If I were 11-years-old I would be in it from dawn till dusk, especially in heat like today’s.

But something happens between 11 and the later years which makes a quick dip feel like a chore. At least for me. I’d have to squeeze my flabby midsection into a bathing suit and weigh the benefits of full submersion versus having to wash and blow dry my hair. It has to be remarkably hot for me to use the resort facilities on my doorstep.

Not so our neighbours. All day I’ve listened to children laughing and squealing as they splashed about in backyard pools, dive bombing and hunting for Marco Polo, playing scissors-paper-rock and racing each other along 10-metre lengths. There must be a pool in every second or third house in our street, and today they hummed.

It’s a far cry from the town and times I grew up in, where only a couple of wealthy families had backyard pools and the rest of us bought annual memberships to the local public pond. I’m grateful for our beautiful pool and I’m sure the neighbouring families appreciate a backyard water diversion during this long, hot summer. But sometimes I wish we could just knock down a few fences and have one block pool to share; one big cement pond all the kids could walk to and parents could watch over and layabouts like me could dip a toe in when the mercury reaches 38 degrees.

For the record

The Ballerina finished ‘hell week’ today, six days dancing from 9 till 5:00 in a studio with no air-conditioning. Her feet are pulpy. Rest day tomorrow before performance week. Bring it on.

In contrast, The Athlete competes tomorrow in Stockholm. There’s talk of being nervous but I’m not interested.

Also tomorrow, the pantry moths are going down. Allez.


Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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