The winter pool

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Fog is hanging over the garden and the fields beyond, thick enough that the train chattering past high on the embankment is a blur of pastel pink and blue, and the headlights of cars coming by on the road don’t call out but instead whisper their intentions.

They have drained the pool for the winter, but the cover was torn last year and never replaced so it sits open to the elements, a pale blue pit whose bottom, viewed from the upstairs windows, is heavy with old leaves.

They’d been uncertain about it when they viewed the house; surely a pool is a lot of maintenance, what with the chemicals and the cleaning, and besides, who’d use it here in Yorkshire? They looked at the particulars and remembered last year’s rain that pushed their flowerbeds into battlegrounds and washed away their barbecue plans, but then they saw the house – and the pool – on a sunny late spring day, one of those rare April afternoons that offers a nostalgic hope for the whole summer, and they’d said yes, yes we think we’ll make an offer. These things take time, though, and in the end she must have used the pool three or four times before the first frost of autumn combined with a mild shyness about the spectators on that slow-passing train to drive her back to the dingy comfort of the local leisure centre.

So now the pool sits empty, waiting for the fog and the seasons to roll past, until the next fresh blue day when she will clamber down into her bright clear water room.


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