Monday, February 9, 2015

I Swam on Day Zero

Maracas Bay (
I don't know when and how Anna learned to swim.

However, I do remember, Anna taking us to the West India Club or Maracas Bay (Port-of-Spain) every weekend to swim.  He loved to swim and he wanted us to love it too.  Weekends swimming was his dedicated time with his 4 children. We were enrolled into swimming classes.  I even got a certificate stating that I was "Proficient in Free Style Swimming; Can Hold Breath Under Water" :-) We were encouraged to paddle into the sea and use the waves to propel us to shore, all the while, thrashing our arms and legs to keep us afloat.

When we asked Anna how he learned to swim, this is the story he told us.

(c) Phil Shaw; From
"When I was born, the nurse had to hold me upside-down, as they do for all babies, to ensure that I cried.  But this nurse was not as experienced as the nurses you all had when you were born. I was slippery. As she held me by my ankles, head down, I slipped out of her hands.  The nurse gasped in fear and looked down, dreading what she had done. Luckily, there was a tub of water where I fell. And, lo and behold, there I was swimming in the tub! I learned to swim on Day Zero."

As children, we believed this story till we were nearly teenagers. And we each kept the truth of this tale from our younger siblings and cousins, so as not to destroy Anna's fun at repeating it to any child who would listen, including his grandchildren.

And now you, dear reader, join the group that know how Anna learnt to swim on Day Zero.


  1. Replies
    1. A very imaginative and creative mind. Can you imagine how every child he told and retold this story to would look up at him with open round eyes and in awe :-)
      There are many such stories. I am working on getting him to retell these to me or a friend so that I can re-hear them and then write them