21 November 2008
My mission to find the cheapest pool to swim at on the North Shore was completed yesterday when I learnt that it only costs $5 to swim at the Osborne Pool in Birkenhead. It's outdoors too, so really, what more could I want?
Granted, it's something of a trek across town from my little Bayswater pad, but I thought I'd give it a go. The creepy guy in the lane next to me at Takapuna kind of helped convince me that after three days there, it was time for a change.
I google mapped the journey to the pool out on Rex's laptop, with the initial intention of biking there. By the time I'd biked to Devonport and back to do my banking though, I couldn't really be bothered. With petrol at an all time low for my driving career, I decided I would drive instead. I'm pretty glad I did.
It wasn't the easiest route to follow, made more difficult by the fact that I wanted to drive the way I would bike, and as such had to avoid the motorway. Anyway, a few Alpe d'Huez-esque hills (I may be exaggerating just slightly) later, I pulled into the carpark at the Birkenhead Leisure Centre.
The Osborne pool is not the worst pool I've been to - the Century pool in Timaru holds that honour, but it's not the best (Splash Palace in Invercargill / Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, in case you were wondering). For a start, when you see it, you can't help but wonder what your $5 is contributing to. There are two lane ropes for a six-lane pool, and you can't actually see the lines on the bottom of the pool. It's logically placed right next to a bunch of silk trees, too.
My swim went alright, although I've got to say... counting metres in a 33.3m pool isn't the most fun I've ever had. It's easier just to pretend it's 25m, then I guess you're secretly working harder. I did meet a guy there who does XTERRA, which was pretty exciting for me. I had a faster run than him this year, yeehaw.
Today, given that I spent the first half of the day playing with my new yellow computer, I thought it a good idea to bike there. Which it was. The sun was out, I'm now a darker shade of pale, and those hills have got to help me get up Frontal Lobotomy next year. It wasn't until I finished my swim and took a shower that I decided I hate the Birkenhead pool.
First, let me just point out that while I do own about six pairs of sunglasses (one of which are Sally's, which I am guarding with my life until she comes home from France next month), it's always a nuisance to lose a pair. Or have them stolen, as was the case today. Seriously, they're worth $14.99. And that was when they were brand new, which was a while ago. I'd estimate their street value to be about 50c.
Someone stole my sunglasses while I was taking a shower at the pool. What is wrong with these people?
The main problem I have with this is that I hate cycling without glasses. Stuff gets in your eyes, you have to squint, you know... and squinting causes crow's feet. Ew. Normally I wouldn't do it. Today, kinda had to.
To compound my problems, I followed the signs that said Takapuna from Birkenhead only to be led to the motorway. And since this wasn't an option for me, I then biked blindly around whatever suburb I was now in until I found something that looked familiar. Luckily, this didn't take too long and I got home pretty quickly. But still.
What kind of person steals sunglasses?
It's official, Birkenhead. We got beef.