The art of eating and other things – by Franci

We are having trouble getting the engine to start, so we are basically at a standstill when there is no wind . . . just like it was this morning. So we took down all the sails we had up (which were just flapping around anyway), and went for a swim. All six of us this time.
The water was even clearer and flatter than last time. The sun rays constantly danced in the water and when you looked down they looked like long thin spears whose heads were thrust deep into the darker-blue haze beneath you. The water temperature is round about 28’C, so it was a bit like swimming in a bath, with deliciously cold water a meter or so below the surface for variation.
When swimming you can choose to do so with, or without flippers. Both is fun, because without flippers you feel more free, but with flippers you can swim faster and dive deeper. The swimming itself would have been no fun without the diving; swimming down into the water and then looking up at your family floating in mid-air on the water’s surface. It’s quite cool to swim until you are deeper than the boat, and also to swim underneath the boat (Although it can be advised to prepare a few seconds before doing this). There is a feeling of freedom when diving; with blue beneath and around me, and the red hull of Shang Du bobbing up and down in the water, reminding me of a toy boat.
My Dad swam down a couple of meters till he was deeper than the keel of the boat, and then he hung there. That was cool, because the water is really so clear, it was as if he was being suspended in clear liquid glass.
Just want to clarify something for you guys – not sure why Mom and Marike didn’t – but the conservatives of the first sea swim were the two Karins (my Mom and, well, Karin) and the rest of us were the radicals.
There is another thing I just want to make clear. I recently read Mom’s blog about our visit to the yacht Neos and I just want to point out that we did NOT wolf down the snacks! There is an art in eating snacks put out for both grown-ups and children, and although I admit that Sophia did not keep the rules of the art perfectly, she did not transgress so far either. The art consists mainly of taking only small amounts at a time, eating slowly and then making sure no grown-ups are looking displeased, taking some more. I think the reason this does not work for most children is because it takes quite a bit of patience and also grown-up attitude reading skills. For example: if you reach out to take another , um, cracker and you see your mother doesn’t look very pleased, but the hostess doesn’t seem to mind you can finish your cracker, wait your customary time plus a little bit more, and then take another cracker. If the hostess seems displeased (especially if it’s your mom), don’t take another cracker, in fact, it could be advised to completely vacate the premises for a few minutes and then see if it’s safe to come back. Also, it is a good idea to unnoticeably make sure the adults know that the snack supply is shrinking and thus they need to grab some.
I do not see any reason why I shouldn’t admit that at the end of the visit to Neos there were indeed no snacks left – and that I myself had a large part in their disappearance – for the simple reason that snacks are there to be eaten and NOT to be a decoration and the grown-ups had plenty of time to take more before it was all finished.
Phew! It will appear that my blog entries are rather prone to growth spurts, how they ever managed it I’m not sure. See? Just this paragraph has already made it grow another centimetre!!

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