Mulligan and O’Hare sing ‘It’s raining men’.
Dear Photograph,Everyday you sat at the top of the stairs ready to greet us. Now when I look up to where you once loved to lie, it feels so empty without you. But that’s when I have to remind myself that no matter what you will always be there…watching over us.Kaitlyn
Found a new Rose variety today that has become my new favourite. It’s called “Tawny Tiger” and I found it in Fryer’s Rose Garden Centre in Knutsford.
I have Pool-Selachophobia; the fear of a shark appearing through a hatch in a swimming pool.
I’ve been terrified of sharks for as long as I can remember. I first really thought about these sea dwelling monsters when I was around 9 years old. In the house where I grew up there was a sitting room that I would sometimes sneak down to past my bedtime, while my family were tucked up in the front room. We had a small TV in there and quite often my Dad would leave it on and wander off somewhere else. One night I had crept down and the little TV was on and the 1975 Spielberg classic Jaws was just beginning. I think I managed to watch a decent 20 minutes or so of it, before my Mum caught me and sent me back off to bed. I don’t remember feeling scared of sharks straight away, but I do know that there was something about the film that made me want to watch it to the end. In time I did and my fascination with sharks and the ocean began. We visited the Sea Life Centre and I stared into the soulless eyes of a Sand Tiger Shark through the thick glass as it swam rhythmically around the giant tank. My Mum bought me a ridiculous inflatable Great White, which was then hung from the ceiling and I started to collect books that taught me shark anatomy and intelligence, giving me an insight into their mechanical minds and predatory instincts. They also contained glossy photographs of toothy close ups and shark attacks, which I would pore over with the kind of morbid curiosity that only children can get away with. I watched Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, Jaws The Revenge… I was a genuine geek for anything shark related, before my teenage years truly kicked in and I was too distracted to focus on them anymore.
The moment I realised I had developed a fear of sharks happened when I was 13 years old. We had gone on holiday to Menorca and we spent a lot of time enjoying the swimming pool. One quiet, late afternoon the whole area had cleared out and I was alone in the baby pool, my Dad was sitting nearby with his head in a book. I was having a great time on my own, I was pretending that I was a character in Jaws and there was a Great White after me and I was seeing how fast I could swim from one side of the pool to the other.
As I type I am almost 30 years old and when I close my eyes at this point in my story I can still visualise what my 13 year old brain had magicked up for me in the swimming pool that day. I dropped under the water at the edge of the pool and I looked over to the other side through a thick, opaque blue fog, as far as my underwater vision would allow me. A truly gigantic Great White shark was swimming leisurely at the end of the pool and it turned it’s grey armoured head towards me and began to open it’s mouth wide. I leapt out of the baby pool like a fire had been lit beneath me, half laughing and screaming my head off. The damage had been done.
I didn’t stop swimming straight away. I went in the water for another year but I always had this sense that there was something lurking at my toes and I would swim like there was a rocket attached to my back until I was in shallow waters. I stopped swimming alone and would surround myself with friends whenever possible, convinced that it could lower the chance of inevitable shark attack. I began to avoid the deep end. The sight of dark water would give me butterflies and I would imagine a shark gliding up silently through that darkness beneath me, cutting through the surface and devouring me with one fatal bite. I know that it sounds idiotic. I had (and still have) reoccurring dreams about dingy, ramshackle swimming pools and sharks appearing through doors under the water, their only aim in life to gobble me up. One dream in particular involved a swimming lesson in school. I was standing at the edge of the pool, looking down at a dark shape under the water, screaming, “but there’s a shark!!” The instructor then laughed and pulled the water back like a blanket over a bed, revealing a huge mound of material, twisted and shaped to look like the great shadow of a shark.
The actress Christina Ricci shares the same phobia, quoted from an interview with her in The Insider, “I won’t swim in a pool by myself because I think that somehow a little magic door is going to open up and let the shark in.”
Knowing there are other people with hyperactive imaginations doesn’t make me feel any better about my moronic phobia. I haven’t swam in a pool or the ocean in 15 years. I struggle to watch others swim, stuck somewhere between fascination and a gut wrenching feeling that any moment now I’m going to see all my nightmares come true. I would love to overcome it and enjoy the calming sensation of floating in a vast blue sea with the sky overhead, but I don’t know if I can ever get over the absurd visions that go through my mind if I try to confront it.
this is great!