Cartes Postale Canadien I
Natation pour Putney-Montreal.
Its 7am and I’m walking down Stanley Street to the Downtown YMCA. As I arrive the first shift of basket ball players is just leaving. The bar area is empty except for a couple snogging, full on,lip eating, lizard tongues. Blimey. 7am ,you know it makes sense.
I pay my 17 dollars(£10) day membership. Here as in metropolitan France caps are compulsory-I choose the cotton over the plastic. The pool is five lane wide but only 25 metres. There is an empty lane and I ‘m soon into the groove. Near the end of my kilometre I am joined by two girls who after each length stop and giggle . As I leave I see the slogan in French,YMCA- More than a gym-a cause. Right on.
Once again early in the morning. I dive in off the jetty by the very swanky Kingston Yacht Club. I have lake Ontario to myself and its as warm as a heated pool and as silky as only fresh water can be. Paddling into view are two boards, one is towing a third on which stands a large dog. Surreal. As was my experience the previous evening when I went to the bar in the Yacht Club.
While ordering my brother and I drinks a noticed a pile of chips. Innocently, I thought they had been left. I took one. Before I could enjoy its tender taste, ”Excuse Me,those are my daughter’s chips”. I notice the younger man at the bar. Apologies. What are you doing ? I’m sorry I thought they had been left. I have never seen anything like it. I have apologised, one chip, I’ll pay for more. No,I can’t believe it ,its the most amazing thing I have ever seen.”
“ Most amazing thing, one chip?”, I didn’t suggest the fellow should get out more, but it could be an idea.
Auberge de Trois Canards, La Malbaie,Quebec
My child bride and I spent five luxurious days at this hotel, with its own pool, great food and a grand view of the wide St Lawrence . It was probably one day too many.
Every day at around 4pm the larger beasts came to the watering hole. Not to swim, mon dieu non,mais to wallow. One of the bête gross was an extremely large lady who had obviously won the Madame Jelly Fish de Quebec award many times and insisted on wearing a bikini. She jellied towards me, her flesh rippling like an incoming tide. She got closer, was she going talk. It was the stuff of nightmares but although my eyes were now closed, I was wide wake. But my feeble prayers were answered before she reached my lounger she slid hippo like into the pool, where she blobbed for several minutes with only her sun glasses showing.
But it was not only les belles dames de Quebec who have put on weight since they landed from France four hundred years ago. By the pool there were many types of male bosom on show. Pour les hommes, when it comes to taking off the style and putting on the weight, first its the belly and then its the tits.The finest on show were those whose full front now resembled three rounded hills. Two large on top and an even larger one beneath. Those with body hair set off these mini Laurentians with a heather like affect. I learn later that the beer belly in Canada is referred to as Molson Muscle.
We all lose our shape. But when ladies reach a certain age they often have the style and sense to wear one piece suits which cover up much of the problem. Perhaps men should , as they have ,in so many areas of cosmetics, follow suit.