We didn't have the only swimming pool in the neighbourhood but we did have many neighbours the same age. The two over the road were what these days would be termed 'yummy mummies.' Both were suddenly single and both had sons much younger than my daughters. They also had other friends even more glamorous, and on hot summer days all those available wandered over slicked with tanning oil and carrying bottles of champagne. What could I do? Well, I could whizz up strawberries in brandy to add a health element to the champagne.
Teenage daughters think a mother in a bathing suit entertaining other mothers in bathing suits and drinking around a swimming pool are sooo embarrasing. They can't bring their friends home to this! My number one daughter, budding olympic swimmer, walks through the back gate.
'Oh, you're all here - again. Like, people can't hear you for miles.' Stares at the champagne bucket, stares at the guests, stares at the pool. Gives a superior smile. 'I see Chrissy has been swimming.' Shoots Chrissy, who is orange-tanned, and wears an orange bikini - she could - a disgusted look. 'I can see your oil-slick on the water.'
I was a proud mother that day. Number one daughter had inherited the family sense of humour. Unfortunately she hadn't inherited the loveable grin or the timing required for the line.
The silence followed her into the house. Chrissie looked at the water. Everyone else looked at the water. Sure enough, globules of tanning oil floated on the top. 'Sorry,' she said. 'Do you think if I swim around again my skin will blot it up?'
I should end this with something writerly. I didn't do too many more 'do you want to be a writer' classes. I was referred there to the South Australian Writer's Centre and from there to the Romance Writers of South Australia, which is now SARA, the South Australian Romance Authors.