I’ve been swimming quite a lot lately in the run up to the wedding. I find it relaxes me and its a good way to keep fit and ensure I can get into my wedding dress! I have great stamina and can swim for a long time but I also have no technique and am slow swimmer.
Yesterday I went on an evening swim and was happily trying to improve my breaststroke . Then I happened to look at my left hand and ARGH my engagement ring was gone! I got straight out of the pool and went to the lifeguard to explain the situation while trying not to panic. Surely, I thought, swimming pools get this all the time so there must be some clever method they have of finding lost jewellery. I told the lifeguard, who didn’t speak much English, I had lost my engagement ring somewhere in the pool and held out my finger to show him. He looked panicked, held my hand and said ‘Oh my god, can you move it? Keep it still!’. I realised that he thought I had broke my finger and so I said ‘No, No, my ring! I’ve lost my ring!’. He said there wasn’t much they could do about it. I was now getting increasingly anxious and paced up and down and length of the pool trying to see if I could spot my ring – an impossibility I know but I didn’t know what else to do. So I went over to the fast lane and asked one of the swimmers with the clearest looking goggles I could find if he would mind seeing if he could spot my ring. He was so lovely and swam up and down twice looking for the ring. At the same time I had a couple of women come up to me and ask if they could help and one who could hardly swim, clang to the side of the pool while she searched the side of the pool with her foot. Another woman told me her husband was looking for the ring too. Although I was so reluctant to leave the pool, after 45 minutes of fruitless searching I said thanks to everyone who had helped me and went to the changing room.
I got changed really quickly and was still dripping wet when I left – I wanted to check with reception in case someone had handed in a ring. When I told the receptionist she hung her head and said ‘Oh god, oh god.’ and l told me that it was very unlikely that I would find the ring as it would be dragged into a central filter system and then would be gone forever. She said that there was a swimming club called Anaconda having their swimming lesson in the pool and she would ask them to search for the ring after their lesson had finished. That’s a team of 25 teenagers searching for my ring!
I left my number with her and then straight away called my fiancé. He was shocked when I told him but really lovely about it and then after a minute he said to me ‘I remember you taking the ring off the other day. Are you sure you put it on again…?’
I rushed home so quickly I had a stitch by the time I was through the front door. And then I went to the bowl I keep on my bedside cabinet and there it was: MY ENGAGEMENT RING!
I have never felt so relived, elated and yet guilty and embarrassed at the same time! The chances are I may not meet any of the people who searched for my ring again, but in case I do I need to decide what to tell them. If I tell them the truth are they going to get angry that they spent so long looking for the ring that wasn’t there? Should I tell them it was still lost? Or tell them someone had handed it into reception? I thought I might tell the truth to the reception and give them a box of chocolates to pass out among the Anaconda Club. What would you do?
All the people at the swimming pool were so incredibly kind and helpful that it left me with a very warm glow. Everyone complains about how unfriendly Londoners are but I now have a story to demonstrate they are anything but that when you’re in time of crisis.
And I’m never wearing my ring to go swimming again.