Sign of the times

Newman thinking about swimming
Newman thinking about swimming

The sea was bigger tonight, just twenty four hours after we all swam in it with the sun on us. Only Newman braved the waves today, a grimmer day, though the beginning of a holiday. He is undeterred by anything, whether raging seas and gale-force winds, being brave and strong, and all he needs is encouragement to enter the water, as if permission enhances his delight. I myself can swim well, but only when I see a purpose to it: to retrieve, or return to shore when I have been carried out in someone’s arms for fun.  To Newman, though, the sea is everything and seasonal distinctions mean nothing; carving his way through the waves, he is a remakable sight, much admired by strangers who wonder at his skills.  I have as yet no made my mark in any way but I am still young. Barnaby, who is an enthusiastic retriever of the ball, obsessive in determination to outdo competition, has had his career cruelly cut short by injury. He cannot be allowed to jump on the sand any longer as his legs hurt him afterwards. He is old before his time, like this August evening which looks like winter. We must act while we can.

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