400m swim April 2013

R takes a big breath during her 400 metre swim.

Maybe I am pushing my luck to think this qualifies for the SidevieW theme this week, but I think some people certainly found the consequences of my photographic ambitions today somewhat amusing!

Regular readers will recall that in April, just before turning 5, young R undertook an official swim of 400 metres for her badge.  Despite not being too well at the time, she completed it.

Today was the prize-giving.  We had a Garden Judges’ Meeting to go to, but decided to try and shoot off there afterwards – seeing her get the badge would be special.  Also, young J was due to receive a certificate for her pre-two-year-old swimming progress.

We rocked up nice and early – but everyone else had kept South African time (which is when the urge takes you to get there, never mind advertised starting hours) and so the affair kicked off late.  When J’s name was called I merrily hauled out my Sony and switched it on.  Nothing happened except that it leered at me sullenly.  Now frantic, I managed to yank out the backup Nikon, and activated it.  It also refused to do anything – until I got the dial to the correct spot.  Then I found that my view of J was obscured.  Doing frantic gymnastics, I managed to poke it through a fence and got a shot at the crucial moment. 

Now came the time for more certificates and medals and stuff, and I glued myself to the fence and waited for R’s name to come up.  It didn’t.  Finally only the trophies remained, and I started putting my camera away.  Then a Distance Swimming Trophy was announced – and her name was called! – so I had to activate the equipment again at emergency speed.  Alas, my view was blocked and I could only get a shot of her waving it at me as she left the scene.

Her 400 metre badge, and bronze swimming badge, were presented with it.

Thrilled at her achievement, I now carefully packed camera away as more trophies were dished out, and was just moving off when Best Girl Swimmer was announced – R!  I uttered strangled squawks and once again did an emergency camera draw which would have been the envy of a gunfighter of the old West.  In spite of tripping over feet and dancing a Fandango as a result, this time I had it up and running and found a suitable gap through human bodies in the nick of time – and captured the moment.  Pity there were no trophies for dancing or clowning, though.

We did not get to our garden meeting.  Too bad!

R swims a race with J on the edge of her seat (and the pool) to urge her on.

R swims a race with J on the edge of her seat (and the pool) to urge her on.

J gets swimming certificate

J presented with Swimming Progress Certificate. Note extended pinky!
Swimming Prizegiving

R stopped for an instant to show her Distance Swimming Trophy

R being presented with Best Girl Swimmer trophy.

R being presented with Best Girl Swimmer trophy.

R poses with both trophies back at home.

R poses with both trophies back at home.

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Grandchildren, Humour, Personal Journal, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Marco says:

    A dancing ferret if ever I saw one – the cameras are out to get you, it seems.


  2. Tokeloshe says:



  3. elspethc says:

    What a beauty and an achiever too.


  4. 68ghia says:

    A very proud moment Col 😉
    Congratulations to both the young ladies – well done indeed!!


  5. So cute. Such beautiful and obviously talented girls. Much better than garden judging, I’m sure. Would have been better if someone had been filming your antics, though. That would have been worth a laugh 🙂


    • colonialist says:

      I’m sure a movie of my dance would have been highly amusing – reminds me of when my father was trying to get a picture of then Princess Elizabeth, stepped back, tripped, and sat down hard. She laughed out loud – but he missed the opportunity of taking a picture of her doing it!


  6. The Asian says:

    Is R the next Penny Heyns? 😉
    Congrats on her wonderful achievements, I’m sure you’re super proud of her. And the photos are great!


  7. Ruth2Day says:

    I certainly was amused at your camera antics. But the photos you have are really lovely 🙂


  8. flimflamflik says:

    awesome! *hugs*


  9. bulldog says:

    Great trophies for her to win… certainly sound as though you were caught a bit off guard… would loved to have seen you dancing around to get the shots…


  10. nrhatch says:

    That’s wonderfully amusing, Col. And what a collection of trophies. 😀


  11. disperser says:

    Writers! They don’t know nothing about taking no pictures . . . no wait; apparently, they do.

    Seriously, if I am anywhere (an event, park, zoo, etc.) the camera if glued to my hand, and I check every few minutes to make sure everything is how it should be (setting-wise).

    Not fun for the people I am with, but . . .


  12. Colline says:

    I can imagine you frantically trying to capture the moment! Congratulations to R for her achievement.


  13. Super cute 🙂 love the extended pinkie!


  14. Sonel says:

    Wow! These are amazing shots Col! You have every right to be proud my friend. Great share. 🙂 *hugs*


  15. How adorable they are. No wonder you’re a proud Granddad 😀


  16. granny1947 says:

    Gosh time flies…I remember when R first started swimming lessons.


  17. Oh how very well done!!! Congratulations to young R and proud grandad!!!


  18. SidevieW says:

    Well done to R,

    A consequence, unamusing if you wanted to be there


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