We took Grandson to the local swimming baths today. I'm not sure when we last visited, but we are talking decades rather than years. The place has certainly changed since we were there last. Mixed changing was the first surprise, although I don't know why it was a surprise because it seems perfectly sensible.
So some things have changed for the better, but others I'm not so sure about. We were able to keep an eye on Grandson through a vast glass wall while we sipped our coffee in comfort. All very civilised I thought. The coffee was okay too, in spite of disposable cups.
The whole environment was more tightly controlled and decorous than our day. Highly visible lifeguards, lots of staff, no diving boards and no kids hurtling around bombing each other. It was altogether more earnest. There were more tattoos on display too, especially among the women.
Behind us was another vast glass wall and behind that was gym full of huge fitness machines. Energetic folk pounded their way to nowhere on a row of walking machines. Conveyor belts with handles and lots of electronics, all of which looked hideously expensive. The whole place looked hideously expensive. The price of fitness I suppose. Yet nobody seemed to be enjoying themselves on their conveyor belts. Perhaps enjoyment isn't the idea. Indoor walking avoids outdoor uncertainties, avoids the wind, rain and sheep shit - perhaps that's the idea.
Ah well. On the whole I thought the place had improved. Controlled it may be, but even in the old days we had the attendant bellowing out the rules every now and then. Apart from the gym it was a pleasant experience. The gym was weird.