I realised today that it is almost 12 years since I last went swimming. I only stopped going swimming because my friend Martin Owen borrowed my goggles and lost them in Sheffield University sports centre pool. I decided not to go swimming again until he bought me a new pair. That was 1995, and you could fill a municipal lido with the tears I've shed since.
Of course, this stopped being a point of principle in about 1998, and indeed my college-era beer-storage frontispiece probably had a lot more to do with my lack of enthusiasm for the aquatic way (though it may have aided buoyancy!) In fairness, Mr Owen has had little opportunity to make amends from his no-doubt highly-paid position in the chemical engineering game, as we have not spoken since 2000.
So perhaps I should break this hoodoo, this Indian sign, and go back into the water. I don't know what will happen. What are people wearing to the pool? Should I go for a full body wax then rock a Speedo? That sounds awful!
The one thing that comforts me is that should I ever collect on my goggle debt, ocular interest will probably entitle me to a snorkel, mask and rubber duck.