We are all mature age ladies intent on maintaining our health and fitness. Together we exercise to the music in the beautiful pool at the Broome Aquatic Centre.
One morning, the voice of my favourite rocker from the good old days comes over the loudspeaker.
I first fell in love with Rod Stewart’s song ‘Maggie May’ when dancing at the Nomad Club in Paddington early in 1971.
Ah … halcyon days those … though sometimes fraught with discomfort living in a freezing basement flat in Earls’ Court. Our group of friends compensated by listening to the latest rock bands at the local Greyhound pub, working in the West End and travelling in Europe.
And now, here I am in Broome, all these years later, doing Aqua Aerobics while my old idol belts out ‘Maggie May’ and brings forth the memories of that particular time.
Back in 71, we were a close-knit group of friends from Australia and New Zealand, with a few pommies included. We were there to enjoy the overseas experience, but we were also there to help and support each other – and that we did. During a severe winter, in which there was an electricity and postal strike, we consoled each other with endless visits to our favourite pubs and the occasional one pound dinner at the local ‘Pot’ restaurant. Rugging up in layers topped off with hat, scarf and gloves, we embarked on endless journeys to different parts of the UK, hitching rides, catching trains and buses, visiting Cornwall, Bedfordshire and Somerset.
Going to the UK in December 1970 was a solo adventure as was my journey to Broome in April 2018.
Needless to say, there were no Aqua Aerobics in London but here in Broome as the warm water draws me in, I relax and enjoy the hour of exercise in the company of the other ladies.
A couple of months ago, the pool was jam-packed with tourists, those here for ‘the season’ plus the stoic band of locals. Only a small group is left now, as the majority of visitors have departed for cooler climes. I feel the warmth, not only of the water, but of the circle of friendship that is building. And as ‘Maggie May’ draws to a close, I recall those days in London where we travellers from ‘down under’ eagerly embraced new experiences and readied ourselves for the adventures which lay ahead.
Nomad Club in London … the pool at Broome Aquatic Centre in North Western Australia … where the old rocker is still delivering his magic … the solo traveller is made to feel welcome and another adventure has begun.