I Had a Snorkel and Pool but, Hallelujahflippers in a Public H, I Was Swimming! A LIFE IN PICTURES BY TV'S DAI JONES, WHO DESCRIBES IN HILAARIOUS DETAIL HOW HE OVERCAME HIS FEAR OF WATER AND LEARNED TO SWIM

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), December 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

I Had a Snorkel and Pool but, Hallelujahflippers in a Public H, I Was Swimming! A LIFE IN PICTURES BY TV'S DAI JONES, WHO DESCRIBES IN HILAARIOUS DETAIL HOW HE OVERCAME HIS FEAR OF WATER AND LEARNED TO SWIM


Byline: ANDREW FORGRAVE Rural Affairs Editor farming@dailypost.co.uk

AS one of the best known faces in Welsh agriculture, Llanilar farmer Dai Jones has amassed a great trove of stories and anecdotes during his long career as a broadcaster.

Many have been included in his Welsh language autobiography, Tra Bo Dai, which charts his career over the last two decades.

Co-written with his close friend, Lyn Ebenezer, Dai read excepts from the book at its official launch in Aberystwyth last month, including one that explores his fear of water.

Even in the translated version below, his insights and observations are often hilarious.

EVERYONE knows that I am afraid of cats. Another fear of mine is water - a subject that became the topic of a series of three programmes, Dai yn y Dwr (Dai in the Water).

The idea behind the programme, back in 2007, was to show me conquering my fear of water and my attempts to learn how to swim, and all in a space of a week.

Quite a feat considering I had been afraid of water for 60 years. But there we are: if our Creator managed to create the world in seven days, surely I could learn how to swim in the same amount of time.

When it comes to swimming, it doesn't come naturally to me. God only gave me one physical movement and that was the ability to use my legs to walk!

I have short legs, like my father.

My mother's legs were shorter still. In the family shop in London, she had to stand on top of a box to reach the counter and slice the bacon.

Olwen, my wife, doubted I would be able to do it. I respected her opinion as she knows me better than anyone.

But even Olwen had to confess that I had learnt to ski. So anything was possible!

The challenge began to take hold of me. If I could conquer my fear and learn how to swim, it would change my life.

But I wouldn't do it in a public swimming pool. People would see me. I wouldn't get a moment's peace.

Then I discovered I would be flying all the way to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt for swimming and diving lessons.

I knew anywhere in Egypt would be a little warmer than Llanilar.

Packing was the next step. Wading through the drawers for trunks, shirts, socks - and only one pair of trousers. I could buy the rest out there.

On the first morning in Sharm el-Sheikh I was a few minutes late to meet my instructor, Alun Evans. In my defence, it was 7am!

The first task was to get me feeling relaxed in a pool. Easier said than done. It was quite a relief that the water in the deep end only reached my chin.

A psychologist had warned me that facing one of my greatest fears would be a brave step. She was right.

Making that step in front of the camera would help, she said, because I wouldn't want to make a fool of myself in public.

Nobody had said that to Wil Hafod. He couldn't stop laughing.

That night, and the following morning, muscles that I never even knew I had, began to pull like elastic.

The next day we moved from the pool to the Red Sea. It is said that it is one of the saltiest places on earth, almost as salty as the Dead Sea. …

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I Had a Snorkel and Pool but, Hallelujahflippers in a Public H, I Was Swimming! A LIFE IN PICTURES BY TV'S DAI JONES, WHO DESCRIBES IN HILAARIOUS DETAIL HOW HE OVERCAME HIS FEAR OF WATER AND LEARNED TO SWIM
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