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God Bless Aretha

By Bridget Osborne

God Bless Aretha 11 September 2018

There are some magical things which happen in Chiswick, one of which is the very popular women’s aqua-aerobics class at New Chiswick Pool on a Friday morning.

It’s attended by women of all ages, shapes and sizes, tending more towards the older and more generously proportioned with a variety of dodgy hair dyes. In other words I feel right at home. 

It is led by Glen, an affable and easy going bloke who does very little in the way of movement himself but has most wonderfully infectious and un-PC motivational style. (When he exhorted the class with “come on girls, you’re aquatic ballerinas” the resulting snort from me nearly caused me to drown).

He also has a top selection of music. He usually plays what is evidently the collection of a mis-spent youth: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, James Brown, all the Soul greats but last week for almost the whole session he played a tribute to Aretha. 

Laughing and singing isn’t really conducive to effective swimming but as I did my laps with two other women of a certain age from different continents we agreed how much she’d enriched all our lives and hoped that if she was looking down on us the scene might put a smile on her face.