Friday, 15 March 2013

Supertube Mama's

Supertube Mama's
15 March 2013

Simply add forty women, cappuccino’s, chocolate cupcakes, awesome weather and water.  What do you get?  A recipe for fun, in the form of a bunch of Supertube Mama’s.

My darling friend, Claire and her husband, Carl, own the Supertube in the Strand.  And every year for her Birthday, Claire invites her girlfriends, and girlfriends only, for a morning of unadulterated Supertubing fun.

It is one of my very favourite outings a year.  I don’t do public displays of myself in a cozzie.  Heavens alive!  Perish the thought.  Yet, one morning a year, a whole passel of women, don their cozzies and act like a bunch of kids.  What fun!

The rest of the year, we pretty much act responsible.  Or fairly responsible, at least.  We drop our various offspring off at numerous parties.  Many of these held at the Supertube.  We cart kids about, to and fro.  We do homework.  We cook meals.  We do grocery shopping.  We pay bills.  But on this one morning a year, it is our turn to indulge.  Our turn to have fun.  Our turn to go screaming down the slide, arms held aloft.

I’m always slightly nervous before the time.  I’m not a good swimmer at all.  Not that one does lengths in the pool, at the Supertube, but still.  And few things fill me with greater terror, than the thought of water up my nose.  Combined with someone landing on my head and keeping me pinned under the water.  Forcing water up my nose.  Added to that, I’m as blind as a bat, and simply have to wear contacts, if I am to have any hope of finding the stairs to go up the slide, not topple over the edge, and find the right tube to slide down in.  Furthermore, there’s that awkward moment when you finally drop your towel and prance around in your costume.  This makes me very uncomfortable, despite joking around with all that I can’t wait to show off my cellulite, fat and the ever present flab.

And then, every year, I end up reprimanding myself.  “Helene, you silly girl!  Nobody prances.”  And somehow, after that very first moment, you simply forget that you’re only minimally dressed.  Nobody cares.  Nobody stares.  There’s a whole bunch of women there.  Each and every one beautiful in their very own way.  All different shapes and sizes.  Nobody is judging anyone.  No one is that shallow.  Everyone simply takes joy in the day.  In the simplicity of having fun, letting our hair down, and acting like kids.

I don’t know any of Claire’s friends particularly well.  Oh, I know them.  I just don’t know them, know them.  If you know what I mean.  Some were at school with me.  Some have kids of the same ages as mine.  Some I know from my kids’ schools, or preschools or playschools.  Some I know from our children’s extra-murals.  Some I know from Jumping Castle rentals.  And some, I simply don’t know at all.  But all of them have one common factor.  They’re all moms.  Well, actually there are two common factors, they all know Claire.  And what a lovely, gentle, kind, genuine person she is. 

All in all, I spent four hours at the Supertube that morning.  Most of that time, going down the slide.  I was like a child, let loose amidst a pile full of presents on Christmas morning.  I simply could not get enough.  But then again, I’m like this every year.  I do believe that I have the distinction of going down the slide the most.  Every single year.  The weather was glorious.  No wind at all.  The water was invigorating and refreshing.  And I just felt so very, very alive.

There was lots of laughing.  And chatting too.  Eating of cake and cupcakes.  Drinking of coffee and cool drink.  I even had a slush puppy for fun, and yes, my tongue did indeed turn blue (it was the blueberry flavour you see).  I screeched and I screamed as I came down the slide.  I pushed on the sides to go faster.  I laughed from my belly.  As an extra measure of protection, I wore my sunglasses the whole time.  In my head, I convinced myself, that it would give an extra layer of cover for my eyes.  The thought of losing my contacts didn’t hold much appeal. 

We made huge long trains – twelve people long.  In fact, we were aiming for a record.  One which we ended up achieving.  There are enormous big signs at the very top of the slide, cautioning warnings about the dangers of making trains, and admonishments that it’s not allowed.  But, hey, Claire, said we could.  She was the leader of the troop.

Eventually it came to a point, where most people stopped sliding, and simply soaked up the sun.  Sitting and chatting and socialising a bit.  And though I did spend a fair amount of time doing just that, I still kept on sliding for the longest possible time.  Now, amidst our group of forty women, was one solitary little girl.  A delightful little 8 year old.  She had been feeling poorly that morning, and her mom ended up fetching her early from school.  She ended up coming along to the slide, and despite being very shy at first, she soon got over her reservations and also enjoyed the slide to the full.

In fact, she became my very best friend.  We took turns making trains.  Her in the front, and then me in the front.  She was just the cutest little thing, with an absolutely gorgeous smile.  She told me long stories about her family and her best friends at school.  Her teacher and her brothers, her sister too.  Each time we got to the bottom, fell in the pool and came up for air, she’d look up at me expectantly and say “Can we do that again?”  And each time, I happily indulged.  We’d undertake the walk back to the very top of the slide, both of us chattering away, like we’d known each other for years.  Kids are absolutely amazing.  Their honesty and lack of reserve so refreshing.  And on one particular occasion, as we were going down the slide, we got slightly separated with about half a metre between us.  And from behind me, I heard her screaming in a loud little voice, “so how old are you?”  And so, I glanced back at her wide opened grin and shouted back, “I’m forty”.  To which she replied, “fourteen or forty?”.  Bless her little cotton socks.  It gave me such a good giggle.  In actual fact, it really made me laugh.  Which in turn, made me miss my graceful exit off the slide, and forced water up my noise.  And when I came up spluttering, I was still laughing out loud.

I think I might have to keep her for my very own.

Thank you darling Claire.  For a fabulous and frivolous day of joyful fun. 

For days afterwards, I was terribly stiff.  Funny enough, not my legs as I had feared they would, after climbing the steps so often.  Instead my forearms were sore.  It hurt to even hold a pencil and try and write.  And I figured out that that was from continually pushing against the side of the slide to go faster.  My shoulder blades were sore too.  And I think that is from flinging my arms high above my head, every single time.  My index finger on my right hand is still sore even now.  Perhaps a slight sprain, from doing something silly.  I have to be cautious with how I use it, and it’s been nearly two and a half weeks.  But oh boy, it was worth it.

I look forward to next year’s outing with bated breath.  For a whole long year, I’ll be happy to cart kids about.  Drop them off at parties.  Do homework.  Cook meals.  Do grocery shopping.  Pay bills.  My battery has been recharged and I know that in 11 months and one and a half weeks’ time, I’ll get to do it all over again.

Claire for president!!!  Viva Supertube, viva!

On of our super long trains - I got unhooked and so I'm lagging behind - the only chick wearing shades


Just look at those faces!

I'm turning blue - perhaps I'll end up being a smurf?

An ever so elegant landing


Attempting to look normal and keep my arms down

Short mini-train and I'm in the front
Catching a quick breather in between


  1. What a jol!! Never too old to have a second childhood!!

  2. What fun Helene! I agree with Bets - NEVER too old to have a happy childhood! You and your friends sure know how to party!