During my childhood I was lucky enough to be taken more than once to Center Parcs in their native Netherlands, before we had them over here. Otherwise, like most British kids, my swimming experience was limited to a municipal pool with a rickety, pale blue plastic slide that would be suddenly removed amid rumours that a child had fallen off and been killed/paralysed/lost all their teeth.
But I never lost sight of the Bill and Ted waterpark dream.
That's why I took Wednesday afternoon off to go to Coral Reef Waterworld in Bracknell with yagfox.
Obviously a November Wednesday in Surrey is far removed from the California experience, but we were not complaining. As well as three flumes, one of which was billed as 'extreme' and I was too scared to try, there are bubble beds, whirlpools, a lazy river, and a fibreglass volcano that periodically 'erupts' in a forceful jet of water. We also paid for access to Sauna World, with its three saunas, jacuzzi, steam room and cold pool. I have seldom been more relaxed, or more clean, than I was that evening.
The best thing to do after swimming is to have fish and chips (which was once my post-swimming-lesson treat every Friday), so we went to Fishcraft in Eton, where I had what was probably the best fish pie I have ever tasted. No jumbo sausage in batter, alas.