Today I gave a swimming lesson to my oldest pupil to date. She is eighty nine. After a cautious start she performed a careful and graceful backstroke. She told me that although she has always enjoyed swimming she doesn’t like to put her face in the water. She said that when she was a child a swimming teacher pushed her into the water because she didn’t want to jump in. The fear that she may never reach the surface stayed with her. I wonder if that unkind and thoughtless teacher realised the damage she was causing all those years ago.