Dive, dove, dove?

“Dive, which was originally a weak verb, developed a past tense dove, probably by analogy with verbs like drive, drove. Dove exists in some British dialects and has become the standard past tense especially in speech in some parts of Canada. In the United States dived and dove are both widespread in speech as past tense and past participle, with dove less common than dived in the south Midland area, and dived less common than dove in the Northern and north Midland areas. In writing, the past tense dived is usual in British English and somewhat more common in American English. Dove seems relatively rare as a past participle in writing.”

Hmmm, always wondered what correct usage was but I suppose it is one of those ‘it’s up to you’  language things. Anyway that is what I have been doing this weekend. I dove, er dived.

All day Saturday splashing around in the warm China Sea with my instructor Jan. Jan is German, has a very big ear implant and is 23 years old. He knows what he is doing and we go through a series of drills that will eventually lead to me becoming a certified diver.  Underwater mask off, mask on , take off tank, put it back on again, hover underwater, rescue your buddy, give him air and all that kind of good stuff.  I pass the theoretical test and seem to be doing OK on practical. All being well I will ‘graduate’ next week.

Jan mentions that US military are moving and I might get cheap diving gear by looking on the-already-blogged-about Okinawayardsales.com – the world’s greatest web site, around here.


Dave is selling complete diving equipment for $300. Something fishy  as the equipment he describes comes in through the thousands door rather than the hundreds back entrance.

I phone and agree to meet early afternoon.

I am invited to breakfast. It is an offer that I do not want to refuse. We eat pineapple in Grand Marnier and  perfect cheese souflles, sorry about the accent. We look over the bay of Nagahama. There are 8 colors of blue, there are people wading in the low tide to collect seaweed, there are Ospreys floating overhead.

We go onto an art exhibition. I phone Dave to say I will be late. He mentions that he is 5ft 8 and weighs 240lbs and I get it. The stuff is so cheap because he is short and er stout so his equipment fits a limited public.  I go through the art show of Okinawan artists, excellent d’ailleurs, with the niggling feeling that I should go and have a look at the diving stuff . If the wet suit is dumpty, so what? as that price for a tank,  a BCD,


fins, mask, snorkel, is still really good.

I get home at 5:00 and feel sluggish but force myself to go and see Dave even though I am 4 hours late. I find his place. He is ex military and, er, plump. The equipment is almost brand new

There must be something wrong

It all fits my statuesque frame and I press soiled bills into his hand before he changes his mind.

Still life with Gorilla and Cane Toad

So how do I feel about this incredible deal? I mean the bag it all comes in is worth $300. I feel that the common denominator of life is misery and pain and a lucky break like this is just a short period of up before life dumps a lot of down.

I increasingly sense that this British view of life – rain, endurance, understatement, misery and pain- that I was brought up to revere is in fact deeply flawed. So here is a big Yipppeee!!!  for having got such an amazing deal!!

Keep reading to hear when irresponsible joy is punished. Then snigger.

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