Very sensible Matsmum, stay safe please. Northern Germany has taken a battering too, so far here in the south we've escaped lightly, although the forecast hail and snow did show up this morning as I was driving to work. All gone now though and the sun is shining. Pretty windy outside still.
Come and join the "Crap Swimmers are Us" thread, lots of advice and info over there and you'll find there's plenty of others struggling with swimming.
I agree with the comments re not using the shorts all the time, you may find it tougher to swim without them if you use them too much. Like most coaches and good swimmers say, you shouldn't rely much on swimming aids, just use them now and again for specific drills.
So far I only have one sprint and two olys scheduled here in Germany, and then Challenge Weymouth whcih I haven't let on to OH about yet 'cos I know he'll moan about me doing a half - seems to think because I'm now medically banned from IM I can't do 70.3 either. Out to prove him wrong.