Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November statistics

The month ends with a beautiful sunny morning but it takes longer and longer before that light hits the water at this time of year. Being clear it was also cold, perhaps not as parky as Monday but certainly down on yesterday. I don't know if it's the water temperature or the fact I set myself a goal of a December mile but I really had to push myself to swim today. Luckily after the first eight length Alfonso joined me in the water, he was only going to do six but stayed in for eight, we had a good pace and it helped the lengths go by. We saw Sue set off with an unwetsuited Ian, he managed two lengths but Sue carried on. She wasn't far ahead of us but going at quite a speed.

I still had a couple more to do to make eighteen. I managed to also get this shot of speedy Sue. The light was now over the pool, the cubicle doors looked amazing reflecting their colours into the water.

See how clear the sky is but the deep end is still in shadow, it takes ages for the sun to get over those trees.

Time for the November statistics:
In November 2011 the water temperature ranged from 13ºC to 7.5ºC
I swam a total of 446 lengths and 2 widths
Which is 44666 yards, about 25 miles or 40 Km
I did 24 seperate swims including the Serps gala
Longest single swim 22 lengths, shortest 2 widths at the gala
Scores on the doors: nine blue, four red, five green and four yellow.

Another mild month but cold enough for the sauna to make a welcome return. I'm glad to still be doing a mile in the water at this time of year and hope to do a December mile tomorrow. This week has already been much cooler and we'll see what December brings.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tuesday chill

A warmer night, perhaps the water had gone up fractionally but still around 8ºC. An early swim not many in the water. I knew I could do it today, but it still wasn't easy. Length twelve Iain wetsuited joined me in the water, the race was welcome and helped me pick up the pace to stop my limbs going numb. Four length later Sue joined us, we were still going quite a pace and dropped her on the return leg. I'd done eighteen again - here's hoping the weather holds until Thursday.

Carl was just getting in after I'd had my sauna. I don't think we'll attempt the mile together on Thursday but it did really help to have a pace maker like Iain today. I let Nick know his best chance of beating me this year will be to get in on my final length.

Although I had the camera today there was no stopping while I swam. I was hoping Carl might do a tumble turn but all I got was this blurry image. There are plenty of images of today by Elizabeth here and more musings by Carl here, Tooting must be the most blogged lido in the country!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Cold mile

A cold night, perhaps a light frost even. No camera so no new pictures. No official temperature but must be 8ºC at the very most, certainly colder than yesterday. I had doubts about how far I could go, hands were really cold from the start but the rest of me didn't feel too bad. It was nice in the water, not quite as many leaves. Nando was swimming but I left him behind, couldn't break my rhythm if I wanted to do the full distance. Twelve, fourteen, sixteen all okay but really pushed for the last two, eighteen lengths in total. I knew had plenty of time for a sauna. I'm hoping the week is mild enough to do a December mile, we'll have to see.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday sun

Such a sunny Sunday I decided to have a swim. I got up late and saw the dark clouds moving away after overnight rain, it was still rather windy though.

Not a cloud in the sky, just a few pigeons and leaves being blown around. I saw Carl and Nando leaving the car park as I arrived, I had missed most of the Sunday swimmers I knew, Michael was in the water but had left by the time I got in. The temperature was still given as 8.5ºC.

The pool was almost in full sun with a thick layer of leaves on the surface, it was nice to swim through them all. The late season leaves are soft and reflect the light and water beautifully while you swim pulling great handfuls of them down as I made my way through the water.

The wind was whipping the water surface, I love the reflected patterns made. After my usual eighteen lengths I decided to do four more after all I wasn't in any rush to get to work today. I then spent a good 30minutes in the sauna, I had a little shiver to begin with but sat on a low bench and warmed through before leaving.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Go Ape

Dark clouds were receeding leaving the sky pink striped, I knew it was going to ba a beautiful morning. Friday always seems popular at the Lido and today was no different. Carl was already swimming when I arrived and Kate was still catching up on the gossip before she got in.

I set off at quite a pace, I wanted a bit of sauna time. A good picture of Mr Ape, he has quite a deep leg kick don't you think? I'm sure he'll post his musings later.

The temperature was given as 8.5ºC, with the sun out it felt warmer than yesterday to me. Kate was soon in the water swimming up and down, it was getting quite crowded.

Especially when these three started swimming together. I had to put my skates on to catch up with them.

I stopped at the shallow end to take some pictures, Sue and Iain had split to the right, note the sunlight on the bottom of the pool.

Not far behind Pip was shrouded in a cloud of bubbles. Eighteen lengths was enough, giving me ten minutes in the sauna which was pretty full today.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Swimming burp

Same time, same place, same swimmers. I know I get a bit repetitive. Perhaps the door colour changes or I see someone new but it isn't always easy to take pictures of people you don't really know. The water is at a temperature where I don't want to hang around too long.

Alfonso joined me after two lengths, but fell back a bit so I had time to snap this picture. It's almost the same picture as I took of him last Thursday! He got out after ten and then Iain joined me for a good race, eighteen in total. Sauna talk moved on to favourite artist, I've always liked The Hunters In The Snow by Bruegel.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Bear Called Paddington?

We had been promised sun on the weather forecast but it was misty again. Quite heavy, cold and damp air, the water didn't look too promising when I arrived.

You could barely see to the far end of the pool, we were still allowed to swim lengths though. I was a little later than yesterday and there were a few more people in the pool than usual. The water didn't feel too bad compared with the air temperature.

A little later the sun began to break through the mist, a bit of water on the lens adds to the effect I think. After six lengths swimming I saw Iain set off in his wetsuit anout ten yards before I turned and then five yards closer and Alfonso splashed into the water and raced off. I turned and did my best to catch up. Iain was too far in front but I was soon on pace with Alfonso. Iain rested at the end of his sprint, Alfonso and I went on to do ten lengths together.

Alfonso got out after ten, I think he was late for work. Sue was by now swimming with Iain and I wanted to do two more lengths to make a total of eighteen. I dived to the bottom of the pool when I saw them coming to get this shot.

After they had turned I got this picture of them on their way back and joined them for my final length. Still enough time for a ten minute sauna. Margy was wearing a new metallic blue swimsuit and we were trying to think of our favourite fictional London characters. I always had a soft spot for Paddington Bear although I suppose he was an immigrant from darkest Peru.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A drop in the ocean

Damp but still mild another early start. Stephanie was just leaving when I arrived and Vince arrived about a minute later. Only one swimmer in the pool (not sure of her name) who got out just as I was getting in. 'There's enough room for two' I told her. Water not yet crystal clear but better than yesterday.

Taken from the depths Vince looks rather small in this shot, he also looks like he has a large white beard. The water was nippy but not too bad, still managed eighteen lengths. Time for a sauna again, a good fifteen minutes to warm back up, lots of chat about channel swimming times. Someone broke the seven hour record this last year but it hasn't been comfirmed yet. Below ten hours is fast and above sixteen you miss the tide and have to stay in for ages, the slowest recorded crossing was an SLSC member who did it in twenty eight hours!

Trying to be artistic I wanted to catch the reflection of the pool in a drop of water from the drawstring of my trunks. Abit more sun would have made a better image no doubt.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Misty monday

Perhaps not as dramatic as yesterday but the mist was still hanging around this morning. I got to the lido quite early as I was determined to have sauna time today. Perhaps in sympathy the pool water has also gone cloudy, not very good for pictures. Vince was the only other person in the pool when I got in, after he got out I had the whole lido to myself for a few lengths. The water felt heavy and cold almost syrupy, it's strange how it changes with temperature and weather. I felt a satisfying purchase on the water, like shifting large blocks with my arms as I pushed the water out of the way.

Waving through the foggy water it's Sue. I did eighteen lengths and still had time for 15 minutes in the sauna. I was on my own in the sauna to begin with but it soon filled up, always a good place for a chat. Sue had a progress chart for reaching Latvia, as the crow flies it's 1068 miles which is a lot less than the original 1400 mile target. We've done a bout 400 miles so far so we might well make it if the weather holds. Having worn my fleece and coat I was hot by the time I reached work.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday on my mind

The sky is clear before I leave the house, another sunny morning. Cycling south eastish to get to the lido the light is in my eyes most of the way. When I reach the lido though the sun isn't yet above the tree line but it will be soon. The water had dropped again 9ºC today.

Nando and Vince were in the water not long after me. Nando isn't slow but rather than keep swimming he's quite happy to sit in the water between lengths, he had swam seven lengths in about the samw time I did eighteen. There's no way I could just sit in the water for that ammount of time.

Elizabeth was in the water too, I know she's down to four lengths now so I thought I better try and get a picture, here she comes...

Here she is! I really like the reflection in this image and the triple left hand. Again I was too late for a sauna, so just a quick shower and I cycled into work.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Brighter later

There was that orange glow in the sky this morning that let me know that the sun would break through later. I got to the lido at the same time as Alfonso. He had a bruised knee and hand from crashing his bike on Tuesday, a car had pulled out without looking and he couldn't stop in time.

He was alright to swim though and we set off at a brisk pace, as predicted the sun did come through. I took some pictures and then raced to catch Alfonso up again. Tricky was in the water for a twenty four length swim, we passed him a couple of times perhaps his long shorts are dragging him backwards?

At the shallow end Alfonso just about to turn with Tricky already on a new length, we'll catch him up though! Alfonso got out after twelve, beating me on his last length sprint. I went on to do eighteen. I was too late for a sauna so it was just a quick shower and off to work.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sauna time

The sauna was on! Cloudy but not too dull, it didn't look like the sun would come out today and it had been a cold night. Yesterday I'd been fine without a sauna but all I could think of today was getting out of the pool and into the warmth. It's funny how you feel the cold in your mind as much as anything else.

Tricky got in the water about hte same time as me. After a bit Alfonso arrived as well, today he got in the water about twenty yards ahead of me. It was fun chasing after him which took about six lengths. Word of the sauna must have got around, there were many familiar and less familiar faces arriving.

This is a picture of Sue, Chris and Tricky. Yes that really is Chris in the middle amongst all those bubbles. My camera lens has made the line on the bottom of the pool look curved. It would have been churlish not to use the sauna when I got out, it was empty when I went in. A few minutes later and more people came in but by then I had to leave for work, going out into the cold air was a bit of a shock and I didn't really warm up until I started cycling.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Good days sunshine

Up early, a bright morning. Light cloud was evaporating as I cycled up to the lido, the sun pale yellow behind a veil of cloud as it rose. Johnathan was doing his yoga and I saw Stephanie before she left after another mammouth swim. The sauna was not on despite yesterdays temperature reading but with sun beginning to sparkle on the water that didn't seem to matter, everything's better when the sun shines.

Sue sent me this picture of myself, an instagram she took on her iPod. It has a nice geometry and I like the fact I look like I'm swimming well, one hand really reaching out while the other is way back past my thigh. This is how I feel I always swim but photographic evidence tells me this isn't true.

When the sun shines the reflection on the water of the coloured doors is beautiful. Taken in the pool I seem to have water on the lens, nearly all the leaves are off the trees now.
The water didn't feel too bad and was mostly empty given my early arrival. after 12 lengths Alfonso flung himself into the pool and started racing, I couldn't let him disappear so I immediately gave chase. We raced for six more length before I got out exhausted. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Elizabeth running up and down the side of the lido trying to get some pictures of the action, I wonder if she will post some later on her blog?

After getting out I took this picture across the water into the sun, there were by now quite a few people in the water although they're rather hard to spot. Racing with Alfonso had kept me warm in the water so I didn't miss the still closed sauna at all.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Perfect 10

Yesterday was a lovely sunny autumnal day, I swam at Parliament Hill lido with a couple of friends Gail and Adam that I met on the Swimtrek holiday in Sardinia earlier this year. The water was about 12ºC, as you swam the sunlight bounced off the steel lining of the pool. We stayed in for a half hour no problem, sitting in the sun afterwards to warm up again, it was beautiful.
This morning was a bit of a contrast, dull with drizzle, Tooting lido did not look inviting. The board outside still read 10.5ºC but I could see it hadn't been changed since Friday. I got in to the empty pool alone, it was certainly colder than Parliament Hill, soon after Pip and Vince got in.

Both of them swim without goggles. Vince sticks to the wall but Pip braves the open water. It was too cool to stop for very long. I snapped a couple of shots and got on my way.

Eighteen length were enough. After I'd showered David annouced the emperature for the day, an official 10ºC! I'm not sure if this means we get the sauna tomorrow or not? I'm glad I can still do a mile and not need it but five minutes warmth would be very welcome after swimming.

Friday, 11 November 2011


Eleventh of the eleventh, 2011. Guess what the water temperature is? Yep, 10.5ºC or 51ºF (verified by David). It's gone down just a little bit, a misty murky morning didn't help, the water looked cold. Turns out it was rather misty under the water too, not sure why it's gone so cloudy?

I set off on my swim just as Stephanie was turning. She's in training for a channel swim next summer and while all around her a dropping their distance she's upping hers. Stephanie did a massive thirty six lengths this morning which is impressive indeed. I managed eighteen, I thought about doing a couple more but decided I'd rather get out, I'm glad I'm still at the mile mark this late in the year.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

2012 SLSC Calendar

I saw the 2012 SLSC calendar this morning, which is now on sale for £8. It's got loads of lido pictures in it taken by Elizabeth, Anthony and Carl among others. Even better it has pictures by me including one of my trunks! you must all buy a copy.

Elizabeth has clearly let the fame go to her head! She was gliding nicely but the delay on my camera in the depths of the pool meant I didn't get the shot until she was breathing.

I don't know this chaps name, he did a lot of running about in the shallow end before swimming a couple of lengths, he's looking directly at me, I wonder what he's thinking? I didn't geta chance to talk to him.

It looks like I took this picture from a step ladder, Margy was turning just as I got out so I took this picture of her pushing off, there must have been a drip on the lens blurring the image. I only swam eighteen this morning.