Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap year

A lido leap was organised to celebrate the 29th February. When I arrived this morning Nicky asked me if I was taking part. 'I want to swim first' I told her. 'Either you leap or you have to marry me' she replied! luckily I still had time to do both so quickly got in and swam. As usual Vince and Elizabeth were in the water while I did my twelve lengths.

As soon as I fininished swimming it was time to leap. A photographer from South London Press was there to take a picture. It took quite a while for everyone to line up, muttering 'what are we doing?' and 'where do we jump?'. I was getting cold.

The snapper was called Mugnus. I doubt you'd recognise him from this picture. He did a couple of shots of us all jumping in together and then I rushed off to the sauna.

The sauna was packed, even Magnus joined us to take more pictures. Elizabeth and Jonathan decided to leap together to round off the morning.

As it's the end of February it's time for some statistics:
I did 19 seperate swims in February
The water was between 0ºC - 7ºC when I was swimming
I swam 96 lengths and 12 widths.
That is 9996 yards about 5.6miles or 9km

February was cold! 3km in the last three days brings the total to just a shade under that of January although I swam seven more times than last month.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lucky seven

I arrived today to find Kate at the lido, she had already been there a half hour chatting and drinking coffee. Stephanie emerged from the sauna with a grin on her face, 'It's 7ºC today!'. Elizabeth arrived as I was changing. Stephanie was about to dive in, she doesn't wait around. Kate and Elizabeth were poised to shoot so I rushed out to get this picture.

Stepahnie also did a second dive for us. For Elizabeth's versions of the same dive go here and for Kate's go here. I then decided to try the water for myself, taking my camera in with me fro the first time this year.

Elizabeth swimming far above me. The water was getting crowded! there must have been five or six of us in at the same time today.

I like this one better. The arm reaching down is reflected above Elizabeth's head. It was a grey morning, mild again with little wind. I stayed in for twelve length which was probably around twenty minutes along with the pictures.

Kate didn't get into the water until I had my sauna and shower. She has a wonderfully relaxed glide. I believe she was going to do twelve lengths aswell which will be nearer to thirty minutes swimming for her.

I managed to get this half and half picture of Kate. A view into the secret underwater world of the lido. Even on a grey morning the relected light bounces around in the water.

Monday, 27 February 2012

February kilometre

It had been a sunny warm week end, the temperature must have gone up. The lifeguards had posted a temperature of 6ºC on this mild grey Monday morning. Stephanie was all smiles, She had done ten lengths and her reading was 6.8ºC. I have been hoping to do a kilometre in February but wasn't sure if I could manage it.

The lido was unusually quiet. Vince and Elizabeth swam at the same time as me so I didn't get any pictures. I wonder if Elizabeth will post any here? The water really did feel warmer to me, it was great to have a proper swim. Twelve lengths were no problem. It's easy to say 'I could have done more' once you're out but I really think I could have. I didn't want to push too much having only done eight on Friday. The sauna was of course still welcome. David took the temperature when I was changing, 6.5ºC. I'm so glad we're back into distance swimming, let's hope the temperature holds.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Optomistic thermometer

It was a grey but mild morning, the sun was trying to come through but the cloud was winning. Rumour had it the water was 6ºC, could it be true? Stephanie had taken the temperature with her electronic thermometer, 'you can do eight lengths today' she told me, she already had. I did manage eight, Vince did six. Elizabeth stopped after two lengths to take some pictures in the water which you can see here, then did some widths.

I still count David as the official temperature taker, the string on the thermometer is wrapped around his shoe so he had this distinctive pose while waiting.

Hard to see but not quite 6ºC more like 5.5ºC. I think Steph has an optomistic thermometer, but the temperature is on the way up. In January I managed a kilometre when the water had gone down to 5ºC but somehow I find it more difficult building up distance as the water warms up. Will I manage a kilometre before the end of the month?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Very handy

Whose hand is this? what happend to the reast of them? A mild morning, mercury going up all the time. Strangely quiet when I arrived but the regulars soon turned up.

It was Elizabeth of course! read about her morning here. Although the water was a bit warmer six length still seemed like enough, it was beautiful with the sun reflecting off the doors into the water.

Margy stuck to widths today, I'm sure she'll be doing lengths again soon.

Chris and Sue race past gloved Sue on their morning widths. Sue said she'd be ready for lengths tomorrow.

Try as I might I couldn't get a face on Chris and Sue in the same shot together. Chris did a couple of length on his own afterwards.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Three blogs

He's never shy. Egg had the photographers lined up to capture the moment. I somewhat missed but Elizabeth and Carl did a much better job.

The three bloggers all got to swim together this morning. The water felt warmer today. Elizabeth did two lengths, I stopped at six and grabbed this picture of Carl who went on to do a massive twelve lengths.

Ian just did the one length wearing his gloves, he was finishing right behind me so I got this picture of him.

Elizabeth recreated the Egg leap from earlier after her sauna, although I caught her mid air it's a bit blurry. The water turned out to be 4ºC, let's hope it's warmer tomorrow!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Fat Tuesday

A sunny pancake day, water up to 3ºC and plenty of faces around to make the most of it. Kate and Carl had come for an early morning swim and with Vince also getting in at the same time it was almost crowded. Carl was length ahead of me when I got in. I wished I could have stayed in long enough to catch him up but six lengths was enough for me. Carl did a massive ten and Kate did four lengths and six widths, starting before me and ending sometime after.

The sauna was busy as usual. Fred and Inez were already warming themselves and we were joined by many others. Carl was telling me of the many swim trips he and Kate have planned for the year. Of all the exotic locations Tenby seemed to be the one Kate was most looking forward to. Plenty more inspiring stories to come at musings of an aquatic ape.

I do hope this is the start of spring, it felt good standing in the sunshine, I could really get used to it.

Kevin's wetsuit has a large hole in the knee, you can see the rip from here. Swimming on his own today, not sure where Ian was?

Pip arrived with a pair of scales and told us he was going to lose three stones. At that point he hadn't even weighed himself. He clocked in at 17.5 stones, apparently he used to have a 26" inch waist when he was eighteen!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ice breaker

'Ice in pool' was the unexpected greeting at the lido this morning. It had been a cold clear night and the frost was heavy but the water was nudging 4ºC yesterday when I swam. Lack of wind had left the lower half of the pool with a thin layer of singing ice on its surface.

The sun was strong through the trees reflecing off the ice, you had to sheild your eyes. Footprints froze almost instantly to the concrete but standing in the glare it felt quite warm.

I made my way to the deep end, it would have to be widths. The far end of the pool was in shadow but you got a glorious view of the water reflecting off the coloured doors as you swam, I did twelve widths.

Kevin started in the water and Ian did a dive, you wouldn't really believe how cold it is from this sunny picture.

By the time I was leaving the ice was already breaking up, it sounds like crickets singing a thousand ice crytals snapping under the movement of the water.

David took the temperature from his usual spot which happend to be under the ice. 2ºC he made it this morning but I'm sure it'll warm up soon.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunny Sunday six

Are we in Tenerife? Turkey? Trinidad? Nah - Tooting Lido innit! A sunny Sunday about 11am, the lido looked so appealing. First met Doreen putting her trolly into the back of her car. I let her know I received my new pass the other day thanks to Carl. She told me it was the first one she'd mixed up out of ninety, and touch wood the last.

Stephanie arrived at the same time as me, after putting on her swim cap she went to check the temperature of the tropical looking water. Unfortunately it was only 3.8ºC. I told her I'd managed four lengths on Friday so would aim to match it.

Being a quick changer Stephanie was in the water before me so I hopped in to get this picture before setting off. I would have swam with Stephanie but my pace was too high and I didn't want to hang back in the cold water.

Stephanie did four and I did six before we reconvened in the sauna. I was pushing it on the last length and had a little shiver while chatting before getting warm again.Stephanie doesn't hang around and was out of the sauna in a few minutes but decided to luxuriate a bit longer.

Ivan came into the sauna after his two widths and lay down on the top shelf to recover. He was telling me about his new sequined mini top hat! It must look fantastic but not so good for swimming.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Lengths again

Here comes Elizabeth, reaching across the pool on her after sauna swim. I jumped in the pool earlier and tried to get a picture of her as she, Nick and Johnathan swam a length. She got too far ahead of the boys so I missed my chance and they stopped swimming about 25 yards from the end of the pool.

A great dive this morning, her hands just going into the water, feet could still be pointier though. After missing my first few pictures I was already feeling the chill, I set off on a four length swim. The temperature must be going up, Four was enough but I wasn't as cold as yesterday.

As it's half term Vince has been swimming later, Pip is just arriving, cycling down the side of the pool. It was quite quiet this morning, but a couple of newer regulars, Nadine and Guy helped fill the sauna. Chris did four lengths this morning, he's trying to keep the distance up while Sue is away.

After what seemed like ages sitting on the pool edge Pip set off on his swim. I'm not sure how far he went because it was time for me to go.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Not having swum in a week Hilary was doing widths this morning. She was a good distance from the shallow end which shows the size of the pool. 'It makes the pool look massive' I said showing her the image, 'That's because it is' she replied.

My attempt at a side picture wasn't so successful but I liked it anyway. Hilary did four widths as her reintroduction to the water. I didn't see the temperature today but it felt warmer, around 2ºC I believe.

A metallic blue Margy then did her widths, much closer to the edge making it difficult to get her all in the frame. I did a four length swim today, Elizabeth took a picture which I hope you'll find here later.

It wasn't exactly sunny but the mornings are getting a little brighter, the changing room doors beginning to reflect upon the water.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Above and below

The Stanton cross, a familiar site for the early dippers. Chris walks almost a third of a length arms outstretched before he can swim.

Nick decided to join Chris on his return length, it was colder than he thought so he sprinted. Look carfully and you can see Chris left behind in the bubbles.

A shallow dive and two widths for Ian. He slapped the water when he hit it splashing David who can just be seen nearing the steps.

'Take a picture of me' asked Pip so I obliged. With her gloves on there was no stopping her, I'm not sure if she did six or eight widths.

I followed her taking pictures, trying to get the above and below the water shot. It was difficult to get her in the frame when you can't see.

I like the watery effect, it's almost how it looks when swimming. See how grey the sky is, by the time I waa leaving the sun was coming out.

I didn't wait for the temperature today, I'm sure it's gone up but perhaps not that much. It takes a good few mild days for the water to get warmer, the childrens pool still has ice on it. I'm not sure how that chair got there?