Monday, 31 March 2014


These are pictures from the archive, I didn't take any new ones this morning. It was sunnier than this morning but very cold in 2013. There was ice on the pool! Looking back the temperature was 1°C in 2013, 11.5°C in 2012 and 10°C in 2011. I didn't get the official temperature this morning but I guess it's probably below 9°C despite the warm week-end.

No ice today and I swam eighteen lengths. The water was rather cloudy. With this warmer weather I expect we will reach 10°C this week if we are lucky.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bombs away

Elizabeth took the first few pictures here today. I swam with Richard and Alfonso today. Although I was in front for about the first eight lengths or so I knew Alfonso was just waiting to turn up the pace. He did and it was a struggle to keep up, Richard peeled off after fifteen lengths and Elizabeth half caught us as we finished length eighteen.

Batch was in the water when we finished, he wanted to swim with us but by then I was exhausted and needed to go to the sauna.

The water was a little cooler again, now hovering just below 7°C. As you can see it was nice and sunny again.

Post sauna Elizabeth indulged me by jumping in - Bombs away!

This was actually two jumps, the splash above being the first but they make more sense this way round.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


I joined Richard after two lengths and then a couple later Alfonso joined us about half a length behind. He soon caught up with us and we sped on. It was exhausting and my arms ache now. I did eighteen lengths, Richard twenty and Alfonso did a couple after we got up to make up the mile.

Post sauna I tried to catch Elizabeth jumping back in. The water has got a little cooler again, around 7°C. As I cropped her hand she said she would jump again.

This time I missed the jump altogether but I like the splash, almost as if she's coming out of the water rather than going in.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


It isn't always sunny. A bit of a wet grey morning, the water felt a bit cooler too. Swam eighteen lengths, fourteen with Richard. Various people back from Finland covered in tattoos and catching up on gossip.

James Penrose gliding through the water, not sure how far he swims but he doesn't use the sauna which I couldn't manage yet.

Monday, 24 March 2014


It was a struggle to do eighteen lengths this morning. Not because of the temperature (although there was a frost) and not because of the cold breeze (it was still around 7.5°C in the water). I think I was just tired, a busy week end has that affect.

I tried to catch the Carls underwater but missed. Mr Ape is looking skinny. The championship crowd aren't back yet so it still felt a little quiet.

At the other end of the pool I caught them setting off on more lengths. The sun felt warm despite the breeze, the trees are coming into bud and will soon turn green again.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Five mile

Happy Birthday Hilary! Another sunny morning and another eighteen lengths for me. That's ninety this week, which is over five miles or eight kilometres. I can feel it in my arms.

This time last year the water was only a couple of degrees and I was only managing about ten lengths a week.

The pool is beautifully clean at the moment, hardly a leaf on the surface.
I'm sure everyone is having fun in Finland but I bet they aren't swimming as far as us.

Thursday, 20 March 2014


A proper spring morning, a bit windy, partial cloud and great for swimming. How come Michael is always in the same pose when I take a picture? He was doing some lovely butterfly later which would have been great to film.

The water was quite empty and I had swam ten length before Alfonso joined me. We then nearly crashed into Pip, sorry Pip. I went on to do eighteen again before my sauna.

It was getting busier by 9am, just got this snap of Nando before I had to leave for work.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


The pool was flat calm and empty this morning when I arrived, I guess everyone is on their way to Finland for the cold water championship. I met Richard and set off on our swim.

After six lengths Alfonso joined us and turned the pace up, he's so much quicker than me this year.

Richard could match his speed but by length fourteen I realised I had lost them, so grabbed the camera for my final four lengths.

I wish they swam a bit closer together! The water is around 8°C and despite the lack of sun felt good. Richard went on to do twenty two lengths (2km) in about 34 minutes.

Seeing as Richard has his eye on the channel and Alfonso has been training for a 14km race it's no surprise I couldn't match them. Giles got in and showed them how to really swim quickly for their last lengths.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Not quite so sunny but mild if a little windy. I met Richard and we set off on another eighteen length swim. The water felt good although David says it's a little down on yesterday, just below 8°C.

The sun did make a brief appearance and I got a couple of underwater shots, here's Sue. All the chatter is about the cold water championship in Finland this week end.

And here's Richard the cabbie. The sauna had been beautifully cleaned and had heated up by the time I'd finished my swim.

Monday, 17 March 2014


I did another eighteen length swim this morning, this time on my own. Not that there weren't others in the water. Andy (hope that's the right name) above was also doing eighteen lengths. I love the surface reflection.

Michael was also in the water, it's warm enough now for some proper underwater pictures.

The swimmers are somewhat silhouetted against the sunny sky above.

I still need a good sauna despite the water being 8°C, afterwards I caught this snap of Elizabeth, I don't think she saw me.

Friday, 14 March 2014

March mile

Blue skies and sunshine, Alfonso and Richard were waiting for me when I arrived and the three of soon set off on an epic swim.

Alfonso has been doing a lot of training I think and kept pulling ahead, I was going as fast as I could! The water was full of light and the sun was on our backs. Alfonso stopped at fourteen but Richard and I carried on to do our first mile of the year.

Pip swimming hatless (as usual) in the clear water. David says it's almost 8°C.

Light and water. Many more miles to come I hope.

Thursday, 13 March 2014


It was foggy first thing but not so foggy we couldn't swim lengths. Richard and I swam together, after twelve we decided to do two more, fourteen in total. How long before we can do a mile?

Alfonso arrived a bit later just as the sun was breaking through. I caught him just before he tumble turned.

The sun was out by the time I had to leave.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


A small break due to a hacking cough. A grey morning, the wind only light was from the east and cold. I had done six length before Alfonso joined me then I had to speed up and did six more.

Alfonso had a video of himself swimming butterfly in the gala. 'I look good' he said modestly, he really did though, wonderful symmetry and reach.

As I was leaving the sun broke through the grey, David made the temperature just under 7°C.

Friday, 7 March 2014


A sixty length week, something I haven't managed since the first week last November. The water was 9°C then and now it's around 6°C, strange how it's easier to swim as the temperature goes up rather than down.

Another guess who of the day. On the right of this image you can see tanned David riding his bike on water!

Not the brilliant sunshine we've had most of the week but it was mild, I hope I have many more sixty length weeks to come.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


The pool hasn't warmed up that much despite the good weather and longer sunlight hours, it's around 6°C. I swam my twelve lengths on my own, the light gradually creeping across the bottom of the lido as the time passed.

Another guess who, this one isn't so Tricky or is it?

You never know how these half images will come out, doesn't the water look tempting?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


A rare glimpse into the sauna. Elizabeth took this picture while a dozen people inside shouted 'Door!' due to the cold coming in. The camera steamed up but you can see my swimming buddies Richard and Alfonso.

More atristry from Elizabeth, I'm not sure whose kit this is? It was bright and clear but the frost was heavier than yesterday and the water felt a little cooler.

I did a twelve length swim again, eight with Richard and the four with Alfonso (who went on to do six). It was strange changing pace mid swim, Alfonso was going much faster and it was hard to keep up for those last four.

Johnathan does his special disappearing act.

Nando finds a bouncy ball.

The Ape piles on the lengths.