As mentioned in an earlier post about Wild Swimming, my wife is a member of the South London Swimming Club at Tooting Bec Lido. whose wintertime activities appear – to the casual observer – to be plain barking mad. Namely open air swimming in water just below 5C.
However in this gorgeous new video shot by a ridiculously fit SLSC member called Jonathan Cowie, his own dolphin-like grace and the beauty of the setting makes the whole ritual look truly graceful and enticing. It seems almost tempting to have a go. Almost.
But then you remember thay on some days SLSC members have to break the ice before they can even get into the water for goodness sake… Fit and graceful or not, these people are crazy.
To be continued…
Last month’s Wild Swiming post described my wife’s membership of South London Swimming Club, and the propensity of its lunatic members to brave the freezing waters of Tooting Bec Lido throughout the winter.
DC Leisure Centres provide a team of lifeguards who take it in turns to oversee this madness.
Yesterday, it was as if the asylum staff had voluntarily changed places with the inmates – when nine of the team turned up for the annual Lifeguards Race.
Wife went down to cheer them on and photograph the event: sensible rubber wetsuits were, I’m pleased to see, strictly disallowed.
The eventual winner was Jason (third from the right) who’d never swum in the open air in his life, let alone on an arctic January morning. By all accounts the entire event was good wholesome family fun – even Ken and Barbie turned up to watch from the poolside.
Wife has just sent me a link to the photoblog Unusual Love Affair in London – in which Elizabeth Furth documents the early morning activities of South London Swimming Club at Tooting Bec Lido.
The photos are vivid and beautiful – one could only wish for a higher resolution gallery of them somewhere. The club’s activities on the other hand are plain barking mad: open air swimming in water just below 5C. The ground underfoot is so cold that even a damp footprint (bottom left, above) freezes into ice.
To understand why the members – who include my wife – persist in this folly as winter streadily advances, you’ll need to read Elizabeth’s upbeat and entertaining blog.