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…
From Mail Online 26 September 2011
The unwitting star of Nirvana’s Nevermind album wasn’t old enough to be aware of his role in the birth of grunge music.
Fine Art student Spencer Elden, now 20, is still introduced as the ‘Nirvana baby’ two decades after the release of the album and has learned to cope with the extra attention his brush with fame generates. Read more…
According to an earlier interview with MTV in his teens, being the Nirvana baby has had its perks “when trying to pick up ladies”, but also led to Elden being invited to swim in a wealthy woman’s pool for the mere fact that he was the Nirvana baby. Read more…
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.
My neighbour Jack’s knee gave out this morning in the bath. It’s been giving him trouble for a while now. But having been a busy and active man all his life, he’s simply carried on as normal with the help of a walking stick.
This morning his wife Ellie called by our house and asked me to help her get Jack out of the tub as she couldn’t lift him on her own. They’d obviously managed to get him into swimming trunks before Ellie went for help, but when we arrived back at their bathroom he was weeping with shame and frustration. Which of us wouldn’t feel the same in Jack’s position?
And having had to haul my own Dad on and off the lavatory in his final couple of years, it’s clear that sooner or later - if we’re lucky enough to live that long - all of us will be.
Swimming. Special K goaded me to take it up in my 30s and get a bit fitter – he’d been a school champion of some kind. Getting me into the habit of swimming is something I still thank him for… but thirty years on it’s something I do much less often than I’d like to. Scope for change, right there…
‘I thought I’d have more time between frogs and same-sex intercourse than just an hour or two. I was out of my depth.’ Photograph: Corbis
Funny, funny Guardian article by Julia Sweeney on being quizzed about the facts of life by her nine year old daughter… read at guardian.co.uk