This short piece was first published in @TimeOutLondon, as part of the I Love My Lido feature.
I have been swimming at Brockwell for fourteen summers. When I first moved to Brixton, I became aware of locals speaking of this magical outdoor pool. On my first visit I encountered 2,000 semi-naked bodies, all procrastinating and making the most of the South London sunshine. I have returned every summer since.
I swim each morning, the earlier the better. Before 8am is the best time to appreciate the true beauty of Brockwell. I often return for a second session late afternoon during the height of the season.
The real joy of swimming at Brockwell is the lido community. Morning swimmers have a shared purpose in seeking out a calmer start to their day. Friendships have been forged over tea and toast in the lido cafe.
Many locals have grown up at the lido, and likewise, the lido has grown up with them. The party feel from the early days has been replaced with a family friendly environment.
If I miss a swim then my day falls apart – I am reduced to yet another angry Londoner. Sharing early morning swim with geese leaves you with a huge grin to carry you through the rest of the day.