Heads Down

Out of my depth

A particularly enjoyable lovely lido swim this morning. With an expected mini-heat wave forecast to hit these parts over the next few days, it’s with a poor sense of timing that I’ve got all sorts of freelance nonsense to attend to. Those lido season passes don’t pay for themselves, you know.

The contradiction of the communal lido swimmer is that we want to celebrate our al fresco aquatic activity, but we want to celebrate it on our own, thank you very much. Having a lane to yourself allows you to swim unobstructed, with your head facing down in the water, rather than the regular juts above to plot your passage through the water ahead.

I had the pleasure on Monday morning not only of a clear lane, but also an empty pool. I wanted to hug all those around me as I emerged out of Lake Brockwell, sharing in the enjoyment of such a therapeutic way to commence the week. But apart from a bored lifeguard, there wasn’t anyone else around.

Pool temperatures have been holding steady all summer in SE24, even if the mass of naked flesh hasn’t. We haven’t dipped below 21 degrees for the past month. Wetsuits aren’t required, but a body firmly encased in black rubber adds a little kick to your lido morning, both for rubber wearers and observers.

I remain on schedule to end my pointless daytum lido count, sometime around mid-September. This will be the signal that I have been swimming outdoors this year on more occasions than within a sweaty, sterile indoor pool.

With the Lido open until the end of the September, I should be able to squeeze in fourteen more days to put me on a positive outdoor count, something to savour with a woeful winter of swimming indoors at Clap’ham to come.

Although not a classic lido year in terms of the weather (was it ever?) the lido community itself has been highly active over the past four months. Building work around the new cafe is almost complete, enabling the lido name to live on twelve months of the year with access to the restaurant from the Dulwich Road side of the park.

The pool itself is up for a National Lottery Heritage Award, having reached the final of the event, which aims to promote good causes within the community. The winner is announced at the start of September, with £2,000 up for grabs.

And then there’s the Windrush Tri event on August 23rd. Swimming in the lido, cycling and then running around Brockwell Park, has to be one of the best tri locations to take part in. I’m all up for the swimming and cycling, but I think I’ve had my fair share of running over the past twenty years.

And so yeah – lido life continues around South London. Come on in – the water’s lovely (although it would be particularly appreciated if you kept away between 7:00 – 7:45 on Tuesday morning, and 6:30 and 7:15 early Wednesday.)

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