The Welcome Guest

I’m not really into this guest blogging lark, mainly because I can’t find anyone else who actually wants to guest blog on onionbagblog.

But then an email from a friendly lido face this morning, and I just knew it was worthy of posting up here. I don’t think it’s technically a guest blog post, merely a publishing of a (private?) email.


But it sort of fits in with the aquatic theme of late, and it made me smile anyway.

I won’t post up the author’s name; suffice to say that he is South London’s leading authority on the history of outdoor swimming.

I have bat-like vision when I swim with goggles and without glasses (I’ve not yet tried to wear both simultaneously,) so I was a bit surprised this morning when I thought I saw a man swimming nearby wearing an armband, but only on one arm (his left). A bit old for that, aren’t you?, I thought.

The fates determined that he was entering the shower as I was coming out, so I made so bold as to ask him was it a heart monitor (such as I have known the wetsuits to wear)? Nothing so worthy, he said.

It was his iPod. The contraption is a strong plastic bag with inbuilt jack and waterproof earphones that he confessed to having purchased on t’internet for £20. He said the earphones kept dropping out of his ears but worked very well in transmitting the sound.

He said it was wonderful to swim along to great music. I asked what great music he was listening to today and he said it was actually a Radio 4 podcast. He said Kate Adey occasionally put him off his stroke, an effect she’s had on several men, I believe. From a distance, I could detect no appreciable deterioration in technique.


Two points arise out of this:

(i) Would you trust taking your iPod underwater?

(ii) Why would you feel the need to take your iPod underwater? Indoors, maybe, but outdoors at the lovely lido, when the ambience is all about solace and escapism?

Whatever next? iPod sex? That really would need a watertight compartment.

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