Friday, 30 October 2009

More playing

Just going to keep it very brief today .. as I have been really busy documenting a trip into the City of London.

My morning started so well though - back in the pool with my camera! Margy even performed a couple of lengths butterfly for me - What a treat - quite tricky to get a the right moment though. I feel I need more practice..

Let's see if she will be up for more in the next couple of days before the water gets too cold. speaking of cold - can you believe Chris swam 30 ... yes 30 lengths this morning - he was in the pool forever!

Then a few of us "hardies" had our photograph taken by a photographer of the Wandsworth Guardian . the occasion: a new magic toy we have at the pool - "my enemy no 1 really :) - a huge fishing net to collect leaves off the water surface.
Once the photo call was over I jumped back in and took a pic of the net - although it is my "enemy" it made for a great shot!!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Today, I took my camera under water!

I'm just going to share some shots here and invite you to check out my other blog so you can catch up on today's full story and more photos!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Clear water

Ahhh, clear water again! As lovely as it was swimming in a pond .. not just any old pond ... no, The Women's Pond in Hampstead Heath .... it was nice to be swimming in my beloved Tooting Bec Lido again (!)
The leaves hanging on the water surface was amazing today ... I wanting to swim in it as much as possible and was reluctant to take my camera in the pool as I didn't have my wetsuit on ... and didn't fancy getting cold :) cause knowing me I would have stayed in far too long with all the photo opportunities that were up for grabs right in front of my very eyes ..:~) So I chose to take it all in with my senses and hope for another beautiful sunny day tomorrow!

Sue flanked by Chris and Chris swam 10 length - and an anonymous swimmer was enjoying swimming amongst the leaves.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Will I be pardoned?

Today I was unfaithful.... I swam at the Women's Pond in Hampstead Heath - A first for me!
But you will be glad to know that I represented our (SLSC) colours with honours!
It was fun to witness that the ladies who swim there are as passionate about their pond as I am about the Tooting Bec Lido!

Friday, 23 October 2009

When bitting turn to tingling

My swimming is getting better and better - yesterday I "upted"my game to four lengths and today with the sun being out I pushed for six lengths! Wow, what a feeling of utter exhilaration!

The tingling feeling of being "more than alive" is just sensational.

It is difficult to explain the difference it makes when the water is at ten or (like since yesterday) just below ten degrees Celsius ... the buzz and rush of energy one gets from swimming in this tranquil and inviting water is simply magic. The water is as flat as a pancake and as crystal "clear as water" :) excuse the pun! Truly magical.

Funnily enough one doesn't get the common feeling of being cold as such .. no, it's beyond being cold :)

The closest I can get to describing the sensation is to liken the experience to being "bitten" by the water ... literally .. as once you're in, it doesn't want to let go of you either! Such is the exhilaration one gets from swimming in it. And once you get out the bitting quickly stops and turns to this energising and electrifying tingling. But make no mistake you have to swim ... if you were to just sit in it without moving it would be rather uncomfortable and you would get chilled to the bone!

Every day I am amazed by the number of people who come for their daily adrenalin rush... Some say it's so good for the skin, others note that once they've been in the water all "problems" seemed to have vanished. Not sure about the skin theory but I can certainly second the latter! I defy anybody who would not experience

I am also full of admiration for people like Dr. Andy who despite his paining body never misses a day of swimming! Here he is arriving full of beans for what lies ahead! whereas Chris is enjoying his second "rush", a hot cup of coffee :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

It's official

Just After I walked through the wiggly bit that leads into the Lido pushing my bike I bumped into Albert and Gisela. They were on their way home ... Albert looked considerably colder than usual .. his face quite pale and yet still adorned with his usual cheeky smile ... and this is when I knew : The water temperature at the Tooting Lido has dropped to below 10 degrees Celsius!

And: we are still swimming!

Vince continues relentlessly to practice his Total Immersion technique and swam six length (that's 600 yards!) The reward: hanging out in the sauna!

Other members, too numerous to name, are also still hard at it!

As for me, I'm still recovering from my bronchitis ... nevertheless I swam two lengths - sauna and three widths. Not bad, I thought! I wasn't overly cold it's just that my chest still tightens up as soon as I start swimming ... I don't want to overdo it and end up with a relapse... I am determined to up my game though!

By the way, make no mistake, the water is "biting" at any body who takes on the challenge!

So stay tuned to keep up with further temperature variations... it will be fascinating to follow how swimmers gage themselves and adjust to the conditions...

Friday, 16 October 2009

Easy does it

For my first day back in the pool after the 5 day enforced abstinence I would have loved for the weather to have been just a touch more welcoming ... but hey... I was glad to be back!

I took it easy though ... the water temperature is now down to 12 Celsius - that's not bad ... my chest didn't quite feel 100 % yet so I took it easy ... splish two lengths, sauna and splash two widths!

Good to see some familiar bikes ... faces - and good to chat!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

My heart is bleeding

I have had my last swim at the Lido this past Saturday .. seems an eternity ago! What can I do..? A nasty cold got the better of me ... and I am by now most certainly suffering signs of splash withdrawal :)

Swimming, I fear would sadly not be the best cure for it ... my head is pounding, my nose running and my chest has accumulated stuff too :) taking all of this into account I reluctantly decided to skip my daily plunge ... am not even cycling...

What bugs me (excuse the pun) most about it is that since Monday London (at least SW London) is basking in wonderful Autumn sun. Crisp mornings, wonderful light and I'm sure the atmosphere at the Lido must be amazing!

The good news is that I am nurturing my cold and the additional side effects of "a bleeding heart" with all I've got!

Head plunged in an inhalator as opposed to being submerged in the Lido ... lovely and warm! Also, adding herbs to the boiling water works miracles. It helps shift whatever it is that decided to disturb my breathing.

As for my bleeding heart, I had a hot lemon Whisky toddy two nights in a row now before going to bed - Knocked me out! I may very well have another one this eve :) Please don't get the wrong impression here ... it's purely for medicinal reasons!

I reckon, give it another day or two and I'll be as good as new. I so hope that the weather will remain kind to us until the end of October. You wouldn't wish for the water temperature to drop below 10 Celsius for us ... yet!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

No splish without a splash

The morning is looking a bit gloomy and yet once I wiggled my way through the entry to the Lido all gloominess disappears in an instance!

I've got a bit of a sore throat though ... is it wise to go for my daily splish? I wonder? Yes, why not! I'll just do four lengths then 10 minutes sauna and another quick splash - no splish without a splash, right?! :) That will do me good!

When I get down to my cubical I get chatting with Maureen - She's already been in and is raving about it!

"It's lovely! No, I don't do the sauna - too hot for me - a shower is enough."

We all stick to our rituals and Maureen is no different. In fact her routine is great! In the summer she sometimes even comes twice: before and after work! And I thought I was an excessive endorphin junky :)

On to my "get well formula". Very pleasant indeed! I think I'm feeling great?! Too much blood rushing around my body right now to really know... I guess?

Home for Breakfast. Ah well, it's not looking quite as good anymore :) On the other hand the sun is coming out and I'll be on the mend in no time!

Friday, 9 October 2009

My trusted friend

Slight change of routine: back exercises, swimming, chanting ... my friend Paula (not an early bird!) and I usually chant together on a Friday morning around 9.30am which meant that I left the chanting to later.

All the better for getting to the Lido as early as 7.40am - mind you, I wasn't the first one! There was already lots of activity. One can always count on "The early brigade" - also known as "the 7am lot" to be getting their fix way before me!

The weather looked promising and I decided get my swimming, sauna, swimming as well as taking photos to a T today. I really got too cold yesterday!

I got a good 6 length swimming in before grabbing my camera. The water felt surprisingly "warm" although still at 13 degrees Celsius ... throwing arms and legs around in the water does make a difference, I guess :)

Also, what I had decided to do was to reacquaint myself with my Canon IXUS 70. I bought a water proof housing for it last year and had such fun with it. The results were superb!

It felt really good to be holding my trusted friend again! And off I went. It immediately felt so much easier to use than the mask - I could actually point at something and know that it's in frame! Time delay is still something to consider when catching an action shot... but with a bit of anticipation I am quite used to getting the shots I'm after.

Not many leaves in the pool today and not many swimmers either :)

Just caught Vince on his last lap! He's of to the Sauna while I prolonged gratification by having a play with the only leaves I could find.
We meet again in the Sauna and had are customary natter. All part of the schedule! However, the feel good formula would be incomplete if I didn't have another splish after the sauna.

Wow! that really is the best! Swimming another 2 lengths after sitting in 40+ degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes! Now the rest of the day just simply flows

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Practice makes perfect

Don't worry, no blog does not mean no swimming :) I have been having my daily splish all along ... well apart from Sunday when I was still in Hastings and the water was sadly really too choppy...

These past three days have been so grey though that I haven't been inspired to take any shots at the Lido... It was tough, mind you, because it's October, hurray and I'm allowed to take photos again! And I have my new toy!

I had a little go on October 1st but the micro SD card got stuck in the mask and I had to return it. The company I bought it from was very good and immediately dispatched a replacement. But with going to Hastings and all I didn't get a chance to use it. Before you call me a wimp, the sea in Hastings was sadly really far too rough to attempt a swim...

Today the conditions at the pool were perfect ... well, the water a touch colder at 13 Celsius but the sun was out to play!

And play I did. Until I got too cold that is. This mask with integrated camera really takes a bit of getting used to. I already find keeping my rhythm when swimming with it different. Breathing is harder because my nose is in the mask and I am used to breathing out through my nose when my head in under water .. all very technical, you see :)

Anyway, I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time now .. and today was the day I was going to have real go! To allow for more play time I first had a go wearing my wetsuit.. well, that was rather uncomfortable! I haven't worn the wetsuit for a year and couldn't remember how buoyant one is with it on :) Yes, one feels warmer. I'll give it that plus point but it takes away the wonderful sensation swimming in cold water provides! I love feeling the water on my skin. It is definitely coupled with a feeling of freedom!

Anyway, it was odd. I just couldn't keep submerged long enough without putting up a real fight ;) take a look at how I struggled!

Off with the wetsuit .. besides, Ines shouting over at me - "cheat!"
Oh, I can't have that reputation - cold water swimmers we are and cold water swimming I shall do!

Fortunately the sauna is back too - so I can always go in and warm up! Believe me, when you are not really swimming and just playing around you get REALLY chilled to the bone!

So, I had another go. I also had to try and keep my head very steady. Had to gage where the camera is in relation to my eye level ... all I can say is that I have to get better at it! Shooting with a hand held camera like I did last year is far easier. I was so excited about recreating and capturing the perspective one gets when swimming but what I neglected to take into account was that any head movement is only going to be accentuate.

While I'll be aiming at perfecting my technique, I will, for now, leave you with another Lido impression.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Early start to the day

I have had my splish a touch earlier today .. I'm off to Hastings - sure to get in the water there too!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Bliss at the Lido

The photo says it all ... pure bliss, calm, relaxing and yet ... so invigorating! One wouldn't think that this swimmer could actually be peacefully gliding along at the Tooting Bec Lido when the water temperature is (only) 14 degrees Celsius...

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Signs of the first Autumn leaves

It's hard to believe. October has finally begun.
What that means for SLSC members is that we are now entering the pool through the old entrance. I love the view one gets from that end. First you have to wiggle your way through an S shaped entrance before the massive pool opens up before your very eyes. Once in, one almost feels overwhelmed by it all.

For some reason it looks bigger to me coming in the deep end of the pool. Maybe because I walk all the way down the left side of the pool? I will have walked almost 100 yards before I find my "adopted" cubical!

Reaching my cubical today I was greeted by the first sign of Autumn. A solitary leaf! I'm not quite sure how it managed to get up there let alone stay there?

It's really funny how most people will have their favourite cubical, their favourite shower and their very own particular way of getting in the pool! They will perform the same ritual day after day! Watching that and no doubt being watched by others is all part of the fun!

Long may it last!