Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Morning delight

According to the weather report we've had minus 6 Celsius this past night ... arriving at the Lido this morning was fabulous! ice, ice, ice... huge perfectly formed crystals on every surface - two thirds of the pool was covered with a layer of ice. Some of the ice was floating around trying to make it to the deep end...

The best guard you could have wished for was keeping a eye though and morning swimmers had nothing to fear!

Crystals on the table

The water in the deep end was just starting to creep below zero too!

Bob heating up the water by emptying the guards kettle with boiling water in the deep end!

Jonathan after his swim!

Gail and Wendy had another swim after their sauna

pure elation!

stranded in France by Eurostar, David decided to fly back - he wasn't miss his sub zero swim for anything!

Ivan arriving in shorts ... he's got three layers of cashmere jumpers on though!

The sun made all the difference and pieces of ice started to float around quite a bit - chasing bits of floating ice away
Looking out the window now it's hard to believe what a magical morning it had been at the Lido ... all the ice on the cars has melted and the air temperature is well above zero again ... swimming first thing in the morning always pays off ... it just would't be the same without the ice!

There is however one advantage for the milder temperature, the runways at most airports should be clear of ice and snow .. so with a bit of luck lots of travellers will be able to travel ... including myself ! I'm off to Vienna later today ... on the one hand I'm very sad to be missing Xmas day at the Lido and on the other hand it's always lovely to be spending time with the family!

So I wish you all a very Merry Xmas - enjoy Xmas ... and keep swimming!

See you all in the New Year!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Setting the bench mark

After all that snowfall we had yesterday we were all hoping for lots of "snow swimming"! The night had been milder than the previous two nights though which meant that the pool was ice free ... and the snow was melting.
Still, there was evidence of snow and the water was still COLD - very cold 0.5 Celsius : that will do for more heroic action at the Lido.

Vince definitely set the benchmark as he declared he was swimming one length!
Up until then, Chris Chris, Sue and Batch were focusing on widths ...

But once they saw Vince dive in the deep end and swim all the way to the shallow end, their minds were set too : one length it is!

Snow framing the pool

I was in charge of taking their shoes back down to the shallow end ... and record "the historic move" :)

Chris speeding down the pool before his length

Batch setting off from the deep end

Annabel and Julia getting ready for their width

By now my hand were frozen and everybody was in the sauna ... so I swam two widths before joining them in a "semi hot" sauna which had not quite reached its usual high temperature yet ... but hey, it did the trick - and I was ready for another widths. Vince kindly took my flip flops to the other side! I can't explain how swimming feels after having been in the sauna other than to say that: "cutting through the water just feels sublime"!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ice at last

Yes, finally we can really prove how tough .. or mad we are! last night was so cold that despite the fountain being on, the water of our pool froze! Two thirds of the pool that is - the ice hadn't quite reached the deep end ... yet!

So whether you wanted to continue heroic acts in the pool or not, today's swimming was restricted to swimming widths in the deep end :) still keeping the number of widths to even numbers was my motto - so two - sauna and two again was my plan of action. And I did it - wow it felt simply amazing! After my second swim and after getting into cold clothes I did something I'd never done before : I went into the sauna fully dressed ... (only) to put my socks and shoes on ... they were just too cold for comfort!

Philippa swam 2 widths too - amazing how "heavy" the water looks

Chris , Chris and Sue swam three widths - one of the lifeguard offered to take their flip flops to the other side - now that's what I call luxury .. but hey it was a smart move! - sadly I was getting changed when that happened... who knows I may very well have swam three widths too :)

beautiful patterns and reflections on the ice

lovely ice crystals on a lone leaf by the side of the pool

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Busy swimming day

Come 9.30am I set off and cycled to the pool - the sun was out but it was a matter of not being fooled by it ... after a frosty night there was a noticeable nip in the air. I had a feeling that the water was going to be COLD ... very cold!

The guards said it was 34 Fahrenheit which is 1.1 Celsius! 1.1 , that's an all time low for this season. One thing was sure : I was not going to swim my two lengths, "another" PB (personal best) or not .. :) 2 reasons: yesterday was painful enough - it felt like my hands were going to drop off :) and later on a group of us were going to swim at the Brockwell Park Lido. They are running a campaign hoping to keep their unheated Lido open all year round as well. So who better to support that cause than SLSC members!

At our pool is business and was euphoric as usual!

Lucy was not too pleased about it!

Doreen was back and showed me her wonderful photos with VIPs from last Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards

I got to met members I hadn't seen before : Annabel and Julia were really euphoric to be swimming without a wetsuit for the first time this year! They chose the best day for it!

is this Annabel or Julia?!

Mandy jumping in after the sauna

Hilary needed proof that it was cold!

Sue's Partner Allan after his dip

Cosy and warm again

Gus in the distance - he swam two length before heading over to Brockwell Park!

Arriving at Brockwell Park we were surprised to see ... ICE! and the way the staff dealt with it:)
A trustworthy source tells me that the water in our pool was just as cold in the shallow end but because of the fountain and the ongoing flow of water it needs to be even colder to freeze ... and the way things are going it will happen soon ;)

And ...that's what you have to do at Brockwell when you draw the short straw ...

swimming under the ice

Fortunately we got permission to swim in the deep end and not amongst pieces of chopped up ice!

While others jumped in at the shallow end

Sue geting ready

1,2,3 -goooooo!

go, go, go there and back

after my two widths I dived in again ...

... got to be done ... for the camera :)

Friday, 18 December 2009


The weather man promised us snow ... and snow we had! not masses but enough to add another dimension to early morning swimming! The water is down to 2 Celsius! And yes, before you ask, another PB was about to be achieved!

Amazing how a few snow flakes can enhance the experience - everybody had an even huger (is there such a word?) grin on their faces as they arrived!

I wasn't quite prepared for Batch's euphoria

off with the wooly hat - time for business

he's in!

Chris warming up in the sauna after his two lengths

Sue getting out after FOUR lengths - looks as if an icicle has formed on her chin!

Vince (with a snow flake on his nose!) brought Laurie along

Finally got a life guard to take photo of me

off to do my two lengths

and then the sun came out - Julie and Sue enjoying it

Malcolm still had it all to do!