Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Synchronised Swimming

When I arrived this morning Mr. Bubbles and Alfonso were already in the pool swimming side by side as they have done for the past few days. Today it looked particularly beautiful with the morning sun shining on their backs as they rhythmically glided from one end of the pool to the other. Never in ahurry just very relaxed .. but make no mistake, they are fast! Alex told me that they were not "racing" today, just "keeping up" with one another. Funny though how Mr Bubbles manages to still always keep his nose that little bit in front!
I also got in and swam -it was lovely - David recorded 14C - The water was still murky but I simply had to try and get the two swimmers under water too! At the end of their swim Alex returned the favour and took a picture of me as I was swimming towards the shallow end of the pool - In trance I hadn't noticed Alex ... but will check out the pictures he took on his blog in a minute!

Alex a fraction ahead of Alfonso
as they both line up for their tumble turn in the shallow end

Pushing off after the tumble turn

as they resurfaced after having pushed off the wall
Alfonso got quite close to Alex

The water was slightly less murky today -
it was still difficult to see whether I got the two lined up in my viewfinder:)

Alex likes to keep his nose just that little bit in front (of Alfonso) !

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Message From Outer Space

I rushed that shot of Pip - I was about to get in but quickly wanted to get her coming towards me - it's a bit blurred but I quite like that only because of the lovely reflection above her body - so I put it up anyway :)

I was more poised when Alfonso and Alex came thundering towards the shallow end of the pool - I wanted to get them together as they seemed to be racing one another - as they approached they were quite close to one another which made me want to take the shot.. but for one reason or another Alfonso swayed to one side at the last minute and I had to quickly readjusted my camera which sadly cut Alex out ...

Then they turned around - here I still only have Alfonso ...

before they both thundered off again...
see how close together they are now!
if u look carefully you see 4 legs and lots of bubbles (of course)

and finally...
an exhausted wet suit swimmer who just got hit by a lazar beam from outer space

Monday, 11 April 2011

Relaxing Swim After A Buzzing Weekend

After a weekend full of buzz - saturday I went to the chocolate festival at the Southbank and yesterday, sunday, I went to the London Coffee Festival at the Old Truman Brewery - it was time to come for a relaxing swim at the Lido - I did of course swim saturday and (exceptionally :)) on sunday too ... but I was in a hurry ... One does of course already get this buzz and rush of adrenalin when swimming in cold water ... and the rush /buzz that followed was of a different caliber! Besides, it's fair to say that the water is no longer cold as such, it's merely fresh (for those cold water junkies who have been coming throughout the winter months!) so the buzz is already different to what we were after in hight of the winter!

With the water temperature at 13.5 Celsius, it really was a delightfully refreshing and relaxing swim!

I swam a 10 lengths, sometimes getting tangled up in the blue tail of the yellow monster that resides at the bottom of the pool and on one length in particular, I got a real fright .. this time it was not the yellow monster creeping up on me .. but Alex, Mr. Bubbles who was waiting at the very bottom of the deep end of the pool ... ready to pounce ... with his camera ... back in my rhythm and almost in trance, there he suddenly was! I wonder whether he got a good image of a shell shocked me!?! his entry of today on his blog is not up yet so will have to check back later!

Pip was swimming up and down as I arrived

I was in the pool at the same time as Gus - who is on his Eater break from school

Doon enjoying her morning swim before going to rehearsals for a play she's in ..

before she swam off again, she told me that it's for a comedy
and that put a notice up when the play opens.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Inspired By Wendy

This morning, inspired by Wendy and her fabulous baking skills, I put my own (not yet highly developed) ones to the test by baking my very first Soda Bread.

What better occupation after a healthy swim on a glorious April's day can you think of ?

I won't bore you with a detailed photo reportage of the event ...
I'll simply show (off!) my result :)

straight out of the oven .... that's what my two specimen looked like -
notice that they are not as equally sized as Wendy's are .. :)
and that was not all of the differences :)

Although I noticed that I wasn't able to cut through the dough as easily to mark the cross as deeply as Wendy did,
I could still effortlessly break off the quarters .. no hammer needed :)

surprisingly, the bread itself tasted delicious with butter and maple syrup -
it just was not as fluffy as Wendy's!
I think I went too easy with the buttermilk ...
and my distribution of flour wasn't as equal as Wendy's - I put a bit more wholemeal flour (i.e 300gr as apposed to 250gr) and therefore only 200gr of white flour as opposed to 250gr. -It still added up to the desired 500gr of flour - but, I guess, the wholemeal flour is heavier, needing more liquid to help bind and make it as fluffy as it should be.

The whole experience was still a lot of fun! I'm already looking forward to ironing out my mistakes and having another go.
So thanx again for the inspiration Wendy!

Should any of you want to have a go at baking Soda Bread too, I highly recommend you reacquaint yourselves with Wendy's baking method which you'll find detailed on this earlier blog entry!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Feeling Under The Weather

For some odd reason I had not slept very well - I woke up at 4am, it was still pitch dark... not even the birds were chirping ... Anyhow, I got up and made myself a cup of hot water .. but couldn't get back to sleep ... then, around 7am when I usually get up, I felt much too groggy to make it to the pool ... but to the pool I (eventually) went - only a few hours later ... still not feeling 100% - but the sun was out and I was sure that yesterday's glorious weather must have warmed up the water! And sure enough, it had - I didn't know by how many little marks on the thermometer but going by Alex's blog of today, the water was @ 12.5 C.

It was past 12 noon when I got in the water - it may have even gone up by half a degree from this morning...

The water felt nice on my skin, my body was still weak though. I only mustered 6 lengths before I thought it better to get out.

I sat on the edge of the pool, watching swimmers and playing with the camera...

capturing interesting patterns ...

some shots eerier than others ... I happen to love that one!

... and I also love that one!

next came a lady in a wetsuit I haven't seen before

time for another spooky looking shot ;)

and past swam a more accomplished cold water swimmer -
this guy had a seriously good stronke and he was very fast - I sat there, wondering how Mr. Bubbles would have faired against him?

and another wetsuit ... I have seen this man before -
I think he came with his teenage daughter last year - I noticed them because he was drilling her up and down the pool - she also usually wore a wetsuit... today he was on his own.

and then came John, lovely John ...

he also swims throughout the winter -
John and (priceless!)Bridget come regularly around lunch time.
I used to see them every day the first year I started swimming through the winter when I also chose to swim during my lunch break

John is pretty amazing!

I just missed the "seriously good swimmer" :) doing his tumble turn - I only caught the pushing off the wall phase.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Lido or Riviera?!

What a glorious day - apparently the air temperature is forecast to reach 20C - how nice - that is bound to have a domino effect on the water temperature! Today, it still measured at 11C which felt gorgeous on body and, as always, helped clear the mind!

The pool was quite busy when I arrived around 8.10am

Sue and Margy were powering up and dow .. when the temperature hovers around 10C and only then (!) Margy gets going!

Chris Stanton, freshly back from Rio where he, Fernando, Tricky and another couple of SLSC members swam the "travessia dos fortes" - joined Margy and Sue - from 25 C back to 11C -and according to Chris he felt much more comfortable in our temperatures - although he really enjoyed his swim along Copacabana Beach - check out our stars, they made the news on Brazilian TV channel GLOBO! Time to brush up on your Portuguese!

and now for some (different) pix of the day:

Margy and Sue -
I quite like the opposing symmetry in that shot ( if that makes sense!?!)

Inspired by Mr. Bubbles shot of Sue yesterday, when he commented on her toes (!) I tried to capture them too :) Sue does have broad feet .. now I know why she is soooo much faster than me .. I only have tiny toots!

I met Andrew in the sauna today - he's a stay at home Dad -
he is also in the music industry and has told me about a website he's involved with - sounded great .. but do you think I could remember the web address ?!? :) I hope Andrew remembered the blog's address?! so Andrew, if you have landed on this page, please get in touch and send me the link to your website!

The Lido turned Riviera
Lucy and Doon having a good catch up while Pip has got the pool to herself

and whose are those?

Lucy blinded by the sun as she is (still) chatting ..

... with Doon

and (finally) Lucy is contemplating her next move ...

... of going into trance

how lovely that must feel !

A happy Dr. Andy arriving for his fix

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Eight and Two equals 10!

The rain brought a lovely quality to the water - the temperature was still at around 11Celsius which makes for delicious swimming - specially if one has swam through the winter and was used to swimming in water temperatures ranging from zero Celsius to 7 ... 8, 9 and now 10+Celsius!

I first swam 8 lengths and then two more lengths after 20 minutes in the sauna. Those two final lengths were just magical- my body was still very hot from the sauna. Getting in the water and pushing off felt like I was being enveloped by a cooling bubble that carried me to the other end of the pool and back. I felt strong and for some reason my lungs expanded more than on my first swim (before the sauna). Maybe having been exposed to the hot environment made my entire body more efficient?! But I also wish I was more resistant to the cold water first time round so not to get "claws" after 8 lengths ... :)

before getting out I took these shots.

taking under water shots of people swimming breaststroke
always makes for "funny" photos ... this is Bernie ...

... suspended in water

and then Alex came along ... even he is headless ... just taking a breath

that's better! although Alex won't like his left arm coming across his body like that:)
he is even making a fist with his left hand! I wonder why?

Pip was in the pool when I had finished my second swim

here Pip suddendly notices that she is being framed ... and looked across

Eddie got in just as I was leaving -
I love the wave his arms make as they are extending forward

Monday, 4 April 2011

Big Egg Challenge & A Trip Down Memory Lane

Arriving at the Lido this morning around 8.15am I was just in time to witness Mr. (Big) Egg (and Chips) Designs getting ready for his Big Lido Challenge. He pre-warned me that he couldn't guarantee he would succeed ... but he gave it his best shot.

Big Egg after his Big Challenge

After that (early) excitement of the day, it was time for me to get in myself. No challenge set other than to enjoy my swim and stay in until my hands gave me the sure sign to get out ... what happens is that I can't keep my fingers together anymore and my hands turn into claws which transforms my swimming experience into a less pleasant one. The water temperature was up and David measured it at 11 Celsius today which is a lovely temperature actually. I swam 8 lengths and if it wasn't for the "claw sign" I could have stayed in for longer ... strangely enough my body didn't feel cold, only the sensation in my hands and arms changed which (sadly) made swimming rather peculiar... I still made a "b" line for the sauna where I found Alex - we both established that the water, although in double figures, was still cold and that our bodies get cold at a deeper level and still need to warm up gradually. I noticed that my body started getting cold 5 minutes into being in the sauna before accepting the benefits of the heat and really warming up my body.

On my way out of the sauna I noticed the rather "rude graffiti" that some thugs scribbled on the sauna wall next to the door - It didn't inspire me to take a photo .. so you'll have to check it out for yourselves ... that's if it's still there when you are next planning to come for a swim :)

What did inspire me, however, was to look into what lay behind the door that got kicked in by the vandalising thugs. The door I'm referring to is situated half way down the length of the pool at the end of the first row of cubicles. Once I stepped in, it took me right back to the first time I swam here at the Lido. What lay behind the door were of course the "old communal showers". Interesting, to say the least!

the old communal showers

more graffiti ....

... and some ivy

reverse shot from the first shot - looking back out

I'm sure these images will take a few SLSC members who have been coming here for years and years down memory lane ...