Posts Tagged ‘Art-Deco’
Firstly let me congratulate Hillingdon Lido on showing some sense and remaining open for a bit longer this year due to our Indian Summer. In comparison to the frankly frustrating and borderline idiotic conversations I’ve had with Finchley Lido it’s been fantastic speaking to staff here who show good old-fashioned customer service.
Secondly, I am utterly in love with this Lido. It smelt of suntan lotion and the faint tang of Chlorine. Buxom bikinis and leathery old men sprawled around the pool soaking up the sunshine, I suspect more people were there for the sunbathing than the swimming as the main pool remained surprisingly quiet. I even allowed myself a moment of the holidaymakers (that’s Grockle if you come from Devon like I do) and lay out by the pool reading my book listening to Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.
While it was an ultimately calm and beautiful environment there was one annoying sod. There is an unwritten rule in the life of the Lido, in fact of all swimming pools. You swim straight in lengths or widths, children are allowed to freestyle. So when I spotted someone swimming diagonally towards me I suspected something was afoot. The directional offender asked a variation of “has you mate got out the pool? you here alone” on FIVE occasions. It wasn’t in the friendly manner that I discussed the weather and Ritz crackers with another chap there. It was in a manner that made me feel like I was in the wrong for being female and alone in public (adding to that you’re essentially exposed when in your swimming costume). It is very hard to give a stony stare when wearing swimming goggles so I just had to zig zag my way past him.
Another pool nestled in Art Deco Grade II surroundings, it is 67m long with two children’s pools separate at the far end (which meant any splashing hysteria gravitated away from the main pool). It is immaculately maintained and the water is sparkling clear (although I guess most things would be after The Serpentine last week). It was worth travelling to Uxbridge for and would happily visit again and again.
|Temperature:||Surprisingly cold, took a while to warm up|
|People doing serious swimming:||3|
|Men grabbing their danglebobbins a lot:||1|
|Women swimming in sunglasses:||They were strictly poolside, no dipping for them|
|Kids doing classic “bombing”:||All in the mini pools|
|People dipping their toes with iPhones in hand:||2|
On my approach to Parliament Hill Lido this afternoon it felt as if Edgar Allan Poe had decided to narrate this outing to my third London Lido. Plump crows were cawing, the rumble of trains passed over my head and rain plopped down from a stormy sky. But with a renewed enthusiasm to exercise after the Olympics and a new swimming cap in my kit bag I skipped up and paid my £5.50, ignoring the air of doom.
First impressions were as bleak as my trot up to the steps. They’ve painted the changing cubicles in bright yellows and reds hoping to distract your eye from the grubby concrete (staff were fighting a losing battle with a hose and brushes). There is an absence of lockers but free baskets to store your kit bag. However when I walked out to the pool all negative impressions were wiped from memory. Similar to Brixton Beach the pool sits in a Grade II listed building, currently bordered with photography from the pool over the years. Refurbished in 2005 the pool is a whopping 60 metres long and steel lined (I believe the only one in the UK of its sort) so the water glimmers crystal clear. It is stunning place to swim.
There is something about swimming in the rain, it reminds me of drunken moonlight swims on Torre Abbey sands with my best friend. So to use a Devon word it’s Lush. It always feels warmer for some reason, and there’s something beautiful when your immediate view is droplets hitting the surface centimetres away from your nose.
|People doing serious swimming:||4|
|Men grabbing their danglebobbins a lot:||1|
|Women swimming in sunglasses:||0|
|Kids doing classic “bombing”:||3|
|People dipping their toes with iPhones in hand:||0|
A couple of weeks ago I decided to set myself a smattering of (hopefully achievable) goals. One of the items on my new to-do list is to swim every Lido in London. It struck me that in all my years living in London I have never once visited one, and can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been swimming since being here. I grew up in a seaside town, if we weren’t in the sea kicking at the bootstrap seaweed wrapping around our legs, we were sneaking in to the holiday camps to use their pools memorizing chalet numbers as we climbed through gaps in hedges in case we were challenged. Once upon a time I was a water baby.
Yesterday I started my Lido mission and visited Brockwell, known as ‘Brixton Beach’. Diving into a moderately chilly pool in this stifling London heat made me happy as a pig in shit. Swimming past a group of teenage girls singing a mocking song which consisted of a chorus made up entirely of repeating Nick Clegg’s name over and over also had Jo & I in laughter. The below feels like a fair way to judge the Lido’s I hope to visit over the next two months.
|Temperature:||Chilly but warmed up after one length|
|People doing serious swimming:||2 (until a triathlon team turned up)|
|Men grabbing their danglebobbins indecently:||3|
|Women swimming in sunglasses:||4|
|Kids doing classic “bombing”:||Lost count|
|People just dipping their toes with iPhone in hand:||3|
On London’s hottest day this year understandably there was a queue to get in and there are limited lockers if you’re not a member but you get to swim in a well-kept olympic size pool (I got carried away with this fact and as a result every bone feels like it’s creaking and screaming at me today) in a Grade II listed art-deco building.