Welcome to Waterblogged

Welcome to our Blog. The majority of the content is about our outdoor swimming activities; with other comments, thoughts and pictures along the way. See our website http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/blueskyswimming/

and our videos on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Nicola8259


Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Carnival is Over .....

Well the lido season is coming to an end at any rate: sniff, sniff. Driving to Bourne yesterday afternoon for a last sit by the pool and swim in the leaf-strewn cool water - listening to 'sounds of the 70's' Tony Blackburn playing top 100 million trillion number ones, including The Seekers 'Carnival is Over' .... sweet nostalgia!

Bourne was hardly heaving - just me and couple of families - and the lifeguards were fulfilling their wide-ranging job descriptions by cleaning the equipment and bins.

Tonight is the last night if you want to catch this beautiful lido before it closes 'til May next year.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

There goes the Summer....

Distinctly backendish here now which fills me with bittersweet sadness for the end of summer and the usual impatience and wanderlust that takes me over in the autumn.

Swimming across the lake last night was bliss - raindrops jumping up my face in front of me, cocooned in my own little watery world, pootling along happily. I noticed for the first time the golden tinge to some of the trees and a few early leaves floating on the water.

All this fills me with excitement to set off on our 3 Pools Challenge - I can't wait to feel the tingle of the cold loch/lake/llyn water against my skin, and hopefully time for a sea dip on those famous Morar sands.....

Friday, 20 August 2010

Entente Cordiale - British Waterways Style

I'm delighted to report that our meeting with Sean and Andy from British Waterways yesterday was a success: a positive dialogue and exchange of perspectives. Thank you Gentlemen! No 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' metaphors needed here.

I learnt more about water safety - including the dangers of dead deer floating down the Witham .... And I've got some exotic-sounding locations to check out for potential river-swimming spots, including the South Forty Foot Drain (!) We'll continue to talk to Sean and Andy and to other partners about river and lake swimming in Lincolnshire. It's brilliant that BW are helping us with advice and guidance.
Watch this space for a post from our BW guys 'A Day in The Life of A BW Manager'

Now, I can't leave this post without mentioning the documentary on TV the other night about the Slovenian River Swimming Man - Martin Strels - swimming the length of the River Amazon. It was almost unbelievable stuff - and it puts Matthew Parris' Thames crossing into context! The 'navigator' was pretty alarming - an all-night professional gambler and super-market trolley collector in the day - he was prepared with a map and GPS sat nav which he was familiarising himself with .... he seemed to literally lose the plot later on. Watch it again if you can. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/big-river-man/4od It makes all other 'wild' swimming seem a bit sissy sardine. There was a serious message (apart from proper preparation if you are swimming the Amazon) and that was the sadness about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. See this article for more http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/jan/04/swimming

And finally, just to prove that Lincolnshire really is the Potato County - see this potato I spotted whilst out on my walk at lunch time today - abandoned on the path near the Arboretum.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Priveleged to be here !

Hi Waterbloggers .. it's SJ here .. feeling very excited about being a waterblogger .. watch out for some unusual posts with a Caledonian flavour !

Thanks Chris - Nicola here (and back to your cricket and wicket blog and a post on the Afghanistan game perhaps?!) http://cricketsandwickets.blogspot.com/

But I couldn't let your post pass without publishing the ditty you left on my ansaphone and which is still echoing in my memory:

Come where the hands are clapping,
Come where the toes are tapping,
Come where the Jocks are strapping,
Scotland the Brave!

Monday, 9 August 2010

4 August Swim Across London

Energy Food

Before the start of the week we'd already reduced our ambitious Six Cold Places to Swim to Five - agreeing that Uxbridge (with its lovely renovated fountains) was sadly just 'too far out' for us to get to.

Usual lack of focus meant that we didn't leave our Base Camp 'til nearly eleven am (and special mention here to Graham our Benefactor and All Round Frog as a Prince for letting us stay in his Pad in fashionable Barbican - so 60's so chic so 'film set'. )

However we made use of our time by preparing some energy food - Lincolnshire Plum Loaf, with Butter and with Cheese .... ooh whopping calorie count! Sylvie the French One was pretty bemused by this 'plat anglais' --- the savoury and the sweet in one dish .... how rule-breaking, how very English.

Base Camp, Speed House

Tooting Bec finally located and found - via a dusty walk on Wandsworth Common - and we then ticked off Brockwell and on to Hyde Park on the No 3 bus. Time for Sylvie to take a siesta - as the French do - and can ...how many days leave is that you get Sylvie in the French public sector - mais oui, sacre bleu - 50 days per year! All that work means you need a nap in the afternoon - ah those Europeans eh?

Hyde Park's Serpentine and another hike over grassland to find the lido there .... mmmmmm ..... a wee bit slimy and goosey for my liking - and the creepiness of near-tame wild birds on the Serpentine - like the heron that Lesley was cooing too ...eeeh that's not natural!

Final destination - and a downpour keeping us dithering at Kentish Town - but Sandra's forthright 'commitment' and general gung ho attitude meant we did it - we found and swam in Hampstead Ponds. Except, errr, no we didn't because due to navigation mix up we in fact swam in Kenwood Pond for Ladies ..... and it really was magical and magnificent.

Merci my lovely swimming sister and special friends - it really was a day to treasure. x

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Best Laid Plans ...

Well, if we'd made any plans for our "Swim across London in a Day" extravaganza we might have been pretty disappointed how quickly they went awry...as it is (as usual) we left the logistics of the day to fate and showed (yet again) our flexibility, pluck and determination to complete the challenge.

Whilst we tucked into Sylvie's wonderful home made french biscuits and jam over a leisurely second breakfast (thanks to Graham for the loan of his superb city centre apartment) we should perhaps have been setting off in the direction of water instead of idling flicking through maps and grappling with the intricacies of the Oystercard.

Anyhow, the upshot is we FINALLY arrive at Swim #1 at 11:45; not quite the early start we'd had in mind! This was after surviving the long trek across the Serengeti/Tooting Bec Common .... half expected to see herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically.....

...instead it was local "character" Douglas who pointed us in the right direction across the Common and entertained us with tales of his 5am training regime ...something reassuringly expensive...

But here we are posing outside Stalag 17, sorry.... the Art Deco glory that is Tooting Bec Lido - if only we had a team of professional photographers and editors to soft focus our day a little!

Anyhow, after all the trekking and griping, this was a BEAUTIFUL swim and it's SO TRUE what everyone says about the friendliness of Tooting Bec. It's such a happy, upbeat kind of place and the swimming was sublime - cutting through the cool clear water with ease and big smiles while the first shower of the day bounced back up into our faces.
I could have stayed here all day happily, but we had a schedule to stick to ... (didn't we?)
Stay tuned for Pool #2....

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Watch out Big City, the country fen girls are on the way to hit London en masse.

Now, I must remember not to break the rules like I normally do when set loose in the metropolis:

#1 No smiling at strangers who you pass in the street. They'll think you're insane and you'll get face ache before long.

#2 Don't laugh out loud on public transport when you get a funny text message from back home in the fens. You may get arrested by the anti terrorist police.

#3 Don't start whinging about the heat, grubbiness and noise of the city after only 5 minutes at Kings Cross. You always think it's going to be SOOOO glamorous but straightaway start craving the space and peace of the big Lincolnshire skies.

#4 Pack light. You always end up exhausted by lugging around huge heavy bags of emergency change of outfit, frilly London brolly, litres of water just in case ....

#5 If you really can't resist listening to the other commuters conversations and peeking at their laptops, TRY to be subtle - Oh dear, a tall order all round for me!

Looking forward to meeting up with all the gorgeous swimming sisters as we shambolically make our watery way across London tomorrow!