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, 27 December 2011

Last Gasp of 2011?

Haggard pic says it all...it's been a tough "festive" season for this summer loving waterblogged sister...

...but, got a chance to get out today and bask in those 10 degrees air temp, made me a little stupid and before you know it I'm standing in four layers looking wistfully at the lake wondering if I'm brave enough..

The decision was made for me in 2009 and 2010 - the lake was frozen solid by mid Nov for the last two years. This year I'm looking at double figure air temps, gawd knows what the water is registering, but it looks clear, calm and I know I'll feel ready to face anything after a quick dip

Toughest thing is getting all those bloody layers off, but then I'm standing like a loon ankle deep in leaf litter in my kind of superfluous cozzie ... now there's no time to contemplate, just commit and go for it!!! Ouch! Bloody cold, circulation struggling between shut down and melt down !!!

Hey ho! December 27th....my latest swim of the year so far - and has gee'd me up for NY Day in the North Sea avec ma souer d'eau xx

Monday, 26 December 2011

Is this the first Lido Swim of 2012?

Hathersage Pool in Derbyshire have posted up their Spring Swim - Saturday 31st March  http://www.facebook.com/events/287315037972134/   that's Early Doors and very welcome too. In fact it's only (almost) 3 months away so start those countdown clocks. Forget the distraction of the Olympic countdown, it's the Lido Opening Dates that are the focus here.

And breaking news from Joe at Jubilee Pool (that's Jubilee, Lincs not Cornwall!) first day of opening is
5th May.

Time to source some new swim wear I think.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Stormy Seas

 Photos taken last week on a visit to Mabo. The waves were thundering in and a bitterly cold wind was blowing. Looks set about right then for the New Year's Day Swim. Perfect conditions.

: )

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Getting up a Crowd for Winter Dip


He, he, somehow I don't think the Waterblogged Sisters' New Year's Day Dash and Dip will attract the same numbers that the OSS's Winter Swim at Parliament Hill is likely to bring in - 200 last year?! Ah well, start small and slow is my motto thankfully.

: )

Saturday, 19 November 2011

NYD Dash and Dip

I've changed the event name from Dash and Splash after someone pointed out that sounded a little bit like an emergency 'wee' stop. So we are 'committed' to our customary New Year's Day Swim - this time at Mablethorpe Beach (Handy RNLI lifeboat nearby).  The event is open to Blue Sky Swimming members only - it is not a public swim - but anyone can spectate and be there to hold towels, fetch hot drinks, take photos and have generally have a laugh at our expense.

Here's Mabo looking rather fashionably retro - just not intentionally.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Where's the Wild Winter Weather?

Well it's not landed yet - not like this time last year. This weekend was more like late summer - sunny and mild and not at all like mid-November.

Luckily for me I had a scheduled meet and walk with friends at Gibraltar Point on Sunday so there was the chance of a late dip in the sea.  I almost passed though when I saw how far out the tide was - but managed to wade out far enough to get a quick swim.  I reckon it was about 12 degrees C so fairly chilly in the water but by all means bearable and it was really balmy once out - absolutely no shivering at all .... a first!

Now, let's just hope that our New Year's Day 'Dash and Dip' will be just as pleasant. I have 'commitment' from Linda, Lois and Jane and am building up momentum so we may be more than The Two on the First of Jan.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Out-of-Season Maintenance

It's good to see that work is underway at Woodhall Spa's Jubilee Park during the Swimming Pool's out of season. Here is a picture taken last week of the pool - drained of water (it took 6 days apparently) - and work underway to install a new pumping system, secure the pool sides and tile in a mosaic around the edge. 

Can't wait .... only another 6 and a half months to go!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Late Summer Sun, Sea and Swimming

I'm a week late, I know! But what superb late, late summer weather that was last week and into the weekend. Both Waterblogged sisters headed to the coast, but without planning, logistics and mobile phone signals, we landed at different points on the Lincolnshire coast.

I haven't seen so many people on the beach all summer - all the days put together. And what superb timing that heatwave was for 1st October - Lincolnshire Day - see below for a special Lincolnshire scene.

I managed almost half an hour in and not too un-nerved by the absence of the RNLI lifeguards.

Lincolnshire Scene - Sheep Droving on the Caistor High Road - stop the traffic!

Big Skies, Wide Beach, Shallow Sea

Let's hope the sea keeps some of its warmth for our New Year's Day Dip!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Lessons in Life

Here's me looking a little pensive after a SUPERB stolen afternoon swimming at Gibraltar Point. As usual, all that cool salty water slapping me in the face cleared my thoughts and I came up with 3 conclusions for the day:

1. Philosophical - it's ok to go with the flow rather than fighting against the tide.
This thought came to me when I realised I could swim down the beach on the tide and enjoy a sunny walk back along the beach - instead of my usual approach to try and swim against the current!

2. Quizzical - why wasn't I born rich and idle?
I'm so good at lazing around after all!

3. Geographical - I WANT TO LIVE AT THE SEASIDE!!!
Landlocked Leicestershire is just TOO FAR from the beach....

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

EEEhhhh Yorkshire Water!

Big Sign, Small Person very Small Head!
Is cold, ffffffreezing cold - well that's Yorkshire for you I suppose - all that 'up northerness'?
16.5 Degrees C was the water temperature at Ilkley Lido last Saturday. That all important half-a-degree didn't stop me feeling the burning sensation I get in cold water - like my chest is on fire - which of course it isn't - it's just my body going into shock I suppose. I was determined to put on a show of true Lincolnshire Grit and dived in without a shriek or squeal and managed to swim for half an hour. There was no danger of the water temperature rising thanks to a constant stream of cold water gushing into the pool from a massive tap on the pool side. My 30 minutes done I then spent 15 mins under the hot shower in the indoor changing rooms, but still couldn't control the shivering.

Ah, perhaps a cup of nice Yorkshire Tea, made with Yorkshire Water, boiled on Yorkshire Electricity would have helped?

It really is a lovely spot Ilkley Lido and a unique pool - 'freeform' is the description of its shape. You can't do lengths as such because it is a strange sort of mushroom shape pool, but that only adds to its appeal and quirkiness. There's a lovely wedding cake fountain - working - and a deep 'end' section of 2 metres depth. I took a couple of sneaky photos but was told off for doing so.  See the Friends of Ilkley Lido for some great pics here http://www.ilkleylido.co.uk/Photos/Photos.php

On a sunny, warm day it must be a heavenly place to go and swim and sunbathe, with the cafe and lots of grassy areas for lounging on. On a blustery cool early September day - the last weekend of the Lido's opening - I was glad of those hot showers.

Cafe with a rather nice pool attached

sneaky snap over the hedge

One for 'Special Signs' album. Yorkshire folk appropriating Lincolnshire's best brewery? Bar t'at?! Misselling of goods?!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Brown is the Colour ....

 ... of the North Sea. But it is only churned up sand; I mean, who needs crystal clear water anyway? It was a spontaneous decision to visit the beach at Sutton and try for a sea swim.  The RNLI Lifeguards information board listed a balmy air temperature of 21 C but a more robust 16 Degrees C in the water and with a ENE breeze off the sea it was less than tropical. The tide was going out at a pace but the Aussie Lifeguard assured me it was 'pretty safe' - pretty relaxed sort of advice.  There was certainly loads of room on the beach as well as in the sea. I managed a couple of immersions of twenty minutes and only mildish body shaking and finger numbness.  Fab place to sit afterwards - out of the way of 'that wind' in the 'Palisades' well the sun terrace overlooking the bowling green. See my arty photo below.

I'm surprised I didn't hear Sandra and Sharn's voices and cackling laughter booming out across the wash from their Day Out on the Norfolk Coast. There's two girls who need no amplification. : )

Where is everyone?

Sutton's Sun Terrace

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Lazy London Day

A few snaps and a few thoughts to preserve my lovely escape day to the Big Smoke for a couple of swims, lots of solitude and peace, a bit of sunshine and lots of mooching around.

Parliament Hill Lido has been on my hit list for a long time - and she certainly did not disappoint! That shimmery steel liner is gorgeous - and even helped me over the fear of slipping on the lip on the dive in as I was so tempted by the cool calm water. The trick (as expertly coached by a lovely friendly local Irish man) was to fall back to my teen years and pull off a running dive with the dismount from the tactile stone tiles instead of the slippy lip - have to say, it felt FAB!!!

You'll no doubt be enthralled by my uber lido geek shot of the jolly changing rooms and pleasing 1930's windows framing the fluffy clouds in the sky....and what about that expert framing of the famous view of City centre skyline from Parliament Hill - shame about the fat finger!!

I enjoyed a good few hours swimming and lolling around at this great pool and felt very lucky indeed to be footloose and fancy free in the Big City...

I met lovely Alex from Buckinghamshire here too and was pleased to share her fun company on the hike across the Heath to my favourite (so far) London pool - Kenwood Ladies Pond; a real gem of a place and a beautiful soft happy making swim

And here's another of those comedic signs so beloved by the Waterblogged Sisters....

...and one to giggle at - the fen girl with her manky map wending her way through Kentish Town back to the train home...

Another lovely London trip to add to my memory banks and keep the smile on my face on those sad swimless days ....

Green is the Colour .....

... of the lakes and rivers around Lincolnshire at the moment. This is a lake near to Sainsbury's, Lincoln (I dipped out of the shopping experience and researched the potential for swimming here).  The water was bright green and notices posted about blue-green algae. Not sure about the blue but it was certainly green and not at all inviting. 

I had to take a picture of the warning sign too - in Polish I think well an attempt anyway - but to Sandra this will be a literary link with the Mablethorpe Baaasin / Baaasen perhaps? Love it!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Swimming with Pike - 15th July

First swim in the River Witham (keeping it low profile so as not to alarm the authorities) at last on Friday night. Thankfully the weather was hot and humid(ish) so a refreshing dip was inviting. And it was pretty cool water - guessing 17 centigrade maximum. Interesting that the gravel lake was much warmer earlier in the week. There was quite a bit of weed but there was a handy, rusting rake / manual weed cutter left on the jetty - or maybe it was an art installation featuring heritage Lincolnshire tools?

After a small hesitation I followed Sandra's dive in and then went back to the jetty to retrieve my glasses - so many bends and creeks to get lost in aren't there on this stretch of water?

A bit spooked when the chap fishing off his narrowboat pulled in a large 'baby' pike. If that is the size of a baby then I don't want to meet the parents. Seems they are attracted to shiny surfaces, including paited toe-nails - eek! Formidable teeth in large mouth - some might say that could be a description of me. No dead deer floating by though.

Yeh, the spell is broken, the river is conquered this year and we'll be back for more.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Gravel Hills to Gravel Lake

Seemed appropriate, having grown up in Gravel Hills, Billinghay Fen that I try a swim in a gravel lake. Last night found me at the gravel pit lake on Thorpe Lane, South Hykham thanks to an invitation from Jack to try the waters here.

Well it was a bit on the 'industrial' side - lots of bricks and mortar to navigate getting in. But the side slopes really quickly so you're soon in and away. Water was a balmy 21 degrees C - now that's considerably warmer than the River Cam and the sea recently and even some of the 'heated' pools I go to. It was really rather nice, once I blocked out the sound of the traffic on the by-pass! There's acres of space and nothing to get in the way of a leisurely back stroke - fabulous.

Monday night is 'Tri' club night so I was a little out of place as a strictly leisure and pleasure swimmer with my two-piece costume rather than the uniform of wetsuit and swimming hat. Hard core training activities going on for the wetsuited group but Jack and I had a relaxed swim (head up and glasses on) out to the middle of the lake. Apparently it's 12 metres deep (really?) Crikey what's at the bottom of that then.

Wednesday nights are for leisure swimmers so I'll be getting a group together for a re-visit.

Seems I need some practice with the self-portrait - a bit grimacy:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Nothing new to report...

Just more of me ranting on about the uplifting effects of a cool solitary swim ... anyone who suffered one of my grumpy messages last week will be pleased to see that the swim under stormy skies did the usual wonders for my mood...

...then I went and watched Terms of Endearment - AARGHH! Toxic film - don't go there unless you're feeling 1000% emotionally calm - a place I rarely visit of course!!!

Monday, 4 July 2011

If This Were the South Coast ..

Then Cleethorpes would be more like Brighton. Yep - what does Brighton have that Cleethorpes doesn't? Cleethorpes has a pier with lovely wrought iron work oh and original 1905 roof - in the affluent south there would be a 'save our pier' campaign raising money to restore this truncated pier back to its glory days. There's a promenade, boating lake, sweet little paddling pool (with anti-vandal, anti-climbing security fencing surrounding it; but, oddly, no water in it); chippies by the hectare; tatoo parlours; tatoo removal parlours; dogs lots of dogs; fabulous sunsets.

Sunday night, and finally a warm summer evening, found me in Cleethorpes enjoying a stroll in the refreshing sea breeze. (I'm sounding all lyrical here like Sandra.) The tide was in; so far up it was lapping up to the promenade. And there were kids swimming in the brown murky water:: how great is that? I didn't have my cossie so couldn't join them: secret relief. The sea container shipping and P+O ferries in the background just added an edgy north-east Lincolnshire grittiness to the scene. Ah - you don't get that in Brighton.

But what you do get up the road from Brighton is the beautiful - and now Grade II listed - Saltdean Lido. I've yet to visit it but it's on my list of must do's.

Of course Cleethorpes at one time (until the 1950s?) had a MASSIVE outdoor bathing pool. The biggest in Europe I've heard. How sad that it's gone. There was no obvious sign of its whereabouts but I have my suspicions about the indoor 'leisure centre' 1980s ugly box of a place on the edge of the sea and could be built on the original bathing pool location. It's just the sort of humid, noisy, chlorine-smelling place that Sister Sandra so loves.

Now if this were the South Coast there would be a campaign to 'Resurrect Our Lido' .

But then if it were the South Coast it wouldn't be Cleethorpes and the cup of tea with my fish and chips would cost more than the 60 pence I paid.
How inviting does this look? What a loss.

Yep it really was big.

The Paddling Pool - but no water? : (

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A Soppy Solstice

Ooh! Midsummer doldrums seem to have hit...it's been a week since the Solstice already and I haven't got around to recording my oh so not triumphant swim across Lincolnshire a la Deakin plan.

The die was cast before my head even hit the pillow on the 20th - in my heart I knew that this waterblogged sister was never going to drag herself out of bed at 6 for a pre work lake swim to kick off the "planned" lake, river, lido, sea route across the county.

So, as it turned out, my swimming solstice celebration totalled just one lovely half hour half mile in beautiful Bourne, stretching out in the sun and letting go of my wildly over ambitious ideas....

...followed by an overwhelming feeling of bittersweet happiness, nostalgia and slight anxiety about the summer passing by...overall, a lot for Sister Sandra to feel good about on the longest day....thanks all xxxxx

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Thames Water

Monday saw me and fellow BSS friend Lesley in London for the day.

Big day out in the Capital for two girls up from the provinces in our 'country fashions'.

The luxury and 1930's deco of Uxbridge Lido is for another trip and all the better to savour as a future treat. In the meantime we had a look at the viability of a Thames crossing. Here's some steps down to the water; yep it's as easy as that and if Matthew Parris can have a go then I'm not ruling it out yet.

Midsummer Day passed with a relay swim in Bourne Pool - I arrived late afternoon followed by Sandra slipping in before the pool closed at 7.00 pm. Sandra's ambitions of a 3-way lido, river and sea-fest fell by the wayside - just not enough time to get across the (potato) County.

tra, la, la! : )

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Lessons in Life for the Waterblogged Boys

Ooh, you can SO tell that Daddy Moran is away from home at the moment...we slept in until 9.30, stayed in our 'jamas until 12.30, and finally got out of the house at about 2pm...

I was outvoted on my suggestion to go for a swim at Bourne Outdoor Pool (maybe something to do with the black skies, heavy downpours and cool breezes....???) So we set off to Bourne, but to the indoor Leisure Pool instead aka Hell with Water to this Waterblogged Sister.

Sure enough, it was worse than I remembered ... boiling hot, suffocating chlorine fumes, eardrum battering echo of kids screaming, fountains splashing, engines thrumming ..... AAAAAAGGHH!!!

To top things off the pool staff Gestapo snapped at us for having the audacity to try and buy an icecream in our cozzies .... you have to get dressed, get super hot and irritated, shout at each other and resort to sign language to try and work out whether the boys wanted Original or Sours Skittles....AAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

It was bliss to escape out into the cool showery day...and look, the sun is coming out to play...why don't we take a look at the Lido and see if it calls to us?

I played my Italian glamour trick with Ferrari/Lamborghini/Alfa/Maserati mad Felix and explained that Lido's were Italian swimming pools.

Leo was more easily bought with the promise of an ice pole from the poolside cafe!

So we tot up the scores for indoor vs outdoor swimming:

For indoor = wave machine, warm (I would say bleeding boiling!)

For outdoor = friendly staff, peaceful, lots of space, talking dustbins, ice poles, gorgeous sapphire water, sunshine on our faces, Abbey Road chippy opposite for post swim tea...need I say more?

So, my lovelies, follow me on the path to a childhood of sweet outdoor swimming memories in our lovely empty Lincolnshire xxx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Very Jolly Jape Indeed!

Yep! The silly face says it all...I'm on The Jape and couldn't be having more fun! Lucky me got to drive over to Snowdonia with Big Kev and Keepers Luke and Trig - a girl couldn't ask for better company - if I got bored of the bloke chat about.... (actually I'll keep this out) ...then there was always the "who farted?" game to play, lots of missed road photo shots to enjoy, and having a giggle at Luke falling asleep at the drop of a hat. Not to mention the dodgy choice of CD, scoffing all the travel sweets before we'd left the Estate, or the sweaty cheese....

By the time we arrived at Pen y Gwryd (and "negotiated" two camp beds into Kev's room .... but that's a whole other story Hammy Hamster) we were all revved up (well, I was revved up -the boys were distinctly ambivalent) for a pre Jape jump into the heavenly cold river fed swimming pond - hurrah! The boys acquitted themselves with honours - manfully jumping into the clear icy water.....wondering what had happened to their manhood when they got out again to dress!!!

We enjoyed a couple of civilised beers in the bar with fellow Japers Peter & Patsy before turning in for the night to get ourselves in the zone for the challenge ahead....

Look at this! I'm well accustomed by now to the slightly blank looks on people's faces (or the slight look of panic) when I start ranting on about outdoor swimming and silly adventures.....so imagine how surprised I was to find SIXTEEN other loons standing behind me waiting champing at the bit to tackle The Jolly Jape Challenge!!!

This, perhaps, should have made the trip a little more formal and organised than the usual me + Nic or me + Sharn swim trips of legend....but why spoil a winning formula? So "No Plan Moran" it was as usual as all The Japers appeared at the appointed time from various routes to crack on nice and promptly....shame that 9 of us were still happily troughing our big preparatory breakfasts at the Pen y Gwryd...

Anyhow, we all rendezvoused at the insanely busy Pen y Pass carpark and set off just one hour late at 10am....straight into a hail storm and, to be honest, more bloody steep rock steps than I personally had been hoping for in the first few hundred metres!

The "team" quickly established their various levels of fitness, competitiveness and ability with George, Rob and Luke sprinting up like sprightly little goats in an impressive 1.5 hours....meanwhile me and hypoglycaemic superhero Kev battled our way up in 4 hours. I had cleverly preset a Jolly Japers text group on my phone - the vague thought was that I could text the pick up point when we scrambled mountain rescue...this No Plan Moran backfired a little when my texts to the team about Kev's heroic struggle were greeted with a response from the Big Man ..."I'm behind you!" ... after that I had to delete him off the group text messages!!!

However, the staple foodstuff of previous Waterblogged expeditions did not fail us .... the famous Lincolnshire Plum Loaf and Cheese did it's wonders and propelled a very wobbly Kev across the summit (there was a very strange point at which I found myself hand feeding dates to Kev.....never mind the moment when he found himself too weak to chew a Rowntrees Random and walk at the same time...quickly beccoming one of the trips catch phrases!)

The team had done us proud by waiting in wind chill with no food other than 1kg pasties to sustain them and waited at Glasyln for us landscape gazers to finally join them...

So, here we go, for me the absolute highlight and raison d'etre for the trip - to swim in icy Glaslyn under the summit of Snowdon. All credit to enthusiastic George and Rob who waited patiently at the gabbions - they were first in and their screams of ecstasy (?) at the cold water filled the cwm as the rest of the team descended to join them. Luke and Trig were super chilled by this point after waiting for over 2 hours for us to catch up - thanks SO much for your loyalty and support xx. Thanks too to George for motivating me to prove I'm tougher than boys in their 20's...I felt happy to swim across to the opposite lake and enjoyed the amazing feeling of super achievement to be swimming under the shadow of Snowdon's summit in crystal icy water - a true life experience. Thanks to all the Jolly Japers for helping me get to this swim. Megz, Will and Kev also put on a beautiful display for the passing walkers as each of them made their own impressive entrance - I hope you feel so proud of what you did;so few others would be so brave.

So. we're towelled off and head downhill to Llydaw where Luke gets the chance to road trial his revolutionary new swim socks design on the slippery rocks- very helpful for slippy me when trying to stand up on the infinity pool effect rocks....we crack off a width of the llyn at the narrow causeway point as trailblazed by Barney and his group a little earlier in the day

No sooner are we half dry-ish then we're headed off to Llyn Teryn to complete the Swim Back Down....once again, the advance party of George, Rob and Luke forge ahead and enjoy a lovely loud swim as we amble along in the late afternoon sun. Megan, Will and I are sufficiently fired up to take on the trek downhill through bog and thistles to contemplate a third undressing within the hour...and we're in (again) Teryn is a different kettle of fish to the other 2 lakes - much more unpleasant access but also much warmer once in...I lay on my back to watch the clouds, circling buzzard, and Snowdon summit in the crystal skies,,blissful. I spot the zen look on Will's face as he falls in love with outdoor swimming - welcome to a whole new watery world Will. Megz is swimming in great if slightly idiosyncratic style in a Gunners shirt over her cozzie and leaves a tribute to the lake in the form of her bog captured flip flops ("at least they have each other for company")

wow! Check out that post swim hair!!!

So. we wend our weary way down the track back to the pub for one of those beers that last about 30 seconds...very Ice Cold in Alex!

A bit of food, a bit of drinking, a bit of laughter, a bit of groaning, a bit of snoozing - that sums up our our lovely post challenge evening in fabulous company and all of us rightly feeling great about what we'd achieved during the day - Hurrah Jolly Japers!

Now there's just the massive discomfort of a 5 hour rain lashed trip home in the rain...oh well, chance to catch a few winks.....check out the pics of my snoring face on Kev's facebook!

And lastly, here's to absent friends... Lisa with tonsillitis, Justin with a very new baby, Danny with Jack to look out for, Sharn with JLS...we look forward to your company on whatever half arsed plan comes to fruition in 2012