Last weekend when I visited the State Library of NSW’s Paintings from the Collection exhibition, I was taken with a painting called The Swimming Enclosure by artist Herbert Badham. It’s thought to be a depiction of the netted swimming area at Parsley Bay in Vaucluse near where the artist and his wife Enid lived, and in the[…]Read More
My first day back for the new season at Petersham Pool started with a mid-stroke wave from Hugh, followed by ‘How ya’ been,’ from hardworking lifeguard Grant, travel stories from Peter, a declaration from Michelle, ‘The water’s like silk’, and an exclamation from Cheryl, “Aren’t we lucky to have this beautiful place’. Kookaburras laughed and butcher birds sang, and after I’d finished my laps, I marked the pool’s reopening with a ‘back to when I was 10-year’s old’ celebratory handstand!
I was about to drive to my local indoor pool this morning but at the last minute I changed my mind. I wanted to swim outdoors and so I headed down the road to Leichhardt Pool where I had the most beautiful swim in the perfect water temperature among the steam!
On the Gold Coast last week to go to the Commonwealth Games, I was 10 again and in seventh heaven spotting pools from our hotel balcony on the 22nd floor. When I cooled off in the Avani pool, the lights reflecting gold across the water, I was 13 and reliving my excitement the first time I[…]Read More
Since you closed yesterday for the winter months, I have been thinking about the things I will miss like walking towards you through Petersham Park, past the camphor laurels where the butcher birds sing. The ‘good mornings’ from fellow regulars, Peter, Gerard, Roger, Nick, Hugh and Michelle, and random chats at your shallow end. Being[…]Read More
Pink-orange Angophora trees twisting and turning like ballet dancers above a river of blue-green, pathways of sandstone, the sweet smell of the Sydney bush, the camaraderie of the Oatley Amateur Swimming Club, bodies diving off the concrete blocks, retro change rooms, sausages and tomato sauce, a salty taste on my tongue, sand and mud between my toes, the swish of the water, the flow of the tide and the heat of the summer sun.
Back in the 1970s, when my sister, brother and I were kids, we spent many years presenting compelling arguments to our parents why we needed a pool in our backyard. We were always hopeful but they never gave in. Their view was we didn’t need one as we had Northbridge Baths down the road. When[…]Read More
At the funeral today of our Dad’s great friend Tony, his daughter Philippa spoke about her father’s love of swimming and his special affection for Clovelly where he was always on the lookout for the blue groper. She talked about his involvement with many organisations including Friends of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Rostrum and Apex,[…]Read More
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been collecting passages from novels I’ve read that capture the bliss of being in water on a stinking hot day, the joy of swimming or serendipitously stumbling upon a beautiful pool. My most recent find was in the pages of Kent Haruf’s Benediction recommended to me by my[…]Read More