Farewelling a farm pool with a fabulous view

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 we moved away from Northbridge and eventually bought our own homes, none of us acquired a pool – until my sister and her husband bought a farm near Wagga Wagga.

Bilagal at Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

Far away from the coast and with a climate of hot, dry summers, they really needed a pool – and for the past 17 years or so,  it’s been an oasis of cool on scorcher days.

Cooling off at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

It’s where children’s birthdays, family gatherings, cousins’ get-togethers, ladies’ lunches and post 21st party recoveries have been held.

Curtin cousins' get-together, Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

It’s where my nephew Will and his sisters’ Rosie and Mary and their parents too, have done thousands of laps in the 12 x 4-metre pool.

Will doing laps at the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

Now, sadly the farm has been sold and so recently, family and friends gathered at Bilagal for a farewell party. The next morning, we congregated in the pool seeking relief from the 40-something degree heat and as we cooled off, I asked some of the family what they loved most about their pool.

The pool at Bilagal, Borambola, January 2018, photo Therese Spruhan

Top of the list was the outlook over the paddocks and rolling Riverina hills.

The view from the pool at Bilagal, Borambola near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

“And in spring, you can see the lines of the crops that each farmer has put in that year and the yellow and green of the canola and wheat,” said Mary.

The pool view at Bilagal, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

“I love the view when you’re lying down on the grass with the pear trees and the blue sky,” said Rosie.

The pool at Bilagal, Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, Jan 2018, photo Therese Spruhan

From his base in London, Will messaged that as swimming has always helped him relax, it was great to have a pool literally in his backyard.

Will's backyard pool, Bilagal at Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

For Annette, the pool ‘room’ has been a favourite spot on the farm as it’s quiet and peaceful with the loveliest view.

Breakfast by the pool at Bilagal, Boramabola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

“When I swim, especially in the evening, when the sun has gone down it’s serene,” she said.

The pool at Bilagal, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

“The plants around the pool – the star jasmine and the hedge of Portuguese laurel – are calming and in spring and summer exude a beautiful fragrance. And it’s lovely in winter as the sun pours in.”

Garden around the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

As the temperature rose and we reached for hats, Rosie reminisced back to the days when the pool was being built, red dirt around the edges, and insisting on being the first one to swim when it was completed in late winter.

Early days of the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

She remembered shearing during stinking hot summer days and always looking forward to coming back to the house for lunch and jumping in the pool.

The pool at Bilagal, Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

Other fond memories were making up dances to songs with cousins’ Eimear and Orla and leaping in the pool at the end of the routine.

My nieces at the pool at Bilagal, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

Running on the hot grey tiles, pool parties with friends, getting home, so sweaty from the day that you can’t be bothered putting your swimmers on, so skinny dipping, and drinks and cheese and crackers by the pool.

Evening drinks by the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

When everyone finally got out, I stayed in for a bit longer to savour my last swim. I looked out across the dry land, batted away a few flies and bugs, and thought about my favourite things about this pool.

The pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

Milly the sculptured figure who sits like a guardian angel by the pool.

Milly, the sculpture by the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

Clouds reflecting in the water.

Cloud reflection, the pool at Bilagal, Boramabola, photo Therese Spruhan

The emerald green tiles that turn blue in the sun.

Tiles at the pool at Bilagal Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

Swimming in the rain after a stinking hot day.

Rain drops on the water of the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

And all the fun times we’ve had.

Underwater at the pool at Bilagal, Borambola, photo Therese Spruhan

I did two final laps – counting the 8 or 9 strokes it takes me to reach the end, pulled the big green tortoise out of the water, picked up the towels, the sunscreen and goggles, took one last look at that magnificent view and walked up the stairs away from the pool.

The pool at Bilagal, Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, photo Therese Spruhan

About the author

spsadmin

13 Comments

Leave a comment
  • Thank you Rese for a perfect story with wonderful photos tnat capture the pool and garden perfectly. So many happy memories for any. Xx

  • Bye lovely pool … bye shady spot by the pool under the pear trees … bye majestical view from the pool … bye deliciously cooool water in the pool … BYE BORAMBOLA!! Thanks for capturing so well this special place … and time, Resey xx

    • Thank you Kimberly! My sister tells me that in the end our parents played a part in her having a pool. After our Mum died 25 years ago, Dad gave her ‘housekeeping’ money to us. Rather than buy more sheep for the farm, my sister put her money into a pool fund and a few years later the pool was built!

  • Evocative of good times. How fortunate to have enjoyed those views while swimming, and doing all those other things in and around the pool. Good luck to everyone in finding other watering holes for shared memories.

  • Beautifully written Theresey! Although I’ve never visited the farm I felt like I had!
    I could hear the splashing of you lot playing in the pool, smell the aroma of the summer blooms surrounding it and imagine that stunning view.
    I’m sure it will be missed by you all – but new beginnings are in the horizon.
    xx

    • And a beautifully written comment from you Kath! Is a lovely spot and lots of good times have been had there but as you say new beginnings are on the horizon – especially today as they are moving in 40 degree heat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2016 Swimming pool stories