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 swam in a motel pool.
When we walked from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise, past many 1970s, blonde-brick blocks of flats with kidney-shaped pools, I was 14 and swimming in our neighbours’ backyard pools.
As I photographed pool after pool, I thought of Ned Merrill in John Cheever’s short story The Swimmer and how he would have had no trouble swimming home via the pools on the Gold Coast.
When we reached Surfers Paradise, I remembered my parents had honeymooned at the El Dorado Motel in 1958, and felt sure they would have enjoyed swimming in that pool, apparently the highlight of Surfers Paradise’s first motel.
When I discovered it was demolished in the 1980s and replaced by the tall towers of the Crowne Plaza, I thought, sadly it won’t be long before all the original buildings on the Gold Coast are gone.