I’ve been quiet on Swimming Pool Stories lately because I have been busy writing a book called The Memory Pool: Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming published by NewSouth Publishing. It will be in the book stores from 1 November but you can pre-order now at Booktopia, Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, Better Read Than[…]Read More
During our hot and humid January, these beautiful ocean pools in Sydney and south to Kiama have kept me cool, calm, revived and inspired.
We were on Cleveland Street near the Lebanese restaurants – The Prophet and Fatima’s – where I used to dine at in my uni days, when we got the call. “You came third in your age group,” my niece Rosie relayed from her friends, the Moylans. “Really?” I said. “Yes, really,” her young friends yelled[…]Read More
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.