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
Last Sunday, when we arrived at South Coogee for my traditional birthday, salt water swim, the sea looked like it was pumping a big swell. As we walked towards the pathway above the coast, I expected to look down on a submerged Ivo Rowe Rock Pool. But happily we found an almost tranquil scene, despite the[…]Read More
Travelling to Adelaide through south-west NSW and the Mallee country in Victoria and South Australia over the past couple of days we stopped by nine country pools – Lockhart, Urana and Jerilderie in south-west NSW, Swan Hill’s Richards Swimming Leisure Centre, Sea Lake Pool, Underbool Pool and Murrayville Pool in Victoria and Pinnaroo and Lameroo swimming centres in South Australia.
Built between 1955 and the mid-1980s, they were typified by vast expanses of lawn, simple amenities buildings, quirky signs, 33-metre and wading pools, surviving springboards, slides, retro-style seating and plaques commemorating the official opening of the pools. If they’d been open I would have loved to have swum at each one but especially I would have enjoyed bouncing off the diving board into the L-shaped Lameroo Pool.
The Pool, Australia’s exhibition at last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, has had a second life and last Friday night was officially opened at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne. The exhibition celebrates the pool in Australian architecture, culture and life and there was plenty of enthusiasm for its reincarnation at the opening, including[…]Read More
Since 1979, the group, who range in age from 62 to 100, have been meeting most days at the Hansborough Recreation Centre in Harlem, New York where they delight in the freedom of the water as they practise their moves.
They are more elegant and graceful than I was in 1978 when I led the green team’s water ballet routine at my school’s annual swimming carnival at North Sydney Olympic Pool.
We performed to Carly Simon singing Nobody Does It Better but perhaps we could have done better than last place if I’d chosen something like Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite, which the Honeys and Bears move to in Veena Rao’s film. Thanks to my brother Mark for finding this wonderful short video.
At the beginning of winter we drove south to spend the weekend with friends at Trudy’s Werri Beach house. On the Saturday morning we went for a walk, bought a coffee from the man with the van near the surf club, then back home for Stephen’s leftover ragu. After lunch we retired to the lounges,[…]Read More