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
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
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
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.