Swimming pool stories

...Dip into tales from all over Australia

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A pair of Williams, a man called Max and Parsley the hermit down Vaucluse way
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A pub, a town hall and a pool or two: 1930s designs by Rudder & Grout
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Swimming with Peter, the porpoise of Petersham Pool
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The end of summer holidays at Petersham Pool
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Making a splash: Australians share their swimming stories
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Magic memories of Northbridge Baths
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The gentlemen of Sydney’s eastern ocean pools
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In my cossie at Milano’s Piscina Cozzi
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On the piscina trail from Lake Como to the Dolomites
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Captain Cook, rainbows and the Woonona ocean pool

A pair of Williams, a man called Max and Parsley the hermit down Vaucluse way

There’s no swimmers around when I arrive at Parsley Bay, just trim women jogging with their mobiles and doing boxing in the park. But when I walk around the path that leads to the deep end of the bay,  I spot a man in blue trunks, or rather he spots me. “If you want a[…]

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Swimming with Peter, the porpoise of Petersham Pool

“Last day,” says Peter when I join him in the water at the Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre, aka Petersham Pool. “Are you going to miss it?” “Yes,” says Peter, who swims every morning and talks to everyone who comes to the pool. “Look at it, it’s beautiful,” he says, as he pushes under the water and[…]

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The end of summer holidays at Petersham Pool

Last week when I paused at the end of a lap, I noticed three of the morning regulars scanning the pool for a spot. There were swimming lessons in lanes one and two with children pushing and gliding or doing torpedoes as it’s called today and learning to breathe in and bubble out. The rest[…]

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Making a splash: Australians share their swimming stories

Last Friday’s talkback on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters invited listeners to call in with their memories of swimming, which was a great choice as we head into the summer holidays. The program featured former Australian Olympian Shane Gould, who as part of a Masters and now a PhD, is doing very interesting research into the[…]

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Magic memories of Northbridge Baths

When I want to remember Northbridge Baths, the pool in Middle Harbour where I spent all my summers as a child, I think of the deep green water connecting to the trees like relatives.

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The gentlemen of Sydney’s eastern ocean pools

During August when I was writing, Into the Deep, a story for the travel section of The Weekend Australian, I spoke to a number of ‘chappies’ as my Dad would call them, who spend their days in and around Sydney’s ocean pools. At Wylie’s Baths I met 80-year-old Reg, who comes to the pool each[…]

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In my cossie at Milano’s Piscina Cozzi

As I was saying, when we left Belluno I thought I’d had the last of my Italian swims. But on our first night back in Milan I discovered the Piscina Cozzi in a Wallpaper Guidebook at our friends’ Jenny and Stephen’s apartment. Photo: www.milanosport.it

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On the piscina trail from Lake Como to the Dolomites

Soon after our plane touched down in Milan in early May I felt like a swim. The weather was warm and I needed to stretch out after the long flight but when I stepped inside the closest piscina (the Italian word for pool) to our friends’ place in Milan I realised I didn’t need a[…]

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Captain Cook, rainbows and the Woonona ocean pool

The seas were wild the day we travelled south to Bulli and Woonona, just north of Wollongong, to see our friends’ Pete and Zac and Marg. After lunch at the Bulli Beach Cafe, we walked along the headland and looked down on the Bulli Ocean Pool. Then we headed south one suburb to check out Marg’s[…]

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