An incomplete heatwave

The best weather of the year so far – and can we go swimming? Not in either of the local lidos, which closed in mid-September. As did most of the others around the country. A few lucky souls will have access to outdoor pools that don’t close until October or even ones that stay open all year round. Of course, there’s always the dimly-lit, shallow, noisy, crowded indoor 25m pool if the lido’s no longer available. Does that count as adequate provision? Of course it does…

The local lido is now closed for the winter

The local lido is now closed for the winter

I do accept that it must be a logistical nightmare extending the opening hours for an outdoor pool and, once the filtration system’s been turned off for the year and the lifeguards are back at college, I would imagine that it’s not really going to be usable again until next summer. But it does show up the problem with shutting up shop as early as the second week in September. It’s been a mixed year on the outdoor swimming front. On the one hand we’ve got excellent use out of the local pool with regular trips for swimming and sunbathing. The flipside of this coin was that venturing further afield – even as far as the next town – was something we just didn’t get around to doing.

So I’ve done little outdoor swimming that wasn’t on my own doorstep and none that was properly wild or in the sea. The weather is partly to blame but mostly I am. Worst of all, my planned trip to Devon and north Cornwall didn’t happen – and this against the background of a tremendous and important battle to keep Bude Sea Pool open to the public. Somehow we just didn’t have the time or money to spare in early June, which was the only time when such a trip was practical. So we need to make that a real priority next year.

And I haven’t given up on getting a last dip in the sea this year before it turns cold as well as maybe identifying some wild swimming spots a bit closer to home than the coast. Also, I’ll be up good and early on Sunday October 16 in order to watch the Great East Swim on Channel 4 – something else I’d like to take part in if I can work up the confidence. So, much done this year, and much left to do next…