A short break in honour of the traditional Lido Crawl, which took place today, and also in honour of the fact that, thanks to the Lido Crawl, I am totally knacked. My creative self has pulled down the blinds and gone to bed until tomorrow. But the Crawl was well worth it, and a day of excellence from start to finish.
For a start it wasn’t raining. At seven thirty the sky over Tooting was a glorious pink and the water a welcoming eight degrees, just perfect for the scheduled Crisis plunge. Not for us, though, as after a brief dip followed by tea and toast it was off in the back of Richard’s cab to the Serpentine. Kindly, he refrained from turning on the meter, enabling the four ladies who were his lucky guests to cheerily give the finger to Batch and Ian as we passed them thanks to Richard’s superior knowledge.
A duckshitty dip and a tasty but mahoosively expensive breakfast later we were off to Parliament Hill, once more beating Batch to the finishing post. PH is one of the loveliest lidos in the country with its steel liner reflecting back the sky so as to give the impression of swimming in that cerulean blue. We staged the regulatory group jump-in, mildly alarming a blameless breaststroker who looked up from her morning reverie to see thirty south Londoners bearing down on her.
Before we left we were treated to soup, and a song in honour of the Tooting/Parliament Hill friendship, both thanks to Frank the channel swimmer who kindly compared Tooting to the mouth of Hell. He also advised that if you heed Tooting’s “siren calls” “you’ll be swimming round in Tooting all your life.” Err – you say that like it’s a bad thing?
Finally to Hampstead men’s pond, where we averted our eyes from the sight of Julian Barnes, celebrated novelist, and finished our crawls by diving and frolicking in those even more celebrated waters, and by taking photos of our beauteous behinds. At least, the ladies did – I can’t speak for the men, of course (blushes).
And so back to Tooting, thanks to the estimable Richard, who once more whipped Batch’s sorry arse in the driving stakes, thus proving that thirty months doing the knowledge beats Ian on Google maps any day. And Richard does apparently take advance bookings, so it’s same time, same place, next year..
Thanks to the multi-talented Charlotte Simon for the photo!