Up with the larks this morning and swam a mile plus 4x50m at the Aquatic Centre. It took a long time for my engine to get warmed up, 20 lengths before I established a rhythm. We finished around 8.15, by which time the crowds had died down, so maybe next Saturday we'll stay in bed slightly longer and enjoy a less frenzied pool when we get there.
This weekend many lidos are calling time till next season. Hathersage had its last swimming session today, and I toyed with the idea of driving over for a final dip there this afternoon before the plug gets pulled. Hathersage is one of my significant pools. I don't remember how or when we stumbled across it. Years ago it established itself on our family calendar as the place we've frequently celebrated our middle daughter's birthday in August. It's wrapped around by the green hills of the Peak District and when the weather's good it's idyllic, a perfect place for serious and fun swims, with a holiday atmosphere like pools on French campsites.
However, I love it best when the weather is dull and miserable. There are fewer punters - occasionally only us - and the water temperature is always warm. I like to think of it as an icelandic geothermal lagoon, particularly when it's misty in the teeming rain. Once, we had to evacuate mid-frolics because of a thunderstorm, and I've even seen a photograph of swimmers there in a snowstorm!
When I phoned the pool today to check the session times, the attendant said the weather was sunny and the place was busy. So on those two counts I decided regretfully to give it a miss till next Spring.