The last time I swam in a 'wild' setting was in Bala a couple of months ago. So I feel a bit daunted by this Saturday's swim in Windermere. Last year I got ready for the Great North Swim gradually by swimming in lakes and the sea on a regular basis in the months leading up to the swim. For one reason or another I haven't done that this year. Consequently, I feel a bit out of practice and nervous. Will I exhaust myself? Will a pike bite my toes? Will I see a dead body if I open my eyes when I do front crawl? Might I have a heart attack? And so on......Today the weather has been beautiful. I've decided to calm down and just let myself take my time on Saturday and enjoy the experience. All will be well.
For inspiration, I spent the afternoon at the Victoria Baths, Manchester's wonderful Water Palace, one of my top ten, no - top five, favourite buildings. All the scaffolding has gone from the Men's First Class Pool to reveal the sparkling, brand new watertight glass roof. I can't wait for the day when the pool will be filled and the public allowed back in.
In the sunshine, the whole building felt so warm and welcoming and the guide who showed us round was very knowledgeable. For the princely sum of £12 I signed up to become a Friend of Victoria Baths. My son enjoyed the tour and would like to have a go in the Aerotone - a prototype stainless steel jacuzzi. I decided to appoint myself as unofficial Poet in Residence, so I'll write some pool-themed poems over the next couple of months.
At this Sunday's Open Day at the baths (5 September) a special new stained glass window in honour of Sunny Lowry will be unveiled at 2pm. I'll be thinking of her when I'm in the lake.