Monday, November 06, 2006

natural swimming ponds in the garden - such a very Narnian idea

photo of Gartenart natural swimming pond (not one of my photos)


When I was a very privileged child growing up in the Home Counties, before Lloyd's of London took it all away (sigh...) we had a swimming pool. True, it was a freezing cold ice block of a swimming pool, but I cannot tell you what a delicious thing it is to be able to swim alone whenever you want to. The trouble with swimming pools, though, is that every wretched day, someone has to get up and perform little tests and put chemicals in and scrub that pool from top to bottom.

Nowadays I swim in the stunning Ladies Bathing Pond on Hampstead Heath. Marigolds flank either side, kingfishers flash through the trees and occasionally you feel a fish kiss your leg. Somehow it is the most deliciously clean water, even though it is brown. The only snag is that everyone knows about it now, so that by August it is thoroughly smelly, full of shrieking girls and has an oil slick of sun tan lotion floating on the surface. The ideal is to build one of these exquisite natural swimming ponds, which have lovely plants in them to keep the water pristine and a solar heater to keep them pleasantly warm. You can swim every morning in your very own pool in the privacy of your own garden. You don't even have to have a big garden - they do titchy tiny London sized ones too! If you order one now, it should be ready for next summer.

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