Party at the pond

24/03/2012 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Ladies' pond Kenwood

Picture by Peter for Geograph - click for more details

There was a real party atmosphere at the pond this morning, largely to do with the lovely weather. The water temperature is only 9 degrees, and that’s cold but, as they say, you feel every half degree below 10 and it was 6 degrees only a few weeks ago (it must work the other way? surely?). Anyway, it’s officially still winter swimming before the clocks go back, and thermos flasks were in evidence, but the rope restraint had been moved back a few feet in honour of the increased temperature. And it is exciting to think that every day from next week the ponds will be open later (and maybe the water will get warmer too, who knows?).

The presence of a male Corporation of London employee didn’t seem to worry anyone much. In fact, it was nice that he was having a chat with the lifeguards while having a cuppa. This reminded me that I have mixed feelings about the ladies’-only aspect of the pond. On the one hand it seems ridiculous to have segregated swimming when even topless sunbathing isn’t allowed. On the other, the ladies’ pond has a very special atmosphere and it’s possible that the single-sex nature is part of that. Having said which, there’s already a small amount of mixed bathing (the men are invited over for an hour next Saturday, 7.30am to 8.30am, shame I’ll miss it as I’ll be in bed). And there’ll be plenty more if the Hampstead Ponds dam redevelopment programme takes place as planned. Perhaps this is the best compromise – we keep our separate ponds but offer a bit of hospitality from time to time. I’d certainly like to try out the men’s!

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