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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The London Evening Standard Reports: “Floating exhibition displays artworks in middle of swimming pond on Hampstead Heath.”

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“Seeing the smiles on the swimmers faces this morning was a great example of the transformative power of art.”

“It was also refreshing to see so many swimmers practicing their treading water techniques as they viewed and explored the floating gallery whilst out on the water… eight works worth more than £20,000 …in the middle of the mixed pond” More…

 

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A swim in the Mekong as the sun sets turning the water orange and silhouetting the landscape in a sharp contrast from the crimson sky.

Swimming in the Mekong

My son is currently touring Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos by bike, you can follow his blog here…

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Wild Swimming at Kings Cross LondonIs this the real life or is it just fantasy?

Our Sceptered Isles unique culture is standing in the way of the free swimming movement. Across Europe and throughout America, outdoor swimming is a given during the summer months, but not so in good old Blighty.

Outdoor swimmers, wild swimmers, whatever they prefer to be called are increasingly frustrated at the swimming restrictions imposed upon them. True the risk of unsupervised outdoor swimming is greater than swimming under the watchful gaze of lifeguards at an indoor pool, but is it morally right to lock swimmers out of sight even if out of danger?

Surely no one would suggest that cyclists give up the open road in favor of a spin class, even if that meant they could never again have an accident.

No one would insist that marathon runners compete on tread mills rather than training and competing in the street, no matter how fancy the setting.

But uniquely in England, swimmers have had their freedom curtailed. The great outdoors is out of bounds to the vast majority of budding enthusiasts. Is their any wonder that swimming is in decline? Of course you cannot monitor every pond, riverbank and lakeside across the country and so scare tactics have been employed to keep swimmers under control. From an early age we are indoctrinated with the teaching that if we swim in rivers and lakes we are dicing with death.

However a new movement, entirely separate from the wild swimming community is raising the issue of prejudice in the swimming environment.

The outrageous suggestion has not only been muted, it’s being implemented; to go ahead and build a natural swimming pond in Kings Cross.

A new Wild Swimming pool at Kings Cross London

This building site location will be transformed into a swimming pool oasis for local residents and visitors. Entrance prices will be comparable to local swimming pools and although unable to accommodate up to 2,000 bathers each day as the larger pools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy do, this small pool is still big enough to welcome 163 bathers each day in warm weather.

Like so many pools across Europe, this bathing oasis will have it’s waters naturally cleansed using plants to filter out impurities just as happens in a natural pools.

Wild Swimming London

It seems ironic that with all the natural pools across the country this man made pond will be the first of its kind in the UK. But in early 2015 and for 20 glorious months thereafter, Kings Cross will become a swimming mecca.

This pool will put outdoor bathing on public display, it will achieve what has not been possible until now, it will show that outdoor swimming is acceptable, desirable and achievable.

Roca London Gallery Urban Plunge

If you would like to know more about the changes London will see over the next few years why not visit the Roca London Gallery and see the free exhibition: Urban Plunge.

To understand the British prejudice towards outdoor swimmers please see the book: Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture, but be prepared, read this book and you will see the British as never before!

If you are not convinced that outdoor swimming is possible without leading to disaster you might enjoy my video featured below:

Just as we had to learn the Green Cross Code before being allowed to cross the road on our own, both adults and children need re-educating in water safety.

Please see advice for adults and teenagers…

Also advice for parents and children…

Please don’t be guilty of prejudice. Before deciding that outdoor swimming is too dangerous for the UK take this short test and discover how sports compare when it comes to drowning risks…

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Whilst in Switzerland filming my new documentary about different attitudes towards river swimming in Europe, I came across these wild swimming ridge tiles in Brienzwiler!

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A swimmer stretches out to avoid the breaking wave at Coogee Beach, Sydney. 2011

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Paris 1945

Paris 1945

Swimming in Paris has a connection with both Leicester and the Olympics. Leicester swimmer John/Jack Arthur Jarvis won 108 swimming championships including two golds at the Paris Olympics in 1900. He learned to swim in the canal in Leicester and founded the Leicester Swimming Club. He was one of only 15 swimmers honored at the official opening of America’s Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.

Discover the history of swimming…

Wild Swimmer

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Wild Swimming in Scotland

Learning to swim the old fashioned way!

Its four hours away by ferry to the nearest swimming pool and you only get to go once a year with the school so schoolchildren on the Scottish island of Tiree are taking swimming lessons in a local loch.

The sessions, which are also open to adults and under-fives, were organised by local artist Catriona Spink.

She said the swimming lessons were proving popular – once those taking part got over the initial shock of the cold water.

“Most of them are quite hardy. Once you get them in there then they just seem to have so much fun.”

Tiree swim week on Loch Bhasapol is running from 2 until 6 September More…

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