Kenwood Ladies’ Pond: a love letter

I have been fortunate to swim in some wonderful places, but nowhere compares to the chilly, slightly muddy patch of water found on Hampstead Heath, known as Kenwood Ladies’ Pond. It’s the place where the inner drone of everyday worries and grumbles magically disappear and where you emerge shivering, full of happiness, back into a world that always seems a bit more wonderful than it did before.

Kenwood Ladies’ Pond is 89 years old, being opened to the public in 1926. Until then, women had only limited access to the other swimming ponds of the Heath, which were open to male swimmers only for most of the week.

A number of people ask “why do you need a pond for women only?”, and I suppose my answer would be that for many women, perhaps it isn’t considered strictly necessary. But it is a place where we dress and undress together, laugh, share ideas, debate, dance, celebrate the seasons, bring food to share, pin articles, swap books…and sometimes even swim! Continue reading “Kenwood Ladies’ Pond: a love letter”

Slovenia: Green, blue and green. Part 2 – sustainability

Panorama across Ljubljana

So, in my last post I waxed lyrical about some of the many, many joys of swimming in this gorgeous country and its amazing countryside. However, I was also really impressed with how green, clean and sustainability-minded it also seems to be.

At home in London, I can often spot on my way to work what people had for breakfast, or for dinner the night before, because the packaging and unwanted remnants of fast food are ‘handily’ left out on the street for other passers-by to see. I think a lot of people are aware that Britain has a serious litter problem, but I’d kind of got used to it. Visiting Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, has suddenly made me very aware of it again!

The one bit of rubbish we saw touring round the Slovenian countryside
Rubbish seen in Slovenia: item one of two

The place is pretty much spotless Continue reading “Slovenia: Green, blue and green. Part 2 – sustainability”