Friday, 18 November 2011
There's always time to enjoy the view
I left the house at 9 am this morning and returned four hours later. I'd packed my rucksack for the trip: swimming stuff, purse, phone etc as I'd decided to run to Regent's Park and, after several laps, would head back to the heath for a swim.
I got as far as Primrose Hill.
On such a beautiful morning, it seemed a shame not to sit down and enjoy the amazing view over London. Unfortunately, once sat down, it was difficult to get up again. So I didn't. I stayed on the bench, chatted to a small dog, then phoned a friend.
Suitably rejuvenated, I wandered into Camden for a coffee and a blueberry muffin. And after an hour of magazine reading, I was ready for the walk back to Hampstead. Well, the walk to the tube anyway.
I still had good intentions to go for a swim. The pond was a 30-minute walk away, so I went for the second-best option. The nearby leisure centre.
That's when I discovered that getting into lukewarm water is no easier than getting into cold water. In fact, when I emerged 20 minutes later, I was freezing.
What's lovely about swimming on the heath is that when you get out, you feel nice and warm. Or, at least, you think you're nice and warm because the water is so blooming cold. It's one of things that makes swimming at the pond such a joy.
There was no joy at the leisure centre.
It was packed and I nearly got run over by an old lady. She had a very aggressive stroke that created a sonic boom every time her hand hit the water. Several times I had to take evasive action to avoid her fist impacting with my head. It was so terrifying I got out. That doesn't happen at the pond.
(Stats: 2.5 miles; 25.53 minutes; 10.21 minute/mile. Swimming: 20 laps; 500 metres/0.31 miles; 20 minutes; 64.30 minute/mile (really??!!!))
(Pic: A lovely spot for a bit of a sit-down.)