Last night after the show, I was lucky enough to meet Lola and John: authors of Wild Swimming Spain and Outdoor swimming London books. They both seemed to have really enjoyed the show and were lovely to natter to after. In fact, John let on that he wasn't a fan of theatre but was suitably impressed by SWIM! We had already arranged to meet at Parliament Hill Lido which was John's local. We parted after a couple of pints and met the following morning.
Born and bred in the area, John has swam at this lido since he was a kid. He tells me stories of when his dad did flips off the board and ended in hospital. Every single person we pass seems to know John, or he them, he tells me 'so-and-sos working with so-and-so' and 'him over there loves a swim' and 'she went to school with him ...'. It was so fun to listen to and to be introduced to all these regular swimmers, this community of lido-goers. John took on a role of being promoter for my show, it was really very nice of him. Everyone seemed enthused and willing listened. A little embarrassing for me at times! but there was such a warmth in it all.
We actually spent an hour sitting and people-watching. I was very relaxed and happy to be in John's company. And finallty we took the plunge and got in. I did my usual little screams as I passed my ozone layer and then was in and smiling. John in the lane next to me up and down.
I showered after and fully embraced the nudity of the communal female showers, and as some women nattered about a theatre show they had booked for, thought I'd give my penny's worth and piped up about my show, as I stood there naked telling them my name 😂. Turns out one of them was an actor and was very enthusiastic to hear about a theatre show about swimming: a first to be showering with a fellow actor in an outdoor swimming environment.
John was nattering to his mate the lifeguard as I stepped out, and the lido was closing early at lunch. Nicky the lifeguard excitedly telling us how he is going to feature in a film about the lido :)
We walked to the overground and I encouraged John to visit the Lake District, as I was gobsmacked he'd never been. He reassured me he will one day soon, but for now, on with work and more swimming London.
It was good timing meeting Lola ad John as they gave me a good energetic boost as I went into that night's performance, and it was also so good to visit this legendary lido and come back to an area I haven't been to since I lived in London.
No, I didn't get chance to visit the Ladies Ponds or Beckenham Park Lake (as planned) but the two London lido experiences were spot on.