“The act of swimming is a primordial act; the body becomes more sensitive and aware of nature in water,” Sylvain Hartenberg.

kings x pond 3

Today I went to the Kings Cross Pond. I thought it was just another place to go for a swim but it was more amazing than I ever imagined it would be. I vaguely knew it was some kind of temporary art project but I hadn’t thought too much about that aspect. In fact the whole place was a revelation to me.

I knew that the weather was forecast to be beautiful today and I decided to take the opportunity to visit the pond, something I have been meaning to do all summer. As usual I had difficulty finding the pond. I am so bad at directions and I don’t know how to use the GPS on my phone properly. I had brought an old A to Z with me but as I had forgotten to bring my glasses that was useless. I did find it eventually and from the first moment I was astounded.

The pond is in the middle of a building site. It is made to look even more like a building site by the red and white edging and workman’s hut like changing rooms. It is a temporary installation, part swimming pond, part artwork.

It is cleaned by plants, gravel and somehow or other that I don’t quite understand yet, by the presence of the swimmers. They allow a maximum of 163 swimmers a day so you have to book your place but it is not expensive, only £3.80 per person per swim. There are sun loungers, a life guard, changing rooms, showers (cold) and grass to sit on.

The staff were helpful and friendly. The water temperature was 15 degrees.

kings x pond 2

I got into the water quickly. I am always amazed when I get into cold water how I seem to be overwhelmed by a rush of happiness. After that I couldn’t stop smiling. I immediately fell into conversation with another woman, also Jane. It was her first visit too and I think we were both so amazed and happy to be there that we had to communicate it to one another.

The good thing is that although it is small there is a shallow end and a deep part, something that is so often missing from swimming pools these days. It is so much nicer to swim in deep water, you feel more supported, at least I do. I stayed in swimming up and down for about twenty minutes. I did not feel cold at all but I could start to feel that my hands and feet were getting a bit numb so I thought I’d better get out.

I got dressed and went to have a cup of coffee in the lovely café nearby that seemed to be connected to an urban garden. They were growing all sorts of plants and herbs. Then I went up on to the viewing platform to look at the pool from above.

kings x pond 1

More information about the pond can be found here Kings Cross Pond. It is absolutely worth a visit.

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