Sunday, 2 June 2013

Gosling at the Ladies' Pond


The last baby gosling at Hampstead ladies' pond! Sniff. Its siblings were eaten by dogs. The life guards said 2 more weeks and it should be fine - ie, strong enough to fly away when chased by a pack of labradors. They're also keeping the gates closed to deter goose-crazed dogs.

The ladies' pond is one of those magical London sanctuaries: a swimmable pond fringed by reeds and weeping willows. It's smaller than the men's pond but more hidden and atmospheric. Every time I go, I half expect a badger to cross the water in a rowing boat or a hedgehog to wash its socks on the bank, Beatrix-Potter style. Last year I even saw an electric blue kingfisher.

The only downside: the water is pretty chilly right now.

My thoughts when I went for a swim this morning:


1. (on the ladder, testing the water with my toe) Fuck this is cold.

2. (still on the ladder) Why am I doing this?

3. (jumping in) Aaaaaaah

4. (first ring) Brain-shock

5. (second ring) My skin is on fire. In an ice-fire kind of way.

6. (third ring) There's a goose nesting in the ring. Nice.

7. Wah! A mandarin duck just swam past my nose. And a gosling! That's a gosling! Careful, little gosling, labradors are not your friends.

8. (last buoy) Blue-green, silver-green, sun-dappled green, yellow-green, brown-green. Sunlight on pond water. Duck feet kicking up silver sparks.
I have dived into a Monet painting and am swimming around in it.

9. (swimming through the painting) This is even better than that trip in Thailand when I thought the jungle was a symphony and I was conducting it.

10. (climbing out) Please London keep the Hampstead ladies' pond alive forever and ever.


See you at the pond! Once you're in, the water is lovely.







No comments:

Post a Comment