Posts Tagged ‘indoor pool’


December 20, 2015 4 comments
Blue topaz, blue water

Blue topaz, blue water

On holiday in Sri Lanka many years ago, Clive and I visited a moonstone mine. There was plenty of moonstone jewellery for sale, but I was struck by a ring set with a brilliant blue topaz.

It cost rather more than moonstone, but then it had many more times the depth of colour … and Clive indulged me.

When it sits on the rim of the indoor pool, it looks almost as if a drop of the bright turquoise water has jumped into the setting.

I can imagine I’m inside the cut stone when I’m in the pool, and in the pool when I look into the depths of the stone.

The colour match gives me the same glee as when some morning glories opened out exactly the same shade of blue as the water tank (the ‘blue pig’) they were growing over. I even showed the Garden Centre man when he made a delivery, but he just looked at me as if I was a bit touched!

Fished out

December 18, 2015 Leave a comment
A corner of the indoor pool

Clean, empty water

This is a corner of our above-ground indoor pool where I swim in the winter.

The temperature of the water, which we don’t usually heat, averages 19 degrees C. Bearable but not luxurious!

Unlike the mosaic above, it contains no fish.

It does, however, contain other life from time to time apart from me: moths, spiders (which survive an extraordinarily long time under water), earwigs, shield bugs, wood lice, centipedes …

Nothing like the range of wildlife that ends up in the outside pool, of course, and what goes in here gets fished out pretty sharpish; I run a tight ship.

Very usefully, on two occasions I’ve found a queen hornet struggling in the water, though not for long as she was quickly put out of her misery. More convenient than having to chase her up the windows and round the back of the pictures!

Portrait of a gentleman

June 21, 2013 2 comments
Galileo on the pool steps

Galileo on the pool steps

This is Galileo, relaxed but alert, reclining on one of the steps leading to the indoor pool.

Above him is the hardboard-backed flower poster which is intended to stop him from falling into the water.

To his left are some of the bookshelves which have been built all over the exposed pool side.

Galileo wears the expression of an aristocratic gentleman having his portrait painted.

I should tie a silk cravat between the wings of his cavalier hair!

Time warp

December 18, 2012 2 comments

I try to spend 15 minutes every day swimming in our indoor pool.

Motion-blur photo of me in the pool

Motion-blur photo of me in the pool

It must be a time warp because 15 minutes in there are not like 15 minutes anywhere else – they’re much longer.

Clive calls out to me every so often how many minutes have passed and I can’t believe how much life has slowed down.

It might have something to do with the fact that my lower arms and lower legs are churning the Bering Sea while my wetsuited torso is snugly in the tropics.

I have plenty of time to think and I come up with all sorts of ideas and solutions to problems.

Unfortunately this is of limited value because by the time I’ve padded into the bathroom like an outsize frog, flayed myself, turned my skin right way out and rinsed it, then got dressed, all my thoughts have flown away.

Tiny scorpion

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I moved a tub of chlorine on the rim of the indoor pool today and a tiny little scorpion fell into the water.

A tiny scorpion

I fished it out on my finger where it lay still. Drowned, maybe?

I called to Clive who grabbed my camera but by the time he was poised it was no longer a still shot: the scorpion was on the move.

It crawled along the side of my hand and was heading for my wrist when I decided enough was enough and flicked it onto an outside windowsill.

Scorpions are visually appealing but they’re definitely better outside than inside.

It also looks as though we may have 2 species of scorpion. This one has completely different proportions to the ones we normally find.


December 12, 2011 3 comments

When we built the indoor pool, we intended to put the heat exchanger in the space under some fixed steps. To this end, we diverted the heating pipes, and left a hollow in the floor to expose them at their furthest reach.

It turned out that the heat exchanger could fit very snugly in the recess behind the pool where the pump was so our loops of pipe, and our rather ugly hollow in the floor, appeared to have no purpose.

But there was an unexpected twist to the tale.

The liner of the pool had a join which passed right through where we cut the hole for the skimmer and this made it difficult to get a watertight seal. The result was that the pool leaked, very slowly.

Water appeared in the hollow in the floor – nowhere else, just there. We spent a lot of time trying to work out where it came from, hoovering it up and watching which edge it seeped back from. Was it from the pipes that looped through it?

In the end we worked out its origin and by gluing a sort of gusset round the skimmer hole we fixed the problem.

I christened the hollow in the floor ‘the diagnostic hollow’ and was deeply grateful that it had alerted us.

The 'diagnostic hollow'

Now we’re about to build those long-promised fixed steps, but there won’t be a space underneath them and the loops of pipe were sticking up just enough to be in the way. So we had a plumber cut them a bit shorter and turn them back on themselves in a neat little curve of shiny copper which we hope will leave just enough space for the base of the steps.

The hollow is potentially too useful to concrete in so we will fill it with gravel and insert some kind of tube to give access to its depths so at some future point (God forbid) we can test for humidity in there.

Taking steps

December 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Far and away the best exercise Clive can have for his now hernia-free back is movement in water, and it just so happens that we have a heated indoor swimming pool.

The problem is getting in and out, and since it’s an above-ground pool there’s the additional challenge of bridging the gap between the floor of the room and the rim of the pool.

I currently use an inclined  ladder on the outside and a vertical one on the inside, both made of white resin. When I’m in the water, I lift the inside ladder off its little resin hooks and post it onto the side of the pool so that it doesn’t get in the way, seeing as it’s a very small pool, and also so that no maverick currents are set up by the counter-current machine. 

The ladders are too precarious for Clive, however.

We also have an outdoor pool, now closed and covered till next May, which has outside steps custom-made for us by a blacksmith. The blacksmith himself and his 2 stalwart assistants struggled to move it, so for us to bring it indoors is a definite no-no.

But the inside steps are made of white resin in a ‘wedding-cake’ style (except they don’t splay like a wedding cake). They are buoyant and relatively light; immovability is achieved by placing 2 very heavy inserts filled with sand on 2 of the treads.

We always bring these steps into the house for the winter because to leave them in the pool would make it almost impossible to put the tarpaulin on with their tall rails sticking up, and if we left them just sitting outside they’d be covered in algae and hibernating snails etc by spring.

Steps on their side ready to be lowered into the pool

The inside steps from the outside pool normally sit in the passageway all winter, between Clive’s bicycle and a stack of pellet sacks, and with the rolled up garden hoses tucked into their hollow interior. They are obviously an ideal candidate for the inside steps of the inside pool.

They can’t be made into a fixture like they can in the outside pool because they would leave scarcely any room to bob up and down let alone swim. They have to be lifted in and out every time Clive goes into the pool.

The whole feasibility of the idea hinges on me being able to lift the ‘wedding-cake’ (for want of a better name) out of the pool and onto the back rim by myself when I’m in the water. Clive can’t help me because he needs the steps in position both before and after his time in the water. My old twin-ladder system, slightly relocated,  will enable me to make my own getaway.

Today we did the dry run (or should I say the wet run). It worked perfectly. A bit clumsy, but I would hope to perfect my technique with time.

Now it just remains to construct steps up the outside of the pool, and that’s Clive’s department seeing as he’s an engineer.