Clockwise from top left: 'The Hockney Swimmer' by Michael Childers/ The wonderful 'Lifesaver' tapestry by Anton Veenstra/ Close-up and original swimming pool shots by Massimo Vitali/ 'Marginal Waters #19' from Doug Ischar's fantastic series of gay sunbathers in 1980s Chicago/ Massimo Vitali's 'Beach and Disco' one of those ultimate coffee table books that gives you page after page of joy and you just want to photocopy every single one and paste them onto your walls.
This morning I almost hit the snooze button on my alarm, but managed to find the will to blinkily arise and walk the 5 minutes around the corner for my morning swim. The pool was unusually crammed, with every regular apparently having had the same idea; Thursday, 7am. There wasn't much that was relaxing about this swim. Some mornings you can glide through the water and if the sun is already strong it comes through the glass roof and throws itself onto the the water so that the surface becomes dappled with the optical illusion of fried eggs. When it's one of those bright mornings, and everything feels warmer and you have to squint I often close my eyes and glide through and think of beaches and tight swimwear and the various photographs above which I've seen along the way. Massimo Vitali and Doug Ischar and David Hockney. Sometimes the water is smooth, and sometimes the Angel of the Pool arrives at around 7.20 and makes choppy waves with his front crawl and flips as he pushes off the walls at the end of each length. Today though we all weaved in between each other, checking behind ourselves like indicating cars and giving more thought to the process of the swim rather than what we might wear to work or what we had to do today. The showers were fuller than usual and there was more conversation. I spoke to the woman beside me as we lathered our armpits and cleaned between our toes with soap- I increasingly enjoy the oddness of washing openly with the same strangers everyday.