Wastwater YHA Birthday Weekend

Many years ago I went up to Wastwater Youth Hostel with a friend of mine and fell in love with the place. It’s in a gorgeous valley that has Scafell Pike at one end, has the deepest lake in England on the doorstep and was built as someone’s fine country mansion, so I thought that it would be good to fill it with friends one day and make it our own country pile for a while.

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Two Years of lido relaxation!


Tis almost two years since my last post, so I took a look back over the years since I set-up Cyber Gypsy and had a few thoughts before heading back into the world of on-line personal biography writing.

My original reason for starting this site off was partly because I didn’t really want to.  I was quite against the idea of typing into a screen at regular intervals to an audience of possibly zero, but I take note if my attitudes are ever negative such as tucking into Neighbours for a few years when Kylie Minogue was a mechanic because I used to dislike soap operas so much, so I did the same with blogging and went about turning my dislike around.

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It hasn’t really felt like winter’s as I remember them, but then again I do remember some pretty grim winters. Miner’s strikes cutting power to damp cities, shoes that never seemed to dry out, England and I are in a better place now.

The thing that has really exorcised the ghost of winters past for me has been my daily swims in Tooting Bec Lido; the realisation that our bodies not only survive more extreme temperatures but can actually thrive, the support of people when they see you going through this process, almost religious but without the dogma, a healthy cult where the pay-off is seeing that light of realisation, of trust in oneself and the environment. How lovely, how truly and simply lovely.

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What Winter


Whilst roasting in the Tooting Bec Lido sauna the other day someone referred to the current weather as a heat wave. The water, hovering at 5 degrees seems to some to be a balmy bath compared to what it could be at this time of year, so people wander about virtually naked but for a lick of cloth and occasionally a pair of Liz Taylor sunglasses, chit chatting as if we were in Benalmadena minus the palms.  Anyone looking in through the  security fence might see people who are locked in for their own good.

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Cold Water


Tooting Bec Lido is situated in a South London park. It’s huge, is almost two Olympic length pools end to end (100 yards long) and the width of a normal swimming pool.

It’s also unheated.

The fact that it’s unheated doesn’t deter the good people of London from taking a dip in winter, which is something I have managed to avoid due to being away most winters. This year however I decided to stay and face the music, which is a frosty tune I must say.

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English Summer

I can’t believe it was the 19th of May that I returned to Blighty, it seems like an age since then.

I have done few of the things I had lined up for my return and many of the things I had not, for instance I have only been to one festival though I had lined up myself a good few more to attend, yet have been busy work-wise plus have been helping a fellow turn his pub into an art gallery.

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Rolls Royce Qantas Engine Failure

I have a friend who, when she gets on a plane, I have been known to get a phone call from the cabin. She checks out the safety features, the amount of engines (two can looks pretty thin for such a large plane), ¬†she’s a nervous flier and as such keeps an eye on safety to such an extent that she has confronted people that behave suspiciously on a flight. It works, she has always gotten to where she is heading.

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