Welcome to England. Summer and it’s pissing down. This was back on Thursday last week. The longest day of the year. I’d wanted to be with family up in the arctic, celebrating with a bottle of whisky sitting in a rowing boat on a fjord under the magical glow of the Midnight Sun. However events here have kept me UK bound for the next few weeks. Plus I’m getting near the end of a new novel - The Black Lake – and writing within a momentum is important at this stage.
A couple of good friends of mine suggested a return to Clifton Lido, a shallow outdoor pool surrounded by grand Georgian houses in the hidden heart of Bristol’s upper echelons. Last time I went there was back in November when the temperature was close to zero oC – swimming with steam rising off your body (swimming under the stars & cocktails). And like then, this visit was superb. A visceral experience, where your bare body is subjected to the raw elements. In this case – sheets of chilly rain. However, it comes with the blissful escape clause of luxury sauna, steam room and jacuzzi placed within trotting distance of the pool, walls of thickened glass providing a two-way view of both worlds; the external elements and the internal comfort. You’re also overlooked by the restaurant – which we all went to after our swim – where they serve fantastic food and a range of single malts and American bourbon. Perfect for the soul.