At The Swim.

                                            At The Swim


I loved going swimming at the local pools a couple of years ago when they never had unisex changing rooms.

Where the lockers were were tiny community spaces where local women undressed in front of each other, creamed  their legs and discussed surrogate pregnancies, forthcoming art exhibitions and the state of the showers. Regulars giggled together joined by young mums with babes in arms plonked onto plastic cradles on stands. The shy women pulled and peeled off their wet costumes behind half-hung rubber curtains. The nattering never stopped just because the hair-driers were busy.


Women came in all colours, shapes, ages and sizes and I loved all their forms. Doris at seventy-five had the legs of a twenty something but the hunched back of a woman who’d worked hard all her life. Gloria showed off her nail polished toes and took ages to position her swimming cap over her weave. Tanya never washed before she came in and her cossie had seen better days.


Women together listening with ears cocked, folding towels, using flannels, chatting about telly, guarding against the weather, pushing in their earrings. Women having an hour between other day’s business swimming, relaxing, comparing, smiling, laughing, saying hello and goodbye, all active.


Feb 2nd-29th at Hackney Central Library come and see an exhibition of paintings of older women and some others by a woman artist. Then in March, another treat showing more older women. Eat your heart out, Saatchi.old





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