FOREST HILL POOLS
Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3HZ
Tel: 020 8291 8730
Pros: It’s a brand new pool
Cons: I’ll admit, I’m hard pushed to find one. I could nit pick, it would be a strange day if I didn’t. I could moan about Forest Hill, but why, when it also has the Horniman Museum. You're never too old to snigger about that.
(Pics: before and after. When I find a better 'after' pic, I'll change it.)
I started my life in London living in a shared flat in Forest Hill, found through an ad in the Guardian. Then, my life was full of smokers and dopers and wannabe actors, it was odds and sods and cash-in-hand and slow trains to London Bridge. I would have no more gone for a swim than I would have nailed my foot to the floor. Now I still live in a shared house but they’re my family, my life is full of school runs and jokers and dog walkers, and I’m coming back to Forest Hill Pool for a swim with a friend who just did an Ironman race*. It’s not always ‘funny’, how life turns out, but it is certainly unexpected.
And if sometimes life hands me little bits of synchronicity, I’d be remiss to ignore them; they’re writerly flavour. This was today’s: I moved to Forest Hill in the month that my father was dying. I was 21, graduating from uni. My dad, generally a classical man, had embraced Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and Focus - he played the Focus LP over and over and over.** And on my car radio on the journey here? A Focus track, ‘Sylvia’. (I put up a link so you could hear what was inflicted on me throughout my formative years.) I knew every breath of it, it was imprinted somewhere beyond my control, I couldn’t have forgotten it if I’d tried. If my life was a film, that in the car, then, was the moment for a flashback.