Swimmingpod is a podcast series from Stanley Ulijaszek, life-long swimmer. I speak with outdoor swimmers of many persuasions, about their swim-projects, how they got into swimming and what the get out of it. Across all seasons and all outdoor swimming pleasures.
The music is Noe Noe by Castro, and Vienna Beat by Radio Pink, both on Blue Dot Sessions.
Pauline Barker, and the Polar Bear (and Penguin) Challenge
Pauline Barker talks about the origins of the Polar Bear Challenge, and how it has expanded. She describes how many people got through the UK COVID-19 winter through swimming, dipping or equivalent challenges. Most importantly, she talks about what’s in store for the coming winter of 2021-22. Winter swimming has probably never been so popular in the UK as it is now, and Pauline Barker, one of the most experienced people in this field anywhere. The additional music links are Tom Rugg's Polar Bear Song, and the Jedi Theme by John Williams.
Ben Cousins and Free-diving in the South African Kelp Forest
Ben Cousins is 72 years old and is passionate about the ocean – he has surfed it, swum in it, and now free dives in and around the ocean kelp forest south of Simonstown, south of Capetown, South Africa. At the start of our conversation in this podcast. Ben quotes poet Emily Dickenson - ‘That it will never come again - Is what makes life so sweet’. Ben lives life to the full, and strives to understand this mysterious world by keeping a diary for every swim - shark, octopus, stringray, and all the creatures big and small that make up this unique ecology. The music links are 'On Still Waters' by John Surman, Nelson Ayres and Rob Waring; 'A Breath Away' by Ralph Downer; 'Blue in Green' by Miles Davis.
Grumpy Old Swimming, with Judith Holder
Judith Holder is a bestselling comedy writer, TV producer and speaker, who originated the BBC series and stage shows 'Grumpy Old Women' which have sold worldwide. She is passionate about outdoor swimming. In this podcast she talks about her love for swimming, comedy, and her podcast series with friend and comedian Jenny Eclair. Additional linking music is Andy Grammer's 'Gotta Keep Your Head Up'; linking dialogue is from Jenny Eclair and Judith Holder's 'Older and Wider'.
Berlin Swimming Spree - Caitlin Kraemer and Swimming in the City
Caitlin Kraemer is a graduate student in Berlin and has written an article 'Swimming in the City'. In this podcast we talk about Berlin as an outdoor swimming city, and city swimming in general. A citizen-swimmer, she knows a lot about the Flussbad Berlin, which will open up the Spree Canal to open water swimming right in the heart of the city. Additional music links are: Conny Froboess ‘Pack die Badehose ein’; Jaye Jayle 'The River Spree'; Tommy Guerrero 'Sun Rays Like Stilts'.
Anna Deacon, and 'Taking the Plunge'
Anna Deacon is co-author, with Vicky Allen, of the book 'Taking the Plunge', She is a photographer of considerable repute, and has a number of swimming-oriented projects on the go. She talks about these, and more. The additional music link is REM's ‘Nightswimming’.
Darrin Roles and the Lock-to-Lock Swim Series
Darrin Roles started and runs the Lock-to-Lock series of events in the Thames in Oxfordshire. This has grown and grown. In the first year from Eynsham to King’s Lock (4 kilometers), then in subsequent years from Farmoor to King’s Lock (6 kilometers) and from Farmoor to Godstow Lock (10 kilometers). In the course of setting up and running these swims, he revived the Oxford Mile (renamed the Oxford Classic Mile) and set up two swim-runs, along the same stretch of the River Thames as the Lock-to-Lock swims. The additional music links are improvisions by Darrin Roles.
Juliet Turnbull - swimming the Thames her way
Juliet Turnbull is a very accomplished swimmer, and an artist who turns ideas that churn in her mind as she swims, into art-textiles and embroider-work, works that evoke the sensorial nature of being in the water. She lives on the Thames and swims in it. She is swimming the length of it in sections with her friend Fiona Irwin; she also sings under bridges. The musical link is Abba's 'SOS'. This podcast was recorded in January, when we were both in dry robes, recovering after swimming in a snow flurry, she near Hampton Court, London, me at Eynsham Lock, Oxfordshire. The additional music link is Abba's SOS.