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Author talks: Joe Minihane, ‘Floating’, and the importance of outdoor swimming
August 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020
In his book Floating: A Return to Waterlog, Joe Minihane documents his ambitious outdoor swimming journey across the UK. TEN YEARS ON from the start of his adventures, we are celebrating with special, signed bookplate copies, exclusive to Kenilworth Books!
Joe reads from FloatingListen to Joe talk about Kenilworth and the importance of outdoor swimming, including a reading from Floating itself.
Ties to KenilworthJoe was inspired by Roger Deakin, the naturalist, filmmaker and eccentric who swam across the British Isles, recording his experiences of wild and outdoor swimming in his much-loved book, Waterlog. In Waterlog, Deakin recalls his original inspiration for outdoor swimming: KENILWORTH LIDO.
“My earliest memory of serious swimming if of being woken very early on holiday mornings with my grandparents in Kenilworth by a sudden rain of pebbles at my bedroom window aimed by my Uncle Laddie, who was a local swimming champion and had his own key to the outdoor pool.”
Importance of outdoor swimmingOutdoor swimming helped Joe Minihane recognise and cope with his anxieties. At a testing time with COVID-19, Floating reminds us that outdoor swimming can help our mental wellbeing. Nationally, people have been flocking in huge numbers to beaches, lakes and rivers. In an ongoing pandemic, the recent scenes at Bournemouth beach have been dangerous. Meanwhile, safer and regulated outdoor spaces, such as Kenilworth Lido, remain closed, neglected and in disrepair. What is the sense in this?
Minihane’s support for lido campaignJoe recognises the historical, local and cultural importance of Kenilworth Lido, supporting calls for it to be saved and restored.
Saving Kenilworth Lido is absolutely vital. Moving it indoors is an act of civic vandalism, especially at a time when we need to spend more time outdoors. Lidos provide safe places to exercise and improve our mental health, as well as giving us a direct connection with nature –– the birds flying overhead, the wind on the surface, the sound of the leaves blowing on a summer’s afternoon. They are also a key part of any community which has one, more so than any indoor pool. Kenilworth Lido has a rich history and plays a key role in Roger Deakin’sswimming classic Waterlog. Without his childhood swims there, this masterpiecemay never have been written. It would be a tragedy to see it go.’