Almanac (Swimming) Poetry: Old blokes in black budgie smugglers


Photo: Clayton Aquatics




Old blokes in black budgie smugglers

An Iso Morning at Kardinia Pool



Swimmers gather outside the gate

All shapes and sizes united in Speedos

Some chat, some ponder, some are still in bed

The early sun struggles to reach their souls



The barrier drops and names are checked

Cheery types swipe cards and encourage

Embathered bodies emerge, some athletic, some not

Old blokes in black budgie smugglers abound



Laps only, no frolicking, find your place

Slow, Medium, Fast or Squad

Egos surrender to reality

The water beckons with a slightly wicked grin



The frailties of our lives are washed away

Fifty metres at a time

There is a beginning and an end

The journey feels good



Changerooms and hot happy showers

Self-congratulatory banter amongst mates

Quiet contentment for the sole traders

The prospect of coffee unsaid but potent



On the street the sun beams congratulations



Campbell Bairstow









  1. Great to have you on the Almanac site Campbell.

    Such a familiar scene, beautifully depicted. Nothing like a few laps to consider the state of being.

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    As a fellow early morning swimmer you set the scene so well Campbell! I swam the Kardinia pool many times while the Colac pool was being renovated a few years back and especially enjoyed swimming in a 50m pool over a 25m one.

  3. Nice one Campbell. I’m an old bloke in blue speedos. Never been a good swimmer. I plough rather than fly. I’ve always admired how easy good swimmers make it look.

    Having said that, after the laps have ticked away there is always a good feeling of achievement when old bones are dragged out of the water.

  4. Campbell Bairstow says

    Thanks Colin and Dips. It’s good to hear from fellow lappers. It was a strange winter swimming at Kardinia in the shade of the stands but not watching a single game inside KP. Keep swimming! Campbell

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