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Swim for Restoration 2018

22 May 2018

Categories: Restoration, Events, Open Day

Lifestyle writer and blogger Susan Earlam gives her personal account of swimming at our Swim for Restoration...

A blissfully sunny afternoon and I found myself with butterflies in my stomach.

That familiar pre-swimming lesson sensation from childhood, rearing it’s fluttering head.

Getting out of my car with my swim stuff in a bag on my shoulder, I clutch my phone and bring up the virtual ticket.

My passport through time.

My mum swam here as a girl and now I am getting to swim in the most majestic and criminally underfunded venue in Manchester, Victoria Baths, as if you didn't know.

The volunteers working today are attentive and knowledgeable. I get shown to a cubicle and it dawns on me why the ticket says a set time, there’s only so many cubicles to get changed in.

Seeing the pool filled with water, and the sun filtering through the glass windows is breath-taking. Inside the pool colourful inflatables are frolicking with members of the public, everyone is smiling in wonder. We all can't believe it, what a treat, what a moment to remember.

There’s a real feeling of being in on some wonderful secret place.

The water is surprisingly warm, I am swimming solo, but I don't feel alone. I want to linger, to absorb all the details here, all the sensations. I wish I could take photographs with my eyes.

The Baths has come to life in a way I haven't seen before on my many visits preceding this one. And of course, it makes complete sense it is a Baths after all, this is what it’s designed for.

Everything feels more vibrant, more lucid, more colourful.

Just more.

I wish everyone could see it today, and when I share a photo on my Instagram feed a few days later it feels like I’ve shown it to people. I say, look, look at this wonderful place. This is what you could have. This is where you could go. The photo goes on to be one of my most liked and engaging photos ever.

The secret is out.