Saturday, December 1, 2018

A New Zealand Waterbiography

"You bathe carefully, as you live, between the flags." ~ Janet Frame (from Owls Do Cry)

Here's another book hot off the press that I can highly recommend as a very good present. Buy Local!

Swim: A year of swimming outdoors in New Zealand by Annette Lees (Potton & Burton 2018). 

The title is a little misleading because the included diary of a year's worth of the author's swim-a-day, though entertaining, is not even the half of what is on offer here.

This is a well researched 'waterbiography' of  'wild swimming'in NZ, covering lots of different aspects. There are guest contributions, historical insights, potted biographies, chapters with titles like 'Night Swimming', 'Urban Creeks', 'Teaching Swimming', as well as one that discusses the different types of 'bomb' (jumping into the water with maximum splash).

And more. It's an interesting and educational book, well backed up with citations and bibliography, without being overly academic.

There are apposite quotes from NZ literature (several from Janet Frame) and many other relevant sources of information. And great illustrations.

I was a water baby myself, growing up, and very much enjoyed a trip down the memory lane of the school swimming pool.

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