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Friday, 7 July 2017

Water play down the decades


Somehow I can't seem to take the gentleman in the Sepia Saturday prompt image for this week seriously. It might be because of the way he is turning his head aroind to look at the photographer, but if he was really about to dive in, I hope he had checked that the water was deep enough and that there were no submerged objects in the vicinity, particularly as there seems to be a rather  large rock poking up not far away from the platform. 

Here are a few snaps of yours truly, posing firstly aged about two and a half on a footstool above our backyard paddling pool in 1955 and secondly in 1960 on the edge of a local public pool with my mother and siblings. In neither case could I have actually dived in.

Jumping off the steps seems to have been a popular activity, as shown below in this shot of us with our neighbours, two sisters who often came over to play. My sister Louisa is on the steps with Elfriede. I imagine the paddling pool must have required frequent refilling with the garden hose as a result. Much fun was had by all, getting splashed and cooling down in the process. Mum's album contains many more paddling pool snaps over the years.

This next shot was taken by Mum on a visit she made to her brother Graeme and family in Los Gatos, California and shows my American cousins Mike and Pat having fun in their home pool in 1973.

On to the next generation and here are our children and their cousins enjoying the above ground pool at their paternal grandparents' home in the early 1990s. It was a popular place for the eight cousins when we visited for Christmas in the hot Canberra summers and they were all sorry when it was finally dismantled and its place in the garden was reclaimed for a rose bed.


In 1989 we moved into a home with an inground pool, and these two photos from the same decade show a) a pool party and b) the family in and around the pool.

Our two older children actually had some diving lessons at the Ryde swimming pool in Sydney. I can imagine I was probably secretly glad that the Olympic diving tower was closed that day as the sign indicates. That top tower was pretty high!

Fast forward to Christmas 2016 and back to paddling pool fun, with our little granddaughters, then aged two and 3/4 and 11 months respectively, cooling off in a very small version, just big enough for the two of them to enjoy. I don't think their mothers would have wanted me to produce a diving/jumping stool!


For more blogs inspired by this weeks old photo, please dive in here at the deep end.


  1. We had one of those wading pools at our grandparents and we five granddaughters enjoyed many hot hours running through it and splashing around. We never tried diving in. Thank goodness!

  2. Perfect "diving" photographs to match the prompt. You look adorable in the first photo, as do your little granddaughters.

  3. A wonderful set of photographs down through the ages of young would-be divers (and some real divers). It all looks so compellingly cool at the moment.

  4. Oh Jo, these are so cute! But jumping into that baby pool looks dangerous. I picture your feet sliding and then landing on your bottom with a thud. But does that ever stop anybody? NO!

  5. A delightful set of photos, perfect for the theme.

  6. That very first one of you is just wonderful...brings back a flood(?) of memories! Nice to see the swimmers through the generations, too.

  7. Oh what fun to make a splash. I'm sure you figured out early how to make sure you didn't get hurt by leaving your legs extended. Nothing like the "bomb" for splashes! And real divers in the family too! Loved having pools for kids to play in when we lived in FL. Just thinking of swimming to enjoy the holidays at Christmas is such a novel thought for us northern hemisphere folks. Lucky you.

  8. That is the smallest kids pool I've ever seen! It makes me think of a hummingbird nest. And those are great shots of you showing your pre-diving form.

    1. Yes, I didn't realise how little it was when I bought it.

  9. What a charming photo of the little ones in the tiny pool. Do they have great smiles!! They got their good looks from you —you were an adorable child.

  10. we had one of those little padding pools when we were kids, fun with our cousins too. great photos, you were such a cutie - love the first photo. :)