Annual Picnic 2009

After many years of having to trek up to the wilds of North London, finally some South Londoners (and it’s not often Laura and Hugh get referred to as southerners!) saw the picnic return to the south of the Thames. A beautifully hot day saw the UL descend to Tooting Bec Common (conveniently within rolling home distance for Laura) and after a quick game of football, some pretty serious eating got underway.

After the post-picnic snooze and sunbathe, we all collected up our things and headed over to Tooting Bec Lido to get changed for a swim in Britain’s largest open air swimming pool. Nick Jones offered to look after everyone’s belongings after he was not allowed inside a public swimming pool fully clothed with a long-zoom lens camera (believe it or not)!

For the rest of us, the pool sat there looking a tempting blue, but being as it was June, even if the air temperature was hot, that did not necessarily mean that the water temperature was (it’s all thermodynamics you know)! Hugh “helped” anyone that was trying to get in slowly and gently with a shove that saw Jess and Jen experience the quick way to find out how cold the water was.

Once everyone had made a return trip to the far end (a ridiculous 90m away) and deciding that the deeper part of the pool was not only colder as it was deeper, but also hadn’t seen the sun much that afternoon, we decided to stay down the shallower end with an improvised game of water volleyball.

Once most people were suffering from the early stages of hypothermia (and that included the UL’s resident doctor-to-be), we got out of the pool and got changed ready to start that UL Picnic favourite of a game of rounders.

Having decided a couple of innings that, for a UL event it was getting rather too sporty, we headed off to the Bedford pub in Balham to enjoy a refreshing pint or two. Thanks are due to Laura and Hugh for organising a truly excellent picnic.

By Peter Jasper