Wheaton’s Way

The frigid waters of a pool in winter

You may have read a previous column of mine, talking about the joys of moving house. My best friend, Lynne Firth, and I have shared a dwelling for many years, along with our multiple cats. Yes, we are living the dream.

This year, we decided it was time to move into a larger place. Either that or get rid of lots of belongings we no longer needed. No contest.
One of the big draws of our new residence was its swimming pool and the fact that it was a standalone house. It meant I didn’t have to be suitable for public viewing in order to go for a dip.

Of course, a pool brought additional bills with it. Weekly maintenance, for one, and the purchase of skimmers, a vacuum hose and numerous floaties. Still, it was an excellent trade and we found ourselves in the water every weekend over the summer. It was warm and inviting, but still cooled us down – the perfect combination.

We went on a two-week vacation in October and then hit the ground running at work as soon as we returned. It was therefore a week or two before we reacquainted ourselves with the pool.

It was a balmy Saturday afternoon and with nothing else on my schedule, I eagerly changed into my swimsuit-for-the-full-figured-gal. Lynne had been to the salon that morning to have her hair done, so although she was up for a swim, there was no way she was getting her head wet.

I made it out to the deck first and inflatable bed in hand, I stepped down into the water.


“Wow. It’s pretty cold!” I yelled towards the house.

Lynne emerged from the patio, sporting a large, flowery shower cap, like something ripped from the head of Strawberry Shortcake.

“What the hell?” I murmured.

“I. Am. Not. Getting. My. Hair. Wet.” she replied.

She then proceeded to lower herself into the pool, step-by-step, at a snail’s pace.

“BRRRR….!” she exclaimed, as the colourful mushroom on her head shivered in sympathy.

“It’s not THAT cold,” I said.

“Vicki; it’s cold,” she countered. “I tell you – I wouldn’t have survived the Titanic. I would have been the first one to succumb.”

“Are you seriously comparing the temperature of this swimming pool to the North Atlantic?” I replied, incredulously.

Honestly, the Canadian was an iguana when it came to winter. I was surprised we hadn’t had the cullers hiding in the bushes, ready to take her down.

I wasn’t feeling it as much as her, but this certainly wasn’t the bathwater of the summer. It took me a while to acclimatise and I began to wonder if it was going to get colder. What then? Would Lynne be looking at dry suits next? Would we have to wait until June, 2020?

I called Oasis Pool & Spa and asked the most bonkers question from someone who lives in the Caribbean: “What would it cost to heat the pool in the winter?”

To their credit, they didn’t laugh at me. In fact, they actually sympathised and said I wasn’t the first to ask. They would send a quote that day.

Later that evening, an email arrived in my inbox with the potential cost of heating my pool. I didn’t laugh either. I’d have to sell an organ to pay for it or accept the alternative of jumping in with a hot water bottle strapped to my chest.

Needless to say, I’m not springing for a heating system. Time to get the wetsuit out of the crawl space.

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