Becoming one with nature in London

At £20, becoming a member of the Serpentine Swimming Club does not cost the world. It is one of the few places in London where triathletes can train in open waters. The membership application form suggests there might be another ‘fee’ to pay, though:

Tests over the years have shown that without chemical treatment bacteriological contamination can occur in the Serpentine. We are advised that swimming in contaminated water such as untreated Serpentine may render the swimmer open to such diseases as:

a) Salmonellosis or Shingellosis – at worst typhoid but more generally stomach upsets;
b) Amoebic dysentery;
c) Poliomyelitis;
d) Infective hepatitis;
e) Sore throats, noses, ears etc. caused by streptococci psdeudomonads or staphylococci.

These are only some of the possibilities; there are others, including Weill’s disease and botulism.

It has been agreed that members of the swimming club may continue to swim from the Lido between 06.00 am and 09.30 am when the water is untreated, but any club member who chooses to swim does so at his / her risk. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will not be responsible for any injury or infection caused by contamination of the water.

I have read and understood the contents of this application form / letter. I realise that the water in the Serpentine may be untreated, contaminated and unsuitable for swimming. I accept the risk of injury or infection if I choose to swim there in spite of this warning. I understand the rules of the club, swim times and permitted areas.

My colleague tells me her friends always finish off a Serpentine swimming session with a glass of Coke, apparently it sanitises the system…

Speaking of fitness regimes, this is seriously interesting stuff: Evolutionary fitness.

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3 Comments

  1. Pah, just sounds like the list of possible side effects that you get on medicines – they have to tell you about them, but at the end of the day the drugs are going to greatly enhance your life.

  2. I don’t know, I got amoebic dysentery one time while camping in Morocco. That shit ain’t fun (literally)…

  3. Hey Dr. Toennesen, is there not one trip missing from your Doppler? Hope you can make it!

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