It turns out that I spent a whole year in Bristol without realising the flat I shared virtually overlooked the abandoned Clifton Lido. I never even knew it was there - maybe the weeds were so tall they obscured it - but I do remember catching a glimpse of the once-beautiful Victorian pool from a different vantage point and wondering about its story.
These days, I would love to live that close to the Lido, where yesterday I met Charlotte for copious amounts of tea and conversation. The restoration and modernisation of the pool and changing rooms is marvellous, and the refreshed pool looks amazingly inviting (I didn't swim because you need to book a package at the weekend). There's a cafe, a restaurant and a spa, and it's all very much a modern-day version of the Roman baths (eg Baths of Caracalla) minus the slaves working away underneath, keeping the fires burning to heat the water (I hope).
I find it very difficult to sit next to water like this without leaping in, so I'll be going back with my cossie, Simon, and a toga-styled towel. Having seen photos of the pool at dusk with steam above the water, I think a cold, autumn day would ideal. After all, now I know it's there, I've got to make up for lost time.