JOE KENELM reviews the essay collection At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond by Esther Freud, Margaret Drabble, and Sophie Mackintosh.  ‘When I tell people I love swimming in the Ladies’ Pond there are two reactions,’ writes Deborah Moggach in At the Pond, a collection of 14 essays by Daunt Books on the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond. ‘The first: “Ugh, isn’t it muddy/dangerous/cold?” The other is, ‘How wonderful, lucky old you.”’ It is a good observation. Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club are frequently subject to long and mystified stares, bemused exclamation, or even incredulous photography. On the other hand, I was recently addressed as I changed out of my bathing suit by a passing jogger—‘So you can swim in there?’ On being assured that was indeed the case, he promptly took off his shirt and barrelled into the green water. In At the Pond, the treatment of the…Continue Reading

At The Pond