Paddling pool politics

IMG_0754In a 30 degree heatwave the promise of a paddling pool is like Peppa Pig to a toddler. I was delirious. Like a lot of Hackney residents we live in a small flat with a dinky balcony. Keeping cool in this heat is a challenge. The fan is on, the baby just wearing a nappy and I’m mainlining strawberry splits. So any kind of cooling promise is most appreciated.

This summer as a first time mum I found I’ve become very interested in the concept (and joy) of local paddling pools. A free, local, safe place to cool off a cranky baby? Yes please. This excitement was soured somewhat when I heard about the sporadic opening times…double tricky as firstly the date of opening in the year upset the mum grapevine – which was buzzing with complaints that it wasn’t open early enough in the year to cater for recent unseasonably hot days (thanks global warming!). Secondly the pool opening days in the week have stoked the mum-wrath too – closed all day Mondays and Thursdays?! Nooo!

I was planning this post to be a rant about the overly strict closed days meaning me and my kid roasted in the park on the hottest Monday of the year (cleaning day for the pool apparently after the weekend’s carnage). However rant avoided as after going for a snoop around the pool on’ Cleaning Monday’ I was delighted to find it being opened by a friendly park ranger. This savvy decision paid off as it filled up fast with happy parents and little splashers. Thanks Hackney council for understanding how useful the pool is. Free services like this are so helpful to make summer with little ones easier.

An aside: are public paddling pools meant to be family only? I definitely spotted some solo adult paddlers cooling off…

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