* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pool Time!

Yay, I've initiated this season's pool activity already!  I don't think I've ever been in it in the month of May before.  I got really spoiled with my bathtub warm pool in Florida, with only a couple of winter months being too cold to be enjoyable.  There, it was just for fun, as I had a spa membership for physical activity.

Here, however, I need it as a break from doing ancient videos on the TV, finding it so much more fun to play in the water out in the sun than cooped up in the house.  But not only is it colder more months of the year than in Florida, it's also much cooler at night, so whatever heats up during the day cools down at night.  I never have liked cold water, I like it even less now.

Also, no matter how clear we manage to keep it every winter, it turns nasty every spring despite how faithfully we try to take care of it, so it's not adequately pleasant whenever it might actually be warm enough to brave.  Turns out, our climate here is very susceptible to a mustard algae that blows in from the Sahara.  We thought it was spring pollen.  Same color, different animal.  We finally found a pool store with knowledgeable people, so hopefully we'll learn how to deal with the fragility of balance we never had a problem with in Florida.

Not only have we managed to keep the pool in decent condition for a change this year, we chopped down considerably a huge olive tree that shaded the pool most of the day.  It's a beautiful tree, possibly about 300 years old, but it doesn't need to be so top heavy.  It was a major undertaking, which is why it hasn't been done.  We did collect a lot of olives for making our own oil when we cut it, but we probably won't get anything from it this next year!

Man and nature co-existing
This is how it looked when we put the pool in four years ago.  You can't tell how much is hanging over the pool, nor how the pool didn't reach full sun until about 1:00 p.m. every day.  That's a lot of not having sun to warm it up.  The branches hanging over were also quite prolific making olives, so there were always a ton of olives in the pool, starting with little baby ones that made a mess of the filter.  Not to mention all the leaves that constantly dropped.  Still, we love our majestic old tree, and the pool was workable, so we were able to live with it.  What was not so great was the heavy snow we had a couple of years ago that broke off tree branches everywhere, including a great big one from this tree that fell into the pool.  Fortunately, it didn't do any damage!

A fun way to work out

I got really serious last year about exercising in the pool.  It may not be all that deep, but one doesn't need deep to swim.  It also isn't too hard taking "running" laps around the perimeter as a warm-up.  It was a lot easier to force myself out into the pool than it usually is to do aerobics to the TV.  I managed to work up a daily routine of 30-45 minutes all summer long.  As for the tree blocking the sun, at least it was the morning sun, so the pool was mostly open all afternoon.  However, the neighbor's tree is high enough that it starts blocking the opposite end of the pool just a couple of hours after the first end finally opens up.

Man attempting to conquer nature
This year, however, should give a completely different feel to the whole area!  We have massively brought it down, completely opening up the whole area.  It still looks a bit sad at the moment, but by the end of the summer, it should have branched out quite a bit, as olive trees grow pretty quickly.  By next year, it should have a pretty shape, but not take up the entire sky.  The sun should hit the water much faster, so maybe it will stay more pleasant for a much longer season.

Perhaps one day we'll get the decking finally built around the top edge, which will definitely add to the pool's utility, with room for a sun deck and a table. In the meantime, I will be content with what I do have.  This year, that means a whole lot more sun than I've had in the past.  Little by little!


  1. Your pool area looks terrific. Very open and inviting. Happy swimming!

  2. Holy smokes, you *seriously* chopped that olive tree back. Yes, that would have been extensive work to do. Did you do it yourself or did you hire the tree guy for that one?

    1. Nature took down a couple of major branches (fortunately no damage anywhere), which then gave us a bit of reference as to where to start. We did it ourselves with the help of a friend. It was really tricky keeping limbs out of the pool (we did drop one, but the water kept it from hurting anything) as they were mostly hanging over it.

      Cleaning up all the leaves and olives in the pool afterwards was a bit of a trick, then chopping up and grinding all the wood for the compost was tedious. I'm using some of it as mulch on bare dirt walkways, lol.

  3. I'm not sure with is prettier, the blue sky or the pool

    1. We get the bluest skies ever in that direction, it's going to be really nice being able to actually see it from there now.

  4. It looks wonderful! And kudos to you for being serious about dying the pool for exercise!!


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