The Paddling Pool High Dive World Record

In America, our glamorous cousins with their perfect teeth have heated swimming pools, diving boards and pool boys seeing to their every beck and call. Here, we have paddling pools that take several hours of solid puffing to inflate.
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In America, our glamorous cousins with their perfect teeth have heated swimming pools, diving boards and pool boys seeing to their every beck and call. Here, we have paddling pools that take several hours of solid puffing to inflate.

Summer is quickly approaching and it’ll soon be time to ditch those overcoats and umbrellas (hopefully) for lightweight macs and smaller umbrellas you can carry in a handbag in prep for the great British summer. It will also be time to clean out the old paddling pool of mildew and clear a spot in the garden for that first BBQ opportunity.

In America, our glamorous cousins with their perfect teeth have heated swimming pools, diving boards and pool boys seeing to their every beck and call. Here, we have paddling pools that take several hours of solid puffing to inflate and even more in trips to the kitchen with a bucket to fill the thing. If you’re lucky, hot water might even be involved.

They’re a symbol of British practicality and the ‘always be prepared’ nature that forms the backbone of many of our other great institutions, just like the Scouts or Celebrity Big Brother. We don’t have swimming pools in our back gardens, firstly because we don’t have the weather for it and secondly, because the notion is quite frankly “an embarrassing waste of money,” as our Dad would say.

Paddling pools are cheap, relatively easy to maintain and simple to pack away when the novelty has inevitably worn off at around three in the afternoon. They also fantastically double up as a half-decent sledge in winter.

In America, our glamorous cousins with their perfect teeth have heated swimming pools, diving boards and pool boys seeing to their every beck and call. Here, we have paddling pools that take several hours of solid puffing to inflate.

Sure, their inflation process may cause high blood pressure and go against the health and safety laws of several countries and, yes, upon sitting in one your risk of hyperthermia increases by around 99%, but they’re a snapshot of summer. A summer without them is like a summer without Pimms, cricket or rain.

They stand for optimism but also realism, we know we’ll never have a great summer in this country, but we’re at least prepared for it if we do. They might come in embarrassing colours and have all the class of a TOWIE Christmas special, but we love them, and if our cousins across the pond want to peer over our fence and compare sizes, so be it. At least we don’t have to deal with things like chlorine, filters and affairs with the pool boy. Now where did I leave that foot-pump?

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