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Swellboy on… swimming-pool snobbery

The pleasure of discovering a new and superior form of snobbery

Swellboy on… swimming-pool snobbery

Image: Brijesh Patel

August 31 2010
Nick Foulkes

Swimming-pool snobbery is a not a vice to which I thought I would succumb. In fact it is not a vice that I knew even existed. And yet, having just spent a couple of days staying with a friend in Tuscany, I now know that I am a swimming-pool snob.

However, as in everything, I like to think that my snobbery is of an altogether superior nature; isn’t that the point of snobbery? So: I am not impressed by Olympic-sized pools that play music underwater and I remain unexcited by infinity pools oriented to enable swimmers to appreciate the setting sun – I leave all that to the Candy & Candy generation.

My friend, a man of consummate taste, has instead created a swimming pool using the vast paving slabs that used to cover the main square of a local village. For reasons that remain unclear, the municipality had had enough of the centuries-old paving stones and wanted something more up-to-date. Rather than see the wonderful stones, worn to a pebble-like smoothness by generations of Tuscan feet, go unused, my friend decided to make them into a pool. The result is spectacular, the hues shifting from a steely blue to a shade of malachite as the sunlight is refracted by the water. Trouble is of course that I will never be able to enjoy a resort pool ever again.