Chlorinating the Gene Pool

We didn’t want a pool. In fact when first viewing this property I believe I said something to the land agent along the lines of ‘Damn, how much do you reckon it will cost us to fill that in?’.

I did a few hours of research on ways to repurpose unwanted swimming pools, and while there are some interesting suggestions (rainwater harvesting, aquaponics, sunken veggie gardens…) nothing quite seemed to fit. Requirements for garden water and any future aquaponics projects are already taken care of by the stream, and we are not short on space for cultivating edibles.

I concluded that other than providing a possible containment pit for naughty ponies it was looking like more of a liability than an asset.

Didn't look this good a few months ago. Can you spell green children?

Didn’t look this good a few months ago.

Once we arrived the pool was low on the list of priorities, and after receiving zero attention for a couple of months it slowly turned a very un-enticing shade of slime green. Whoops! We were now harbouring a health hazard. Frantic Google searching and calls to the local pool supply shop ensued. It took a good few weeks on a steep chemical learning curve to restore order and an azure blue outlook. My patience was sorely tried.

In mid-September, with daytime highs of around 15 degrees, my lovely Auntie Jean and Uncle Eddie visited. Auntie Jean swims in the sea at her home near Tauranga almost all year round. She’s no candy-ass when it comes to cold water, and thus was the first to swim in the newly hygienic pool. Jean proclaimed it ‘refreshing’*, and in honour of her inaugural dip we christened our Mediterranean blue liability ‘The Anti Gene Pool’. I remained un-convinced.

Did you find my ball yet?

Ella dropped her rubber ball into the pool soon after we arrived. We fished it out, but every time someone swims she hangs over them anticipating a retrieve.

Recently though something has shifted. I wouldn’t say my initial assessment has entirely changed, but I’m softening. The air temperature is rising, and some days the opportunity to immerse myself in cold water has been very welcome. After Deborah and I planted the banana palm for instance, or once Giselle had finally been rescued from The Perils Of The Stream. Also a very astute friend (yes Vicki dear, that would be you), observed that when we put out a call for WWOOFers the pool might just be the asset that attracts our potential Jerusalem Cherry weeding crew.

So, who knows, the pool may yet earn its keep — for now let’s just say it’s working out a 90 day trial period.


*this term from the Auntie Jean swimming lexicon is interpreted by her daughters and nieces to mean ‘quite freezing actually’. It is sometimes followed up by the bold but equally unconvincing ‘once you’ve been in for a while you go a bit numb and it doesn’t feel cold after all’. I want to be like Auntie Jean when I grow up.





  1. The 90-day trial ended in mid-September which means you’re STUCK WITH THE POOL.

  2. My togs are still by the Anti Gene pool having squatters rights and wd require a quorum decision re any pool closure? What a great asset! So glad to hear you’re warming to it! Great after a day on da farm. Love AJ x

    • Yes, agreed, no pool closures without stakeholder consultation. Looking forward to next time you come to visit, your togs are ready for you! xxx

  3. Of course, I’m not currently doing any of the work to maintain it, but I have tested the pool twice now, and I’ve gotta say I’m pretty much sold. It was just what I needed yesterday, after sweaty weed pulling and tree pruning. In fact, I would now like to propose that all overheating menopausal women be provided with a pool by pharmac.

    • It was lovely to have you here. I had another swim today and I’m increasingly enthusiastic about the pool.

    • As I understand things it fell in! Perhaps they allowed their pony too many RTDs at their pool party (not a mistake we will be making). No idea how it got out. It doesn’t look unhappy to be there though. Maybe it’s a overheating menopausal pony?

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