I’m beginning to wonder how we ever managed without our pool. It’s really making our summer. Ruadhri is in the lead with the most swims (sometimes up to 4 a day!), closely followed by Caiti. I’m next, with Benj and Chris trailing quite a way behind.

Caiti assembling the pool

Caiti assembling the pool

The water is cold, but it’s super refreshing on a hot day – and every day is a hot day at the moment. Ruadhri and Caiti plunge straight in, but I go for the millimetre-at-a-time entrance technique. I stay in until my fingers start turning white (I have Raynaud’s syndrome so they over-react in the heat or the cold, very annoying) then thaw out in the sunshine. The kids stay in for ages though. Boy, they’re tough!

Chris is taking his maintenance duties very seriously. Even with a small pool like ours (it’s 5.5 metres in diameter), the pH needs checking and adjusting daily, it also needs regular vacuuming and skimming (removing dead insects with a net!). The various filters need cleaning out and the pump needs to be kept airlock-free.

It’s an Intex tubular frame pool. We found it on eBay. It was incredibly easy to assemble. Caiti did quite a lot of it on her own, as the photo shows. We haven’t yet managed to get all the creases out of the lining on the bottom, despite several tries, but they’re liveable with. The instructions optimistically tell you to find a completely flat spot to put your pool. Sadly, even with 75 acres to choose from, we couldn’t find anywhere non-wonky, not that was close enough to a water and electricity supply. Chris eventually devised a cunning way of getting the pool level. It involved pipes and watering cans full of water and quite a bit of digging. But it’s worked very well and the pool is about as level as it could ever be.

So all in all we’re delighted with it, and so are our guests. We can see firsthand why gites with pools are so popular. We’d always been sceptical but now we’re convinced. Better late than never.