MadCat Farm is about 5km from the seaside village of Lefkandi with its pretty bay and the choice of at least five very good eateries - so the full sun/sea/swimming experience is only minutes away by car.

BUT given the months of sunny weather we decided that good swimming water had to be available on the farm as well.

In keeping with our environment-first mindset, the water would have to be chemical free and THAT is the beginning of a very long story...... For the moment let us just say that we worked with a company in the UK for the design, the systems and the installation of the filtration system and then with local suppliers from all over Greece for materials and plant supply and local workers (including ourselves) for building.

What we have now is a shallow pool of 6 x 6 metres which is for small children and people who don't like deep water but want to cool down, for water aerobics and for teaching children to swim.

Then we have the 25 metre length pond which is for people who want to swim lengths.

Both pools are kept squeaky clean in the same way that nature maintains lakes - so the knowhow and methodology are referred to as Limnology.

Bacteria are dealt with by aquatic plants planted in shallow water around the edge of the pond and by underwater aquatic plants along one side of the pond.

Algae and dust are filtered out through a large gravel filter bed all along the other side of the pond.

The project took years of research, planning and then building but the effort was not wasted. Swimming in the pond is wonderfully at one with nature - surrounded by plants and at eye level with the roots of the giant olive trees which are along the sides, one is dive- bombed by swallows and enchanted by dragonflies.

Perhaps the best part of all is when the swim is over and you have come out of the water - there is neither salt nor chlorine to be dealt with, just a cool and relaxed self - ready to go back to work.

We still go to the beach - the pool was not intended to replace the quintessential Greek experience of a good swim in the sea followed by a delicious meal at a taverna. What it does mean is that you can have a wonderful swim in pristine water and you don't have to go anywhere to achieve this.