The life Aquatic…

Well, not such a great deal to report except a bit of a crap week last week. With the bank holiday under way though I thought it might be a good idea to try to wash my troubles away with a swim on Hampstead Heath with the missus. It was a rather grey and windy day and as we approached the water I was feeling less and less like swimming. However on entering the mixed pond area the temperature on the board was reading 15 degrees, which was at least warmer than the last time I was in the mens when it was 13 degrees a month or two ago and pretty chilly.

Having changed into the swimming togs the wind was lashing over my pasty English flesh, and I knew the best thing to do would be to dive straight in and not dawdle. A quick glance over the shoulder at the woefully empty changing area seemed to indicate that Heath swimming season might be a month or two off. I’ve been here in August and September dodging naked bodies and treading on soggy towels, but the place seemed haunted melancholy today.

There were a couple of people already in and a few on the grass by the lake, so not wanting to look wimpy I strode to the waters edge with what I was hoping was a confident and purposeful gait trying not to imagine the inevitable cold water shock reaction.
I didn’t have to imagine for long as on diving in I immediately felt the icy embrace, momentarily painful all over, and rose to the surface gasping as my lungs contracted. This is starting to become a familiar sensation however and I knew it would only be the case of a minute or two until this unpleasant feeling turned to one of elation as the adrenaline and endorphins kick in.

Brooke was a little more hesitant as she isn’t so used to cold water swimming being an Antipodean. I tried to tell her that slowly lowering oneself in just prolongs the torture, but she eventually took the plunge and after a few minutes we were both happily cruising along talking about what slimy squiggly things there might be beneath us.
It’s surprising how tiring swimming in relatively cold water can be. I think we were in for about twenty minutes but after a while one seems to be able to feel the cold inching into ones muscle and bone, and it was starting to look more comfortable on the bank.


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