Category Archives: Cold

Nowt to do with swimming.

"It will be fun" I said. To Kaz. Following the warmest weeks in October on earth. So I booked the Wiggle bike ride for Sunday 6 November. 

The day dawned misty and very cold. I had been staying at the van. It was so cold I had the heating and the fire on for a while. I had set the heating to come on at 6am on Sunday but had woken up at 5.30am feeling a bit cold. Thankfully I had the foresight to take the fan heater's remote to bed with me. So I switched that on. A caravan after all is just a tin can in a field. 

I had emptied the car the night before so it was easy to load up. I had optimistically brought 3/4 length cycle trousers but wore these with Ron Hills on top. 

At 6am I decided to risk getting out of bed for a shower. I put the kettle on and was just about to get in the shower when the electric blew. I had to put on my dressing gown and go outside to the fuse box. It was freezing. The car was covered in ice and the decking was slippy. It was not light enough to cope and in any event, when the electric goes, the shower runs cold (even though it is powered by the gas)

I get into the shower only to discover that the thermostatic bar has jammed and it is too hot for me! I dance around underneath but know that I will have to replace it. 

I have a temperature gauge in the car. I love it. When I had eventually scrapped and got in it read as 1 degree. It warned of possible ice on the road. Wohooo. Great for cycling along country lanes. 

I had arranged to pick Kaz up at 745 but arrived early as I was ready and she is notoriously late for most things. She will deny this. But I know. Time is a guide anyway. She was in fact ready when I called. She had been to the Channel Swim dinner the night before. Having not got to bed till 2am she was less than raring to go. Particularly as it was so cold. Still, as we faffed abit at her house, the sun came out. This doubled the temperature to 2 degrees.

We drove to Folkestone racecourse where we could park and register. I had already done this on line but the system had not saved the details so we both had to fill in emergency contact numbers. In the unlikely event of anything happening we used each others! 

I have to say that Wiggle events are supremely well organised. We were set off in waves. We found ourselves at the front of ours so we hung back to let the others go before us. 

It was a great ride. Kaz did great as she has not been on her bike for most of the year. I have been commuting and doing a few rides here and there. (including a 50 miler with my friend Emma a few weeks before) It was cold and we both had very cold feet. We had wrapped up warm and the layers stayed on. 


the layers stayed on
the layers stayed on








Kaz had gone for the eyes only exposed look. Whilst we did warm up and we did become aware that our feet were no longer blocks of ice, it did not really ever get warm in spite of the sun. 

Commuting on my heavy steel touring bike, laden with panniers and cycling up my hill has put me in good stead for this type of ride. The bike felt light and it was easy

The ride was 24 miles and it took us about 2 hours. Kaz averted catastrophe when her shoe lace somehow came undone, escaped from under the Velcro safety catch and caught within her chain. I missed this excitement as I had gone ahead. I waited at a turn for Kaz to catch up. She was some way behind and this was the reason why. How she did not fall off? It can only be described as good luck. We both managed the hills  (slopes). 

We have some other cycle events to look forward to next year. We are doing a hilly Bala cycle with our friend Emma next May and have decided to do another Wiggle event next September. 

So nowt to do with swimming. Except we did have views of the English Channel on a number of occasions. I do see it and want to get in. But alas there was no time for such activity today. 

Easter 2015

“How cold can it be?” we asked as we approached the lake for the first time in weeks. Due to injury, illness and logistics it had been some time since we had been swimming together. Princess Fiona and Claire had decided that they were not doing cold stuff this year. Victoria and I had aspired to an ice mile but sadly it was not to be. Baking injuries will do that to you. So does flu, gastric problems and other weekend commitments. Still it will all be there next year too. There is no rush.


The water was 7 degrees. Too warm for an ice mile. But a large congregation had gathered. 8 of us in total at the lake for a swim. Victoria, Christian and I were sans wet suit. Heather, Julie, Grant were with wet suit. Sam had not even brought her swim suit. She had come to look only. Sadly Ali was too ill to swim but had come along for the show! 


Secreted underneath her jumper however was a Manchester snow globe. We had gone in search of the snow globe once Victoria had told us that she had not bought it. It seemed a suitable gift for a specially dressed person on her special birthday. Needless to say it was beautifully wrapped in a Manchester newspaper and with the price still on it! Still that was not a surprise. Victoria had told us how much it was in the first place. 


So without further ado we decided to enter the water. Regular readers will be aware that there is always in fact much ado about nothing. And so it was approximately an hour later when we were ready to take out first step. We knew it would be cold. We were scared. It may be worth mentioning at this point that I had lost 10kg (21lbs in old money) since my last entry. I knew I was going to feel the cold. 


Christian was already in when we entered the water. He had submerged to his shoulders and went off for a swim. I bet Victoria (or maybe she bet me) that we could at least swim to the first buoy. And do you know, once you are in, it is fine. We did a couple of circuits of the buoys and then decided to get out as we had to drive. We soon realised when we were neither shivering or cold that we could have done longer than the 15 minutes we did. But who cares? It was exhilarating and we were back!


Sam and Ali returned from their ambulations around the lake and we had hot drinks and celebrated “being back!”.


The plan was to meet at 11am on Good Friday. Sam promised to bring her swim kit. Victoria sent apologies as she was going to be abroad. And on the day sadly Ali was poorly and decided not to come. It will still be there when you are better though! 


And so it was on Good Friday that saw Sam, Princess Victoria and myself at the lake. Later than planned (midday not 11am) Christian had already been in and out. Princess Fiona (who you may recollect had sworn off the cold stuff!) said that as she had an ear infection she was going to do head up breast stroke. 


We got into the water. It felt colder than the previous week but that may be due to the amount of faffage. 15 minutes we stood at waist height. “its the first time I have seen you shiver” Princess Fiona observed. I did not want to brag but I did have to say it was due to the 21lbs I had lost.  But do you know once you are in – it is easy.  We also noted that there had not been a swear word at all.  And it was still 7 degrees. I swam 4 laps of the buoys (compared to three the previous week). Sam and Princess Fiona were not far behind. And once again we had done it. 


A celebratory run around the lake finished the day off for Sam. Princess Fiona and I ate my home made brownies and drank hot drinks instead. After all, Princess Fiona was ill and I did not want to leave her on her own! 


Sam joined us after her run and we had of course saved her a small piece of brownie.


You may wonder why we do it.  I would say for the sociable. But surely it would be better to meet in a coffee shop or even the pub? Well it would certainly be warmer but I am not sure about being anymore fun! What better way to spend your Bank Holiday than partially dressed in the cold! 


Easter Sunday though saw me as a Chilly No Mates (see what I did there) Well that is not strictly true as Kaz took pictures and you can see that I had two friends.


Easter 2015 with swim buds Easter 2015 swimbles.


Kaz had to spend some time chasing the dogs away from my swim kit. You can see from the pictures that there are not many wee stations for dogs and they seem to be attracted to the bag. Or any push chair. A leg will be fine if nothing else! 


Sunny Sands the venue. The sea was a balmy 8.3 degrees. It is funny how much difference 1.5 degrees makes when you are swimming. The weather was similar. A small breeze but what there was was very chilly indeed. I just swam for 15 minutes. We had parked in the hour limit in the harbour. But being in the sea makes me smile. There is a cycling saying “winter miles make summer smiles”. In swimming I can reverse that. “Winter smiles make summer miles”. It is so much easier if you are acclimatised. Plus it is exhilarating. 

Nothing to see here.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am not to have swum to France. 2 years of preparation. Many months without even so much a glass of wine. Well that is not strictly true I had a few exception nights. But in the main I had abstained. 

Nearly every weekend dedicated to swimming not to mention the early mornings and brutal Wednesdays. Smelling like a bleached whale over winter. Then shivering at the waters edge even before I got in over the winter and for much of the summer too! 

I have enjoyed nearly every single minute of it. And I only say that because of the bad time I have written about in Dreams are not made of this. 

I am blessed with great friends. Some swim. Many do not. But they all seem to indulge me. 

The journey is to continue. And therefore so is this website. 

Having booked for August 2016 I have it all to do again.

I hope my friends will still be my friends in 2016 and that I have not driven them away with this swimming malarky. I doubt it very much though as many of them swim too. But, many do not. 

To make up for the lack of swimming ,my friend Kaz decided to have a little party with me. She came down to the van and we planned to have a few drinks. She had bought a present for me from her holiday in Tenerife. She had primed me for it. She had told me everything was fake there. I was imagining that she may have got me a fake hand bag or watch. Perhaps a piece of Triffinany jewellery. 

Imagine my delight when she presented me with this fake blue tit! I was stunned. Especially when she told me she trawled the shops looking for it because most of them were fake robins. (aka red parrots!)

I am truly lucky to have a friend who buys me such wonderful gifts. 

fake bluetit








She then told me that she had something else for me. She presented me with a note book. I wondered if she was hinting that I should start writing my blog again. But perhaps instead of boring everyone with it, write it in the book!


I opened the book. On the first page was a message from my Mum and Dad wishing me luck in my Channel swim. I read through the countless messages. One from my friend Debbie in Leeds. (I think my sister Janet had something to do with getting that one) And then others from swimming friends and others that were printed as they were from Facebook. 

Not one person had given the game away. 

I was moved to tears. My frustrations of the previous weeks escaped from my eyes. Kaz said to me she would not have given it to me if she had known it would make me cry. But she also had a tear or two in her eyes. (I don’t know how many as i avoided looking at her as I was trying to get a grip of my emotions. I say I am not prone to tears but I seem to have been crying quite a lot in the last few posts!). 

It is a book I will treasure for ever. 

So we had a glass of champagne and toasted the new adventures. 

One of the reasons why I have not booked the Channel solo for next year is that Kaz doing 50 4 50. She is going to undertake 50 things she has never done before. I want to do some of them with her. She had already begun with a swim assessment at the lake. MIche for some reason had decided to join her. Bonkers. The pair of them!

she is in the waterthe new swimmers









She did not however take part in the Naked Swim. Although she did man the safety kayak. Usually we swim without accompaniment however the safety of the public is paramount. 

Victoria was hoping to join in for the swim but family commitments meant that she could not make it. Tim also had volunteered to man the safety boat. It appeared to be all hands on deck. Such is the attention to public safety. Pete had ensured that I was not proposing to walk from the changing area to the lake sans swim suit. After reassuring him that I would be taking it off in the water, he agreed to the endeavour. 


Heather and Julie (lake swimmers) turned up and decided once they were in that they would join in. Princess Fiona wore her bikini instead. Claire decided she would swim.

naked swim the start

Armed with a horrific hangover, I was pleased that the water was 15.4 degrees. The sun was shining and it was not too cold. 

I swam to the bouy and then span my cossie around my head before throwing it to Tim for safe keeping. Tim I trusted with my cossie. I was somewhat suspicious that Kaz may have decided not to give it back to me. He politely kept his back to me while I did the salute.

the salute





Heather and Julie did not even trust Tim, choosing to tie their costumes round their necks. 

It was liberating. But also quite strange. I had not hang ups about swimming naked. But I did have hang downs. And they cause drag. It was a completely different experience. Not helped by the hangover, Princess Fiona and Claire were miles ahead. 

We joined up at the end by the catamaran for the dressing. Tim took some pictures of the 5 of us and then the naked swimmers got dressed before swimming for the bank. Of course it was not truly a naked swim. As per Leybourne rules, we kept our hats on! 

we kept our hats on





A few interested members of the public (mainly men coincidentally) had stopped to see what all the laughing was about.  But there was nothing to see around here! 

May Day May Day May Day

May Day was Thursday. Regular readers will know that I usually have Wednesday afternoons off to swim. This week however I had worked Wednesday. Consequently I had Thursday off instead. 


Thursdays are a good day to have off as Claire Russell is also off. A regular swim buddy, she had enticed me to her David Lloyd with the offer of lunch. To be honest I would have gone anyway. They have an outdoor pool at her centre. Much better for drills and we generally get it to ourselves. It was raining so we did not have to think about the lanes which get the sun. (We are both working on comedy tans). 


A drill set was the plan. And so that is what we did. I am sure we must look vaguely peculiar swimming up and down. The drills have fancy names such as “long dog, broken arrow and unco”. With or without fins and sometimes with a pull bouy they are a good way of swimming quite a distance without realising. I was working on my slightly flat right arm entry and rotation this week. Claire just does anything for a laugh! And we do laugh a lot. Which is excellent for the motivation (if not the pool continence!)  


After the drills we returned to Bailey House for lunch. I had requested something on toast (as I was swimming a bit later) and so cheesy beans were the order of the day. 


We were due to meet Victoria at 2pm at the lake. Time being a guide this moved to 2.30pm. We arrived a little before Victoria. In fact Claire arrived a little before me as although I had set off first in my car she has local knowledge. Victoria arrived shortly after. 


The lake temperature was written down as 13.5 degrees. The clouds were heavy there was chilly breeze and there was the promise of rain. Pete and Paula looked pretty cold. 


Claire had decided not to swim for a second time as she had been feeling dizzy. I am sure the cloudy and cold weather had absolutely nothing to do with her decision. Or the promise of tea and cake with her Dad. 


We got ready to swim. I had a swim intention in mind. I did not share this with Victoria on purpose as I did not want to scare her. 


Claire waved us off and we set off with my boat to the red bouy. I have part owner ship of a boat with Ali. It is where I keep my drinks when I am swimming. This is because leaving them on the jetty was getting in the way of training. I would swim in and then chat with anyone who was around. And so I now keep them in the boat so that I can swim consistently.




I set my watch and off we set. After about 50 strokes I was aware that Victoria was no longer with me. I looked around. She had swum headfirst in to the catamaran. Claire had seen this happen (but unfortunately had not caught it on camera!) I am a good friend and so I laughed. And laughed. Victoria was laughing but I am not sure if that was the concussion. She was fine and we carried on with our swim. Victoria was behind me all the way and reminded me occasionally when she tapped my feet. 


The first lap was a 30 minute lap. We stopped briefly for a drink and then set off again. Unbeknownst to Victoria I was upping the pace as the plan was a negative split. Success ensued with a 29 minute lap. Victoria was close on my heels and was very pleased to have swum her first sun 30 minute lap. Well done Victoria. A PB!


Whilst we were swimming it absolutely peed it down. I love swimming in the rain. At times I was aware of the rain on my side. This I took to mean I was rotating well so the drills were a success. 


An excellent day was had by all. I drove to Melton’s happy with my May Day swim session.


Early Easter Morning.

I have said it once and I will say it again (and probably a third time!) Kaz Bunce is madder than me. My excuse for getting out of bed at 7am on Easter Sunday is because 1) I am training to swim the channel. 2) I need to acclimatise 3) I love swimming in the sea.


Kaz just seems to like cold drafty beaches. How mad is that?


I expected to be on my own this morning but Kaz was awake and said she would come with me. We had pretty much the whole of Sunny Sands (aka Rainy Rocks) to ourselves. There was a “weekend dad” taking photos of his son in his push chair. They had a bucket and spade and went digging. “Very early for that sort of thing” remarked Kaz. I use this merely to prove my point that she is madder than me. I would say it was fairly early for swimming on a bank holiday when even the dog walkers appeared to have stayed in bed. 


easter morning sunshine


The sea was 11 degrees. The air temperature 8. It certainly felt warmer in than out. The sun was trying to peak through and was reflecting from the sea. Although it looks quite calm it was choppy. There was an easterly wind which blows directly into the harbour. This made for an “endless pool effect”. I was stuck on the spot trying to beat the wind against tide. It was a losing battle. But huge fun. The waves were quite large and I thoroughly enjoyed swimming into them. 


easter morning swimble


(Mindful of my feedback of Good Friday) I was thinking of my right arm. Kaz could not see me perfecting my stroke as I was lost behind the swell! 


easter morning swimble 2


I only swam for around 25 minutes as I have a long swim planned for later in the lake. The training benefits are negligible but the enjoyment was a ten!

Ramping it up.

I have had some good sessions and some not too good sessions over the last month.


Not only has it been pretty busy at work, but my Dad has also been quite poorly. Travelling up and down to Leeds is quite tiring. The drive can take anything up to 6 hours + depending on the traffic.

Plus my working hours have been a bit hectic. This has led to a poor sleep (or lack of) and a poorer diet. 


This has made a different to my critical swim speed. (this is the time it takes to swim 100m based on a calculation of your a 400m time trial divided by a 200m time trial)

I had been improving steadily but this week my time was much slower. I could not keep the pace at all. I carried on and kept resetting the beeper.


I looked back at the travel my diet and my lack of sleep. It was no wonder really. I find if I eat crap I swim crap. With the driving, a stay in a hotel, several missed meals and a couple of takeaways I was eating rubbish. 


I am also increasing the distance and time I swim. My first 6 hour swim was suppose to be on 26 April but the missed sessions means I am postponing this until 11 May. 

Consequently that will be outside. It will also count as the channel qualification swim. 


If you are going to swim the channel (and I am – that is the point of this whole blog!) you have to swim for 6 hours in water under 15 degrees. Given the warm weather we are having it looks as if the lake will be warmer than that by the end of May so I do have to get on with it. 


I have gone back to Leybourne to swim long.  It is easy to swim in the lake without crew. I have a little dinghy to put my drinks in and if I fasten them to a bouy, I can swim for hours without coming back to shore. The previous Sunday I had gone alone and swam for 90 mins. 


The temperature is  currently 13 degrees or so. I weed near the thermometer and it shot up to 15 degrees. Too much weeing and it will be too warm to qualify! It is warmer (sic) for the time of year than usual. This is probably because we have had a wet but mild winter. Plus the lake is clear. And deeper thanks usual. 


I have been gradually increasing the time in the water outside. On Good Friday I was in the water for 3 hours. I helped Ali with swim assessments and then swam for 2 hours. 


I was cold when I got out. The air temperature was around 11 degrees but the sun was shining. There was also a very cold breeze. Plus I had got cold doing the assessments. And that was before I began. 


They are fun though and I do enjoy helping Ali. I am not a coach or anything but I guess I am an experienced open water swimmer. 




Ali is a coach. She is also my coach. And she can be quite mean. When I say quite mean I really mean mean! 


So immediately after the assessment she sent me off to swim 4 laps of the lake. I did not even get chance to get out for a cup of tea after the assessments. 


leybourne 2 hour swim start


Besides which, even if I had tired, Kaz (photographer) was blocking my exit. She pointed back to the water. With out a moan or a backward glance I set off around the lake. 


The day before I had done a time trial of the various circuits in the lake. The aim of the Good Friday swim was to swim slightly slower than the time trial speed (29 mins per lap) but to maintain that pace over the duration of the swim. 

It is harder to do this sort of swimming in a lake. Especially as one of the sighting bouys is missing. But I had a go. I swam fairly consistently for the time but was getting slower. 


Ali noted that my right arm recovery is a bit flat so she has set me some drills to try and correct this.

Stuart (my second favourite pilot after Eric Hartley (Pathfinder) was on the safety boat. He and William brought me my feeds at fairly regular intervals. 



The next thing to do is to bring the milk bottles and swim and drink at the same time. 

Swimming Stories.

A while has passed since I last wrote. One reason is my website was down so I was not able to post what I had written.


But also the sea swimming opportunities have been hampered by poor weather. High winds and high tides do not make for the most safest of sea swimming.


At Folkestone where I swim most often, if the wind is in the right (or rather wrong) direction and there is a high tide, getting in and out is less than safe. You stand the risk of being battered into concrete if a wave catches you and knocks you off your feet. 

The caravan opened on 12 February. It had been my intention to go down that weekend with the girls both to celebrate my birthday (early) but also to sneak in a few nifty swims. Sadly the weather was so atrocious on the Friday it made driving somewhat risky. 


Given that I cannot swim if I am injured or dead, I decided to postpone the weekend away. In fact the weather was appalling. There would have been no swimming in the sea. What I did manage to do though was some good quality pool sets, ending the weekend with a 7k swim.


I had up until then lost my swimming mojo. I was a bit fed up with doing CSS paced swims against a bleeping timer. And I use the word bleeping for two reasons. Both because it does bleep but it also saves the unnecessary use of a swear word. It was in fact driving me bonkers. I was beginning to feel like an Amazon ware house employee. (Only I did not have to move quite so quickly). Ali had suggested I just swim without it. How obvious really. So I had a couple of weeks doing drills and sets based on feel rather than measurement. 


I rediscovered my joy for swimming after that and had some good sessions. 


For my birthday properly I did spend the weekend away and did not swim at all. I got off the wagon and enjoyed a number of bottles of wine and quite a few gins with Melton. We went away and had a really good time! 


Directly after this I recorded a new CSS time with my swim buddy Claire. Although a bit slower than previously I did not mind as I was enjoying swimming again.


Then to bring us up to date, the first Saturday in March found me on the beach with Mr Earthquake et al. There were several new swimmers (some of whom had Dry Robes. Cue photo opportunity) The regulars are Dan, Grantley, Neil and myself. Glenn was missing this week but we were joined by a group from Birmingham. 


The tide was in (and it was a 7.2m spring tide) but there was little wind. Victoria had waited for me and we entered the water together. The sea is still a balmy 8.7 degrees. It was warmer in than out at 10.30am. It is the first time either myself or Victoria had been in the sea for some time. It was fantastic. Not so cold it takes your breath away but still invigorating. Victoria had had a swim lesson in the week and is learning how to swim butterfly. Regular readers will know that Ali and myself do a version of Butterfly that we call Moth.


rough seas














We spent some time learning from Victoria how to do it. It was great fun and made the time fly! (butterfly!) We were in for around 30 minutes. The sea was really high and reached up to near the top of the harbour wall. We could not stand up so very easily (well ok I could not stand up- Victoria is taller than me and she had head and shoulders out of the water). 


Getting out was quite tricky. We were not sure what the beach would be looking like when the tide was out. As we got in we had been aware of  a step down from the ramp. (That had not been there before).  We had dived in from the edge as we got in. As we got out we were whipped about by the waves but made good on our attempt. 


As usual we went to the Lifeboat for dinner. A lovely feast. 


In the afternoon the tide had gone out a bit. The arches looked different again. The steps up to them (and the step on the ramp) were all visible for the first time ever. The step we had dived off would be lethal if the wind was up and the waves high. 

The sea was fairly flat so we went in and had a brilliant swim. It felt colder than in the morning. 


more steps


















I was pleased with my days swimming activity. 


The next day Sunday 2 March I went down to see the sea. The tide was predicted to be 7.4m and high tide was at 1145. We met at 10.30. The tide was already in the arches and was due to come in. The waves were large already and crashing against the arches.  The others were already in when I arrived. I decided against it. I would have struggled to get in and as the tide was due to come in further and the waves would only have got bigger, I certainly would not have got out. My own assessment was that it was too dangerous for me. Good luck to the others and I did feel a pang the green stuff but it was not worth the risk. I have a big swim to do later in the year and a twisted ankle or knocked out teeth would almost certainly impair my training!  It did look like huge fun though and I know I would have enjoyed it once I was in. 


A 5k swim instead was on the cards. Not nearly as much fun of course. 



January 2014

Not an auspicious start to the 2014 training plan. That said, I may have been unrealistic in thinking I could be off for 3 weeks and still manage to do a half day on my first Wednesday back.

My plan had been to be in the pool by 2pm for a 2 hour set. I was still working at 2pm and did not get to the pool tip 3.30pm. I managed an hour. I did 5 x 500m on 31 secs per length. 


It was hard. I had not really been swimming since before Christmas. I did not swim so much in Australia. Mainly due to being land locked at times. Also the sharks in Queensland are particularly hungry.


Thursday I did a CSS set. Just before Christmas my CSS had been 1min 57 per 100m. I decided that I would set my lap time as 29.75 secs (which equates to 1.59) I managed it and it felt just about challenging enough. I will record my CSS time at the next short set so I can do it accurately.


Saturday I had arranged to meet Dan Earthquake at Sunny Sands. 11 am is my time of choice as then there is not so long to wait until the pub opens. Victoria, Neil, Grantley, Glenn and Eddie (Enduroman) were also there.


swim buds jan 2014


















Dan’s beard has grown some what. 


dan earthquake

























We were joined by Stuart and Kaz with Jamie and Louis (mini crew). They did a great job of guarding the bags and belongings. 


The tide was high and there was a wind towards. The breakers were too large for me to pass with any great confidence so  Victoria and I stayed playing at the shore line. 



no way



















The lads had left us behind. The high tide was midday so as the waves were getting larger we decided to get out while the going was good. Grantley had his goggles knocked off by a big wave and got out a bit earlier than the others. 


The water was up to the arches. There was a peculiar step up on to the ramp that I had not ever seen before. 


Victoria and I were in around 10 mins and the lads swam for around 30 minutes. 


To “The Lifeboat” for dinner. Annette made a lovely butternut squash and pepper soup. With some home made chips it was lovely.



Back to Sunny Sands at 3pm. The tide had receded. And how different it looked. The storms and strong winds had taken sand away. There were rocks by the arches and steps I have never seen before. It looked quite different.



sunny sands pebbles
















changing sunny sands


















Grantley was pleased to find his goggles. What a stroke of luck. 


Into the sea. It was around 8.5 degrees and the air temp about 8 degrees. The sun shone briefly. The waves were large and rolling and the swim was fantastic. I had a massive smile on my face. 

We swam together (the same group as before) and kept our eye out for each other. 


My goggles were leaking a bit but not enough to ruin my enjoyment. 


It felt cold (and of course it is) but I coped well given I had only recently returned from temperatures of 40 degrees. 


The lads stayed in for ages but I got out after 20 minutes. I did not want to get frozen to the core as I had a long drive ahead. I timed it about right as although I was a bit chilly I still had use of my hands and could feel my toes. 


shes special


















My Ugg cousin boots ( a pressie from my friend Min) have sadly given up the ghost.  I decided that it was time to buy some more. Coveting Victoria’s (who it has to be say looks incredibly special in her pre and post swim outfit) I went to Sketchers in search of similar. Pleased to say I have found some furry shoes with a hard sole. Perfick