It was about six months into our daily swims and for the first time there was proper fog. It was fairly early on a November morning and the thick, wet candy floss mist hung over the sea. In fact it hung over everything. For all we knew, the Isle of Wight could have been cut loose from the ‘big island’ and drifted off into the English Channel in a strike for independence and glory.
Despite appearances, we are actual safety conscious swimmers and swam in the murky dampness close to the beach and back and forth rather than venturing too far along the coastline. I was also towing ‘Floaty’ – the inflatable swim safety buoy that attaches like a small child around your waist and forever follows with surprisingly little menace. We laughed and chatted as usual with absolutely no idea of who or what might also be in the water with such very limited visibility. After drying and adding dry clothing we padded up the muddy green to our cars. Just as we arrived and started to suggest the next day’s swimming time the whole area was filled with the raucous laughter of two women swimmers. The damp air carried their giggles so that everyone within a 200m radius would wonder if they weren’t stood next to them in the fog. The sheer joy of the ‘laughing ladies’ was a beautiful moment that we treasure still. Middle aged women throwing themselves into the freezing cold sea in the depths of a pandemic ridden grey autumn and laughing with the frivolity of children. Karen and I knew that we were definitely doing the right thing by joining these merry swimmers day after day. They were all as mad as we are!
(Karen and I never seem to know the real names of the myriad of swimmers and walkers we encounter on our daily swims. Some we see several times a week or even daily for periods of time, others less frequently. To identify them in conversation they all end up with pseudonyms. This blog is about the delightful ‘Laughing Ladies’ who always seem to be giggling about something.)
Realising that a picture of the fog would be less than interesting, I’ve included images of a glazed pouring bowl I made instead!