Orange hat ladies, sea swimming, wild swimming, swimming women

Stopped in our tracks

This is a shorter blog than usual for reasons that will become clear….

We always knew this summer was going to be a challenge to swim each day. Karen and I both proudly have children getting married – four weddings between us across July and August (three wonderful events have happened one more to celebrate), plus other family celebrations and birthdays across the summer. We knew that swimming opportunities would become a little squashed but also knew that it’s swimming that now keeps us sane so we’d be making sure we still plunged!

What we hadn’t planned for was my getting COVID19. It stops you in your tracks in all senses and is a reminder that despite double vaccinations we are still all vulnerable. I’ve been so super careful about hand washing, mask wearing and no indoor socialising but hey, it is what it is. Covid has stopped an orange hat lady swimming.

This has meant that Karen has been swimming by herself although moaning that if there is no laughing or a good natter after, then it’s just not the same. It’s nice to feel missed at least. Meanwhile, I’m floundering around my house wondering if I’ll ever get back to the sea. The frustration is that I can see it from my bedroom window. I can see the tides, the swell, the waves. I instinctively know what it looks like from the shore, I keep a subconscious note of high tide and mark the strength of the wind. What I can’t do just now is be in it.

Orange hat ladies, sea swimming, wild swimming, swimming women

What this has reminded both Karen and I is that sea swimming has absolutely gotten under our skin, it’s become core to our everyday lives. Despite the amazing events in our separate personal lives we value the friendship time we share whilst swimming and not having that time is disappointing. I guess sometimes you just have to accept what life throws at you – thank goodness for the Olympics on the tv just now!

I’m feeling very much out of kilter by not getting in the water each day and have a sense of imbalance that’s hard to explain. But I’m hoping that like a piece of old seaweed, I’ll rehydrate once I get back into the sea. Orange hat on and back to a much loved ‘normal’.


  1. Sorry to hear you are unwell , Fran . Get well soon .
    Reading your blog helped inspire me to do some sea swimming this year and I really enjoyed it.
    I know you’ll be back in the water really soon!!


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