orange hat ladies, se swimming, swimming women, swim blog

Salted Oranges

The weather does feel a little warmer although we’re not quite experiencing the balmy summer days that Karen and I had been looking forward to. Why any of us are surprised about a luke warm British summer I’m not sure! The sea is marginally warmer but again not exactly hot tub tepid, but … we’re wearing orange hats and we’re swimming! It’s quite funny to see the throngs of holiday makers pretending not to look at our slightly ridiculous attire, sneaking a peer from behind their sunglasses whilst pretending not to notice the two middle aged women striding into the sea wearing day-glo flowery hats and laughing. You can see them wondering if it’s specifically an Island thing, or feeling embarrassment on our behalf. Thankfully we don’t give a fig, plunge in and swim off.

I feel we’re back to swimming properly now which feels fantastic. Longer swims with heads down, trying to put stroke theory into practice and using the rhythm of swimming to disperse thoughts. There is such a satisfaction in swimming a distance together, a different camaraderie that takes us along side one another in the water with a reassurance that the other is there albeit in their own little world. We pause at our turning point, holding on to a post or treading water at a marker, generally chat, laugh and start back. It’s a comfortable pattern that has evolved over time.

orange hat ladies, se swimming, swimming women, swim blog

What has also evolved though is my ever increasing similarity to one of those sea iguanas you see on endless David Attenborough nature programmes. (If you’re eating your breakfast you might want to read this a bit later…) You know the ones, they sit on volcanic outcrops in a ferocious ocean swell with waves lashing against their small scaly bodies. You watch them getting thrown about by the sea whilst clinging on to the rocks and then… you see them sat in the sunshine snorting raw salt from their flaring nostrils! Now I’m not saying that I can fully quite reproduce this feat as yet but I do end up with nostrils full of salt water after swimming head down for half an hour. There’s no avoiding the fact that you are going to need to expel the brine once out on dry land. It’s not pleasant or gentile but you do need to give your nose a good old blow when you get out whether the grockles are watching or not. What’s more curious is when, several hours later, you bend over to do something and a gush of seawater flows out of your nostril. Eugh! Maybe I need to learn something from those iguanas because if it were raw, dry salt it might be easier to control ha ha! Onwards…

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