Self driven

I’m Billy Nomates regarding swimming for a few days this week as Karen is away visiting family and this means self determination is needed! The great thing about having a swimbuddy, as we’ve said many times before, is that you’ve got someone to swim with! Someone to laugh with, someone to natter to and someone to share things with. Plus you feel responsible to one another to make the effort to get to the sea and swim each day whatever. On those days when you just can’t find your omph and begin to think that a nice cup of coffee in the studio would be preferable to getting your cossie on and heading out in a stiff breeze…. having a friend to swim with really helps. I have to admit that sometimes one or the other of us tries messaging some lame potential excuse as to why it could be a ‘day off’, only to be met by a definitive ”no!” (as a matter of principle more than any other reason from the other buddy). That allegedly, is a supportive friendship, ha ha.

Swimming solo means having to push myself out of the door regardless of any created doubts. I should come clean though and say that there is an underlying smugness that I will be able to say ”Yep, I still swam even though you weren’t there!” that drives me on. Hilariously, I get to the beach alone only to meet a number of swimmers coming and going, all saying hello and dipping, swimming and floating. There are dog walkers and strollers, several of whom are regulars. It seems you’re never quite alone as a sea swimmer at high tide.

The weather has been kind this week with higher than average temperatures but I know it’ll drop very soon. In the meantime I’m enjoying my swimming but do miss sharing the experience with my friend even if it is separation only for a few days. If nothing else it means I don’t have the opportunity to giggle a little each day whilst sat in cold water. (I will however enjoy the extra hour in bed this weekend when the clocks go back – subtle handy reminder!)

Autumn, sea swimming, orange hat ladies
Afternoon autumn swim

For those of you who know The Solent or live locally, this weekend is going to be a significant one. The Fawley Power Station iconic 198-metre (650 ft) tall chimney will be demolished on Sunday 31st October at 0700 (GMT). It’s been part of everyone’s vista (and a bearing point for sailors and walkers alike) for more than fifty years but with the decommissioning of the power station in 2012 the chimney is defunct and has to come down. We’ll be watching from the Island but anyone can join in the experience by watching online here!

Fawley power station, orange hat ladies
About to be no more…

And finally…

We’re acutely aware of the elephant in the waves this week (and I’m not talking putting on weight and acting like a hippo here). It’s been quite a week in the news for wild swimming as the Environment Bill passed through, defeated in the Commons for the first time. I think its fair to say that The Orange Hat Ladies would love to see an end to the dumping of sewage into our waterways and the sea alongside so many people, swimmers or not. We can only hope that solutions can be found… and swiftly. In the meantime we will keep plunging, keep celebrating our amazing coastline and for the time being… we might just keep our mouths shut when swimming!


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