Category Archives: swimming

New Year's Day 2020, on Clevedon Beach. Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Happy (belated) New Year 2020

I am aware I should have done this drawing a month ago, January has been a bumpy one and as my father died on the 2nd of January a Happy New Year neither seemed appropriate, nor was there anyway time to do this drawing last month. But the morning of 1st of January was such a lovely one with fantastic friends that it would be a shame to loose the opportunity. So here’s to another go at the new year, and in memory of my dad, not so much a swimmer but a keen sailor in his time.

New Year’s Day at Clevedon Beach, 2020

New Year’s Day in Clevedon dawned calm and dull, Wales had apparently vanished, the neap tide lapped unenthusiastically low on the shingle beach. And we more than made up for it.

The 7 degree water brought the swimmers out in a bright pink ‘tan’ and were it not for the weather, the whole thing could have been mistaken for a summers day on the beach.

And there was beauty in the eerie stillness once out in the misty water.

Lucy’s now famous purple bikini put in one more appearance, though she says it is due for retirement, so I made sure to include it in this drawing, in case this is its last. Meanwhile, modesty* forbids me from drawing Professor Wolf’s festive 3D wolf posing pouch, sent to him anonymously and worn because we recklessly encouraged him. But he is there, centre ground posing for a photo in it. I believe it has since been confiscated, which is a shame but probably for the best.

*not actually my modesty.

New Year's Day 2020, on Clevedon Beach. Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

“New Year’s Day 2020, on Clevedon Beach” Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Richard Cox’s Accidental Journal

As we enter another year I wanted to show you some photos sent to me by Richard Cox. An inspirational tale which apparently began with one of my 2019 swimming calendars, received as a gift. He swam on the 1st of January 2019, and the calendar seemed an appropriate place to make a few notes about the swim. On 2nd of January he swam again, and again wrote it on the calendar, by the time he had finished January and not missed a swim all month it had accidentally become a Thing, and achievement that cried out to be completed for another 11 months. Another 11 pages waiting for the notes of each place, time, and swimming friends. Those special people who are prepared to come out with you, come rain, shine or ice; and go for a swim. Anywhere.

So here are a few photos Richard’s journey. If you want to read more about his year you can do so here. And be careful if you have a calendar of mine, it can get you into all sorts of interesting situations! And if you don’t have one and want one, please be quick, I sold out but I’m doing one last print run for the late orderers, taking orders on Etsy here but only for the next few days. After that, you will have to wait for 2021.

Happy New Year and Happy Swimming!

Photos used by king permission of Richard Cox.

"Stepping into Single Figures" - drawing by Nancy Farmer

Stepping into Single Figures… gingerly

(Brothers Water, Cumbria, 15/10/19)

To be fair, I was stepping far more gingerly than Susan and Francine: they with shoes, me with bare toes. They fairly strode into the Winter.

But it was the first swim of the season in single figures. The first of many since the temperature has plummeted this week. Take care out there my swimming friends: it should never be forgotten that you are doing this for fun!

(Apologies to Lucy for leaving her out of the drawing and yet stealing her hat! I used her photograph for reference, so she wasn’t in it, and I used her hat for artistic purposes, since mine was dark purple)

"Stepping into Single Figures" - drawing by Nancy Farmer

“Stepping into Single Figures” – drawing by Nancy Farmer

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer

2020 Calendars are here!

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer - front cover

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer – front cover

To be honest, I’ve been selling calendars for next year for a couple of months on the quiet, but I don’t like to tell people too early that another year is ending, so they have mostly been bought by inquisitive souls who have asked or searched them out.

The clocks have gone back, the leaves are falling, I reckon I can tell everyone now: 2020 calendars are in my Etsy shop! To avoid disappointment don’t leave it till late December – I never ran out of this year’s calendars because of a printing company error – they printed too many and then somehow persuaded me to buy the surplus… However, that’s not the way it usually goes: I try to judge it so that I have nearly sold them all by the end of the year.

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer - some of the images

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer – some of the images

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer

2020 calendar by Nancy Farmer

Emma's first swim in Derwentwater

“Come on Emma, just bloody well get in!” …said Emma

It was not warm in Derwentwater: not yet ‘Baltic’, but well into ‘quite nippy’. It was past sunset and Emma stood in the inky waters in bare feet on uncomfortable slippy rocks; she also had a dodgy shoulder and she was not in fact – not yet – a cold water swimmer.
She had got this far, she was already half wet and all cold. Getting out at this point was going to look like defeat, but she was going to need some persuasion.
So she gave herself a stern talking to. Strong words were delivered and after some minutes of entertaining expletives, she did as she told herself.
She got in.
…and she loved it. Briefly.
And two days later she did it again, with noticeably less swearing.

Emma's first swim in Derwentwater

Emma’s first swim in Derwentwater – digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Swimming back to Cawsand

You watch, this lot will just get in and swim…

Swimming back to Cawsand

Swimming back to Cawsand

We had gathered on Cawsand beach and walked to Penlee Point – a lovely group of Kingsand & Cawsand swimmers – and Jim – had welcomed us few Somerset visitors: organized a gathering, a swim, boat cover, cake, pizza in the evening. There had been much faffing on the beach at Cawsand gathering everyone, meeting friends, meeting new people, talk of logistics: clothes, shoes and drybags. We took photos while we waited for everyone to arrive, some had stopped for pub lunch, I had not, having already stopped for cake. We even had a safety briefing – this was not our home waters.

We walked to the Point and picked our way down the cliff: around 15 people descending upon a dainty little micro-beach. There were two people already there, enjoying the peace and quiet. We must have blocked the view as we stood in front of them – there wasn’t anywhere else to stand – and I wondered if they were appalled at the thought that we might all join them in this tiny space.

“I’ve been summoning up the courage to go for a paddle for the last 15 minutes,” said one to the the other “and you watch: this lot will just get in and swim off.”
And we did. We had pre-faffed, and now we had cake and later pizza to swim back for.

Many thanks to everyone for a lovely day – Jim, Sue, Kate, Moi, the boat crew, and other people whose names I should remember but can’t! We hope to see some of you in Somerset sometime.

Budgie smugglers

Budgie smugglers – incorporating a photo of the text on the actual item in question!

I shall be back at Swim Serpentine 2019

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September 2018

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September 2018

I’m very happy to be able to tell you I will once again be in Hyde Park at the Swim Serpentine event, on Saturday 21st September. I am not swimming! I shall be part of the Swim Serpentine Festival. More on that in a bit, this isĀ  just a quick post to tell you I will be there. You will be able to find me amongst the marquees and tents and things, with artwork – paintings, calendars, swimming hats and so on. I expect that the view will be a little different to last year, in that it will not involve a 20 metre high bright pink red and blue floating sculpture made of oil drums. Perfect opportunity for another drawing then… watch this space. In the meantime I thought I’d remind you of that particular scene. It drizzled most of the day, but nobody’s enthusiasm was dampened.

You can still register to swim until 5th September, so if you want to, be quick!
https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/