There is some football cup or something just beginning today. Freyja has been deposited back with me in my studio: she got thrown out of the lounge for handball…
Approaching the water* I notice I am once more doing the arms-raised thing. This is not the impending cold water, it is July and the water’s lovely, this is my subconscious insisting on believing I actually weigh less with my arms in the air: this is my special walking-over-ouchy-shingle walk. I have been known to exit from the sea on all fours, but I hate swimming in shoes more than I hate the brief discomfort and indignity.
*To those unfamiliar with the sea at Clevedon – that is the yellow-brown waviness at my feet. It’s a colour you get used to. You may call it the Bristol Channel, but we call it the sea and are happy it’s there.
(if you enjoy these swimming drawings, you might like to take a look at my swimming calendar for next year: https://nancyfarmergallery.wordpress.com/…/swept-away-the-…/)
Now we know that it is summer: last week Jim took off his wetsuit, and got back in the lake! It was a sort of milestone, we have never seen this transformation before. Jim has been shedding some of his rubber skin for months now: the gloves, the boots, the balaclava, the thermal layer, and now like a butterfly he finally emerged, fully formed. For a few minutes…
(For the sake of fairness I would like to add that Jim did in fact swim with us all through the winter, when all the warm-water creatures had fled the lake.)
Yesterday I had a visitor at 2am, at the open door of my bedroom no less. Percy went out to have words. It was Percy’s words which woke me up, but this is the way he tells it, and considering there was a chunk of Percy’s fur outside my door this morning, his tale is probably accurate.
It was Bad Frank. Frank is quite fat, and very, very bad. He lives two doors down: a fact which Percy has to remind Bad Frank of on a regular basis.
So yesterday we swam round Burgh Island. Plum Duff was suffering from a dodgy shoulder from a 5 hour swim the day before, but still made it round. She emerged victorious and, by some sleight of hand unknown to Burgh Island virgins such as I, she had a gin and tonic in one hand as she exited the water!
(ok I admit, I lied a little: the glass was in fact a crystal tumbler. The gin, tonic and cucumber were perfectly real…)
Full speed sideways!
If you are a little on the small side, terrify your enemies by approaching them sideways on, which will make you look much, much bigger. For added impact wave your huge front paws and perfect your mad-eyed kitten look.
Spring has sprung in the lake. It gets in through the front of one’s swimming costume and collects where it should not. We don’t know what it is, but it wasn’t there through last summer, autumn and winter, so I am naming it spring greens…
[Note: apologies for on-going lack of cats. I am on holiday and there are no cats here!]
Yesterday I returned to Grisedale Tarn, the site, last June, of my least elegant exit from water ever. Anyone who has ventured into the chilly waters of a mountain tarn will appreciate the difficulty of getting oneself across several metres of slimy sharp rocks with cold feet, through water just a few inches deep. I imagine it was an entertaining sight but I chose to believe the whoops from the other side of the tarn were nothing to do with my predicament. Fortunately the other side is a fair way off.
So the drawing is my memory of last year. This year I took shoes I could swim in, though it was much colder: this time what I hadn’t anticipated was that the effect on my feet of going from hot walking boots straight into water about 6 or 7 degrees would make them very unhappy. Again. Just can’t please some feet…..
Yesterday I had several packages to get in the post, which is time-consuming and boring work. Fortunately I had help, or to be more precise, the bubblewrap had help.
Guess how old Tony is? It’s not old at all if you write it in cats…