Just a quick post to say that I have more swimming hats in my Etsy shop again. Sea Monsters, one of the Mermaid designs, and Clevedon Pier. I’d planned to have a new design by now but people kept asking for these, so I got more printed. Something new will be along in a while, I have plans…
Apologies for not featuring these on the blog before! Anyone who stalks me on Facebook will have already seen these but I’ve not properly updated here yet.
Where to buy the hats? You can see, and buy, the hats I currently have in the Swimming Hats section of my Etsy shop.
If that’s all you were looking for, read no further, follow the links! The rest is mostly pretty pictures. I am very pleased with this new one – one of my two-colour Sea Monsters hats – a twist on last year. I can be very particular about colours, as you might expect from an artist, and I wanted a really nicely balanced colour combination. I mixed an orange and turquoise from my watercolour paints, put them in the post and sent them to the lovely hat-printing people Swimhatco.com, who carefully matched my samples. Turquoise in particular does not print true from a computer screen, so this was the only way to do it. I was delighted that they got them just like my samples.
Then I got into Clevedon Marine Lake last Wednesday with a camera and a hat on my head. It was a lovely morning. It was Brass Monkeys in the water mind you, at only 5.5 degrees, so I’m pretty pleased with the selfies considering everything. No, the water is not always this clear in Clevedon Marine Lake, but in the Autumn in particular it can be, once the silt has had a chance to settle.
I’ve also had some plain purple sea monsters printed, and the Swimflakes return for a 3rd year….
And one last new addition to the hats – I have more Clevedon Pier hats too, in some colours that have never existed before…
Aaaand I want to show you just one more pretty picture, because I still have a few of these mermaid hats. Many thanks to Pat Goding and Jeanine Lehmann Palmieri for this photo:
Friday. The morning, following so many beautiful dawns this week, dawned wet and windy. However, driving up the M5 to Clevedon I was still surprised to be informed by Radio 3 that there were white horses in the Bristol Channel*. This oldly specific announcement, out of character for a for a national radio station whose main qualities are its eighteenth century selections and lack of current affairs, was disconcerting. This wasn’t even a news bulletin, merely a comment about the state of the Bristol Channel. They explained, as if this explained anything, that they were watching the web cam at Watchet. Then they played Beethoven.
So it was in a slightly surreal and thoughtful mood that I stood taking photographs on the sea front. There were indeed (modest) white horses, there was also a spring tide and much splooshing of water up onto the walkway below the sea wall. And I was the only one there. I even wondered, if I continued to be the only one there, would I go in anyway?
This is Clevedon. There has to be more than little white horses to deter everybody. I pattered along to the big cave and found two of the regulars eyeing the sea speculatively. In the end we were four, and of course we swam. And as the sun rose above Clevedon Hill – in the instant that my camera battery died – and despite the dire warnings of Radio 3, it turned out lovely!
*White horses: I had to explain this to a friend, so in case anyone else is confused – the white caps on the top of waves. Other than actually breaking on the shore I think this begins to happen (sailing friends will correct me) at about a force 5 wind.
If you like my drawings you might like to know that I now have calendars for 2019 for sale in my etsy shop: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com.
On Sunday I swam at Clevedon. If you’re not an open water swimmer you may be unaware that the subject of Tow-Floats amongst swimmers is a bit like Marmite amongst toast-eaters. But when there’s a stiff wind blowing up the channel against the tide, this is what it’s like to swim here. In the mess of confused waves you can barely see another swimmer yards away, but for a brightly-coloured bobbing float. And this is one reason why most of us at Clevedon like our floats: it’s always reassuring to know that you’re not alone out there, that there are some other nutters with you who think this is a good idea.
I’m told by Channel swimmers that these conditions are good practice for the English Channel. It is not something I ever intend to put to the test, but my three fellow swimmers are waiting for their tide window, having twice got as far as Dover, once even got out on the pilot boat, but the weather’s being uncooperative. So please cross your fingers for the BCH Relay team. You can follow them here: https://twitter.com/BchChannel?s=04. They are a team of ‘mad doctors’ and if you follow the link you can also donate to their cause to fund a specialist bereavement cubicle at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
We had our correct hats on, Clare and I. Perfectly synchronized with each other and with the view.
The hat, if you missed it, is one I designed nearly a year ago and appeared on my main site… got to have a team hat! It features the Pier at Clevedon, as you can see. We are in the Marine Lake, I have probably bent the pier to get it in at this angle, but it’s always there, part of the view of our swims. Unlike the Welsh hills, which come and go with the weather. (Sorry, after two print runs they are again sold out. If there is a lot of demand I may get them re-printed sometime, so if you’re interested send me an email and I’ll make a list. At present I don’t have plans to re-print, but if I get enough enquiries….)
And I will admit, a little ‘cheating’ went on here: the hats in the picture are my actual design for the hat, worked into the picture. Because I don’t see why I should draw something twice!
I’m in Cumbria but this is not Cumbria. Catching up on some swimming moments as work has been too busy lately. This was last Tuesday in Clevedon marine lake. Don’t be misled by the blue sky and cute white puffy clouds, a vicious Arctic wind was howling onshore. This time the seagulls did not stand on the wall observing me, they surfed the gale, watching with curiosity to see if the foolish human would freeze. I wished I’d worn gloves.
Yesterday I swam in the marine lake in the morning, before Barney the Storm came in. Apparently storms shall have names now, just like hurricanes, but ‘Barney’ described as a ‘gentleman storm’ by Radio 4, lacks a certain threatening something. I had an audience, which is not uncommon. It was a brisk 11.9°C or so, and yes, fellow Clevedon swimmers, the water in there was nearly a greeny-blue, just like the sea was not!
(I still have swimming calendars – I ran out but got a few more printed – see this page on etsy or email me if you’d like more than one at a time as I am offering a discount)