Tag Archives: Clevedon

The Moonlit Swim

The ‘Moonlit’ Swim

Apologies if the sudden name change has caused any confusion, I posted a couple of weeks ago about changes to this site, and it is now re-named Waterdrawn.com (and not ‘Art for Swimmers’ as I had suggested earlier). It’s my new site for swimming-related artwork. Other artwork will be posted on www.nancyfarmer.wordpress.com.

Meanwhile, here is a little commission I was asked for a few weeks ago, commemorating a very cheeky swim in the marine lake, in full view of the innocent seagulls (and quite possibly associated dog-walkers!)

The Moonlit Swim

The Moonlit Swim

The BBC are on Clevedon Beach again

The BBC are on the beach again!

It’s been a funny time down at Clevedon Beach. Suddenly you can’t go for a swim without tripping over a BBC camera man, so it was about time that a drawing appeared to commemorate it.

So far as I was involved, it all started when a request appeared on Facebook from the BBC for people to be filmed swimming in the sea, on a damp and grey Tuesday in late November. Paying very little attention to what the filming was for, this being the sort of thing that I was happy to do anyway regardless of camera crew, I happily agreed and toddled along on the appointed day.

waiting for the BBC again...

waiting for the BBC again… last Monday it was Countryfile.

There was faffing. Much has been mentioned about the ability of cold water swimmers to faff, but let me tell you the combination of cold water swimmers and film crew pushed this to new heights. Which was just as well, since the appointed meeting time was 10.30am, with a high but neap tide due at 1pm. Not one but all 14 swimmers probably pointed out, individually and at various times when action looked like it was about to happen, that this meant that nobody was going to be able to get in the actual sea until getting on for 12. This is the Bristol Channel after all. The ‘sea’ must first come in, approaching Clevedon across sinking mud and rocks, and slow down a bit, before there is any question of actually getting in it.

Time enough for bacon sandwiches, a second round of coffee, and a third check that none of us sported any trace of logos about our person. Time for a trip to the beach and back to the meeting room at the Pier, and back to the beach again. Whereupon I should say that the BBC, concerned for the welfare of their subjects, offered hot water bottles, in fluffy glittery coats (the water bottles had the coats on, the BBC also did, but they were not glittery).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was a little surprised to find that come January 1st, I was in most of the newspapers and my bottom was all over BBC1, repeatedly, that we had been photographed by Martin Parr, a famous photographer, and that everyone I know had noticed. And the Twitterati were upset about the loss of hippos. It was slightly surreal.

Since then we have had two more lots of BBC camera people getting us to re-create the scene, partly I think to prove that it wasn’t just a one-off and we really do swim all year. It looked just the same, except for a proliferation of gloves… it is January now, some small concession to the English climate is allowable.

This particular drawing was inspired by Countryfile, on Monday of last week. Traffic on the M5 had meant I was nearly 20 minutes late, but fortunately the faffing was in full swing and I joined in like I’d been there all the time.

And if you still haven’t seen my bottom on BBC1, here you go: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38486283
(I’m in the blue snowflake costume, and for the record, no, I don’t have a bruise on my bottom, it’s dent where I hit a tree, sledging, when I was about 14…)

BBC idents in action!

BBC idents in action!

BBC idents - still shot

BBC idents – still shot

New Year's Day at Clevedon Marine Lake, 2017

New Year’s Day 2017

Clevedon Marine Lake

Quite unlike the Last Swim of 2016, the first swim of 2017 was a mass affair. More shrieking than swimming, especially from those who believe a new year’s resolution is all it takes, to get into 5 degrees as if you like it. They didn’t last. Though to be fair, some might: our Clevedon Lake and Sea Swimmers group is growing all the time, new faces popping up even through the winter and some of them stay, and surprise themselves.

The local media was there too, and plenty of umbrella’d watchers. Determined to have a proper swim, I swam off to the far end, and by the time I got back it was all over. A stiff wind and a determined drizzle had blown a lot of them straight into the pub.

New Year's Day at Clevedon Marine Lake, 2017

New Year’s Day at Clevedon Marine Lake, 2017

Single Figures at Clevedon Marine Lake

Single Figures

On Wednesday the marine lake had dropped to 9.5 degrees. This is not an unpleasant temperature at which to swim for a while, but it still seems important to give the water a hard contemplative stare before getting in, just in case. Winter is coming…

Single Figures at Clevedon Marine Lake

Single Figures at Clevedon Marine Lake

 

Backstroke in Clevedon Marine Lake

Look out behind me!

…backstroke in the Marine Lake

A glorious morning, a quite ridiculous 22 degrees in the water, and I am swimming backstroke. I am not fond of backstroke and I’m not especially good at it, this is partly because I feel my eyes are altogether in the wrong place on my head for such a stroke. But Plum suggested it would be very good for me. I am persevering, and now I’ve clocked up few lengths of the marine lake I find I do not hate it as much as I expected, and almost no water goes up my nose any more. And I only occasionally hit the wall. But look out behind me, I’m coming, I’m not looking, and I’m literally putting blind faith in your ability to see me first….

Backstroke in Clevedon Marine Lake

Backstroke in Clevedon Marine Lake

Gull's eye view, and my bottom...

Arctic Breeze

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.

Gull's eye view, and my bottom...

Gull’s eye view, and my bottom…

The Silly Hat Swim at Clevedon Marine Lake Opening

The Silly Hat Swim

The Silly Hat Swim at Clevedon Marine Lake Opening

The Silly Hat Swim at Clevedon Marine Lake Opening

At Clevedon Marine Lake Grand Opening

On 2nd April 2016 the Marine Lake was officially re-opened, following an extensive repair and re-vamping project. It had in fact been open since November of 2015, but few people other than our band of hardy swimmers had been using it through the winter. The Silly Hat Swim was our contribution to the general celebrations and goings-on in the lake, it was a very simple and silly idea, quite possibly because it was my idea: Hats must be made, not bought, and the hat wearers be able to swim around the pontoon in the middle of the lake and back again, whilst still wearing their hat. The pontoon is in fact quite near the deep end and the swim was probably less than 100 yards, the idea being that anyone could join in and not freeze, even those who hadn’t been swimming in the lake all winter. Prizes were awarded for exceptional hats.

And I’ve been busy ever since, which is why this drawing is rather late. This does not excuse the fact that right at the front I put a swimmer in a flatcap, which, if you’ve been paying attention to the rules, is disqualified for not having been hand made, but I just could not resist it. There I was, swimming my best most careful head-up breaststroke to keep my own hat on my head, and across my field of view swam a chap in a wetsuit, shades and a flat cap. This doesn’t happen very often. So I had to put him in even though there were many more fantastic hats than I have included.

My hat is slipping out of the frame in the bottom right hand corner: a Viking paper boat collaged into the image from the drawing that I used for the actual paper hat. More on this on my main website shortly.

And the day was glorious, the weather perfect, and much fun and silliness was had.

Silly Hat Poster

Silly Hat Poster