You can try pausing to admire the beautiful morning, the misty view as the lake snakes its glimmering way up to Pooley Bridge at the other end, the tranquillity of the scene, the lovely unspoilt Cumbrian fells… sooner or later you are going to have to get all the way in. And this is Ullswater, where it is always colder.
Drawing inspired by a swim when I was up there the week before last, at Glencoyne Bay with Francine, Rosie and Margaret. There may have been a little bit of squealing, but if there was, there was nobody else around to hear it.
The first leaves began to fall, it seems like only yesterday. It was a few weeks ago in fact when I drew this one but it somehow got forgotten. I swam in Ullswater with Francine, Derwent water with Jackie. This is the drawing that was inspired by both those swims, though the scene is my memory of the Ullswater swim: there was no denying the leaves really had begun to fall, so had the temperature. We had brought warm clothes, but there was no real hurry to get into them: still time for faffing, still capable of holding a conversation and stringing words into sentences. But winter is coming…
The leaves had begun to fall, and so had the temperature.
Jackie and I went swimming in Ullswater last week. The rain in the morning was so heavy I discovered that, while a Dryrobe is excellent for keeping most of a person dry, under the right conditions it also has an ability to collect all that rain and funnel it straight into one’s boots…
It’s much more fun being soaking wet in a lake.
Amidst intermittent torrential showers Mother and I braved Ullswater’s choppy waters. Last time I was here, the water was a bracing 7 degrees, this time it was nearly 16. But Mother (age 71 and eleven twelfths), is not an outdoor swimmer and still showed the lake what she was made of. I am probably a bad influence…
In my (albeit fairly limited) experience, it is always colder in Ullswater. I don’t know why, but I don’t just mean colder than in Somerset where I live, but colder than the rest of the lakes in the Lake District. We met up on the 2nd May, in driving rain (which I have forgotten to add to the drawing). I was already in the water when Rosie and Jackie got in, so I had a good view of Rosie’s face as she entered the slightly unseasonal 7 degrees. It was a picture. And so it is, now, a picture 😉
A man in a white van stopped, once were were in and acclimatized, and gazed in wonderment; announced, full of male bravado, that he’d join us in 5 minutes… and then drove away very quickly and never returned.
Ullswater, 2nd May, 2017: last cold swim till November