I have loved open water swimming this season. It’s too cold for me now but I thought I’d draw together pictures of some of the amazing places and people I have had the privelege of being alongside this season. Many of these adventures took place while working with Swim the Lakes on their adventure swim days. https://www.swimthelakes.co.uk/ Roll on spring 2021.
Anxiety and uncertainty – there is a lot of both around at the moment. All the way through COVID 19 everyone has been juggling uncertainty in their own ways and most people would admit to having days when things are less than OK. Our household felt a bit like standing on a plateau of molten lava, atop a volcano. We both lost our three streams of income at once, with no guarantee that they were going to return. We went from a household of two to a household of six. Two adult children arrived home jobless, one bringing a jobless partner, and the third came back to sit online university exams with no guarantee of his third year going ahead. Uncertainly was rife. My husband then returned to hospital with an attack of Atrial fibrillation, a heart condition. Nothing to do with stress!? Things have since calmed down a bit, and we are one of the lucky families so far. No bereavements and financially we are secure compared to so many. I felt so guilty at not being able to ‘pull weight’ as I saw it. Being asthmatic I was nervous of volunteering to help, which is one of my drivers in life.
But help is given and received in many ways and mental wellbeing is not a static state, it is a shifting picture. Which is why I love the picture below. Continue reading “OK? Not OK? The margins are small”
I could almost be in Scotland. The views are big, the roads are empty, the gradients constantly unrelenting. I can hear the odd song bird, see the odd animal. The early morning air is sharp and I struggle to understand people. But I am most definitely NOT in Scotland.
The early morning nip gives way to a hot 26 degrees at the end of October, the animals are lizards scuttling for cover and crickets landing on my mitts. Beautiful autumn colours in the leaves are reflected back in the colours of the house walls and every village has a church or a castle dominating its skyline with a plethora of little streets and hidden bars beneath.
My wheel bounces off fallen almond nuts and I catch glimpses of red and orange as ripe pomegranates and oranges peep from under laden boughs. The olive trees are speckled green and brown and black as this year’s crop bends the branches and splashes of yellow announce the presence of some lemons.
We climb out of this richness and wend our way across barren scrub land plateau before climbing once again. Our reward is a wide angle view of the sea and the coastal plain and we then plummet towards some larger settlements where we find good coffee and sandwiches in a shaded town centre square. Continue reading “Scotland?…or maybe not”