Sunday was our 23rd wedding anniversary. We arranged to have two nights at the Low Wood Hotel on Windermere - site of the Great North Swim in September. It was wonderful to go back and spend time reminiscing about the event, gazing at the course, sitting at the end of the jetty, wondering if I had the nerve to jump back in and steal a swim (I'd packed the wetsuits, just in case...) I dangled my foot in the water. It was bone-gnawingly chilly (12c), but I knew I had to get in a lake somehow or other while we were here...(And by the way, the hotel is lovely too!)
Yesterday we went on a fact-finding mission to check out places to park up when we come back to swim next spring. First off, a failed attempt to get into White Moss car park between Grasmere and Rydal Water - absolutely rammed as it's half-term this week, so we headed up to Loughrigg Tarn instead. Remarkably, without any problem, we found a place to park at the side of the road, then took a leisurely stroll, to size up the tarn. My dissatisfaction at not being equipped to jump in heightened. By the time we got back to White Moss it was less crowded, so we set off round Rydal Water. Gradually, the plan emerged - we determined to come back and have an early morning dip.
First thing today I woke in the dark and lay scaring myself - lake monsters, heart attacks, the usual -until the alarm went off at 6.15. By the time we arrived at Rydal it was getting light, a fine mist hung in the air, gentle drizzle ruffled the brown, peaty water. We pulled on the wetsuits and hobbled speedily across the sharp, shale beach and into the lake. Whoo, it was cold! But not as bad as I'd imagined. We spent half an hour in the quiet lake, marvelling that we'd done it, despite the October madness of it all! So next time it'll seem less mad, do-able because we did it !