What faint-hearted, poor excuse for an outdoor swimmer am I ?
My friend from Dublin is over for the weekend for her daughter's graduation. This morning we were meant to be meeting at Hatchmere in Cheshire for a dip. As I've never swum there before, and as we were in Chester yesterday, me and 'im indoors did a recce on our way back home.
The lake was smallish and lovely, no swimmers there, but several fishermen brollied up on the banks - always a sight that makes my heart sink.
There's been a well publicised campaign by Hatchmere swimmers, asserting their entitlement to swim in the lake. Some kind of agreement has been reached. The swimming and fishing communities now rub along beside each other, apparently. But as I've never actually tried it, I was a bit wary about finding out for myself how accepting the fisherfolk on the frontline might be in practice.
Sunday in Manchester dawned, damp, grey and miserable. Making an early morning cuppa I wondered whether we could cry off. No, that would be too mean on my friend, who I imagined would be heartbroken not to swim in an English lake.
At 9.30 the phone rang. She too was having doubts. Yes, we shelved the plan! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Three Cheers! Hip hip Hurrah!
Oh, the unexpected luxury of a day when the wettest I'll get is in the shower or dodging raindrops.
Photo: Jacov Lev