Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thrills and Spills

Not long back from Salford Quays where we swam two circuits of the 400m course. Their opening swim of the season!  13.5C - so a bit nippy to start, but tingling when we warmed up and fantastic to be back in the docks again.
Monday at Gaddings was also great, swam 750m, the last 10 minutes or so without a wetsuit, phew it certainly makes a difference.
And speaking of wetsuits.....I am just getting over the fact that my obliging husband cut it with his nail helping me on with it.....before it even touched the bad humour took till Wednesday to lift. In my fury I reminded him of this Jean Sprackland poem which I introduced him to after some similar outrage a while back

The Apprentice

I married a man with clumsy hands
whose touch left me fingerprinted with bruises.
I had to keep him from my bed
till he learned some delicacy.
I wanted him dextrous

so I trained him on nimble tasks. First time
hanging out washing, he snapped a dozen pegs,
let underwear fall in the wet grass.

Then I had him sowing lettuces,
pricking out the seedlings, growing them on.
He was close to tears with the smallness of the work.

I schooled him in needle and thread,
a hard apprenticeship in gentleness.
He fumbled the button, knocked the licked end of thread
against the stubborn eye of the needle,
stabbed his fingertip. Blood on his white shirt.

One night, after dinner, the final test:
unfastening my silver necklace.
When I felt those skilful fingers
lift my hair and charm the tiny clasp apart,
I stood astonished, sheened in desire. I turned
and took his hands, set them free.

Jean Sprackland
from Hard Water (Cape Poetry)

Harrumph. But a wonderful poem - and a great collection.


  1. Now, 13.5C that really is getting on the cool side. I'm guessing you wore the wetsuit for that one. I remember swimming a half mile in San Francisco Bay at 14.5C with neither wetsuit nor cap. I had to stand in the sauna to warm up, and, even then, couldn't stop shivering.

  2. yes it was chilly but the wetsuit did a good job. didn't you write about your sf swim on your blog? that sounded like a challenging swimming circuit if I'm remembering rightly.
    take a look at one of the blogs I follow 'an unusual love affair in london' to read about extreme swimming in tooting bec lido!! no wetsuits in the deepest of winter.....brrrr!