Swim 5 - Nov 2nd 2015   2015


It’s Feast Monday - very clear sky, off-shore wind. Rather crystalline. Rachel texted about a lunchtime BBQ on Sennen beach, so I decided to run there rather than drive with Andy and the children (plus surfboards, wetsuits, towels, hot water bottles…) and so I set off at 12.30 with my costume. 

At the top of the cliff I see a bird take off straight out into the sky toward the sea. Its flight describes a line as though ruled with a pencil - it’s absolutely horizontal. Here in Penwith I am always in view of the firmly ruled clean and absolutely straight horizon line of the sea. It’s like a judge. A perfect equation. As I watch the bird’s body leave the land for the air I think how I am very fidgety about feeling trapped, and that for me to take to the water is a great release as I feel constrained by the terrestrial nature of the human body. Just to cross the boundary of dry land into the sea or a deep river is transgressive enough to delight me - wether it’s swimming here or in a boat on the Helford. It’s the breaking of that barrier that interests me - to move from one element into another. So I don’t care to stay in the water, just to enter it.

I accidentally took what I think is a faster way  - not as far back off the cliff as Alison’s house - but up past the cot valley mill then up a very steep path indeed, over fields onto the narrow dead-end road which brings you to a small cluster of houses, building work in progress (of course), then out onto the cliff where the horned cattle graze. Maybe it’s not more direct but it’s a very easy and certain route. It took 30 or 35 mins. I wasn’t tired by the time I reached the beach and I arrived exactly with the children - who saw me before I saw them. And oddly enough we met exactly infront of the women - Lucy with Maya, Zoe with Marnie, Rachel with Edie plus Helen and Steph… which was a bit strange - as if it were staged.  

Andy was the only man, except for Dylan who was always in the sea, being eldest. Orla youngest.

I went in - which was much harder than at Cot because it’s so shallow shelving so you have to wade a lot. I was coming out slowly when Helen then Rachel joined me so I went back in again. I didn’t mean to run home so I did get cold sitting in the dunes. Still, the wind was blowing RAINBOWS back in great arcs away from the beach.

 7 swims left till the shortest day - just 7.