Swim 9 - Dec 7th 2015   2015


I looked at the forecast before bed, and this morning was set to be sunny and not windy. I mean by this that it was going to be about 22-25mph winds not 44ish. Often right now it’s 44ish.

So - children in breakfast club and I eat a piece of toast because I am too hungry for comfort and set off to run at 8.30. It’s not really sunny - though the sky clears as I run along - out along the valley. It’s too wet underfoot not to stick to the stony paths. After the bridge over the stream I dodge left up towards the YHA to join the upper path and fly down down. It’s sort of boring this long straight descent, but also sort of great - a dart to the sea and then pull up short at the end where the land stops at the wide sky and sea and you can look down to check the tide height. Today the clouds, the high clouds, are still touched with a salmon pink. The clouds speed along pretty fast, the sky above me clear but the sun isn’t above the land yet. It has not cleared Carne Brea. I see that it’s a sort of mid-tide and anyway the moon is a thin thin crescent, so the tide will be neap. I assess the blue lagoon and decide it’s ok - not too rough. 

This time I run down by the mine and as soon as I get onto a smooth rock I stop to unlace my trainers and take off my socks, telling myself that way I won’t slip. Setting off again I surprise myself by feeling delighted because it’s a summer thing - to patter over rocks barefoot. Anyway - it’s not cold. The rocks are wet but drying. I undress on the large long rock and again I don’t bother to put on my costume. There’s definitely nobody about. I make a little pile of clothes on top of my shoes so as to keep my things dry, then I move the pile after assessing the waves again - I move it a little higher. I slide in quickly. It’s good! I float about for a while, think of getting out and then decide to count to ten first - so I loudly call out in seconds, and then manoeuvre to get the soles of my feet onto the rough reddish rock on an updraft so I can cling on with my hands as the water drops and reposition myself to move my weight forward and up on the next swell. 

Out, I shake myself a bit and then I squat down and piss. Not to warm my feet up - just because I think it’d be nice to have a naked piss. I pull on my white t-shirt and as I drag my pants on a wave slaps up and soaks my shoulders. No matter. I assess the kelp bank that’s heaped against the cliff. I pick up my shoes and decide to try that way I say out loud ‘I won’t slip barefoot’ and then I do slip - but not badly - just a jolt which makes me laugh. I can’t get around to the beach and the rocks are very rough - decomposing as I tread it - breaking off little pieces on my feet, so I start to climb straight up and then pull on my shoes as I reach the turf. I go straight up to the top of the rocks with the cave in it. I haven’t done that before. Funny how I have climbed about and walked about these cliffs for ten years, but only now I swim and run in this particular place it seems I find an ease of moving almost in any direction - any vector across the land. I haven’t been this way before. 

I am tired. I run, walk a bit and I say out loud ‘sun!’ I command it to clear the hill and shine onto the other side of the valley and light it up for me. It does, but not until I am back on the road toward Sim’s house. I think a few things, hazily. I find the tubs that held the seaweed I gathered with Orla all blown around the driveway. I shower. I’m hungry and I need a coffee.