Swim 8 - Dec 2nd 2015   2015


It was raining as we drove back from the studio, when I’d been hoping it would hold off. Still, it wasn’t really cold or very windy so I felt as though it was reasonable to run. It meant I didn’t notice very much. Head down. I am arrested by how RUSSET the landscape is at this time of year. Flaming and deep russet like a fox.

It’s waterlogged so I didn’t take the path through the field. I’d done that on Monday - red short-legged cows benignly standing under the trees at the gate by the hill hardly bothering to move at all as I came near them. More cows on the top of the cliff and in the field by Sim’s. They used to make me feel nervous but it’s not Spring-time so they are not skittish and anyway we ought to be used to each other by now.

I keep to the stoniest paths, and running down by the cliff-mine. It’s low tide but the rocks are slippery so I talk myself across them. I climb up towards the blue lagoon but the waves are crashing into it and it’s sucking and churning, so I turn back down the rocks and undress fast by the centre of the round pool. I don’t feel like putting on my costume - though I have brought it. It feel rather ridiculous to bother. I slide in. 

The water makes me gasp - but it always does, and I stay curled up at first. When I stretch out my legs the little patches of warm skin on skin where my thighs have pressed against my hips release into cold very enjoyably. I gasp about on my back kicking my legs to see the white spray. The pool is full of diminutive purple stingers and I can feel a smart on my right thigh as I climb out of the sea - but it’s so mild - it feels like a nettle sting the day after. 

Dressed again - as fast as I can and talking myself through it - pants, shorts, t-shirt, sock/shoe, sock/shoe, headband, jacket. I don’t want to run back up the beach so I climb the cliff face. I have trouble, and think I’ll slip off and suddenly I realise how long it would take anyone to find me. Andy has taken the children to their swimming lessons and won’t return for an hour and a half. Nobody would miss me till then. It’ll be dark in half an hour and the tide is rising. I imagine myself lying face up, washed  by sea spray on the stones with a broken back or a leg injury and unable to get off the beach in the dark.  

I shouldn’t have climbed. Still, it’s done. I run back head down and get into a hot shower. As I emerge from the shower - house all quiet - the dusk is glowing that lambent blue through the window panes.