Snow on the hills, gale force winds, a broken zip and the tale of two swimsuits

So as the clocks have gone back, I thought it was time for a wee update on the swimming challenge and I am proud to say that, hopefully, I'm winning the bet. Hubby hasn't actually told me what his bet with himself is yet, so consequently, I'm still going in and still haven't got a wetsuit. Roxy has been a bit ambivalent depending on her mood. She was in season this month and maybe decided that she couldn't face it and instead watched dutifully from the beach, but this morning she was back in again, jumping the waves and having a good time. I haven't managed every day though, as with summer well and truly a distant memory, autumn has brought a few new challenges.

The first challenge has been the wind, and it's beaten me on several occassions. Storm Ophelia wasn't to be trifled with and the last week has also brought more gales and horrendous downpours. The wind makes things tricky, not from a swimming point of view, as the wind makes it fun in the waves and the sea still isn't freezing. I've not had to scream yet but I'm sure that will come as the temperatures continue to plumet. No, the problem with the wind, is that it's made getting out of the water a bit of a challenge as I've tried to hold onto a towel and then my clothes as I've battled to get them on over a wet swimsuit, all the while keeping an eye on a frisky dog in season. I've just about managed to deal with it by taking a bin bag, into which I put my rucksack and clothes so that they don't blow away. Like a good mountaineer, which I'm not, I have my clothes turned the right way, all in an orderly pile in the rucksack, ready to put on as soon as I get out. It seems to work, although I haven't had to deal with wind and rain yet. That will probably be a step too far. The thought of getting wet on top of wet with a two mile hike back, isnt actually very appealing. Time will no doubt tell, but swimming in a cruel, north-east wind, is probably complete madness.

The other challenge has been the tide, which was something I hadn't considered; the issue being that when the tide is out, it really is out, and one morning I waded out quite a distance before laying down in about a foot or water. When the tide is out, it's almost Weston-Super-Mare in minature. For anyone who was ever dragged there as a child for a day out and then spent the whole day walking miles to reach the sea to fill your bucket with water,you'll get my drift. This isn't on that scale, but I've been surprised at just how shallow the water is, and to be honest it's a bit embarrassing looking as though you're swimming, then standing up trying to look like a Bond heroine in about six inches of water.

And then my zip broke on my swimsuit, the long sleeved swimsuit that mad friend Milly had bought me and that had been working rather well. So I messaged her, asking her where she'd got it. The conversation went something like this.

"Ha ha, did your boobies fly out?"

"No I wasnt wearing it at the time!"

"Shame! Just google sexy rash vest eighties style, on ebay"

She then sent me a photo

I went on ebay, made a purchase and sent photo.

Message came back.

"You obviously didn't google sexy!!"

"I'm 55, I'm swimming in the North Sea at 7.30 am, sexy doesn't come in to it. It's a bit sexy in a surfy hot pant sort of way!"

"It's not sexy. Buy another one immediately."

Anyway, suit has arrived and it's ok, but I'm thinking that I should have gone a size smaller, as the thing is, you need them to be tight to the skin if you need to stay warm once your clothes are back on top. I might actually be ordering another one. I might even google sexy!

Anyway, I'm very proud of myself today, because this morning, in 2 degrees centrigade with a pink sky and snow on the hills, Roxy Rockstar and I went in. The waves were fabulous after the gales and although the tide was out, it was swimmable. Unsurprisingly the sea was actually warmer than the air temperature and I was fine when I was in, but my wee hands and tootsies cooled down pretty quickly when we got out. Time was of the essence on the getting dressed front and gloves are now a necessity. But hey, we did it, it was awesome and I'm going to keep on going in whenever the elements allow. I might even take a wee dram with me next time.

I'll let you know when I've won the bet.

PS. I'm now running to the beach in the morning, and being a sprinter at school I actually hate distance running. But Mad Milly has set another challenge. You're going to love this one!

#health #positiveattitude #swimming #nairn #fiftysomething #scotland #dog #labrador #coldwaterswimming #seaswimming #morayfirth #northsea #scottishwriter #Ageing #middleage #Fitness #healthyliving #swimsuits #author

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