‘Tis The Season Day 21 – Winter Solstice and Planning for Warmer Climes

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Since we started swimming outside The Short One and I have always celebrated the Solstices. The summer one to celebrate the mid point of warm water, the winter one to mark the point at which we should start getting a little bit of light back and to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the previous year.

Today was no different. At lunchtime today we headed down to our usual spot to celebrate. Today we were joined by Sauna Man and The Short One’s kids. Me in full wetsuit, Sauna Man in wetsuit top, shorts and a Santa hat and The Short One in a bikini! The kids were wrapped up on the side eating cake.

It was my first swim in nearly two weeks after a poorly spell and it was sheer heaven. Well encased in neoprene I had a proper head in swim and wallowed on my back for a while whilst the others did a lot of flapping to get warm.

It was only a five minute dip but enough to celebrate a great year of swimming. We rounded off with a quick mince pie before heading off to get on with the rest of our pre-Christmas prep.

Today was a good day to reflect on what we’ve achieved this year but also to look forward to what we have planned for 2019. On the winter solstice last year we hatched our plan for the summer solstice, culminating in our summit to sea day Summer solstice summit to sea – We did it! 

This year our plans have already taken shape for 2019. The Short One has snaffled a place in the Celtman extreme triathlon. An Iron distance event in the Torridon mountains in North West Scotland.

As the name suggests it’s a bit bonkers! A 3.5km sea swim, replete with jellyfish, a 200km bike ride through stunning mountain scenery and a marathon over a couple of Munro’s. Last years finish times ranged from 12 to 18 hours. I’ll be there providing support, driving, feeding, fending off panic. I have absolutely no doubt The Short One’s determination will see her through to the end.

We’re also doing the Outdoor Swimming Society’s Hurly Burly swim together. I did it two years ago and it’s by far the best event I’ve ever entered (The Hurly Burly’s done). I watched the start this year and felt desolate that I wasn’t there with them. So next year we’re doing it together. It’ll be a big swim for The Short One but I plan to be there bobbing along with her all the way. Maybe this year I won’t miss the tide and actually swim all the way to the finish!

And, of course, on top of those firm plans we’ll carry on with our usual silliness. As Grandpa Potts said in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang “Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life”. I can’t wait to carry that on in 2019!

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