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A festive fun dip! SO. MUCH. LAUGHING.

What a merry laugh we had. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt, I was so overexcited and happy I nearly burst into tears when I got back to the car. One of my school friends of more than 30 years has taken up open water swimming in the last few weeks and I’m really proud of her. She’s just got in and got on with it! But my god, what a laugh we have - we have spent more than 30 years laughing and crying our way through our respective ups and downs and I’m thrilled she is joining me on my new crazy hobby. We are, of course, the ones in the Santa hat and reindeer antlers...

Karen, Clare and I, in company with Clare’s bubbly mum, Caroline, went down to Low Newton for a festive dip. Karen brought along a FLASHING Santa hat for me (dream come true here), while she donned a pair of alarmingly upright reindeer antlers. I wrapped my already inflated puffin float around my waist, chucked on my dry robe, and we made our way down the hill towards the beach. This beach is always a good one for donations as there is a pub nearby (currently doing takeaways) so people often have cash in their pockets.

We plonked our stuff on the beach and got ready, the laughing already starting as we got in the festive spirit with our respective antlers and hats. Caroline took her position next to my beach sign, in her self-appointed role as fundraising administrator, chatting to passerbys about my fundraiser and the Birth Trauma Association. She can spot a potential donator from a mile away!

This was the first time I had been in the sea in a week, the waves being far too wild recently, resulting in me taking baths in my green garden bath water instead. It was also the final swim of week 12! It felt pretty cold, and the thermometer read 8.2c....the only way is down with water temperatures as we head through the winter months. We had a good giggle in the water, Karen and Clare using the puffin floats as kick boards for an impromptu kicking session, while I lay on my back in the final rays of sunshine and kicked away with my Santa hat dangling in the water.

Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows for after, followed by lots of chatting on the beach with passerby’s, and I got a substantial amount of donations too!!

That’s the end of week 12 of my bikini dip. 12 minutes in 8.2 degrees. 🥶👙💪🏻

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