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An ice smashing lake dip. ICE. SMASHING.

Here was my moment. My friend Jane and I had slipped and slithered our muddy, icy way up the steep hill to the frozen lake, the only people for miles around at the top of a Northumbrian hill. The wind was brisk but not too punishing, the sun just starting to peep through the grey, gloopy clouds gazing over the lake. We looked over the lake, a still and peaceful frosted white christmas cake - minus the plastic toppers or tasty rum soaked goodness underneath. Underneath lay cold, cold water. And I was about to get in.

We made our way carefully around the edge of the lake, getting undressed in the company of our nervous laughter and Jane’s curious dog, Eddie. It wasn’t until I was standing at the edge in my bikini, that I realised I had nothing with which to break the ice! Surely it can’t be that hard....

I clambered down to the icy tip, and tried to stamp my way in. The ice was frozen solid. There was no easy way to do wearing just my Aldi imitation purple crocs, I stamped and smashed my way through the thick ice, which was almost 20 centimetres thick in some places. The Aldi marketing team have missed a trick here - crocs strong enough to smash ice no less! A niche target audience I must admit. In between bouts of hysterical laughter and shouts of “this is impossible! How mad are we!?”, I managed to break small sections of the ice, eventually creating an area just big enough for me to sit down and submerge.

A few steady breaths and I was in. My exertions of the previous few minutes had warmed me up, but my hands were painfully cold almost straight away, my feet not far behind. It’s why it is actually better not to wear gloves or socks in very cold water, because they can give you a false sense of how warm you are, resulting in a cold core without realising until it is too late. Your hands and feet can give you a heads up that you are getting cold. Jane videoed me, standing in the side in her swimming costume, although there was a comedy moment when she suddenly shrieked “where’s your phone! Oh, I’m holding it [and videoing you on it]”. We would be dangerous if we had any brains between us! The usual discussion about having a wee followed (and yes, I did, and no, it didn’t warm me up), that topic never too far away from conversation when among wild swimmers. After a few minutes I climbed out, completely exhilarated, buzzing and laughing merrily for no apparent reason at all...other than the fact I had just managed to smash my way through ice and sit in my 1.2c....

Icy dip. DONE.

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