Last week I mentioned I was aiming to do a polar dip – swimming in the Orkney seas as one of my 49 challenges to do before I’m 50. I am delighted to tell you I did it not once, but TWICE and now I’m completely hooked. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I joined the Orkney Polar Bears club on Facebook page. I noted a vague interest in swimming in the sea and the next thing I knew, someone had turned up at my place of work with a wet suit and an offer to be with me when I did it the following week. Shame made me go ahead. I’d committed myself and my embarrassment of bottling it was stronger than my fear (marginally)
By the time I ended up at the beach, wet suit on (I tried it on back to front, happy to say it was the right way round on the day) I don’t mind admitting I was
very pretty nervous. Not of sea monsters or being out of my depth. I was genuinely scared of being so cold I might not be able to cope. Or worse still need medical attention or something. The hardcore polars were super encouraging and real cheerleaders. The best way for me was to just wade in and go for it. ‘I’M DOING IT, I’M TOTALLY DOING IT ‘ I screamed. And with that, I was in love.
I enjoyed it so much I was back in again today at a different location. I don’t know much about the science of outdoor swimming but there is definitely an endorphin release that makes you feel like you’ve done a 5 mile run without the actual effort of doing a five-mile run. I think this new hobby is here to stay. it’s wonderful.
Before the weekend, the week was much quieter and hobbies more sedate and considerably warmer. The weather was so hideous on Monday, a storm was on the way with winds gusting as high as 90 miles per hour. In fact there were a few shed casualties to Monday’s storm.
I took the afternoon off as I didn’t fancy driving home in the dark, and hemorrhaged more hours than I care to work out finishing a jigsaw. Yes while housework lay all around me crying out to be done, I sat around fixing jigsaw pieces in no matter how hard it was. Stronger people than me said ‘just scrunch it up’ when I bemoaned how hard it was but I can’t. I made myself finish it even if we didn’t eat for three days and were becoming feral. Only problem was, when I finally got to the end of it, it looked like this.
Yup! The last piece didn’t fit, which means there was another piece didn’t fit either and it wasn’t actually finished. I nearly cried. I honestly nearly cried at my first world hobby problem. So much so that Orkney Beef had to come and rescue it.
and minutes after that it was scrunched up and back in the box.
This week’s book was ‘The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away’ by Cole Moreton. The true story of two 16-year-old boys who became sick around the same time. One died and the other received his heart. Unusually, the mothers met and the donor’s mother was able to meet the recipient and listen to her son’s heart beating in his chest. An incredible and powerful story. If you are undecided about going on a donors register, this should help you. Either way, it’s well worth a read.
Aside from my new found high of sea swimming, my heart is heavy for a lovely friend who is very unwell and leaving us. She was my first friend in Orkney when I moved here and has been a solid rock for me for over ten years. She has always squeezed every last drop out of life and encouraged everyone to do the same. If I can be only a tiny bit as inspiring as she is I’ve done extremely well.
Have a good week everyone. Do something that scares you a little – but do it safely please!