October 7th

I know, I know, two posts in a day!

Another day snatched from winter. I was going to the bank in Hythe, had finished my chores and then drove along the sea front, saw a woman, emerging Ursula Andress-like from the waves. The sun was shining and I was jealous.

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So home I went, got my swimmers and in I plunged. I did the same yesterday and the identical programme, The Food Programme,  was playing on Radio 4 on both occasions. It was celebrating the slow cooker and pressure cooker which both suffer from an image problem. They’re thought of as seventies, brown, orange and frumpy. But how wrong can we be? Slow cooking is right on trend in this frugal age, making the most of those cheaper cuts. And a charming professor of physics made a very good case for parboiling potatoes in a pressure cooker before roasting. It breaks down the starch most effectively making for a fluffy outside. Ok, I’ll dig it out.

The weather was predicted to be 18* and the water not much cooler. It was still marvellous and I made pedestrians and cyclists jealous, of that I am certain.

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Yet another snap of sunny Hythe. Aren’t I lucky? Now I know when I enjoy something I can become evangelical to the point of forced conversions, but…

What I’ve learned this summer from so much swimming:

Be prepared. Take your kit with you. All of it, all the time and rinse it out when you’re home ie look after yourself in the same way you looked after the kids.

Once you decide to go in, don’t hang about. Don’t overthink. There’s always a reason not to do it.

Put to bed the childish fear of ‘being out of my depth’. The beach shelves so steeply that if I had to stay in the shallows, I’d be scraping my tummy on the pebbles. Of course I am out of my depth but I don’t let that dominate my thoughts. If I relax and swim gently, the tide will swoosh me back to shore. Everything is metaphor.

And swimming takes me out of my head. Not being expert I have to concentrate on what I am doing, you can’t do that and worry.

So what shall I do when the sun goes in?

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