It shall be my fifth consecutive evening swim in the harbour. Spring tides are here. I’m togged up. I head down to launch myself when the water is high, but the spirit is low, weak. Not this evening, I decide. There is no need. Why put yourself through this torture? Nobody’s forcing you. You’re a … Continue reading The Contented Loneliness of the Cold Water Swimmer
It is 1978. Everyone is talking about Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It has taken longer to get to Ireland. All films do. “Everyone says its brilliant,” my brothers say. “We’re going,” they say. I am interested, but not interested enough to beg to go along with them. I tell you this because, were … Continue reading Portrush, Harbour Diving Boards
Over four nights, I read The Old Man and The Sea to the two brothers, twenty-five pages before they went to bed. I did wonder at their eyes staring into corners of the room, seeming to follow spiders, or shadows, sometimes a hand reaching absently for another Ginger Snap. Were they listening at all, or were they … Continue reading Destroyed but Not Defeated
Heat shimmers on the ocean and the ferry pulls away from the land and dolphins dive the length of Lough Ryan only to disappear when we reach the wide-open Irish Sea. Once docked, I drive to the Antrim coast, arriving before dark, dizzy from not having drunk enough water on the journey and I fall … Continue reading July Holidays
On the fun to be had in falling into water.
I had agreed to it, and happily so. It sounded like a great idea. Right up until 7am on Tuesday morning when I thought: the water is about 12 degrees and this bed is really warm and cosy. I knew swimming outdoors would either boost my energy for the day, or finish me off and … Continue reading Messing About In The River