A DECEMBER DIP

From the safe distance of three days, and combined with the presence of a couple of drinks in the pub, I fully agreed with my friend’s suggestion that to take a dip in the sea before sunrise the following Tuesday morning was a most excellent idea. Seize (or rather, ‘seas’) the day, and all that jazz.

By Monday evening I was experiencing more than a few second thoughts about this great plan. I really wanted to do it, but I also really didn’t want to do it. Life is perpetually freezing at the moment, with its sub-zero temperatures and heating rations, and so it would surely defy all logic to make it even more so.

I text my friend to see if she still wanted to go ahead, and stated that I would be happy either way – which was true – but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have felt a slight (read: ‘massive’) relief had she had a change of plan.

But she still wanted to go.

And as it turns out, I’m very grateful for that.

We met at Seasalter at 7:30am, whilst the sky was still that inky shade of navy blue that makes everything else on the horizon seem way more magical and mysterious than it does in daylight, the lights of Whitstable harbour glowing in the distance.

The air was fresh, but milder than the days that had preceded it. It actually felt quite nice. There was barely anybody about, apart from a couple of people walking their dogs, and a soothing silence, aside from the gentle lapping of waves.

Getting into the sea itself was not without some immense discomfort and anguish. My friend was much braver than I, and was able to submerge herself pretty quickly, whilst I merely paddled and shook my limbs about like an octopus trying to take off a t-shirt for a while in the hopes that it may warm me up. Eventually I followed her lead, and whilst neither of us were submerged in the water for long, we both felt so refreshed afterwards and were pleased to have got in. I was also glad to have brought along a hot water bottle, and the coffee felt extra amazing.

Though it hadn’t quite been a refreshingly cooling bathe on a hot Summer’s day, I was grateful to have had a fix of nature first thing, and grateful to my friend for encouraging me to do it.

I was washed, dressed and back at my desk for 9am. Just another reason why I love living near to the sea, and another reason why sometimes you just have to say yes.

Song of the Day: The Magnetic Fields – The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side

This is hands down one of the most beautiful songs ever made, in terms of both composition and message. For me it’s one of those ones you forget about for years then it comes on on the shuffle playlist, and sounds though you’re hearing it for the first time all over again. Just don’t try singing along from 3:05 onwards because you’ll run out of breath, I’ve tried many times over the years 😉

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