Are there things you find yourself doing in your life that are really in memory of another? I have just come back from a few days in the Isle of Wight. Every time I go anywhere near the sea I have this urge to go in even though I know it will be freezing cold even in high summer and often quite a challenge. But I am compelled!. This time I managed to go in at 8 am for three mornings and though my legs felt they had been sawn off to start with it was invigorating and I felt I had risen to the challenge.
it really is pretty cold, this sea!
It is my late father I am paying tribute to and who I think about when I am in the water. He loved to belly surf on what was basically a piece of plywood with a slightly upturned end. Here are my brother and I with me making wet sand stockings, another favourite beach pastime that girls probably still take part in. Note the way my four year old brother is standing soldier like with the board..
My father taught me to swim in the shallow pools of Cornish beaches by holding onto my navy blue flowered ruched swimsuit from above and gradually letting go. Bit different from the hours of swimming lessons most people watch from the side of the pool these days. Most of my memories of my father are swimming related in fact. An open air lido in Tooting, South London, a lovely hill top open air pool in Box Hill, the numerous local 25 yard pools with changing rooms round the edge and the pinnacle for me - swimming 52 lengths of the crawl one evening, aged nine. Here he is relaxing in his favourite place - on a beach...thanks Dad!