Here’s an picture from a few years back. It’s a Breton beach. No doubt I swam from it. Since lockdown ended in 2020 I’ve had a dip at least once a month, much more in the summer. It’s especialy handy having a cove that’s less than a ten minute walk away from home to achieve this aim. In the last three months I’ve shed the wetsuit. Both the jellyfish and the big bull seal have stayed away.

I swim less in the winter due to more unpredictable weather conditions. But I’m wondering if I can increase the number of times that I go in the sea by swimming when the light has faded. Of course this presents new risks which has to be managed. I wouldn’t go alone and of course I’d check the forecast. My preliminary idea is that I’d swim close to shore from Breakwater Beach on the other side of town. It’s somewhere that I know well an reasonably well lit. I’m thinking headtorch too. There must be waterproof models. But I need to do some research. As you might have gathered this is a fledgling idea.

The inspiration for my slightly mad forward planning is probably a number by R.E.M, one of my favourite bands. I nearly saw them once when they were playing in London but it was just after the 7/7 suicide bombings. My companion bottled and we decided not to go. I love this song, Nightswimming, so starkly beautiful. For a long time I’ve had the idea of incorporating its words into a piece of art for the bedroom. Another idea still in its infancy. Maybe getting into the water in the dark will provide inspiration. They’ll be none of that naked malarkey though. I’ll be popping the wetsuit and other lycra paraphernalia back on very shortly.

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  1. Nightswimming is such a beautiful song (one of the few of theirs that I can make sense of the lyrics). Love your idea of using the words to make art.

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