Friends on the Road

I ran up to Sharrah Pool yesterday and was actually quite pleased with myself.  A few years ago I was doing this run at least once a week and could fly it, but I have been struggling to keep fit, and so after a quite energetic period recently I had made it non-stop.  Not with anything like the speed of previously but nonetheless.

I had expected to have the pool to myself and in a sense I had as the other person was packing to go.  The water was crystal clear and shafts of sunshine picked out the crystal mosaic of deeply sunk granite pebbles.  Leaning forward from the point of the big diving rock, I bounced up on my tiptoes and touched down on the water.  As I flew along the river bed waves of sunlight refracted by the broken surface raced away from me lost to sight as I surfaced, blinking madly in the sunshine.

The other visitor, now blurry through eyes left teary by the cold water called me.  Andrew was having a mini Dartmoor adventure.  We chatted briefly then he headed off and I dropped back into the water to ride the swoosh, splash in the bubbles and chase the trout.

Today I found myself at Clevedon Marine Pool.  I had planned to visit last New Year but it was closed for repairs, but now driving by on the motorway it was only a short diversion.  I’d never met Richard but I do know the smiley swimming hat design so I mentioned it and quickly realisde we have spoken on-line so we chatted briefly.  I was on the way in and standing in my swimwear in the biting breeze straight off the Severn and he was drying and chilled after his swim so this was no time for hanging about.

The pool is to be drained again soon as there is a persistent leak.  Anyway, a change of water would not go amiss as it is grey-green and was not inspiring me.   It was however pleasantly warm and I gently swam up and down twice, a token gesture, whilst trying for a few pictures with an unsuitable camera under an uncooperative cloudy sky.

Wild Swimming
Wild Swimming

Swimming in salt water is strange enough, I think it must have been two months since I was last at the beach, that’s what happens when the river warms up.  Stranger still is the thought of the steep drop beyond the retaining wall and line of sight to the pier.  What, I wonder, happens if the leak becomes a flood and the pool with me in it drains into the Severn?  Whilst occupying myself with that thought I swam into a crab line discarded in the water and it wrapped itself round my throat and tangled in my hair.  Reluctant as I was to put my feet down for fear of discarded bottles or other hazards I didn’t really have a lot of choice in the matter.  The crab line was duly rolled up and stuffed down my swimwear, they can come in handy.

And so I find myself jogging back to Sharrah Pool after work.  It is deserted today and the water feels cooler.  However I have brought my goggles all the better to chase the trout.  Or not.  They keep effortlessly out of arm’s reach and I speculate that dynamite may be the way forward! The chill breeze is still there and I’m gently shivering by the time I’m dressed again.

Jogging down the path I almost sweep into J, A and M, who I knew had plans to head to Sharrah but later than I could afford to be.  Once again I stop and chat.  It has been an eventful and friend filled couple of days and only to be expected I suppose amongst a small but sociable group of swimmers.



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