Sharrah pool in spring, new leaves, green light, layers of vegetation and tiny flowers in moss cosseting cold boulders. Often it feels still when you arrive in the glade; today I feel the surge of energy and spray. The roar of the rapids is like a cloudburst, and the dark depths of the pool churn to the surface. The water’s cold and flecked with foam and tastes wonderful.
We have to swim hard for a bit to get to the cascade, as the usual eddy has been pushed out by the force of the current. I can’t make it to the top and am swept along and spun round in the bubbles which pop in my ears and fizz in my face. From time to time, I see a swimmer’s head flash past. Allan casually overtakes me in a slow breast stroke, travelling at about twenty knots.
On the way up, I had chatted to a woman and her small daughter who then appear, and decide to strip to their underwear and join us. The little girl shrieks with the cold but eventually gets in with a bit of encouragement, wearing Jane’s neoprene bonnet as extra protection. We lend them towels and share hot Ribena and Jackie’s special cake, spring oaks curving overhead.