I hadn’t been in the sea for a while, so when someone suggested a swim at Tinside this lunchtime I was there in a flash. The sea has chilled rapidly and is now around 10ºc, enough to give us full-on ice cream head. There was barely a ripple in the water, and it had that metallic sheen that forms with a bit of cloud cover and a low winter sun on the horizon.
We chatted as we swam, and discussed the psychology of the missing yellow buoys which used to form a kind of boundary; now there’s no reason to stop swimming, nor to swim between points. Strangely liberating.
We changed and jigged around with after drop. Then we sat at the Terrace Cafe and looked out towards the breakwater with hot drinks and hot water bottles. Below us a cormorant fished close to the beach, a shadowy streak under the gin-clear sea who popped up and gobbled her catch just a couple of feet from the shore. Civilisation has its benefits…and its down side. Poor Rosie was caught like the hapless fish by two Great White traffic wardens and got a parking ticket.