Hmmm, that post title is a little misleading as it's actually the rest of my family who like wild swimming, and not me. Wild swimming is swimming outdoors in rivers, lakes, pools and the sea. My husband has been an enthusiast for several years, and much prefers it to swimming in chlorinated indoor pools. He likes the skin-tingling buzz of swimming in rivers alongside reeds, banks and rocks in the fresh air. I really enjoy a swim in the sea, or a paddle in a clear stream in the mountains or on a moor. However, I do draw the line at water which I can't see through. The idea of standing on mud and brushing up against river weed and fishes makes me shudder, so I sit on the bank on a rug whilst the rest of my family jump in and out and swing off rope swings. It works for me, and I get to enjoy beautiful surroundings like this.
Yesterday was my son's 18th birthday and, among other celebrations, he decided we should all go to a favourite local swimming place, the river swimming club at Farleigh Hungerford. It was an overcast day with the threat of rain, but still very warm.
As you can see, we were one of the first people there. On a hot weekend this field is packed with picnickers and bathers sitting on rugs.
There are little steps and a jumping-off point with a rope swing, which my family always take full advantage of, leaping into the water with a huge splash.
After a bit of swimming and leaping, the bathers in the family came and sat down and we ate a picnic together. I brought my crochet with me, and have started to make Lucy's Bower Bird from her brilliant Attic 24 blog. I was so pleased that she has so generously shared this pattern for free, and couldn't wait to start it. Next to it you can see my first version of her lovely bag - I use it all the time, and it's a few years old now.
I didn't do a lot of crochet as I was finding the surroundings very distracting, looking at these lovely flowers. These purple loosestrife flowers are gorgeous against their watery background.
After a while we decided to head for another wild swimming place a couple of miles away. As it was only mid afternoon, we got back in the car and headed to Warleigh Weir, a popular place for swimmers and paddlers in hot weather. Although it was still warm, the sky clouded over and threatened rain. My husband, son and youngest daughter all swam in the river and were delighted to see two kingfishers while they swam. I did a little crochet before nodding off on the blanket for a short while. I hadn't intended to, but the rustle of the breeze in the trees and the sound of the cascading water conspired to make me feel very sleepy. Such a peaceful spot.
Finally we decided to pack up and head somewhere for a cup of tea. Warleigh Weir is on the river Avon near Bath, and running parallel is the railway line and canal. You can just see a narrow boat in this picture.
We walked along the canal a couple of weeks ago in this post, and this time we headed to a cafe further along it. As we were having our tea it finally rained, just a short heavy shower, but enough to freshen things up a bit.
I'm glad we went wild swimming. Although I didn't get my feet wet, I still loved the countryside and relaxation, and even managed to get a bit of crochet done too.