Friday, 12 May 2017


Swimming is a  way of losing yourself in the vastness of the landscape.  On Sunday I swam at Slapton where everything is enormous - the sky is huge, the sea stretches as far as the eye can see and the shingle is an endless line.   It's a very abstract place, in three colours, three stripes ahead of blue, dark blue and brown, the sky, the sea and the shingle.  The water was clear and I let it move me up and down the shore.  Then I floated and looked up at the sky.  It's that Hardy-esque feeling of being microscopic in the immensity of the world, and it's a feeling I crave at the moment, perhaps to try and make my loss less.  In the last few days I've been in Snowdonia where I climbed a large part of Cadair Idris in a quest to reach a glacial lake called Llyn y Gadair which lies in a bowl under the towering cliffs of the mountain.  It was breathtaking, and I felt a sense of relief on getting there and plunging myself into its icy waters.  

Friday, 5 May 2017

Why I've been silent

At Leftlake, Dartmoor
On March 9th my darling, beautiful son Felix died, aged 20.  He had epilepsy and his death has been put down to SUDEP - Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, something which is little understood.    His death has been like an earthquake through our family and although I have found swimming helpful in the aftermath I have not had any desire to blog about it.  Since March 9th everything in my life has been, and will continue to be, refracted through the prism of his death.  I will certainly blog about wild swimming again but my posts will probably, for some time at least, be preoccupied with swimming and how it aids the grieving process.  I have been trying to get in the water as often as possible and it definitely helps.  You can find out more about Felix and donate to SUDEP Action here.

By the River Dart

In Greece (Felix was never a fan of cold water!)