Welcome to Waterblogged

Welcome to our Blog. The majority of the content is about our outdoor swimming activities; with other comments, thoughts and pictures along the way. See our website http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/blueskyswimming/

and our videos on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Nicola8259


Monday, 26 July 2010

And my bit...

Thanks beautiful boys for a beautiful blog.

I had a great time on our little holiday and this is my little highlight to treasure on dull winter days to come....

Waterbabies Blog

Here we are, waterblogged boys on our big adventure to DEVON....

...we're both pretty excited to be out on the road with Mummy heading off for the South West with most of the contents of our wardrobes and toy cupboards stashed in the boot.

Soundtrack for the trip was Johnny Cash with our own version of lyrics to Fulsom Prison Blues ..." I killed a man in Reno, I tied him to the tracks..." There's something a bit odd about a 4 year old squeaky voice singing along with "Burn, burn, burrrrrrn, that ring of fire-yah!"

Stop #1: National Trust Knighthayes Court near Tiverton.

Great walled vegetable garden with assorted scarecrows including this apt example - Freediver Pete do you recognise yourself?

Stop #2: Daddy's recommendation, Clovelly

Daddy had obviously forgotten Mummy's propensity to come out in a cold panicky sweat on slippery, rocky surfaces as we (very slowly) negotiated the long, long, long descent down the village along the glass like cobbled path - a disaster waiting to happen! Leo earned his goat skills badge by skipping confidently the whole way down while Mummy clung to the wall and inched along - good job the pub at the harbour had a nice glass of Otter beer waiting to sooth her nerves...

Stop #3: Saunton Sands

First dip in the sea, jumping the surf and jumping out of the way of learner surfers. We were surprised by sea water that you could see through being used to the silty flats of our local north sea beach - and JELLYFISH! Eeek! Once we'd established "the jellyfish zone" we had it sorted, no problem.

Stop #4: Lee Bay

The famous glorious SW weather had kicked in by this stage. Good job we've got such an organised Mummy who had prepared for such a rare event as rain on a British seaside holiday. So here's Felix sporting a very flattering headscarf arrangement whilst Leo has the BBQ box for shelter, and Mummy just got wet and weird hair (not for the last time...!)

Veggie hotdogs in the rain on the beach; what could be better?

Stop #5: Dartmoor

Here we go, river swimming! GORGEOUS spot on the River Dart which was perfect for a bit of kagoul based paddling. Mummy was changed and in the water quicker than a quick thing, this was the moment she had been daydreaming about throughout the winter months....

Stop #6: Somewhere else in Dartmoor....

So, it's going home day but we're not ready to go, so we start the persuasion offence ...."such a sunny day, we've come all this way, shame to go home without seeing Dartmoor in the sun, we could have another riverside picnic lunch" etc etc ...soft touch Mummy caves in with the usual amount of stern resistance and off we set for another day tootling around the 25% gradients looking for spots to cool our toes...

The water was BEAUTIFUL - crystal clear, colour of tea, temperature of just melted ice cubes!

Today we branch our sartorially and swap kagoules for fleeces - yep, pretty chilly!

And so back home to Lincolnshire and a new HOT WHEELS track waiting for us - PERFECT!!!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

South West Waterways Holiday

The Train Now Departing .....

And what a holiday ..... Three 1930's lidos - Penzance, Plymouth and the lovely river-fed Chagford and a couple of river swims for Sandra in the River Dart. I've got a way to go before I look this glam but still managed to top up the tan in the sunny south-west.

Here's Dazzling Tinside at Plymouth - a beauty ... cold and salty and very stylish - even though the manager ignored my plea to 'push the button' and turn on the fountains ... boo. Notice there is virtually no-one swimming in this picture - too ruddy cold to stay in long!

And Penzance was really quite AMAZING - and MASSIVE! Oops I seem to have got in the way (even with the smallest head in the world I've blocked out the view of the largest sea-water lido in the UK).

And not forgetting Chagford - River-fed by the Teign - and an absolute gem of a pool - river water was lovely and soft and the whole event was 'soft-focus' through a prolonged heavy downpour of rain .... thank you to the poolside team for their chat and enthusiasm and the lovely mugs too ... a Special Place even in the rain.

And we did get some rain (ooh the garden's soooo dry - we need the rain) - thank goodness for Little Chef and their hospitality - oh and nice touch in welcoming flower arrangements:

And special mention to Lesley's Family and Other Animals on Chard High Street - the Most Hospitable House in Chard ... always 'room at the inn' if you are in need of a hot meal and accommodation. Now if Sartre was right and Hell really is Other People then I think that purgatory must be where they park their cockatoos: Mully the Cockatoo may well be in for an ASBO unless he pipes down a bit. Thank you to Aunt Barbara and Uncle Paul for their hospitality and warm welcome; to Maureen and Shirley too for their company and to all for some memorable moments - quite barking really - in a lovely, friendly way! lol x. Oh and Ben ..... perhaps developing a nervous tic by now.

Special mention to Millie the most Patient Dog in the World I think! x

And we couldn't finish the posting without including my picture of a lovely Orange Train (DBH) at Taunton - yes the Germans have arrived .... nice livery colour though.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Here we go...

Fantastic footage of a great day jumping, diving, floating, bombing, and lots of laughing too!

In the style of a true Hollywood diva, there are a few thanks in order....

...To all who turned out and jumped in - I think we got 11 plus a couple of dogs? Sounds like a start up gig for a embryonic rock band - you didn't let the dogs in for free did you?!!

...To all the local spectators from The Riverside Inn at Southrey and walkers/cyclists along the lovely Water Rail Way from Lincoln to Boston.

...to Kat from BBC Lincolnshire for reportage, gung ho jumping and glamour

....to Sarah Payne of East Coast Target for continuing media coverage throughout 2010

...to Rachel Grafton of the Sleaford Standard for photographer and 2nd great article of the summer

...to Felix and Leo who went among the crowd chugging in brilliant style and topping up the collection tins for the Leicester Children's Holiday Centre.

...to Roberto at the European Rivers Network for founding this great event; it felt really good to be part of this European wide promotion and to wave the flag for the UK (and lowly Lincolnshire) for the first time.

...to Kate and her team at the Outdoor Swimming Society for coordinating the national participation and all their hard work to date in preparing the Responsibility Statement, event guidance and support to all members throughout the year.

... to The River & Lake Swimming Association who have also been great for advice and enthusiastic support - merci Yacov!

WOW! Lots of people and effort involved, but lots of fun and laughter too!

I think Jumper John should get a special mention for symbolising the power of a little group of like minded people achieving a great thing - he lives right next to the river, heard the radio promotion, did a bit of googling, came down to the river and ended up enjoying the start of his river swimming life right on his own doorstep - PERFECT!

There's plenty more summer and more swimming out there - ENJOY!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Big Jump Tease

Ooh, can't wait for all the photos of our triumphant Lincolnshire Big Jump...
....in the meantime, here's one of "specialist" interest!

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Saturday morning saw us setting off determinedly to get to the beach and to get there on good time for a full day at Gibraltar Point. We looked as though we were leaving the country for at least a month judging by all the bags and gear we stashed in the car!

Walk through the dunes was hot hot hot, crossing the panhandle, never easy with enough picnic, buckets, blankets, brolly, spare clothes for the whole beach being carried by packhorse parents. Leo and Felix mooch along nonchalantly carrying just their chosen toy for the day and a spade.

View from top of the hill was STUNNING - sand banks and blue sea (in places) looked positively tropical.

We set up camp half way across the beach and sent a gloating message to Nic and Sue to let them know they'd made the wrong choice not to join us on the coast!

Rising tide was AMAZINGLY strong and fast - I was swimming with all my strength into the tide and at best managing to only stay fixed in one spot. When I stopped swimming I was carried down the beach really quickly - a bit worrying as I didn't fancy wading out of the Wash a mile down the beach!

The boys got straight down to the serious business of wallowing in the shallows where the water was almost steaming hot (and pretty muddy - eat your heart out Turkish baths!)

The speed of the tide meant we had to break camp twice and ended up right back against dunes in time to greet the 5pm high tide (6.1m for geeks!) I got a last swim and came face to face with a (hopefully) friendly seal staring at me from only a metre away. My shriek unsurprisingly spooked him and he turned tail under water, which is even more disconcerting!

Hello to Jane from Edinburgh whose company we enjoyed on her stolen afternoon off work, Josh and his family from Oakham who we chatted with all afternoon, and the swimming couple who joined us today for THE BIG JUMP - more on that tomorrow! Suffice to say, it was a VERY BIG jump indeed!!!!

3 Days in Summer

Perfect start to an exhausting but brilliant weekend started with post work swim at my fave pool - beautiful Bourne. Only managed a couple of lengths as was still trying to shake off the grumpiness of the week. Still, who wouldn't be cheered by the rustling of the lime trees, sundogs in the cirrus clouds and a cup of tea from the perenially friendly cafe lady?

Mood lifted further by the drive home past Grimsthorpe Castle coming across first harvest of the year - the dust was glittering and dancing in the air, the nostalgic scent always takes me straight back to my childhood - aged 6 or so, burning the stubble with Daddy into the night...

I was wishing I could bottle the bittersweet essence of that moment but perhaps that's the point - you can't predict, pin down or recreate those unexpected moments - you can only smile, let it into your heart and make a new memory for duller days.


Wow - a fantastic afternoon for our first event with ten of us jumping in the water and plenty of spectators - including our mascot swimming dog Olive. The best pictures and videos to follow from our photographers but here's a taste in the slideshow above - all taken before Nicola got in the water of course. Clips of high jumps from the jetty steps (I chickened out!) and our mass jump in the river all to follow.

A brilliant day - thank you everyone for joining in.... including Mum and Dad 'on the other side' and having to drive 20 miles round the road to join us when we only had to swim a few metres to join them ... maybe we should start a campaign to resurrect the ferry?!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Waterblogged Week

Water filled eyes have been my problem this week, weeping and whining like a good 'un!

Thanks to Nic and Sharn my swimming sisters for pulling me through the other end with a little smile on my face xxx

Anyhow, as we were brought up to say..."I'm too BUSY to be depressed!" ... lots of exciting swim stuff on the horizon to lift my spirits including the much heralded BIG JUMP this Sunday. We've had lots of exciting and slightly unexpected enquiries so wait with baited breath to see if it's just the two of us again!! Felix & Leo have taken to boasting about us being the first UK registration and have renamed the event THE BIG BOMB - they are expecting a good display of pool banned manouevres! (That's where my extra ballast comes in handy!)

Then it's full steam ahead for our SW Odyssey - perhaps I'd better start planning? Nah! Just make it up on the go as usual...

Meanwhile, here's a piccie of my favourite boys getting to grips with the lido lifestyle at Bourne last weekend...

Friday, 2 July 2010

Blue Sky Swimming in Kent

Lesley getting stuck in.... fully submerged!

Here's our Friend Lesley braving the sea at Sandgate, Kent - how BLUE that sea looks compared to the silty North Sea. And how inspiring to do this on her own - at the Summer Solstice too. Lesley is getting as addicted to the cold water swimming as us and is discovering some fab places to swim in the South - planned trip to Camber Sands in Sussex later in the summer.

And here's cheeky chappie Barnaby encouraging his Auntie from the beach.