Monday 30 May 2011

A Bank Holiday Family Day Out (and navigation problems in the Tyne)

The Tyne Valley
It was a typical Bank Holiday Monday, cloudy a bit chilly and the odd spot of rain. True to form I had been putting off sorting the garden out, but after breakfast in bed and a lazy morning I eventually untethered the hover mower and set to.

Following an afternoon of causing carnage in my garden (when do masters swimmers do their gardens?) my neighbour (who is a lovely woman and extremely tolerant of my family) wandered across and produced a tool for scraping the weeds out of block paving.

Now that wasn't a particular chore I was planning to accomplish today,  but she's trying to sell her house so I felt obliged to take the hint and attack the somewhat excessive growth in the gaps in the front path. By 5pm the weather was picking up and I had collapsed on the path with blisters and finger tips like brillo pads.

At this point Bob turns up (where has he been all day you all ask, I can't say that that particular thought hadn't meandered through my mind as I toiled in the garden this afternoon.) and suggests a family trip out. A typical Bank Holiday pastime? But being Bob this has a bit of a open water training session in the Tyne at Hexham.

Tyne Green, Hexham
The sun came out on the drive over and as we sped through the fabulous countryside I was allowing myself to think mmmh this could be really pleasant. All the exciting things you could do on a day's holiday from work and my other half comes up with immersing ourselves in freezing cold water: and good grief it was fffffffff cold (a brisk 12.8 degrees), I was immediately struck with  "live long and prosper" fingers. I was quite impressed that teenage daughter ventured in and lasted just under 20 minutes swimming before retiring.

There was a great crowd there (probably about 35 swimmers) and the photo shows the beginners group which took to the water before we got in. Bob got out with her to keep her company (or so he says). I spent 35 minutes in complete confusion as to where I was. Godfrey goggles may be okay for pool swimming but they are no good swimming upstream into a setting sun. Apart from the glare they constantly fogged up and I was all over the place. I haven't a clue how far I covered but I reckon it was a good 40% more than anybody else and I've put 1500 metres down in my Swim Log for today.

Thanks to Tim and One Life Tri club for letting me join in.

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