Early morning swim

Wonderful Saturdays are busy and boisterous but coming 24 hours earlier presents the silent face of the pond. A handful of regulars potter round the changing area like it’s their garden shed. I arrive shortly after seven having take the tube to Highgate then running the rest of the way. The rain is popping on the roof and blowing onto the changing benches. It is almost November but warmer than previous weeks, though the water delivers its usual slap in the face. Wakey wakey!

The winter ropes circuit is shorter, so I try to stick to the perimeter rather than meander. It feels warmer than last week, with raindrops around me and a tern overhead. After a lap I climb out and tiptoe along the diving board dodging goose poo, laughing at the notion of all this in the dawn-free murk. Plunging in again, bright colors appear in the yellow, red and orange of autumn leaves floating on the water that bob around me. 

After getting changed two lady dog walkers outside are puzzling as to the motivations of swimmers. ‘Perhaps they know the secret of long life’ they say, laughing.

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