Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Yesterday my husband was away, staying with his Mum, and so this meant that I could not do my usual early walk, as I was the only one home, looking after sleeping Joshua. So, instead I baked and I decided that I would take the dogs to daycare with us and take them for a walk on the way back home. It was easy to get Joshua out of bed as he was excited to return to Play, after the week off for Easter. When we arrived he gave the young lady who opened the locked doors to us, a big bear hug. She told me that they planned a drive into the city centre, where they would have a picnic as it was a sunny day. I left a smiling Joshua, as I skipped out into the sunshine too.

I stopped the car on the way home, along a disused railway line which runs between the city and our home town and got the dogs out for our later than usual walk. They were very happy to walk this new route and on my way, my mobile rang and it was someone from Cancer Research calling to see how I was doing with the 60 mile dog walk challenge and I delighted in telling her that she had called me while I was on my walk and that we had already beaten the target distance, and that we had walked almost 100 miles so far. We chatted happily about how I had been finding it and she was full of praise. We walked to the next village when I took some photographs and then we turned around to walk back to the car.

About a mile in, I saw a walker with two dogs up ahead so I put all 3 of mine onto leads. Then three cyclists came up behind her, so I stepped off the track, onto the verge, to allow than all to pass us. I kept walking slowly through the long grass verge but was not looking at my feet, and my foot went into a rabbit hole and I tripped up. I landed on my knee – the one that had scabbed over from my last injury – but somehow my lip hit a stone as I fell and I gave myself a fat lip almost immediately. the cyclists were concerned and apologetic, and I asked them to wait while I got up in case I had hurt my ankle. The dogs were barking at them so it was a chaotic scene, but I managed to stand up and thankfully, nothing but my mouth hurt. So I walked slowly back to the car, rather shaken by my fall – my third in a month. My lip was bleeding and swollen by the time I got to the car and I drove home, where I felt a bit sorry for myself. I sent a photograph of my injured face to my friends and family, and planned to sit quietly, once I had hung the washing out to dry.

I had seen earlier that the Mermaids were planning a sea swim at 12.30 and I had planned to make my first swim with them. But my fall had made me question if that was sensible, with my fat lip. But as I was hanging the washing out, I determined that I would still go : it was sunny day so the sea would be its warmest, I had the day to myself to do as I pleased and if I had not gone, then my fall would have ruined my day and I was not about to let that happen. So I dug out my wetsuit, float, sea shoes, towel and swimming costume. I had made starfish and mermaid tail cheese straws for my fellow Mermaids so I grabbed them too.

I drove to the part of the beach where they swim and carried my stuff onto the sand, I was wearing my wetsuit but needed help to zip it up. I introduced myself as I did not know anyone and they all seemed friendly, as we got on our hats and shoes. After a group photograph, we headed down to the shore as the tide was out. Getting in the sea was not as cold as I was expecting and it was my first experience of wearing a wetsuit and as it filled with cold water, which my body heat soon warmed up, it all felt fine. I never got out of my depth but swam around, jumping the waves and chatting with the other Mermaids about wetsuits and their experience of sea swimming. I told them that, as I had learnt to swim in the Irish sea, that I expected to feel at home in the North Sea. We stayed in for about 15 minutes and then all got out at the same time. Getting out of my wet wetsuit was challenging, but I managed it and then. wearing a towel, I handed round my baked goods which were well received. I felt pleased with myself and glad that I had achieved what I had been meaning to do for over 2 months now, since I first saw them in the sea, having fun, while I was walking the dogs on the beach. Covid and then my lingering cough have prevented me from joining them sooner, and then we were away over the Easter weekend when they had a lot of swims planned. So I was determined not to let my split lip get in the way again.

I went home for a shower and spoke to my husband on the phone to tell him of my two adventures, and then it was time to set off to collect Joshua again. He was very happy when I arrived and they said that he had had fun at a city centre museum then had lunch outside in a garden. He was happy in the car but, as has become his habit, he needed a sleep as soon as he got home, which was timely as our supermarket delivery arrived at the same time as we got home. So once I had settled him on the settee , under a blanket, I brought the shopping inside. Only once it had all been put away did I sit down, for the first time in the day.

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