Up until now I have been swimming in the sea in ‘skins’ – just my swimming costume, goggles and a rather attractive swim hat! The brighter the better! Lols!

This is the first time I have swum all year round in skins and, honestly, it is amazing! So exhilarating and wild and free! I know the majority of you will think I am a nutter. But, the few, who also cold-water swim, will share my swim love, I am sure, and will know how it lifts your spirits, makes you laugh out loud and makes you glad you are alive.

Seriously, you should try it!

However, it is also COLD!! And whilst, I can manage a 5-10 minute dip in 5 degree-ish water I can’t really swim for any length of time. The brain freeze, the have-I-just-had-local-anaesthetic-injected-in-to-my-whole-face numbness, the rather chilly fingers and toes, together with the recent gale-force wind, mean I have been doing most of my drills and swims in the local, hot and chlorined-to-the-max pool. My wetsuited buddies can stay in and play in the sea for much longer and, although it is slowly starting to warm up, when my dad said he’d like to buy me a wetsuit I jumped at the offer!

Now, when I first told my parents I wanted to swim the Channel they were hesitant. They asked me slightly annoying but wise, parental questions about my priorities, my family, my time, my money. A younger me would have got a ‘touch’ sulky that they were pouring cold water on my latest sparkly idea but the older, and hopefully slightly wiser me, was mostly (!) grateful that they loved me enough to care and to ask the difficult questions. I know that they have got my back and that is a blessing. All things considered, and the swim finally booked, they have got stuck into to supporting me and being very generous towards me, mostly in the shape of a wetsuit. Hurrah! My dad recommended a shop in Cornwall called Snugg and so a few weeks back, me, the husband and the kids went on a road trip!

First stop, Plymouth, to see some good friends and drag them on our adventures! (It’s always good to have friends as crazy as you!)

Second stop, Snugg, a great, hidden-away-little shop with a wetsuit workshop just out the back run by the lovely Malcolm. The smell of neoprene and glue hit us like a brick wall as we walked in and my kids headed straight for the dangerous tools in the work shop before we managed to persuade them that they really wanted to pop down to the beach! Me and Malcs then chatted technical stuff including the swim, buoyancy, acclimatisation, the flexibility/thickness/length of the suit etc etc and I got measured up. With a made-to-measure wetsuit, everything had to be measured and despite being totally professional it was always going to be a tad awkward when it came to the boobs! And as a fairly big-boober I had to laugh when he asked me if they were all mine! Anyway…

Finally, with all the measurements in, a splash of hot pink added to the design, a balaclava for my big noggin thrown in for good measure and a quick phone call to dad for the payment, all that was left to do was let Malcolm work his wetsuit magic and wait for the delivery.

And what a joy it was when Mr DPD man appeared on my doorstep last week with my very own wetsuit!

(Joy for me and clearly joy for the little minion in the background, wearing my balacava and singing ‘Ah Zabenya’ from the Lion King.)

My wetsuit is a thing of beauty! Perfectly fitting from my wrists to my ankles, a roll neck so it doesn’t chafe, fleece lining from shoulders to shins to keep me warm, a cute polar bear on the front and some bright pink on the back to liven it up. It is SNUGG! And I feel like a superhero wearing it. Boom! Bring on the cold and wild sea! And, in the words of Winne the Pooh…

‘When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.’

What are your ‘Big Boots’? Go get them on! Adventure awaits!

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