The morning after the Tigers victory over Saracens, and I was up at the Pepper Pot looking over the village. The weather doesn’t look too promising does it?
But later on, when I noticed a deer on our lawn, it had started to brighten up…
By the time B returned from his shift pot-washing at the local hotel, it was glorious, and hot.
‘Fancy a drive Dad?’, he asked.
This was code for, ”Are you willing to sit in the passenger seat for an hour whilst I drive?”
B has his provisional licence, has passed his theory test, and is very keen to clear the final hurdle and gain the independence which driving would give him.
“We could go to High Dam for a swim.”
Which seemed like a good idea, except I suggested, given the late hour, that we substitute Gurnal Dubs for High Dam, it being closer to home and not surrounded by trees, so that we might have both later sun and a later onset of midge attack.
The walk up to the reservoir was very pleasant, if somewhat warm work.
A work colleague, who lives quite close to Gurnal Dubs, had reported a recent swim there and that the water was ‘quite warm’. I hate to think what would qualify as cold in her estimation. It was pretty bracing. But very refreshing and, after a long period where it never seemed to warm up, a welcome and unusually late start to wild-swimming for the year.
By the time we were out of the water we were already losing the sun.
The views on the way down were even better than they had been on the way up, with the landscape decked in dark shadows and late, golden sunshine.
The following evening, a Monday, Little S had Explorers. He’s transferred from the local unit to the one which meets in Littledale, at the very pleasant Scout camp on the banks of Artle Beck. Usually, after dropping him off, I take B to a boxing gym in Lancaster, but for some reason that was off, so I was at a loose end, which gave me a chance to try a spot down in the Lune Valley which I’d previously picked out as having potential for swimming.
It was a bit of a walk from the carpark at Bull Beck near Caton, so I didn’t have all that much time to swim, but the walk was nice enough in itself.
How was it? A lot warmer than Gurnal Dubs, quite pleasant in fact. Fairly fast flowing. Not as deep as I had hoped, but just about deep enough. Due to the strength of the current, I found myself walking upstream on the shingle bank and then floating back down river before repeating the process. Not a bad way to spend a Monday evening.
One more local-ish swim to report, though I’m jumping forward almost to mid-July and another Monday evening. After a hot day at school, B wondered whether I could give him and some friends a lift to Settle to swim. I didn’t have to think too long about that one: too far away. We compromised on Devil’s Bridge at Kirby Lonsdale, as long as they promised not to jump off the bridge.
Whilst they were, I later found out, having a great time, I had a wander down the Lune, enjoying the riverside flowers.
This one is a bit of a cheat, you can perhaps tell by the light; there was plenty of Himalayan Balsam by the Lune, but I’d also photographed some the day before, in better light, when I picked up Little S from another Scout Camp, this one down near Ormskirk.
I had my swimming stuff with me, and found, as I thought I might, that the water under the bridge, on the right hand side anyway, was deep enough for me to have a dip. In honesty, not one of my favourite swims this summer, but it had stiff competition.