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15/04/2017 by Carl Reynolds

8.30am. I’ve spent an hour trawling through an incredibly un-user friendly Government procurement website to determine what precisely I have to submit to make a bid for some social research work. My notebook is filled with scrawls and my head is filled with frustration. Mrs Ape reminds me that we are going swimming.

8.32am. I pull on my togs and dress in a swim parka, wool socks and trainers. I do not look normal. But then ‘normal’ doesn’t immerse itself in the sea on a Saturday morning in April. I wear socks and trainers, as previous forays to Fishcombe in flip-flops have left my feet numb afterwards.

8.45am. We say hello to bemused dog walkers in Battery Gardens and begin our descent to the sea. Torbay beckons grey, but lucid in front of us.

8.50am. We spot Jake the Seal Dog on look out over at Churston Cove and wonder if one of the Sammy’s is about. The water remains calm and clear. No splash as a seal rises to espy another blubbery mammal entering.

8.53am. Down the steps at Fishcombe Quay and in. It feels cold. The water is clear but full of milky excrescences, the beginning of the annual bloom. The smell is starting. Over the other side and back a few times. A little backstroke, a little butterfly, a little side stroke. I kid myself that I am swimming. I am. But swimming means a kilometre or more. And I will do a lot less today.

9.03am. I feel exhilarated. Ready to tackle red tape, bureaucracy and the formulaic processing of a, hopefully, successful bid.

9.35am. I read The Guardian instead and write this. The swimming validates my endemic procrastination. 2000 words will take but a moment. And life is too short.

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