29/03/2019 by Carl Reynolds
Down here on the English Riviera (a marketing term from sometime past) we’ve been enjoying the sunshine and getting back into the sea. One of our local coves, a short stroll away, is called Churston Cove after a local landowner; who on the next beach along had a bathing house shaped as a small tower, with a boiler below for heat and a vista to enjoy one’s cucumber sandwiches after a medicinal dip in the briny. Sadly it is now a ruin. But still a good spot for local youth and ne’er-do-wells to hang out and indulge in the heightening of senses.
Back to Churston Cove. The sun is out, the beach is all but deserted save for a couple and their dogs, and a passer by in jacket and tie with a rolled up brolly on top of their brown leather briefcase. Like he’s stepped out of the 1940s and is walking home back from his office at US Marine Local HQ to his digs with Mrs Worthington over in Churston Ferrers.
We strip with the aid of our absolutely fit-for-purpose towelling Robies and step gingerly into the cold. The sea in March is at its coldest. The heat started ebbing away back in October, and reaches its nadir at the end of Winter, before the longer days and rhythms of our Earth’s turning starts to warm it back up again. But a relatively mild winter, and the advantage of being on the western side of Britain, means we’re ‘basking’ in a mild 10C water temperature. But it stills feels cold to these two apes who’ve not been in since early January.
We gasp, but our learned response kicks in and we stroke away. Not too far and for not too long. We emerge exhilarated and pledge to get in again soon. We do. And we feel ourselves coming back into a deeper communion with ourselves and our surroundings. It’s going to be a good Spring whatever happens in Westminster.