So only on my second post and already I’m off-subject. Except that it was swimming that got me to the beach – and cleaning – in the first place. Swimming in open water makes me feel truly alive, and with Cornwall sticking out into the Atlantic as it does, there’s no shortage of open water here. Beware! This ain’t no swimming pool. This sea is a wild mistress, sometimes lazy and calm, sometimes ferocious. You can swim in her but you had better take care.
Swanpool is a small beach in a cove just fifteen minutes brisk walk from my front door. I can walk there, swim and be back in an hour, which makes it ideal for a quick “got to get out of the house” excursion. In the summer it’s usually crowded but on Saturday evening it was empty, just a few folks huddled inside blankets at the cafe. Why? It was raining! Typical Cornish summer weather and perfect for swimming. Something magical happens when it rains – the sea and the air seem to reach the same temperature, so that there is less of the usual shock of entering what is, at all times of the year, cold water. Plus, you get the place to yourself.
So, staying close the shore – even on a calm evening such as this, when you’re on your own it’s always safety first – I swam from one end of the bay across to the other and back again. Perfect. And enough to put out the fire in my head that had driven me outside in the first place.
And, even though Swanpool gets cleaned by the council during the summer season, I still managed to pick up a plastic bottle and a plastic supermarket baked goods box – along with several crisp packets, more plastic bottles and a styrofoam take-away box on the way home. The bottles went into the recycling box, the rest I had to put in the garbage.