We attended the funeral of an old gentleman from our village last week. Listening to the stories told afterwards by his friends about the old days, we came to know that he was a keen motorcyclist, photographer, kayaker and indeed one of the original pioneer wild swimmers of the West Coast of Scotland, in the days before wetsuits came along.
Since it was such a fabulous sunny day, and since we were driving home along the shores of Loch Lomond, we decided to pay tribute by having a dip, even though we were in our best clothes and had no winter post swimming kit which (for me) usually comprises: 2 towels, mat to stand on, 2 hats to swim in, 3 hats to put on afterwards, 2 thermal vests, fleece trousers and socks, lambswool sweater, fleece top and scarf, gloves and frighteningly large quantities of tea and cakes. However we did have swimsuits. It was therefore a quick 5 minute dip, very icy and nippy on the skin but in idyllic surroundings with snow clad mountains on every side.
In our part of the world the scenery hasn’t changed much since those early days, and we can still enjoy the same kind of watery adventures as those pioneers. A nice thought to reflect on.