B-Team News: 10-16 April, 2023

A friend of mine invited me swimming at the Ladies Pond in Hampstead Heath. I had never been before and since it’s still cold out, I was introduced to cold water swimming. I’ve been very intrigued about this community for years and repeatedly remarked we should give it a go. Aside from the benefits of cold water immersion, I always believed it’s the people who come together regularly, that make it so special. As soon as she asked me to join I said yes, absolutely! The outside temperature was a balmy 6c but a gorgeous blue sky morning. The water was 9.5c, not too bad I thought. My friend told me that we stay in the water for the same amount of time as the temperature: 9c is 9 minutes, ok. I was mentally prepared that I would not jumping in and out. Haha!

We prepped our towels and clothing in the locker room so that it would all go back on quickly once we were out. We put on our gloves and booties to keep our digits warm (a special purchase I made ahead of time). Sunnies on, we walked outside, down a few steps, to plunge into very cold pond water. When I walked down the stairs it felt cool but not terrible. When I jumped in is when all the air left my lungs. Haha! My friend advised me to stay near the ladder so that I could exit if I needed to. She proceeded to swim a small circular lane through the pond that was highlighted by buoys. I continued to tread water in a small patch of sunlight, gasping for air, while two ducks looked at me in wonder about a meter away. Totally not bothered by people in this tranquil place, they continued to stare. I tried to chat with my friend and catch my breath but found my words were broken and my voice was not my own. It’s a strange feeling to try to breathe normally and fail. Within 45 seconds my breathing returned to its natural state and the water felt like smooth, cold bath water, yes! I made a b-line to catch up with my friend to swim the circular. It was so surreal swimming in this beautiful place, to feel cold and invigorated at the same time. My head and my body were buzzing, it was awesome! I was a little worried that I wouldn’t make it around the whole path as my body was beginning to tire. Not sure if that was a psychological thing or not, being in deep water, feeling cold and not able to get back to the dock quickly. I decided I would go one lap around and head straight out. My friend and I went back to the locker rooms and I felt an amazing amount of endorphins, what a great feeling! She advised me to take a cold shower (which felt warm), straightaway. She ran me a bucket full of hot water, which I stood in while drying off and getting dressed. This seemed to be the protocol for all the women after swimming. The heat would warm my body up through my feet I was told, it felt amazing!

The ponds have an outdoor sunbathing area where a lot of the ladies hang out afterwards. It was quite muddy at the time and we couldn’t find a good spot in the sun so we wandered out into the park to enjoy some tea together to warm up. I really loved it all and am going back again this week. I’m told the body adapts to the plunge and if I go regularly, I won’t have the initial shock upon entering the water. Here’s hoping.

My daughter’s best friend gave her the sweetest gift, her friend’s favourite book, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. She annotated with her thoughts on quotes and the characters in the story. She used rainbow tabs to bring attention to each remarkable page and passage with notes included in the margins. What fun from one bestie to another! Good friends are priceless, especially the ones that take the time, from the other side of the world.

We’ve been watching “Colin From Accounts,” an Australian television show that’s being aired on the BBC. It is so freakin’ hilarious and immediately we were enamoured with the main characters and their very human imperfections. We managed to work our way through the entire first season this week and are gutted that it’s over. It made us feel a bit homesick watching it, knowing the locations of some of the scenes. If you’re up for a laugh, I highly recommend it.

We walked two sections (3 & 4) of the Capital Ring Trail this weekend. We began our walk in Grove Park after a one hour train ride from home. We strolled through the very unimpressive, Bromley, through the gorgeous Beckenham Place Park where we ate lunch at the very hip, Homestead Cafe. Just adjacent from the cafe was Mansion House in all its glory. What a site in the beautiful afternoon sun, the colours were striking with the green rolling hills, the imposing Beckenham Place Mansion, and the spring flowers flicking colour everywhere. We continued on to Crystal Palace and finished in Streatham. 19km done and dusted. The little doggie was wiped, as were we.

A second walk on the Capital Ring Path to complete section 12, Highgate to Stoke Newington. An easy 8km, we were lucky to have our daughter join us for this portion of the route today. We stopped for lunch at the Goods Office in Stroud Green. The food was amazing and the service excellent. I highly recommend it if in this part of town. We carried on to Finsbury Park, passing an active Tough Mudder course in the works. How fun to see all the muddy athletes trying to conquer Everest, knowing full well what it feels like to be muddy and tired and just wanting to be done. So glad to be an observer today.

Drinks and snacks with American friends at Camden Town Brewery, finally. Have been wanting to pop over here since we moved into the neighbourhood. Their location is so cute, with an outside beer garden and an indoor beer hall under the train station at Kentish Town West. Loved chatting about all things America, and living life in the UK with these guys. A superb ending to the week.

One thought on “B-Team News: 10-16 April, 2023

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s