The way that touring works out sometimes means I have to juggle my touring swims around the performances a little! So this weekend I needed to squeeze in my Sheffield swim whilst home, ahead of the Sheffield show which is this Saturday (our final performance). And what a swim it was!
I was invited to join members of SOuP at Agden reservoir: a regular for many amongst their huge amount of reservoirs and rivers this 13,000-social-media-strong group have access to. I am well familiar with SOuP and particularly Owen and a lot of his work and talks he has delivered about outdoor swimming, but I have never had the chance to go and swim with anyone.
We started with our gear in dry bags and swam across the reservoir. The water was silky smooth and warm! I was expecting a dip in the water temperature after the previous night's thunder storm and it was great to have some fresh water in there after all the dry weather. I could've swam the distance there and back again it was so lovely.
As we nattered and swam to the bank, there was Micheal and others cooking breakfast! having had a run and swim and brought all the gear to provide not only a fry up but coffees with frothy milk and sprinkles too! what service. No one battered an eyelid at this amazing set up nor the homemade bread and salted butter as it is a regularly past time for this lovely group of swimmers. I pulled my fruit contributions out of my dry bag and dipped back into the water with some others. It was hard to have my usual 1-2-1 conversations which I have been having during the past 2 years of blogging with swimmers, and I didn't get chance to chat with a chap called Ian who had contacted me to have a swim. But it was nice just to soak up the atmosphere of it all, the warm sunshine and the great food whilst I heard members reminisce about swimming trips, breakfasts and 18-30s swimmer groups. All good spirited chat.
We packed up the gear and some swam back or had another dip, whilst dogs licked up any remains quickly as their owners hollered from the woods. I less-enjoyed the sound of clay pigeon shooting ricocheting around the valley but others seemed to be immune to this sound. I said my farewells and had a lovely stroll through the woods, thinking about how much I'm going to miss meeting all of these swimming communities as my tour comes to a close this week. But I think I will go swim with SOuPers again on my return home to the Peak.
There are a handful of tickets left for SWIM at Sheffield Theatres Saturday 24th June: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/events/swim