It’s been a lively bright and frosty day. Lifted some ice off the birdbath and Michael and I jumped onto our bikes to go for a New Year’s dip in the Cam. There was still frost on the ground when we arrived, and this made it cold under foot! The swimming/dipping got going about 1.
The river was a brisk 3°C according to the sign at the Riverbank Club. It was flowing quite fast and a bit murky but looked lovely in the bright sunlight. About 25 people went swimming—one guy three times it was that good. Michael held my towel for me, and took some photos.
Afterwards we had some lovely hot soup from a thermos, and it took about 20 mins for my toes to stop feeling the cold. Liz passed round a lovely, massive, home made, mince pie and we gobbled that up too. There was a bit of screaming and lots of gasping from the river as we stood munching on our food.
I was colder after the cycle home than from the swim, Brrrr…
Lovely sunny day: so I grabbed my wetsuit and headed over for a swim at the Riverbank. The water temperature is up to 11°C (from 7.5°C a couple of weeks ago). There were people there this time, so it made the swim much more enjoyable, and longer. I need to find my new swimming cap though, the cold water on my head doing the crawl was a bit uncomfortable. Lazed in the sun for a bit, but had to cut this short for a generous post-swim lunch.
The weather was great today and a lovely evening too. Met Michael at about quarter to six at the riverbank club and had a lovely swim to Dead Man’s Corner. The water was a balmy 17°C tonight. Enjoyed a bottle of Kate Moyles wine from Shawsgate Vineyard where we visited last October, and shared some indonesian prawn crackers with the Liz and the crowed following the last rays of the sun on the bench. Lovely evening.
Left work just after 5 and found that I had a blow-out on my bike tire. GGGrr. It’s always on the days that I’m keen to be somewhere else. Shoved a new patch on and I made it to the Riverbank Club by 5.50, where Michael was waiting with a packet of Indonesian Crackers and a bottle of cheap red wine from Aldi. Had a quick swim to cool off and a laze in the sun, drinking wine with Michael and Liz. Left about 7, still a lovely warm evening and still sunny outside, even now.
Lovely day today so we went along to Newnham Riverbank Club for a picnic. All the members have been adopted by a two ducks and there was speculation about the gender, which the web hasn’t been able to resolve.
The river was 58F and okay for a lovely swim past Dead Man’s Corner. After all the rain the swim upstream was really slow compared with the downstream rush. Stayed till about four, drinking a bottle of our favourite rosé from Waitrose.
Firebird Legend Merlot Rosé 2007 Vulcaneshti, Moldova
Made from 95% Merlot and 5% Pinot Noir at the AurVin winery under the watchful eye of Angela Muir MW. The Merlot is particularly good for Rosé style wines, with deep colour and vivacious raspberry fruit.
Michael made some lovely marinated lamb chaps for BBQing in the evening, so spent a really good long part of the day in the sun.
Just back from an early evening at the riverbank club. Left work a 5, to get to Newnham by 5.30 and was met by Michael with a bottle of lovely Moldovan Rose from Waitrose (Firebird Legend Merlot Rosé 2006 Vulcaneshti, Moldova). Had a swim up to Dead Man’s corner and back, and the water was a lovely 17°C. Lots of may flies were hovering over the riven in big clouds and with a bit of breeze there were fairly charging towards me as I swam back from Dead Man’s Corner. The wine had me scunnered (Scots usage!).
Michael and I threw away our old BBQ last weekend, which finally gave up after 10 years of faithful service (I bought it for my 30th birthday party). Predictably the weather has been wonderful since. So, I was in John Lewis for 9am this morning to buy a replacement. Got a Weber One-touch Gold kettle BBQ this time. I was impressed that all the bits and pieces that I bought at 9.15 were available from pickup at 11am from Trumpington. Dumped the box and some shopping from Waitrose into the house and zoomed down to the Riverbank Club, where I spent the next five hours, lounging in the sun. Very relaxing, with some red wine and sushi-wraps for lunch. Michael joined me for 30 mins for lunch, having a break from the Rohan stock-taking that lasted till 7pm. The river was lovely and warm (for May!) and I had a great swim up to dead man’s corner after lunch.
In the evening I assembled the BBQ, which was easy, and then had marinated lamb chops ready for 7pm, and the grand lighting. That could have gone better (I should have read the instructions!) but it all worked well and we had a great meal with some rose wine. Its going to take some time to getting used to waiting 60 mins before eating: it took 30 mins with the old gas BBQ we had before.
The garden is looking lovely at the moment. The vines are shooting and there are six little bunches of flowers on the edible vines that Liz and Chester gave us. Our Nelly Moser clematis is just starting to flower, but the Solomon’s Seal is stealing the show at the moment—it’s getting bigger and better each year.
Michael and I made out first Riverbank Club visit of the year: the water was a chilly 11°C so we didn’t go in for a swim. But it was lovely to see the regulars and to lie in the sun out of the wind. It was a lovely afternoon, with good sun. Had a picnic with nice salads and bread, and tried to read my book without falling asleep lying on the grass!