Helene Dancer
Writer, journalist, filmmaker

Wild thing


Swimming outdoors in the middle of winter is this group's idea of fun

I pulled on my wetsuit, secured the velcro straps on my neoprene boots and snapped a pair of goggles on my head. Dianne Parrish and her friends laughed, dressed only in swimming costumes, their skin puckered with cold. Novice, their expressions told me. Warm, I replied with my eyes, as we plunged into the icy water of a Welsh lake in the middle of winter. Within minutes I'd lost feeling in my fingers — I hadn't bothered with gloves — but Dianne was in her happy place, which is what this story is all about.

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