Swimming widows

Just off to Myrtleville / the pool / the lake for a quick dip?  Again? Twice a day?  For how long?  Swimming’s just great.  For swimmers.

As lots of us chatted happily last Friday night about how wonderful is the world of swimming and how everyone should be in it, there was one little grouping who weren’t quite as effusive in their praise of the water.  Swimming widows are the partners and spouses who don’t swim, don’t really want to hear about it and are stuck with life with an addict – the kind who thinks swimmy stuff is just the best thing ever.

Welcome to the world of the swimming widow.

The four faces of the swimming widow - Anger, Abandonment, Sadness & Frustration.

The four faces of the swimming widow – Anger, Abandonment, Sadness & Frustration.

There are, of course, swimming widowers as well, but I don’t have any pictures of them.  

Mná na Myrtleville – Send in photos of your swimming widower now!!  The best picture as judged by the yet-to-be-formed judging committee will win a HAT!

A bit of a do – in pictures

A great crowd and a great time in Bunnyconnellan on Friday night.  The speeches were brutal, but all the rest of the evening was really enjoyable.  As ever, Siobhan Russell got some lovely pictures and they’re on Facebook.

Siobhan also captured some of the background colour to the event, which can be so easily missed – if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

First of all you had to get past the bouncers to get in the door.  “Sorry, friend – regulars only…”  You know the kind of thing.

Smiling bouncers - you don't get that everywhere.

Smiling bouncers – you don’t get that everywhere.

Once inside, there was the girls freezing out poor Cait from the glamour shots.  Jealousy, Cait – terrible thing to see.

For some, the finger food was a bit late coming out and they were ready to eat anything.

Conor Fenlon - Those army fellas are trained to eat whatever's available.  Ramen or Ramsell, it's all the same to Conor.

Conor Fenlon – Those army fellas are trained to eat whatever’s available. Ramen or Ramsell, it’s all the same to Conor.

Finally, there was the guy whose wife told him he was paying for the finger food…


Great crack all round and a fitting marker for all of the swim achievements by so many Myrtlevillians this year.  

Autumn equinox dawn swim

Whether it’s the Autumn equinox or the Mabon or whatever it’s called, we should definitely make this an annual event.  Fantastic dawn swim.  Only 3c on land but 15c in the water, which felt really toasty.  

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Going in at 06.30 – Donna Galvin in the middle wrapping her arms around herself – not knowing how warm the water would be!

A lovely 45 mins later, back to the beach for the sunrise.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Autumn Equinox sunrise, September 22nd, 2016

Post-swim, Donna wasn’t cold any more – sea endorphins at work!

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Siobhan Russell, Donna Galvin and Alan Wilkie buzzing after the swim.

See you all tomorrow night for a bit of a do.

Mabon Swim

The forecast is looking good for the first annual Myrtleville Mabon Dawn Swim – Thursday, September 22nd at 06.30.

WTF is he on about this time?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the September equinox (AKA Mabon) astronomically marks the start of Autumn.  It is the time to respect the impending dark while giving thanks to the sunlight.  

For meteorologists, on the other hand, Autumn begins about three weeks before the September equinox – on September 1.

However, after representations from Daniel Swagrzyk and Denis Condon, the Committee For Deciding When Autumn Starts (CFDWAS) agreed with them that September 1st only applied to the school teachers, so we’d ignore it.  Sorry, Ruth etc but September 22nd it is.

Huge crowds are expected (maybe even more than the nine people there this morning) so park miles away and walk down, really quietly.  Given the light this morning, it probably will be the last of the dawn swims for this year.  The sun didn’t come up until after we’d got out today.  Water was nice and warm, though.


Swimming vs. Pills in treating depression

A couple of people mentioned this clip to me – from the BBC’s “The doctor who gave up drugs”  programme.    Interesting stuff – we all know the buzz OW swim gives and lots more people could and should be benefitting from it too.  

Worth a watch – it’s only 3.32 long. Click the link below.

OW swimming as a treatment for depression – from the doctor who gave up drugs.

A bit of a do – Friday 23/9 @ 8.30 in Bunnyconnellan

To celebrate the end of the Summer season (and launch the Winter one!), we’re having a gathering for a few drinks in Bunnyconnellan on Friday night, 23rd September.  They’ve kindly held the back section of the restaurant for us from about 8.30, so there will be plenty of room.  No charge, just buy your own drinks and there will be some finger foodie things too.

The evening’s meant to mark a lot of great successes at all levels for the many people who swim in Myrtleville.  These range from first time swims to the Dutchman, Church Bay swims, Fountainstown returns, Galway, London, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Dover, Kerry – lots and lots of fun and success for lots and lots of Myrtleville swimmers.  We might even be joined by some of the Sandycovers!

So, lets meet on the night and mark a great year so far, with other events like the Vampire Swim and the Turkey swims to come as the Winter begins.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Signage to be put up on Bunnyconnellan for the night.

Saturday Swim time change – 09.00

Heading into the Winter and after five years of 08.15 swims every Saturday morning, we’re going to move the regular time to 09.00.  This will give people a little longer in bed, if they want it!

Of course some swimmers will still be going earlier for work reasons etc. but the main group swim will be at 09.00 from now on.

Alcatraz Swim

Best of luck to John Kiely, swimming in the iconic Alcatraz swim in San Francisco tomorrow afternoon about 4pm.

Got The Hat and T-Shirt - all set.

Got The Hat and T-Shirt – all set.

John won’t be doing this alone of course.  He has the complete support of Martina.  I spoke to her one morning on the beach in Lanzarote and she was very clear that John should swim in as many events as possible – as long as they were places she wanted to go.  She was 100% encouraging him to consider swims in locations like Barbados, Miami, the Maldives….She’ll be right behind him, on the sun lounger, on any of those swims 🙂

John and Martina - Alctraz here he comes.

John and Martina – Alcatraz here he comes.  Next destination?

 Good luck to the Kielys!  Enjoy the trip.

CORAL8 – a Tribute.

The next Corkonian Channel adventure is going to be a little different since – bar Maeve Mulcahy – all of the regular tracker-stalkers are actually going to be on the boat or in the water.  CORAL8 head off – hopefully this weekend – to take a leisurely trip from England to France.  The team is made up of – deep breath – Carol Cashell, Orla Houlihan, Riana Parsons, Angela Harris, Lisa Cummins, Maeve Ryan, Donna Galvin and Eleanor Courtney.

Determined not to interrupt G&T and cake time too much, team CORAL (originally Carol, Orls, Riana, Angela and Lisa) have packed in just about everyone available and expanded to CORAL8.  This means nobody will be too incovenienced during the day out by having to actually swim much, thus missing the chat, banter and reverse tracking planned.  Just imagine the social media that day – “You – over there in Cork – we can see you’re not following us!! What’s that about??   Stop working – we have…”

Inspired by news of the massive team headed for the Channel, noted culture vultures, Kieran Murphy and Siobhan Russell, collaborated to create this wonderful tribute. Seriously, it’s some piece of artwork.  It’s such a good painting it’s almost like a photo – it’s the heads off our heroes, in fact.

Bottecelli's The Birth of Venus - as reimagined and restored by Kieranus Murphicelli

Bottecelli’s The Birth of Venus – as reimagined and restored by Kierani Murphicelli

Best of luck to the whole big, big team.  You can follow them – surprise surprise – online on Facebook by clicking here  and on Twitter @CORAL8_ .  We can expect lots of progress updates with this group!