When I first wrote the Things To Do List I put this on it because I just thought it looked fun - anyone can run nude into the sea on a sunny summers day - but mid winter in the UK? That was going to be the challenge, and finding someone nutty enough to do it with me!
Actually I found someone nutty enough pretty quickly (no offense Pat), the first time I mentioned it was on my List (and co-incidentally the first time I met her) Pat piped up that she would love to do it too. So a plan was hatched ... we both live in the South East of England but not on the coast (and not near each other) but we found the perfect spot - well it looked perfect in the photos on the Internet - on a secluded nudist beach between Margate and Broadstairs. We decided to opt for a nudist beach because being more mature ladies we didn't want to offend the general public, we also decided against the more famous nudist beaches in Brighton because those beaches are all shingle and you can't run barefoot across shingle!
So the bones of the plan were laid and now we had to fix on a date - this was alot more difficult than we imagined as we just never seemed to available at the same time and it had to be done in the winter. Finally we found a weekend that suited us both.
My youngest sister volunteered to drive us down and act as the official photographer - we both wanted evidence that we had really done it - and in a moment of common sense we knew that someone else ought to be with us in case of injury. We set off early on Saturday morning, giggling and chattering like excited school girls - the fog, rain and wind on the motorway did nothing to dampen our spirits. When we finally reached the beach we sat staring at the grey sea, white waves splashing against the shore - our hearts sank slightly, the tide was much further in then we had thought it would be - no time for a leisurely stroll and quick going over how we were actually going to preform the re-enactment. As Pat and I walked nervously down my sister wrapped her sheepskin coat more tightly around herself. Pats normally immaculate hair will give you an indication of how windy it was!
Once on the beach we wasted no time on false modesty - we stripped off and ran straight in ... the full force of the icy cold water hit us taking our breath away; I reached the water first but Pats shouts and laughter encouraged me to run in further and further - it was absolutely amazing. We splashed about for about a minute and then dashed out again ... in those conditions a minute was a long long time! We ran laughing up the beach and grabbed our quilts and blankets - a man walking past with his Jack Russell laughed at us and with fore finger tapping his forehead and then making large cirlces he indicated what he thought! He asked jokingly what it was like (not sure if he meant in the sea or being mad).
My sister showed us the photographs she had taken and decided that because we had entered separately we were too far apart in the photographs (she thought) and said we ought to do it again! Pat and I stared at each other - laughed (hysteria setting in?) and after a quick "Well we've come all this way" threw down our coverings and holding hands ran back in! The water the second time was as cold as the first time and this time I was alot more conscious that hypothermia sets in very quickly ... I only stayed in a for a few moments before I raced back up the beach. Pat stayed in for longer and I was anxious, but when she came running out she was absolutely fine! Our bodies tingled with the cold and the adrenalin rush - we quickly dried and dressed (I mean really quickly) buzzing. An elderly man walking his two dogs, (dressed from head to toe in Hi-vis wet weather gear) walked past "Ladies if you had stayed in the dogs would have come and joined you" he joked "Come to think of it, pre-arthritis days I would have too. Its exhilarating isn't it? I used to do that all the time when I lived in Wales..."