Bray People - - NEWS - Jus­tine O'Ma­hony

My mother has spent years say­ing to me, ‘Will you ever learn to keep your mouth shut?’ I some­how have never man­aged to master that par­tic­u­lar skill no mat­ter how hard I try which is how I ended up promis­ing to do a Christ­mas Day Swim this year.

Now be­fore I go any fur­ther I must ad­mit there was al­co­hol in­volved! You hardly think I’d agree to swimming in the sea on Christ­mas Day if I was sober do you? That would be ridicu­lous. Him­self and his mother who did the swim last year caught me at a very vul­ner­a­ble mo­ment, when I had im­bibed a few gin and ton­ics and ca­joled me into it.

The thing is I think ev­ery­thing is a won­der­ful idea when I’ve had a few G&Ts. That’s how I ended up agree­ing to go to Elec­tric Pic­nic last year, although thanks be to God they didn’t hold me to that one. I’ve of­fered to mind other peo­ple’s chil­dren for whole week­ends when I’ve been un­der the in­flu­ence, I’ve in­vited 12 peo­ple for lunch, I’ve de­cided I’m go­ing to raise chick­ens and pigs when I’ve had a few and once when spec­tac­u­larly drunk I even agreed to marry some­one!

Most of the time no one takes me se­ri­ously but Him­self and his mother knew ex­actly what they were do­ing when they plied me with drink and they then co­erced me into agree­ing to do the Christ­mas Day Swim.

‘You’d love it!’ The Mother in Law says. I SO would not. ‘It’s great craic!’ says Him­self. Craic I can do with­out. ‘It will all be over and done with a few min­utes and it’s for a good cause,’ adds The Mother in Law. Char­ity be­gins at home, I think.

‘ There will be brandy and Christ­mas hats’ says Him­self. I start to soften. Then they gave me another G& T and some­how I agreed. ‘And you can’t wear a wet­suit!’ added Him­self, just after we shook on it.

A week later when I re­alised there was no way they were let­ting me get out of it, I found an ar­ti­cle on­line warn­ing about the dan­gers of Christ­mas Day Swims. ‘See! Look! I could die! I could get Hy­pother­mia, my heart could stop. I’m much smaller than the two of you. The cold will hit me much harder,’ I plead. Him­self said he’d take the chance. ‘And if I do die, my hair will be ru­ined,’ I said re­fer­ring to my Christ­mas eve hair ap­point­ment which was sup­posed to keep me coiffed till the week­end.

Him­self looks sternly at me. ‘Is that all you care about? Your hair get­ting wet?’ I think about it for a sec­ond. ‘Pretty much yeah. Well I don’t re­ally fancy any of me get­ting wet in the sea on Christ­mas day to be hon­est. But no, you’re right, I did prom­ise. So I’ll do it. I would never welch on a bet,’ I tell him, try­ing a lit­tle bit of re­verse psy­chol­ogy in the hope he’ll re­lent. ‘“Good. It starts at 12.’ I am so go­ing to die from hy­pother­mia, then they’ll be sorry!




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