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!
HIMSELF LOOKS STERNLY AT ME. ‘IS
THAT ALL YOU CARE ABOUT? YOUR HAIR GETTING WET?’...PRETTY