Swimming in the lake was lovely. There’s no other word for it. Shepperton itself is a very pretty lake, but the real joy was in the swimming. After a winter of breathless short sprints across the Lido and brief, crowded swims in The Oasis, to be able to really stretch out in Shepperton was truly glorious. After half a circuit I was relaxing into my stroke and remembering why I love this. There were other people around but on the whole I was alone except when the odd other swimmer went past or when I passed someone else. Willows dipped their leaves into the water, the surface was smooth and unruffled, and I could chill down, swim at a steady long distance pace and concentrate on my stroke, reaching through from the hip, allowing my upper arm to float forwards, catching onto the water and pulling through with a bent arm, keeping my body balanced and long and slipping easily through the water like a fish. I absolutely loved it. After a winter of finding it a chore, swimming had again become a pleasure.

More tomorrow.