Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Well it is official, summer is over. I have worked this out as the mighty Nene has dropped to 7C this week cutting the swims down to 30 minutes.

I have entered a couple of winter swimming events starting with the 3 Rivers swim next Saturday. I am looking forward to swimming in the Nene, Ouse and the Cam, eating lots of cake and a hearty dinner at the end.

Lizzie and I had a great time in Jersey last week for the JLDSC dinner. Photos on Facebook if you are interested.

My Gibraltar Straits swim has been rebooked for the last week in October 2016. Hopefully I
will have more luck with the weather.

My new car hasn't got a CD player! Ordered one from Peugeot 8 weeks ago, still not here, customer service at it's best. Can't believe how bad radio really is. ( Planet Rock excepted, no DAB either )

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


It is official. Summer is well and truly over and Autumn is rapidly sliding into the witching season.

I can tell this by the water temperature in the Nene. 4 weeks ago the water was still hovering around 15C but the cool nights and a bit of rain had seen the water drop to 11.8 yesterday.

It doesn't sound much of a drop but the water now has that sharp intake of breath feeling and it takes a bit to get into rhythm. I am still doing an hour in the water without any problem although the comedy shivers have made a couple of appearances in the Old Barn as I have my bacon and eggs!

Looking forward to winter swimming as I have entered a couple of events. I have swum right through the year so I should be ok!

Don't forget my Facebook page.

Monday, 28 September 2015


Dear reader, don't fret. I am still alive and kicking!

The end of summer means that I haven't had much to talk about regarding exciting swims!
A couple of weeks ago I swam in The Tour de Nene, a series of swims over one weekend at various points along the river. I did the Friday and Sunday legs, 17K in all. Great fun and fantastic company.

At the moment I'm enjoying retirement from teaching and starting to rev up my motivational speaking business. I had an enjoyable day speaking at The Kettering Buccleuch Academy talking to all the year groups from Year 11 to Year 7. I don't think anyone fell asleep.

The Nene is magic at the moment, calm, clear and cooling down. This morning my swim started in thick fog but cleared to a fantastic clear sky.

I have entered a 5 river swim in December so I will continue to swim again throughout the winter.

Check out my Facebook page for more details.

Shame about England vs Wales. Tee hee.

Friday, 14 August 2015


Dear reader, as of 30 seconds ago 10,510 hits had been made on this blog.

I have no idea if this is a lot compared to others, but I think that it is amazing!

Slowly getting back to the real world after my Round Jersey swim. I have had 5 lovely swims back in the river and now I will work in maintaining my fitness levels.

Next year I am rebooking Gibraltar and will look at doing another swim as well.

Plenty of photos on my facebook site.

Monday, 3 August 2015


Well dear reader, my Jersey swim is done and dusted.

If you go to my facebook page David Coleman Northampton, Northamptonshire there are lots of photos and comments.

In absolutely perfect conditions I got around the 44 miles in a "pinch me I don't believe it " time of 10 hours and 56 minutes.

Sunny, hot with no wind and flat sea is perfect for fast swimming times. The only drawback is that these conditions bring out bastard jelly fish and there were zillions of tiny brown little devils.

In the north east corner of the island I swam through a jellie soup and today my arms, shoulders and chest are red and itchy. During the swim I had to take the stings and just had to keep going.

All in all, a great feeling as this is a great swim. R and R now with my girls for a few days and I will get back to the safety of the Nene later in the week.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Well dear readers, the hour approaches as I head off to Jersey for my 44 mile round Island swim.

I have trained hard and feel strong. This week my beloved Nene has been cool as the rains brought the temperature down to 15C with an increased flow so I had a taste of winter again.

I will endeavour to get tracking information on this site, wifi permitting!

The weather looks fair so hopefully I will get in the water Friday or Saturday.

Bob Seger playing on Planet Rock as I write. How good is he!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I am in love.

Not only with all my lovely girls but with my new love, my Garmin 920XT.
This was a leaving gift from my colleagues at school. Wow!

Here are a few things that I have learnt since I started swimming with it on Saturday.

- Magic exists.

- I was never actually swimming as far as I thought I was!

- It goes beautifully with my new MacBook air and produces the most amazing information.
I will definitely benefit from the data and improve everything!

This time next week I will be getting ready to swim around Jersey. Still doing big swims but will taper down and get myself rested and ready. Can't wait, c'mon the weather, behave please.

Have Neil Young's greatest hits in the car and I'm trying to see if I can get to the river within 2 songs.

Saturday, 11 July 2015


Well dear reader. What a week.

On Thursday I spent what seemed like half the day in the river. All this week the water has been magnificent, calm and placid with beautiful sunshine and no one at all around.

Well, this brings me to my headline. As I was swimming through the lovely wooded area at Aldewinkle I noticed a dazzling white bird sitting on a log on the side of the river. At first I thought it to be a Heron, perhaps an albino.

But no! This was, as confirmed by knowledgeable people, an Egret. Not a baby eagle as 2 people have said to me, but a gleaming white Egret and and these birds have moved into the area from  France. They jumped into a lorry at Calais and got out at the A1 services at Peterborough.

Lots of Ks this week, more of the same as August approaches.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

ADIOS MUCHACHOS! (Children only!)

A teacher I am no more!

I am writing this from the sanctuary of my retirement pad, the same as my normal working and living pad.

It's a great feeling not having to think about work for a few weeks as I am using the time to build up the miles as my Jersey swim approaches. I had my leaving do on Saturday night but still managed to flop into the river for 5 Ks on Sunday morning.

I am feeling fit and rearing to go, I even went for a run this morning, well more like a semi controlled stagger which sent me into a healthy sweatfest!

Biggie in the river tomorrow, going for a 6 hour.

New website is progressing. News soon.

Blackberry Smoke tickets have arrived. Can't wait.

Saturday, 27 June 2015


Tick tock, my teaching career is now a week from the end and my new life as a holiday maker begins!

Well not entirely as I am going to be doing corporate and schools speaking as I talk a lot of rubbish so I might as well get paid for it.

Very soon I will have my own website for my speaking engagements so watch this space.

Another good week in my beloved Nene. The water is still pretty low but it has been smooth and warm this week and just perfect for long, long swims. Just over a month to my round Jersey date so I will be doing 6 hour swims after I finish school next week.

Watched Led Zepplin Celebration Day this week from 2004. Just amazing. Kashmir is the best version ever.

Saturday, 20 June 2015


Dear reader, after a whole year of training with bilateral breathing, I have abandoned it!

Here's the thing. I just never felt smooth and comfortable. Even though I have put in many hours I have gone back to my beloved 4 strokes and right hand breathing. What a difference! This week I have had 2 wonderful swims, feeling smooth and fit. At least I know that I can breath bilaterally if conditions require it but right is right for me!

The river is starting to clear and is now greeny cloudy rather than reddy cloudy. Apparently the reddy brown colour is due to the weeds in the water. The level is really low at the moment but the water was perfect this week, smooth and getting towards 17C.

Bought 2 tickets for Blackberry Smoke in Birmingham in November. Southern rock at its best.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


I thought that you would like to know where the readers of my deranged thoughts come from.

It certainly is a world wide readership as this week I have had people visit from the UK, Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia, USA, Guernsey, Ireland, Portugal and Slovakia. I know that many of you are after things like bank details, no point in pursuing that one and looking for prospective marriage partners. I have told you Russian girls before, I am too tired.

Still ploughing up the Ks in the Nene, doing 2- 4 hour swims at the moment, 6 hours next few weeks. I am generally feeling great but I don't feel totally relaxed yet with the bilateral breathing. I am working on the theory that if I build up the hours it will eventually feel "normal".

My DAB car radio has being playing silly billies and draining the battery. All fixed now and back to door vibrating best. Whole lotta Rosie this morning.

Thursday, 4 June 2015


It's great to be back to the old routine. You know what it's like, get up, work, train wherever possible, sleep and do it all again the next day!

Well not for me much longer dear reader as my end of term date (that is school, not me having a baby) nears. One month to go. Huzzah.

Back in the river today. It was beautifully calm and the air was balmy but Lanzarote it is not! I had almost forgotten how much easier it is to swim in the sea and how fabulous it is training and then relaxing in a place that is guaranteed warm and sunny. Still, got to get on with it as my 44 mile Jersey swim looms.

I am swimming well and am now upping the milage, 6 hour training swims on the way in the next few weeks.

Listening to Biffy Clyro's Opposites at the moment. Great.

Friday, 29 May 2015


Sad to hear that the rest of Europe is suffering from rainy, cold weather.

Here in Lanzarote the weather is hot and the sea is 19.2C. After the joys of the mighty Nene this is  swimming heaven as the water is crystal clear, unusually calm and with lots of fish.

Every morning I have swum 4 or 5 Ks before breakfast and then settled down to a serious day of relaxing on the beach or by the pool. But don't fret dear reader, I have had to make important decisions like whether to use tanning cream or sunblock or do I have a roll with my salad?

Sadly I will be back for school on Monday and returning to the wet cool weather. Can't wait.

Half a term to go and then a retired old gentleman I will be.

Thursday, 21 May 2015


Or more importantly warm water.

Yes dear reader I am off to Lanzarote for some R and R with plenty on sea swimming in water temperatures that will not bring tears to my eyes.

Today the river was hard work after the rain, flowing faster and feeling a bit colder. I must admit I found it hard work swimming into the stream but enjoyed the return leg. I was 2 minutes slower over the 2 miles so I was definitely struggling going into the current.

I am looking forward to returning to school fit, bronzed and blond, well a bit fitter, less pale and slightly sea and sun lightened locks!

Sunday, 10 May 2015


Despite taking 2 fieldwork expeditions away from school in the last 3 weeks and having to spend cold afternoons umpiring cricket, I am now managing to get 2 or 3 good swims in a week.

This weekend we are not at school so I have had 4 good swims in the interestingly rust coloured waters of the Nene. Fear not for my health, the experts assure me that it is only plant sediment as the river foliage is now beginning to grow after the winter.

The water is hovering just over 12C although it did drop slightly after the rains this week. Happily I can report that the Swans with attitude have let me swim past them this week so they seem to have worked out that this fine figure of an athlete can't swim fast enough to give them any trouble.

Nature watch:

This week I have swum very close to swans, a heron, plenty of ducks and Canada geese and most interestingly Highland cattle with giant horns. I have also seen fish through the murky water so the water must be ok!

Just playing the new ACDC album. The neighbours should be awake by 8 o'clock on a sunny Sunday morning anyway.

Monday, 27 April 2015


Apparently it is nesting season for riverside wildlife. I know this to be true as the swans have stopped paddling sedately away as I approach them and have adapted a " come closer if you are hard enough" attitude.

Last week I met 4 ladies who were swimming and were refused permission to swim past Mr. Swan as he got all aggro as they approached. When I reached where he was patrolling I swam way over on the other side of the river and tried to look small and inconspicuous. I know, never going to work.

Fortunately he did not worry about me but as I swam close to the far bank a young black Labrador got so excited he launched himself into the river and landed right on top of me. His mistress did not seem to give a hoot that her dog had just bombed me and never even said a word. Lucky for her that I am a cool calm individual and just kept swimming. Presumably the dog got out as it wasn't there an hour later.

The river is a strange colour at the moment. I can't imagine that it is field run off as it hasn't really rained for weeks. No matter, it is still lovely to swim in and I am still rocking.

Monday, 20 April 2015


Dear reader, all my life I have been a 4 stroke, breathe to the right swimmer. Now this is fine and dandy if the sea is smooth to my right. If it is lumpy then I get to drink plenty of sea water.

This year I have been working on bilateral breathing, that is 3 strokes breath right, 3 strokes breath left. I have to admit that it felt very strange at first but I have persevered and it is now feeling more natural.

Yesterday I did a 2 hour river swim and stuck with bilateral all the way. Actually, I covered the swim distance a little faster that I did before.

The river is now 12C although the air yesterday was only 6C when I got in. I do not even notice the water temperature now so I am able to build up the time in the water as I head towards my Jersey swim.

Counting down the days to retirement, not counting but 54 to go.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


I am now back safe and sound from my Straits of Gibraltar experience.

The Levante wind made any chance of a swim totally impossible so I will be back in 2016 to finish what I have started.

Hey ho, can't do anything about the weather so upwards and onwards. My focus now switches to the lovely island of Jersey in the first week of August when I will be swimming the 44 miles around it.

I was back in the Nene today for an hour, 10.5 C water but a warm sun on my back made it quite comfortable. After looking at my speed for the shorter Gibraltar crossing I am now looking at building up my time in the water for the longer Jersey swim.

Start my last term at school next week. Time will fly and on the 4th of July ( oh say can you see ) I will be a retired old man, well teacher anyway.

Radar Love, voted Planet Rocks number 1 driving song. Can't argue but I went for Free Bird.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Well there you have it. Levante wins the contest.

My attempts to get into the Straits of Gibraltar have been blown to smithereens by Lavante, the East wind. Here they are calling it moderate, everyone else would call it a howling gale! My pilot says that the wind only blows for this long about 3 times a year. Lucky me to be here to experience it!

The only still day was fogged out in as thick a peasouper that I have seen for a while so it was not meant to be this time.

Fear not dear reader I will be back. The 2015 swimming season is fully booked so I am rebooking for 2016. Another year older...............

Still my time has been put to good use exploring Tarifa which is a very lovely and relaxing place.

I hear I am going back to rubbish weather, at least the sun is out here and out of Levante's breath it is very warm.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Levante, the easterly wind is still howling through the Straits of Gibraltar making anything, let alone swimming impossible.

In a bizarre way, I am happy that the Levante is so strong as it removes any notion of "it's not too bad, I'll give it a go".

Watching the fast ferry to Tangier trying to get out into the Straits yesterday was gut wrenching as it rock and rolled baby!

I am enjoying pottering around Tarifa. It is a very beautiful place with hidden streets and places to explore.

Every night there is a Semana Santa (Holy week) parade. Huge altar thingies with statues are carried around the streets by 20 men inside them. They are made of very heavy wood and metal with life sized marble statues of Christ or Mary.

 Very spectacular with hundreds of people in hoods with candles, which all blow out, and accompanied by one and sometimes two marching ( incredibly slowly ) bands.

 Yesterday, after 2 days here, I found the huge, wide, fine white sandy beach where the kite surfers go (none yesterday, too windy even for them). It just happened to be on the other side of the town and I hadn't explored that yet! Sadly it was impossible to walk on as the fine sand was being blasted into the air by Levante creating a sand storm.

I will keep you posted but this looks like a rebooking later in the year!

At least I have wifi and I watched the Guess Who live last night.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


You think that the UK is having rough weather, WELL the Straits of Gibraltar is having its own fun.

Today I was all ready to set off only to see thick, and I mean thick fog roll in and totally cover the African coast, the Straits and Tarifa on the Spanish side. So no go bro!

The fog is still lingering on the African coast but the winds have now picked up and swimming will be impossible for the next few days.

Oh the joys. Still, got to sit in the sun today even though it was like sitting in a hurricane testing tunnel.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


The clock is ticking as my Straits of Gibraltar swim looms next week.

This is a swim that is often disrupted by the strong winds that sweep along the southern coast of Spain but it looks like there may be a calmer spell next Thursday.

I will endeavour to post information here but my last request for a predicted swim time was met with a " we talk when you here ".

Training has gone well considering it is pretty mental to be attempting such a swim so early in the season. I had a good swim in the river yesterday, 7C water. It is ok as everything goes numb after 5 minutes.

Watch this space!

Thursday, 12 March 2015


I had a lovely swim at Aldeburgh over the weekend. The North Sea was at its best, brown and lumpy.

Temperature wise, it was not too cold and I felt comfortable swimming. The main problem was fishing lines cast in from the beach as I had to avoid them as they are impossible to see in the water.

It was great to get a sea swim in, probably the last before Gibraltar.

I did a much longer swim in the river today as it was nice and sunny and warm(er!). The water was nice and smooth and although it was only 7C it felt ok with the sun on my back.

Counting down to the end of term next week, plenty of miles in the river and pool and then off to the Med!

Everything at school is now becoming the last, yesterday last refereeing performance, today last Maidwell Chase cross country. Retirement looms!

Planet Rock sounds good on my new DAB car radio.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Where did March come from? It is incredible to think that at the end of this month I fly to Gibraltar for my Straits swim.

Although I have been swimming in the river all winter this will be a tricky swim as I haven't had the chance to swim very long outside. My long swims are pool based at the moment but I hope the temperatures rise in the next few weeks.

I am going to swim in the North Sea this weekend as the temperatures look to be in double figures, virtually tropical.

My fitness is pretty good at the moment and I will alternate speed work and big distance swims over the next few weeks.

C'mon Black Caps. A Kiwi double World Cup for 2015.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Just spent 3 days in sunny Cornwall and I managed to get 2 good pool swims and a sea swim at the beach at Looe.

The surf report said that the sea was 11C, I don't know about 11C but the water was far, far warmer than the mighty Nene and I managed to get a reasonable swim in rather than a longish dip.

All go for my Gibraltar swim now, really working hard at getting my speed up. Can't wait!

Just got Blackberry Smoke's Holding all the Roses. Great.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Dear follower, I have made a life changing decision this week and decided to take early retirement from teaching. I will finish at the end of this school year.

I have opportunities that I wish to pursue outside the teaching world, notably motivational speaking and involvement with swimming events. This of course will also enable me to look at other swims to do throughout the year rather than in the over priced, expensive rip off school holidays! Huzzah!

Bookings are now being taken. Please feel free to e mail me.

The river was the coldest ever this week with all the snow melt so a long dip rather than a short swim! I am powering up my training in the toxic pool as I now leave for Gibraltar next month!
Wow, time has flown.

Blackberry Smoke have a new album out. Southern rock.

Thursday, 29 January 2015


The first bad day of snow around the place today so I took the opportunity to get into the river!

Unbelievably I did not see a single snow flake all day although places all around had blizzards! The water was a balmy 3C with and air temperature of 2C with a sharp cold wind. My Dry Robe is just the best thing ever and prevents me getting cold as I try to change quickly. It is creeping up to self lighting BBQ charcoal as the best invention ever.

There are cold water swimming events on at the moment with lots of people swimming short distances. This weekend at Windermere there is an ice Kilometre, now that will be hardcore in the snow and chilled wind. ( my pleasure Colin Hill ) Sadly, I will be at school so miss yet another event.

This proves that it is possible to swim in very cold water as long as you are sensible and don't try to do too much. I am swimming a very short distance in the river as I am upping my milage in the pool at the moment.

I cannot describe the feeling of getting into water that is so cold as it is like swimming over broken glass whilst being stabbed by knives! The amazing feeling after it is worth it all!

My Hi Fi amp died this week, got a cheapie and boy what a difference 15 years technology development makes. My new one gives out a sound quality zillions of times better than my old one.
Cold Chisel got the inaugural blasting. Hello neighbours.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Look out for a speeding fat boy in the first week of April if you are sailing between Spain and Morocco as my swim is definitely on.

Assuming that I pass my medical next week, I will swim the Straits very, very early in the season. The water should be 16C so that will be toastie compared to the mighty Nene which is most definitely sub tropical at the moment.

Last week the river was pretty hard core as the lock was open and it was big, brown and very bad. A sane person would not have got in, but hey, it had to be done. My swimmers were full of mud at the end!

I am raising my mileage now so I have to put up with the red eyes and the au de chlorine as my companions, roll on warmer weather so I can spend more time in the river.

Just got a digital radio in my car, Planet Rock is getting the doors vibrating.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Where did 2014 go? With 2 swims across the Channel with the Diabetes relay team and the Alderney swim to France, it all seems so long ago!

2015 is looking promising with a Straits of Gibraltar swim in the first week of April, a round Jersey in August and a third, "special" swim planned if I can sort out the complexities. More news to come!

I have just had 3 weeks swimming in the USA, I won't bore you again about the fantastic pools there so I won't.

I am increasing the miles in the pool but also getting in a river swim during the week. It is more of a long dip rather that a real swim but I am enjoying the experience of the frozen water. Seriously, it makes you feel invigorated once you stop shivering.

Love the new ACDC album.

Setting off. 7am. Only 13 and a half hours to go!