On Sunday, in utterly glorious sunshine, 26 people plunged into Hinksey Lake for a fun and refreshing swim. Most of them were familiar with wild swimming but not everyone had been to the lake before. We were in safe hands with dip advisor, Ella Foote, on hand and also led in by Cat White, whose beautiful film was then shown in the nearby South Oxfordshire Community Centre. People warmed up over cups of hot tea and homemade cake and then we watched 54 Days. Cat wrote the film and stars in it; it was her response to the suicide of her uncle and a close friend during lockdown. She said she felt she had to do something - to speak out and share what she had discovered. Being bereaved in lockdown was terrible for so many people because we felt so isolated and unable to get the support we needed. She found herself drawn to the water and began swimming every day at dawn. For her this proved a place of healing and ultimately joy. She is passionate about the need to find ways to recover from these shocking losses and conversation flowed afterwards from very personal sharing of similar losses to the need to protect our waterways and questions about why more women choose to wild swim. A truly important film and a very special afternoon.
And for men too...!
Our lovely Catering planner, Karen, with those oh-so-naughty home-made cakes!
Ella Foote, well known wild swimmer and journalist, and part of our event team :)
The festival of living and dying, created in 2012 by Liz Rothschild Sponsor Page