Why I sea swim….

So my other business is Seabirds Ltd, a Wild Swim Social Enterprise. Our core-warmers and other cosy bits on offer on our website are very popular with sea swimmers, who need to get their layers on and hot tea in them after a cold dip. Here is why I swim…

I have always swum in pools, and the sea when I had the chance (holidays in Bournemouth as a kid getting sunburnt in the shallows). I have always liked being in water but forced myself to swim really getting bored ploughing up and down the lanes but finding it meditative and therapeutic. Then I had kids and became my mother, sitting on the beach staying covered up while the kids enjoyed themselves but not joining in the fun of it.

We joined the Surf Lifesaving Club when our eldest was 11 and it was on a week way in North Devon where the kids and many of the Dads were surfing that I thought, “what the hell I am doing? why aren’t I in there having fun like them – what is going on with all us Mums that we are still on the shore?”. Many of us then had a surf lesson and that was that – I was someone who got in, fell off boards, got tumbled, tired and freezing. And loved it! Fast forward a few years and I am still getting in but only in a wetsuit with a board, or on really really hot days and holidays. Stress build up at work and a group of friends from surf club¬† started sea swimming in the Spring, and we just never stopped. It became an essential in my life but hadn’t realised it was missing until I found it. It got me through a difficult time back then and lead to founding the Seabirds ūüôā

My earliest memory of the sea is jumping up and down in rubber rings playing a game with no rules or logic that i had created with my brother in Durley Chine, Bournemouth. Hours in the sea in hot sunshine but blue round the mouth with cold and sunburnt so my Dad made me wear a t-shirt in the sea. Loving it. Joyful and playful, laughing in the waves. (probs 1976?)

Favourite place to swim in Brighton and Hove….Costa del Brunswick, especially in the hot summer when I park up there for hours at a time with the kids in the water and coming back for food and drinks and a Salty Seabird friend will join me for a swim.

I swim in the sea because it meets a deep need in me for being immersed in water, nature and the feeling of release and being ‘held’. I never regret a swim and always feel happier and better after one.

In ‘regular’ times I swim most days – 5 days a week if I can. Favourite kind of sea is a bouncy watery roller coaster type just this side of safe! Plunging through big crashy waves and not feeling the cold (was is that about not feeling it so much when its rough? ) but getting the energy is so invigorating and makes me feel great. With sea swimming and the Salty community in my life I am a more even, happier person. It has re-built my resilience.

I love the Salty Seabird Community so much – when we started it 2 years ago we had no idea it would grow so big and vibrant. That people have made lasting friendships and find support from the community there makes me proud and happy beyond words. Who knew there were so many up for dicking about the sea and being bloody brilliant to each other? So much love. I have met some truly fabulous people. Miss you all! xxxx

seabirds brighton art raffle

PS Another of my roles is as a volunteer with a Thousand 4 £1000 who Seabirds are supporting with our fundraiser our Weekly Art Raffle Рplease click the links to read more about what we do and how you could help. Like Seabirds, T4K is all about building community and sharing the love. If you can donate the price of a cup of coffee a month to support some of the most vulnerable in our local community then please sign up on the website. xxx

 

Masks4All – handmade cloth face masks

Order your cloth mask here, to help stop the virus in its tracks.

woman wearing a cloth mask with elastic ear loops

One of the people charity T4K support,  a skilled seamstress who is a refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, is making high quality masks to help minimise the spread of the Covid-19 virus within the local community.

The masks have a double layer of cotton, with space for a disposable filter (such as a paper towel). The top edge has a mouldable wire, to help fit the mask more closely to your face. They are washable, so they can be cleaned and reused when you next need to go out for shopping or essential tasks.

Here are some tips on wearing cloth masks properly and safely.

“Our volunteers can deliver your mask(s) to you by hand (contact free), in the Brighton & Hove area. Outside Brighton, we will send them by post.

Please donate what you can afford – suggested donation: ¬£6 per mask or ¬£10 for two. Please add ¬£2 to your donation to cover postage costs, if applicable. Funds will be used to cover the cost of materials, pay the maker for her time and support our¬†Covid-19 emergency appeal.”

Here’s what one happy recipient,¬†Fiona, had to say about her masks:

Thank you so much for dropping off my masks. They are beautifully made and stylish too! They have exceeded my expectations

Nobody left behind – love is what we need

I am part of the charity¬†T4K, or Thousand for ¬£1000. What is fabulous about T4K, Brighton Migrant Solidarity and the Jollof Cafe (which all kind of merge together tbh – but T4K is the official charity part) is that it is all underwritten and driven by LOVE. We have chosen to respond to the current ‘situation’ by trying to keep focus on the positives.¬†Like the beautiful mutual aid and support spreading throughout the nation and particularly flourishing in our own Brighton and Hove. We wanted to be a part of that. So we are supporting their emergency fund and asking you all to donate and share the fund with your networks.

COVID 19 EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

They will make weekly cash payments to around 50 asylum seekers and other migrants with no source of income, to enable them to buy food, fuel and phone credit during the Covid 19 emergency. They have already made sure 4 households of asylum seekers have internet access to be able to contact the outside world and keep in touch with their family while in isolation.

“In a pandemic, we can clearly see that the wellbeing of each of us is important for the health of all of us.

Please help us to make Brighton & Hove a community where nobody is left out in the cold”

Donate your cash direct to the fund if you can still spare some. I think we can all agree it is LOVE that makes the world go round, more apparent than ever right now and it is LOVE that will get us through this.

We are still shipping out orders (following all the guidelines on Covid19 and hygiene). Work, kids and Netflix and Just Dance taking up most of my time (mainly the Netflix if I am honest) – so if I manage one improving podcast or vlog a day I am happy. A few brilliant ones that relate to this is Brene Brown on the finding of meaning in the grieving process that we are all going through and my wonderful comrade and friend Jacob’s TED talk which explains why T4K was set up and why it is ALWAYS more fulfilling (and more FUN!) to CHOOSE LOVE.

On the subject of Love – BIG BIG LOVE to all of you who are key workers, we all send you love and massive thanks as you continue to make our world go round xxx

clap for our carers

NukuNuku is open for business as long as the Post Office remains open. I will use Drop and Go so that I can do it with social distance measures in place and I will only go twice a week.

Take it easy while we are isolation and don’t put more pressure on yourselves. We have been in isolation for a week now and initially I thought that I would be able to get things done, do yoga everyday, teach myself better Japanese etc the reality is that with 3 kids at home I can barely achieve anything! What I am sticking to is Adrienne for yoga and Joe Wicks for some energy – they are going to be global treasures at the end of this!

Of course the real treasures are our precious NHS workers – I will be clapping out my window tonight with the rest of you to thank them and show appreciation for their hard work.

Keep warm and keep well. Love to all of you. xxx