Saturday 13th February 2016

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DSCF5608This morning we arrived at Armthorpe Leisure Centre early to take pictures before the public arrived for their early morning swim.Three of my grandsons had slept over so they were excited to see the empty pool, and cheer me on as I started my 125th mile. The floats which Elijah and I had laid on the poolside last night created a perfect setting for the pictures before getting into the water.

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Getting ready to start my 125th mile (8,000 lengths!) …. half way point

There are some days in your life when it seems such a special/interesting/significant day that you know you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. Today was one of those days! In fact I can honestly say I did the craziest thing I’ve ever done….. I posed for a picture for the Evening Chronicle in freezing cold weather in the middle of February in front of the Angel of the North in my swimming costume. Total madness! But I DID say I would do it if I managed to get £500 for the Hearing Fund,  and my goodness, I was overwhelmed at how quickly that money was raised, especially in the last 24 hours. 😄

Travelling the 125 miles in a car at 70mph was quite surreal and I kept wondering which day I might have swam each mile in the pool.  We travelled through rain, snow showers and sunshine before arriving at a cloudy and very cold Angel. Once I got out of the warm car I kept laughing to myself at the absurdity of what I was doing!

I’m not sure which day the article will be published but it’s likely to be in the next day or so. You will laugh at the pose! The photographer seemed to take forever in taking various pictures and I was shivering uncontrollably by the time he’d finished! There were a few members of the general public there to take a picture of the iconic landmark and one chap asked what I was doing. When I told him I’d swam there the look on his face made me laugh out loud. It seemed too crazy to believe.

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With Joanne Milne before I strip down to my swimming costume!  I can’t tell you how cold it was!!

There were two other very important highlights. The one and only totally inspirational Joanne Milne, ambassador for the Hearing Fund UK, came to support me and had her photo taken too. What an amazing lady she is, and so so lovely. I felt like I’d always known her somehow! She hugged me after the Press photos had been taken to keep me warm, until I was able to get my normal clothing back on!  It was so nice to meet Jo’s mum too. Their natural Geordie friendliness made me feel so glad to meet them and I’m certain it won’t be the last time either.

 

 

The other major significant part to all of this that all my family came along too. My brother and sister were there with their families and it felt like it could have been Christmas!  What a happy time. Thank you to everyone who made this possible and who contributed to making the day such a special one.

 

 

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