It’s Not the Same Way Everyone Goes Mad

I was all hot and bothered yesterday evening and decided that the only thing that would sort me out was a dip in the ocean. This is really the first week since December that the sea has been behaving in terms of being calm. That surge of storms that started before Christmas put a stop to any hope of being able to take to the sea in safety.

I’d been out at the beach earlier in the day and could feel that the time was right to make my grand return.

I announced to son, Harry, at about 5pm that I was going for a swim and that I hoped I wouldn’t drown from the shock of the cold. He didn’t bat an eyelid and just said: Enjoy yourself.’ He and hubby know full well that a swim is a cure-all for all my woes ~ big or small.

It was a mad rush to the Mount Everest of ironing to try and find my swimming gear which I suspected was buried somewhere in the tangle of clothes, sheets, towels, socks …  Having fired the lot onto the floor, I found what I was looking for and hightailed it out to Garrarus.

My Rock

The sea was blue as blue as was the sky, where the moon was taking a look at the luncatic below:

Swim 3
The Audience!

I raced into the waves and it was like returning to my native heath ~ coming home. I was so thrilled to be back in touch with the waters I love that I didn’t even feel the cold, if it was cold.


And floating in the sea, it was lovely to look up at the tall cliffs that provide such shelter and beauty on this part of the coast:

Sun-kissed Cliffs

So, the swimming year is on for me again and it everything seems so much better with the world.

What’s your way of ‘going mad?’ 





Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

31 thoughts on “It’s Not the Same Way Everyone Goes Mad”

  1. Lucky you, no huge waves to contend with! Our beaches are never that calm. Don’t you have sharks? I know, if I put my toe in the water, the sharks will come for miles for THIS tasty morsel…. Ha-Ha!

    1. Hi Frances, the calmness has returned after months of wildness.
      I’ve yet to meet a shark in Irish waters but no doubt there’s a few lurking. If I disappear you’ll know what happened!!

  2. Wow! That is amazing that you can swim this time of year Jean. It must be very cathartic for you. Love the pictures. Even though I was brought up in a coastal town – we seldom swam. We would go to the beach on hot days, but the water off Nova Scotia was very cold even in summer and it was often foggy and rainy. Believe it or not, we would have to go on vacation to other provinces – say PEI – in order to find water warm enough to swim.

      1. Oh I can watch the waves and grey seas for hours and never get bored. It’s like it hooks up to something primal inside. My experiences with the ocean are more in a raincoat and rubber boots than in a bathing suit. There is an arctic current that pours down the coast from Greenland and Labrador that basically sets the water temperature and storms. And it is cold.

        That said, see where the arctic currents meet the North Atlantic current and circle around off Newfoundland? That meeting has created the Grand Banks where the micro-organisms drop from the current and create one of the best fishing grounds in the world.

  3. As a non swimmer I can only marvel at the freedom you display, and wish I had the same space for wildness. I do try to express my “madness” from time to time by not conforming to social norms.

  4. I haven’t been in our ocean waters for years, let alone even on the beach or walking in the sand. I use to love sticking my feet in the hot sand. I prefer the quietness of the beach before the crowds start coming, a time to be in tune with nature. I love to sit under our grape arbour with my hubsand and just talk or look at the birds visiting the bird bath or the Dragonflies skittering here and there or a beautiful Butterfly. That’s how I get away from the maddening world.

  5. It seems that your answering the call of the sea is a return to sanity, Jean, not a sign of madness. I understand that completely. You are blessed to have that scale of glorious comfort so near at hand – but then, you are there in that place by no mere coincidence. My own answer to the chaos and disquiet of modernity is to melt into the valleys and mountains of northern New England; it is never lacking in affirmation and solace.

    1. Hi Rich, yes, it’s my sanity alright and you are quite correct that I don’t live here by accident!
      Your valleys and mountains of New England always look wonderful, especially in the melting.

  6. Brrrrr! I’m shivering just reading this, but at the same time I’m so jealous. I wish I had your ‘madness’ especially as the sea is practically on my doorstep. I know a few people here that swim all year round but I can’t bring myself to do it in winter. Maybe I should buy a wet suit, or is that cheating? 😦

    1. Oh it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s basically a need; an addiction so I wouldn’t bother with the wet suit. I’m sure you have your own madnesses!

      1. Yep, we bought an old boat last autumn and hope to spend a lot of time this year floating up and down the Erne and the Shannon on it. We really should have kept the money to do major repairs on the house but my husband is sixty next month and I’m not far behind and we have wanted a boat for years. At first my family said we were mad but I think they’re coming round. 🙂

  7. You make it look so beautiful and sound so refreshing. The truth is that I am a wimp from living in Arizona almost 8 years now. Thin blood and thin skin and easily chilled. No more the hardy girl who grew up in Michigan with the lake chills and the snows and ice storms.

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