“The Little Book of Swimming Safely” by Sue Gyford

On the morning of World Water Day, which is celebrated each year on March 22 since 1993, I received this friendly, useful and fun book from Scottish playwright and swimmer Sue Gyford.

The Little Book of Swimming Safely: Incomplete Advice for Wild Swimmers was written last year in the middle of the pandemic with closed public pools and a huge increase in the number of people heading to rivers, seas and lochs near home. Even before lockdown swimming throughout the year in wildness had become more and more popular. Cold water swimming is beautiful, healthy and also dangerous. This little blue book comes in handy.

Author warns that this book may contain swearing. First stage of cold water swimming? It is called Fuuuuuck!. Later when you are used to cold water and get addicted to the super happy feeling, how to know when to get out before hypothermia kills you? “Basically, if you think you got out too soon, you got it right,” writes Sue Gyford. A chapter called The weird ways the water moves will advise you to seek advice if you don’t know your sea and it’s currents, rip tides (weird beasts) that well. The glorious finale of any swimming experience? The shivery bite, which is described wonderfully in The Little Book of Swimming Safely.

Borrow, read and swim! And happy World Water day, dear reader.

The Little Book of Swimming Safely: Incomplete Advice for Wild Swimmers by Sue Gyford is self-published in 2020.

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