Norfolk and Suffolk swimmers carried on dipping through November to raise awareness and funds for some organisations run by and working with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. Here are posts and photos from Days 15-21.
We used the lucky numbers lent us by the grandmother of one of the fundraisers, Milly, who describes herself as “Romani and proud”, to inspire our swims. They are: 3, 5, 7, 21 and 30.
Anna: 6th swim of November at Cromer. Lucky number 21 (minutes) just as the sun was setting. A passer by came over while we got dressed and offered to send us a photo they had taken. I love it! 11.2 apparently! It was lovely and the light was stunning. And oddly mild after all the river swims of the last 6 weeks. But the river swims mean I don’t have to drive so the beach feels like a treat. Great afternoon out.
Imogen: I somehow didn’t feel like swimming today – rain this morning, cold this afternoon. Had planned to do a sneaky swim in the pond two minutes from my house, but bottled out and just had a paddle instead.
Rachel: I have pledged to swim a lucky 7 number of times during November as part of a Diversity swim, as well as donating to help raise money for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Charities. Please do consider pledging your own swim and/or donation!
Imogen: No dip for the second day in a row, not even a paddle today! But a swim arranged for tomorrow and at least two on Wed. I did bathe my feet in cold water as I do every evening, though, doesn’t really count. But there are said to be real benefits, and Thomas Jefferson did so every day and swore it kept him healthy.
Justine: A really enjoyable swim with Stella at Sea Palling today. Strong winds inland but the sea was calm and felt lovely. Stella’s thermometer said 12/11. There was a seal a way off which got much closer to Stella as i got out but i missed catching it on camera as i couldn’t get my phone to work through the case! There were a few people on the beach with dogs and children. As we left we saw 3 seals, 2 very close to the shore. Thanks for organising Stella.
Imogen: Much fun doing mini swooshes at Swanton Morley, great to introduce Vicki to river swimming and to see her enjoying it (and to chat about her memory of swimming here as a child). I did 7 minutes (10.6°), swim 17 of November. It was an unpromisingly gloomy afternoon, and the river looked brown and uninviting, but in fact it was great fun to get in, and as always good company is a great motivation!
Imogen: Well, I went a bit mad today and did 5 dips! Felt a very lucky day. First two were at a glamping site in Shropham, by kind permission. For Shauna’s 30th swims at different swim places before 30. Both of us in the main lake, 10.6 degrees, glorious sunshine.
Imogen: Second dip today for me, photos by Shauna, at the smaller lake. I thought you might enjoy a laugh at my onesie – came in very handy today. And I loved the choc brownies Shauna made, ideal for a multi dip day.
Imogen: Dip 3 was for 3 minutes at Barnhamcross Common, a bit warmer at 11.1 degrees. Spits of rain and cooling breeze, not very deep. I thought it would be quiet, but a surprising number of walkers came by.
Imogen: Dips 4 and 5 were in the two lakes in Breckland at dusk, quick 3 min swim down from the usual entry, dash across to the other lake which was slightly cooler for an even shorter dip, and run back to get dressed. Mad, but fun. Clare and Iris were already there doing proper swimming.
Rachel: My aim has been to swim once a week through my first winter of regular swimming, so have pledged to up it to lucky number 7 this month. Two this week but still got three to go!!
Imogen: Another crazy dip, just three minutes was enough at 8.7° today! Cycled about 13 miles, walked through some wet ground to get there. Past about 100 lapwings in a field! and fieldfares, buzzards, a skylark and lovely oaks.
21 November (lucky number day!)
Anna: Looking forward to seeing what everyone gets up to today for lucky number 21!
Anna: Sheringham. Choppy but fun x
Jess: Chilly swim on lucky day 21! They soon cleared off. It was a bit nippy but saw a heron! Definitely winter now.
Reports and issues
The first seven days are reported here Diversity swims for GRT: the Nov challenge starts
And here for Diversity swims Week 4 for GRT
Final two days here, Diversity swims for GRT 29 & 30 Nov 2020
A report of the month in the Eastern Daily Press, Swimmers in Norfolk tackle challenge to support travellers
And on the challenge on the Outdoor Swimming Society website, Noticeboard section.
Discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities has been called the last acceptable prejudice. Even people who consider themselves anti-racist don’t always realise the hurt and harm that can be caused, by repeating stereotypes such as blaming the communities without any evidence for litter or for travelling as some have done during this busy and fraught summer.
These communities face a wide range of issues and discrimination – which range from hurtful remarks to material issues affecting all aspects of life. Campaign funds are needed to tackle these deep inequalities in society, improve lives, and provide advice.
Norfolk and Suffolk swimmers who set up this challenge were brought together by a shared love of open water swimming and a commitment to standing up against racism. We are grateful to everyone taking part and supporting and showing solidarity in all the ways!
Photos usually by person named in post next to photo.