Every day, at lunchtime, I slip into the River Cam. I have been doing this for years, but this year for the first time I aim to keep taking my daily swims throughout the winter. Now that I am seasoned to it, I can stay in the water for longer, despite the temperature now dipping below 10°C. I love to fight against the current on my outward swim: past a sun-bleached tree, a willow, the locally known ‘Blessing Tree’ at Deadman’s Corner, before circling back on myself at a cave-like stump I privately refer to ‘The Wishing Tree’. All of these trees are both sentinel and stage posts encouraging me through each swim. As I am floating back downstream toward the ladder, I can usually hear the shouty pheasant in a nearby field, and often share the water with ducks, swans, moorhens, herons, and once even a water snake.
Kaddy Benyon: Poet
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