Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, July 3 – Wild water swimming

Today has been the hottest day so far and although I love the sun, I retreated to the house in the middle of the day to recover in the cool shade. Anna is resting and Jane is cooking and I have been helping to finish shearing the sheep.
They hate being turned on their backs during the process, but they must love being relieved of their thick winter coats now that the weather is so warm. As each ewe is released, the lambs find it hard to recognise their mothers, until they hear a familiar baa.
We found a few more odd patches of fly strike, but nothing as bad as the ones we dealt with yesterday. Linda says she can cope with it now and so I have done my shift and will leave the rest to her and Neil. They are actually getting fewer nicks than they usually suffer with the mechanical shears, so hopefully they will not get any flies bothering their injuries, which we sprayed with blue antiseptic.
Late this afternoon Stephen said it was too hot to do any more work and he was going for a swim. I couldn’t think what he meant, then he said he was going up the road, past the crossroads to the ponds. I knew where that is and they are more lakes than ponds, but there is a sign saying no swimming. Bugger that he said, on a day like this, I’m going in and no one’s stopping me.
So I decided to join him. Jane said she would stay with Anna and at the last minute Martin decided to come too. We were so hot by the time we’d walked the length of the lane and cold water always feels even colder when you’re hot, but although it was icy at first, it was wonderful. Stephen and I swam the full length of the lake and back again, but Martin chickened out and lay in the sun on one of the landing stages that the anglers use to fish from.
Then we walked back in damp swimwear laughing at how we defied the notice and had swum in the open for the best swim we’ve ever had. I fed the hens and collected four eggs, then we sat and dried off in the evening sun.

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