Scarborough New Year’s Day Dip

What kind of crazy person goes swimming in the North Sea in winter? My sister-in-law, that’s who. Yesterday, we went to Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast, to join the New Year’s Day Lions Club fundraising dip. Ben’s sister swims every weekend in Lake Geneva so she is well-trained in icy dips. I thought about participating too for about, oh, 2 seconds and decided against it.

The weather was revolting: rain, wind and bitterly cold. But this didn’t stop dozens of people from dressing up and braving the North Sea all for a good cause.

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Scarborough is an interesting place. It’s along a rugged and beautiful strip of coast with a couple of large sandy beaches but the shore line is littered with a series of tacky entertainment venues of the sort you’d find at an annual fair. There was a haunted house, a number of pokie machine establishments and places selling cheap and flimsy toys. Is that really what people want to do when they visit the beach?

Now that Christmas and New Year have been and gone, I am feeling down. This is because there’s nothing standing in the way of our return to Auckland. Previously I had the barrier of Christmas and New Year. Now there is nothing but preparations. Why am I so sad about returning to Auckland? I have been living my dream here in York which is simply to live without an automobile and ride a bicycle everywhere. Is that really so much to ask? I don’t think I’ve set my sights particularly high but it has been an impossible dream to have in all the places I’ve lived in Australia and New Zealand. But here it has been so easy. Other people dream of winning lotto or of climbing to the top of Mt Everest. All I want is to ride a bicycle.