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Updated: Jun 30

Cometh December, cometh the DODO Swim, in Oxford, at Port Meadow. From the Dodo Tree, now reduced to a stump after being struck by lightning this last summer. I explained the Dodo Tree to a friend in London. I mentioned that it had been struck by lightning. “Of course it was” was the response. “Was Alice anywhere near?” continued the response. At least she got the Oxford 'Alice in Wonderland' vibe. At the Dodo Tree (now stump), Alice was there, in fact there were two, one to swim and one to watch. If not in the sea of tears, then at least in the River Thames. Jeremy had prepared a briefing, posted it online, asked me the day before, when we inspected the site for safety (it had been sub-zero cold across the previous week), if had I seen it. I responded that I had not. “So if you haven’t read it, probably no-one else has either”, noted Jeremy. Which is why he asked me to do a verbal briefing on the day. “I’d be honoured to” I replied to Jeremy, the Chief Dodo. And I was. This podcast is a raw recording of that briefing, given from the Dodo Tree stump, taking Jeremy’s chronological framing and adding some extra points.

There are many winter swimming briefings out there – this is a good thing, making people are aware of winter swimming safety. I make a special pleading for this one, since it takes the swimmer or dipper on a chronological sequence, from preparation on the day, to immersion and swimming, to ending and getting changed. The framing and most of the content are Jeremy’s. I have added, embellished and presented while standing on the stump of the Dodo Tree. I wasn't struck by lightening, so maybe the briefing was OK.

Listen to the podcast here

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