The Dart has gone from zero to hero - or perhaps the other way round - in a matter of days. Just over a week ago we swam at Spitchwick; the temperature had plummetted to 11 degrees but the water was still the lowest it's been for a long time. Within 24 hours, after a night of heavy rain, it was completely unswimmable. Today, after more rain, it was like boiling Bovril, racing along and overtopping its banks. As the rain pelted down, we gathered at the big bend at Spitchwick, the only place remotely possible to swim, and created a 'changing room' out of umbrellas; Anna declared that umbrellas are the 'new thing' in winter swimming, and that she's giving up waterproof coats forthwith. We stood on the edge of the river, up to our ankles on granite slabs that are usually dry, and plunged into the brown water, which immediately froze our fingers. We hugged the bend as we whooshed round to the next exit, got out, and repeated the exercise. We all agreed that it wasn't the most pleasant swim ever, but 'honour had been satisfied'.