Winter swimming has a rhythm that summer swimming doesn't. The summer is full of events, there's no routine. I love it, the weather is (relatively speaking) good, and you're out there all the time. In winter, it's tougher but there's more ritual and more regularity. Every Sunday morning throughout the year a group of us meet to swim in the Dart, and today I got back into that routine. The season has changed, and it's much colder, so there was the paraphernalia of boots, gloves, warm clothes for afterwards, hip flask etc, to consider. There was the ritual bankside speculation about the temperature of the water, the ritual noises on entry, the ritual commentary on the nature of the cold. Although it was undeniably cold, at 9.9 degrees, we had a beautiful swim and stayed in for about quarter of an hour. There was a delicious purity about the water which set me up perfectly for the day.