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  • Mick Ryan

First Snow Swim and Desert Island Discs

The hamlet of Mankinholes below Stoodley Pike, on my way to swim in Gaddings dam.

Like many I find the first snow of the season exciting. But on Saturday this snow was accompanied with strong winds from the east. Storm Arwen caused havoc. There were trees down and power outages in many parts of the UK including the upper Calder Valley which are still ongoing. Sadly three people were killed by falling trees. On my way to Gaddings dam for the first snow swim of the season, two of the approach roads were blocked by wind-felled trees and getting up the hill from the Shepherds Rest Inn was quite challenging and I got knocked off my feet when we got to the reservoir, as you can see in this video.

Still, we found shelter to strip off and the swimming was invigorating and a great start to the day.

The first snow swim of the season at Gaddings dam above Todmorden.

In the evening I had some friends round for food (I think I've perfected my pakora recipe), and we played Desert Island Discs, the weekly BBC Radio 4 programme where the guest chooses eight recordings, a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island. It was devised and originally presented by Roy Plomley and has been a staple since 1942. We made the playlists on Spotify. The stories why each of us chose each particular song were as interesting as the actual music.

The sunset Saturday as I cooked was beautiful, as was sunrise this morning (Sunday). As I type it is snowing heavily.

Sunset and Old Town on Saturday evening.

Sunrise and Old Town on Sunday morning.


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