Here's the real test – a grey day, starting with low cloud, moving on with showers and ending with heavy rain – and three more days of this are forecast. I know it's needed in Auckland and Northland, I hope it goes there soon!
I spend a good part of the morning reading newsletters and longer emails on the computer. I've been too restless to sit and read everything that comes through. I move on to knitting and around lunchtime I walk up to the reserve to look towards the beach and the darkly clouded mountains, wondering whether the swim I planned will be possible. The great thing about swimming is it can be done in the rain – you'll be wet anyway! - but wind and waves are a challenge.
Timing it to the incoming tide, I set out around 3, already in my wetsuit. At the beach, the clouds seem even lower and the waves higher. Two intrepid children sharing a boogie board ride the waves while their adult sits on a small chair in a hooded coat with an umbrella. The kids are pretty competent and surf wave after wave right to the beach. I wade in and set off. It's more than I can really swim in and there's no calm place beyond the breakers but it's exhilarating so I duck and dive, swim in and out a few times before gving up and walking back to the car. On the way home I stop at the rescue boat ramp where the water is much calmer. I'm still in my wetsuit so I go in there for another short swim, out and back, where I feel more confident – it's more like the pool swimming I'm used to. Then it's home for a shower, trailing little puddles through the house as I walk to the bathroom in my wetsuit.
The rest of the afternoon passes with phone calls and knitting. The Crown brings yet another kyboshed relationship as the senior royals move to separate Charles and Camilla. The contrast between enormous wealth and privilege and their damaged human connections is the pivot of the series and seems true to life. Gilded cage, indeed.