On Friday Bojan and I had arranged to meet before work for a swim from the Riverbank Club. At 6.30 we met, ready to take the healing waters of the Cam at about 6.40.
The water temperature had been struggling to make its mind up for a few weeks, but hovering within a degree or so of 12C (54F) all the while.
The picture sums it up: it was an idyllic morning for a swim.
I had been planning an hour, before the wheels fairly quickly fell off our swim. As we swam upstream and around Deadman’s corner, a swan sailed serenely past me. I had never had any issues with swans before, and had been somewhat dismissive of the other ‘scaredy cats’ (Helen L step forward!). But as I carried on upstream, leaving Swan Number 1 behind, another swan appeared in my sight line, heading straight towards me with ill intent obvious from its body language.
Instinct kicked in. I knew I was not being welcomed with open arms. I turned tail and fled back towards the Corner, and the approaching Bojan. Not content with my yellow-bellied submission, the swan pecked me several times in my retreat, before Bojan stepped in and started rearing up in the water, splashing the swan in the face.
This was one realy p***ed off swan, rearing up to its full intimidating height, attacking with wings akimbo. Bojan and I took it in turns to draw its fire, rearing up, or lying back in the water and splashing it with our feet as it launched attach after attack.
It just wouldn’t let it lie! For fully 5 or 6 minutes it kept us occupied before finally letting us scuttle off with our tails between our legs. We had managed to get a little cold during the contretemps with the occupant of the Cam, so the rest of the swim ran a little short. We had a good 50 minutes, and a story to tell.