annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



Today Daughter and I had a free sauna from a new travelling sauna that's going to be on the harbour beach for the winter. I don't think I've had a sauna before. I was very anxious when I arrived - about eight out of ten anxious - mainly about driving time, about being late, having driven through lashing rain surrounded by idiotic cunts in big vehicles, about getting places too early, then too late, about the parking area being absolutely packed and full of water filled pot-holes. Plus all the shit I carry around with me to top up my anxiety, should it ever fall to a manageable level. 

The sauna was at the top of the little harbour beach, like a wooden hut on wheels, with a glass door and a bunch of women gathered around outside, some wet, getting into their dry robes, others stripping off to their swimmies. The rain had stopped, the strong wind had blown away all the clouds, the sky was blue, the seagulls were circling, squawking, Daughter was waving at me, yelling, "I'm going in! Hurry up!" Everything was glorious, but I felt knotted up in the top of my chest with the fucking anxiety. But I stripped off, being careful to leave my clothes how I'd need them when I came out of the sea and got into the sauna where Daughter was sat on a high shelf with a young couple, and the women on the lower bench shoved up to make room for me. Six of us altogether. "Hello Mummy! This is great, isn't it?" She calls me Mummy when one or both of us need a bit extra - she's good - she reads me so well. But it was too hot in there and I didn't like it, it made me panic - why had I thought a sauna would be good? 

But we all started chatting about where we swam and what we liked about it and I realised they were all hot and sweaty too, then Daughter said, "Come on, let's dip into the sea!" and we ran out, almost naked into the cold November wind, down the beach and into the water which was SO FUCKING COLD on our hot skin so we shrieked and yelled and laughed and then I felt all the anxiety drain out of me. I wish I could swim but the trapped nerve makes it too painful so I jump about a lot and the initial pain of the cold - let's not beat about the bush, it is painful - soon softens down into a mere sensation and then it's about not staying in too long. Which we didn't, we ran back into the sauna and weirdly didn't feel cold as we went up the beach, nor overwhelmed by the heat when we were inside and from then on it was just lush. But odd. 

We sat in the sunshine in comfy chairs on the beach afterwards, all wrapped up in our coats and hats, drinking hot chai, watching the birds, listening to the waves dragging the stones up and down the beach.


We were going to go to London tomorrow - I'd been invited to participate in a recording of BBC Radio4's Bookclub, and Daughter was coming too, but in the end neither of us wanted to; we were just going to go up to town and lark about but we can't be arsed to do that either as it's bound to be raining so we're just going to have lunch down here somewhere. 

In the meantime I'm watching the US version of Ghosts, which has taken a bit of getting used to as it's so... adjacent is the word, I think - it's so adjacent to the UK original, the same and also different. But I started watching it on Monday and I've just finished episode 13 which is all I need to say. 

12:38 a.m. - 24.11.22


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