Witch way?

22 Jun

Much earlier this winter following the early May cold snap, Surfmuppet penned:

The southern Autumn is well progressed and the fall of the leaves and drop in temperature has seen the muppet take on the aspect of a bear starting the long sleep of hibernation earlier than most.

I feel for yer Surfmuppet. To be sure.

Like you, I have been largely absent from the water contemplating winter hibernation but for two appearances at squad since Lake Macquarie; a shivering appearance at the Byron swim and a quick dip at Gerringong.

Surprising then after going dry for almost 3 months that I should have texted Cookie this week and cast a spell on her to let me be her swimming solstice sidekick this Sun’dee.

There’s no denying it, it was pretty nippy early this morning. Not quite brass monkies (no one from Murwillumbah was to be seen) but a nasty bite to the very gentle southerly.

Os.c wore his beautiful beanie knitted for him by Liz from Newcastle to resemble his character.  He looked more smurfmuppet than surfmuppet.
smurfmuppetbrainysmurf

At the 2011 Census, 32,082 Australians said they followed a “nature religion”, which is the umbrella term the ABS uses for Pagan religions.

Pagans celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. And every year, Mona Vale SLSC puts on a swim. Being pagan or a witch is not an entry requirement. Just as well really, when you think about it as there’s a long tradition of water being antithetical to witches. In the middle ages, those suspected of witchcraft were tied up and thrown in the drink. If they floated, they were declared witches and burned at the stake. If they didn’t, well, turns out they were ok after all.  Too bad really that by this point, they were drowned. Then there’s the Wicked Witch of the West who melted into a puddle of scum when Dorothy threw a bucket of water over her. Wiccans and water – not a good combination.

Bongin bongin dawnbuster worshipping at the Bay – not my photo – The Glistener’s used without his permission forgive me oh wonderfully talented Dave

Bongin bongin dawnbuster worshipping at the Bay – not my photo – The Glistener’s used without his permission forgive me oh wonderfully talented Dave

We had elected to swim ‘newd’ albeit that I was a little confronted by the sign above the registration desk saying ‘nude’ entries as opposed to ‘newd’ entries, especially as I had clocked some former Sydney Skinny entrants among the participants.

Down at the beach, fully exposed to the elements by this time, ‘Double, double toil and trouble’ started playing in my head as I glimpsed the occasional bomboras out by the first buoy. But I nonetheless advanced with Lizard’s legs and tongue of Cookie into the ocean’s sting and headwind’s slap. The water safety team must all have been white witches and wizards because after a ponderous but enjoyable navigation (and very well marked notwithstanding the title to this blob) around the rock pool breakwater, they talked me through the sometime nasty dumpy sets safely back to shore.

So did that make us witches then or not?

soupdragon

The Soup Dragon: a benign (female) creature with a penchant for Green Soup.

We neither waited to be celebrated nor condemned. On this day of pagans and bubbling cauldrons, we headed straight up the sand, with our chappy fingers, skinny blue lips, and beards (well in my case, it’s my age – not so for whippersnapper Cookie) on a search mission for the infamous soup.

Perhaps some eye of newd swimmer and toe of Harbord Frigid Frog made by a soup dragon?

No, it was Mrs June Dibbs’ (Jon Dibbs, the awgy’s mum) minestrone soup. She’s no dragon. Mrs Dibbs was recently named as Street Mission’s Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding efforts helping to assist some of the northern beaches’ most disadvantaged residents. She’s an angel and her soup was awesome.

The whole swim had me spellbound. In fact, it was wizard! Thanks Mona Vale SLSC. I might even be back next year.

 

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