I live in one of the most beautiful counties in England, Dorset; and one of the things I love most is being able to swim in the sea, especially when its very cold.

Now, where does this insane fetish come from, I wonder? Because I absolutely hate being cold. In fact there’s only one thing more likely to set me in a very bad mood, and that’s being cold AND hungry. So why would I throw myself into icy water without a wet suit in October, in the English Channel?

It’s got a lot to do with the feeling of being very alive afterwards. but.  Something way back in my DNA recognizes the movement of the sea. I find it comforting. It’s a kind of ‘Ah, I know this from a very long time ago’ sensation………….

I was in Dorchester Museum yesterday and looked at the illustration in the Jurassic Gallery (home to the truly amazing pliosaurus-kevani jaw) and I saw how Dorset was once a shallow marine environment. Wonder if my DNA holds a small ocean memory ?

Alongside my Viking ancestry, that is. More about Yorkshire later.