I have kind of always wanted to do the loony dook (a hogmanay tradition, invented as joke/hangover cure in 1986 ). Being compos mentis enough to get my body to the water on the 1st of January is usually not something I am able to do. Scots have two bank holidays at new year for a reason…
This year however, at eleven am my enthusiastic American accomplice Clare texted a reminder of my former commitment to getting into the sea : ‘Liz, if you just turn up you will be a rock-star’.
The idea that merely walking two miles to Portobello, and running into icy cold water would make me a rock-star, was more than enough to rouse me from my slumber.
I pulled on a base layer Jedi outfit (seemed like a good idea at the time) and walked to the water, somewhat worse for wear from the previous night’s celebrations. There were an alarming number of people up and out jogging, a reminder that not everyone stays out still the early hours partying on new year’s eve..
On the beach at Portobello there were a good couple of hundred people ready to take a refreshing dip.
Exactly the right blend of invigorating, and ridiculous the loony dook was a great way to start the year.
Perhaps it was the emotional state one finds oneself in when hungover, the promise of the a new year or just the sharp shock of the freezing temperature : but running into the sea made me feel completely alive and ready for whatever 2016 wants to throw at me.
Sea you beside the seaside in seventeen?
Photos by Anna Moffatt photography.