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21 Ottobre 2015 Spiaggia di Eraclea Mare Venezia.
December 2015

Ok chaps from now on my swimming diary will be in English. I "threatened" I'd do it and here it finally is. I reckon there'll be more of an audience if I write in English and not only because of the language but because in Italy if you swim in the sea in Winter, you are strange, you are mad
you are doing something that nobody cares about and you are lucky if you get no hostility.. yep because when people don't understand something and their minds are closed to it and where people are arrogant enough to think
that they know it all already, then if you swim in the winter sea you risk hostility, they might think you are an idiot, a cretin, some imbecile with a death wish or someone that will likely end up requiring the services of the guardia costiera, the ones in change of the harbour, sea rescue etc and since those people are paid for by everyone's money then you are wasting everyone's money by placing yourself in a situation of risk.

And this causes me to go swimming where there isn't anyone in sight, the less people the better. At the beginning I wanted to video the swimming sessions and would ask some passers by to maybe hold the video camera for a while, they declined and hurried away from me, the general feel would be that I was out to rob them (actually the region is about to learn about that very feeling brought on by the ones they trust, but I don't want to get too political in my swimming diary).

I still see mothers gathering their children and clearing out as quick as they can as soon as they realize I am just about to enter the water... and this is the general feeling I get from the local people to do with my winter swimming.

Basically what's the point in writing in Italian since I can write in English and so maybe my audience will be wider.. yes there are idiots everywhere, in every language but there are many out there who think nothing of swimming in 7C water and there is more chance that those people speak English rather than Italian.. I don't necessarily even write to have an audience as such, I do my swimming for me alone, if I was the last man on earth I'd still do my winter swimming but humans are social animals and I'd welcome any interaction even if only to say "greetings from Finland keep it up" or something.

I do know I'm  not the only one who enjoys doing this so maybe writing in English will enable me to find complicity in people, people who think alike rather than the usual dummies who just want to bring me down.. basically I could do with some positivity but also by sharing my experiences in English I hope I'll be helping some alike minded individuals be safe(r) when swimming in an hostile environment, I definitely know more now than I knew when first started, due to having done it many times and having survived, I sometimes just barely made it back home due to mistakes that now I try not to repeat so maybe I can share what to do what not to do etc etc.

Said all this, this isn't some kind of polished publication, I write and publish warts and all and sometimes re read it, rewrite it, sometimes don't read anything except in years time.. this is my swimming log, my scrapebook where I write all my swimming adventures and they get written essentially for me so I can go back and re read how dumb I was or even to compare the weather this year from last year and the year before, I basically can swim today and make it back home also because I am doing exactly what I did last year and the year before and that's how this swimming log helps me grow.

Anyway that was meant to be like  a little desclaimer that if I write a bit funny and you happen to be reading it, I apologise for it.. if anything that is written on here does needle anyone in the wrong places do let me know so I can take a look at it and even change it.

Also, this should be about cycling as well and it actually all started off as a losing weight effort, more of it as we go along, now I'll just get into writing about these two swimming sessions before they escape my mind.

Saturday 5 December
After a few days of bad weather the weather report mentioned a possible opening in the clouds at about 15:00.

Temperatures have been going to -1 some nights and about 4 or 5 (centigrades) during the days but there have been also half storms, strong winds alternated to very thick fog and so I didn't go swimming and even started to lose momentum, ospecially because the one or two days where I could have gone, I stayed in.

When momentum is lost, the risk is that I might never swim again. It is like a very thin thread that if I follow it day after day without breaking it, it might take me all the way out of the other side to the end of the winter , till the first spring flowers start popping out here and there and that is a very victorious feeling.

But when weather gets bad and days pass by without swimming, there is no thin thread left, all there is is the notion of a thread itself, the knowledge that if the sun comes out and I do go out there and swim, at the end of it I'll be 1000% happier that I went through with it, that I made the extra effort required to... get more dopamine into my system!!

That's what it is, I didn't have a clue when I first started but the swimming is also about a dopamine fix.

Isn't it funny? many obese people out there think that to get thin they must suffer a lot, in reality if you get off your ass and get going you'll find out that you might get more pleasure out of your losing weight efforts than some junkie shooting cocaine up their arm, it is just that much better!

I am not a doctor so the more scientifically minded people might/will laugh at my ignorance at expressing this
but this "thread" I am talking about is a form of addiction, the same addiction that in most cases is a bad thing, for instance people get addicted to nicotine, alcohol, heroin, cocaine.. what have you, I have been addicted to nicotine and managed to beat it by learning about its ways to grab hold of the  body and mind, by learning to recognize the weapons in possession of the poison that it is, how the poison grabs hold of you and gets you to think that "you'll never be free".. anyone that has ever been addicted to anything will know what I mean.. the feeling that you can't possibly feel "like this" for the rest of your life, the feeling that you are maybe too weak minded to manage such a life of suffering and so you just light another sigarette, take another sip or give in to whatever i your addiction is.

When I go swimming in the winter sea, it's the exact same. I don't want to get into it right now but in short, one of the reasons I go in is to get my dopamine fix (!!). Dopamine as I understand it, is the same stuff that cocain users get when they use cocaine and other stimulants.

They basically get cocaine into their system so that their brain gets stimulated into producing dopamine, this making them feel good or something like that. Then of course there's a downside and they will pay for it, since there seem to be a downside to all good things, but in my case there is no downside. I get my high and the high itself amongst the other things causes me to "get addicted" to it, meaning that just like when you put nicotine into your body it then grabs hold of it and after a while will make you feel bad, requiring you to have another nicotine hit and so on day after day till the end of your life.. smoker forever, or drinker/junkie to the end.. in my case it causes me to want to go swimming the day after, and if I do go, it'll renew the wish to swim the day after and so on.. I basically look forward till the next swim and if the sun isn't out if the wind isn't absent, if the tap water feels like a razor that cuts into my body sending shivers down my spine.. all of this won't be enough to make me stay at home. The addiction feeling works to my benefit.

The"dopamine fix" you get from swimming in cold water isn't such  a mind blowing experience but it can be very subtle. :)

At one point you are feeling .. just like everyone feels.. bit gray, bit dull, it's ok really kind of feeling, and then you are gradually getting upbeat till your mood is very bubbly and fragrant, the opposite from depressed, life is more vivid, clouds have been lifted.

And you like it and you get addicted.. but it isn't a very strong addiction feeling.. it only lasts for a couple of days and if I happen not to go for a whole week, I then will happily lose one sunny day after another without caring one bit about losing them wondering what has happened.

At that point I am only left with a notion, with a logic that tells me that I should force me to go.. it is really about forcing my self to go live my life, I failed in this last winter.. Yep I did not recognize that I had lost the way to the dopamine rush, it was ok to lose sunny days, then it was ok to have a beer (hey new years eve, everyone is pissed! can I have a beer?) which then started the other thread meaning a beer today will cause you to want to have a beer tomorrow. Or rather it is already tomorro, yesterday Ihad a beer, do I now want to go swimming in the winter sea or do I want to go get a beer? Exactly.

But it is now midday, th sun is out, there's no wind and it is a beautiful day, yesterday I swam in the sea. Do I want to go swimming or do I want to go buy a beer, or mayme an eight pack? exactly that: go swimming. The true point of it all is that the dopamine rush is about a million times better than the "rush" one gets out of drinking a beer.. one path is life, the other path is death... well, slow death.

Same as everyone else so it doesn't feel like a slow death, it is actually the normality so let's then say that the dopamine rush, the winter swim places you on a higher level, you think clearer, you are stronger, you are as alive as you can be, and more.

Ok back up to saturday, 5 december.. I had wasted a few sunny days already so the sun came out, I went to swim. O rather I was allready to go and my brother and mother turn up.. bringing a very strong feeling that I should not go swimming, instead I should hang around as they brought some gifts and they had little time they had to get back home due to it being far away and fog was going to hit. I was NOT going to budge, it took too much effort to get me charged up enough to want to go swimming, thoughts of "you are mad, water's freezing" all through my brain and "you are maybe gonna die" and the same usual crap that has to be ovorcome, else I just stay at home and drink beer and not swim anymore, till summer. Scott Weiland had died TWO days earlier.. one of the songs I listen to while swimming or before going is Crackerman.. and I made it a must that I would dedicate my swimming session to him, no matter what.

To cut it short they both got very pissed off at following me all the way to the seaside, wait 15 minutes and then all the way back.. they got upset at themselves, really. They think they got upset at me but it was their own ignorance they got upset at. My mother should know better since she should know what I am about, my brother is.. well is into his own trip.. he basically thinks he know but he doesn't know.

The wanted it to go like:

them > "but why do you have to go on the bycicle? can't you go by car with us and we'll save 20 minutes there and 20 minutes back"

me > "no I can't go by car since each and every one of my winter swims has to be performed just like the previous one, the idea goes that if Ihave done the whole operation today, and Iam still alive, then I know that I can do the whole operation tomorrow and if I don't change anything about the whole operation, chances are that I'll be able to come out of it alive again"

them > "what is all this nonsense? how can going swimming by car make any difference?"

me > " what I do, I do because I descovered it myself, only later I learned that some other people are winter swimming and they share some info and tips, till then I just did it all by miself, tentatively moving forward one small step at the time, limiting the incognita factor to nearly nothing, the idea being that if I did it ok today, tomorrow I will me ok too so long as I don't change anything, I might maybe change a very tiny thing and then keep my mind and eyes open to see how my body reactes to the change and then after a couple of sessions going always well, the change can be declared a safe change. But pedaling the 6 miles there, swimming and then doing the 6 miles back is the operation I do. When I get there I want to get to the beach after having pedalled those 6 miles, this is because Ihave always done it that way.
My body is already warm when I get there by cycling, my brain has definitely given off some dopamine already, or call it stamina, I have warmed up enough to the sweating point, this is why I bring a new set of underwear: pants/t shirt/socks.
Also since the start of the operation I set my body to a pace which only stops when I finally get back home and get off the bicycle. How do I know that I can just go there by car nad be ok? It is the same as when somebody goes to China by land as opposed as going by plane. When you go by land it might take you 6 months to get there, by the time you get there you are totally "acclimatized" to it (for lack of a better word) and there will be no cultural, physical shock. But get there by plane, get off at the other end, you won't be in the same state of mind, you'll be like floating, definitely not "in" the situation.
This is ok if you go to China. But I am not going to China.
I am 54 years old and I am going to swim 500 metres in a sea that's 8C and there is no rescue service, if anything happens to me I'll die right there and then. Even only fainting or not being able to walk out of there with my own legs could be my death. So, with all this info in mind and now fully aware of that is at stake can I be the one that sets the rules about doing this thing?"

Of course in real life if you get me to go into all this, chances are that the other person isn't going to listen to all this ungrammatical spaced out waffling, they are going to think they are listening but they are not.

All people want is to talk, they don't care about listening, most of them not being able to. And even if they were able listeners, if it is 20 to three and it takes me 20 minutes to get there and I have to be there at three, for 25 different reasons, there is no way that I can say any of this.

Nor I want to. I mean, here I am, all charged up to do my thing, single, not having anything to attend to, totally in control of my like and dhestiny and suddenly I have to explai all of this to someone who: 1) wouldn't be able to understand 2) is just going to drain my energy.

Ok I realize that this waffle is hard for anyone to get into so I'll stop and get to the meat of the actual swim of that saturday and then today's swim.

Great weather, glorious sunshine, possibly 15C in the sun, the sea being as cold as last november swim but not such a shock I kind of expected it to be this cold and the sun did help a lot.
I went in then jumped out and went back in and jumped out and then butterflied my way into a more regular freestyle pacing myself all the way to the end, then I stood up in 3 feet of water, looked around to see if my head was spinning
as it sometimes is, assessed the situation, not too back, get back in and pace myself all the way back trying to swim using my legs as well as the arms, get to the end, gulp my warm coffee down, get dressed and DASH back home with frozen feet and hands but getting warm with the pedaling.

Sunday 6 December Stayed at home as it was very gloomy and foggy

Monday 7 December I was going to go anyway and so I didn't care about the fog or no fog and then I just love mondays, everyone is at work, nobody is around I can just sleep into the seaside, get into the water all by myself at my pace, no people to contend, to fight for space ecc.

On the way there it got quite foggy, at one point I couldn't see the sun and it got fairly dark. I took the race bike so I could go a bit faster, and took the lights with me in case Ibreak down and need to walk it back in the dark.

Go there, a bit of a breeze but great in that the sun came out just in the spot where I was, wow talk about divine help. I did not waste any time getting undressed, jumped in, swam all the way to the other end, stood up, a little bit of head spinning but not too much, swim all the way back pacing myself as much as I could, so as not to get my heart to explode, then down the warm coffee and race back home with frozen feet and frozen and almost hurting hands which got thoroughly warmed up by the time I got home, totally happy that I have done it, hoping that tomorrow will be another such day.

One thing different today and quite important as well.. I forgot to take the swimming cap. Some people have a double swimming cap when swimming in the winter, today I had none and frankly I noticed no difference.

I wrote all this while still "dopamined", I wonder if anyone can tell. While writing it I cooked a risotto with asparagus, fed the cat, eat the rice.

December 08. I am not too sure that the "addiction effect" from the dopamine hit does last a whole day. I say this because yesterday I did look forward to going swimming again but today I wasn't too keen on it. I had to make me go. By now I know enough to avoid the procastination trap, if you start thinking about it, in a subconscious way you have already decided to stay at home. It's like the fat guy passing by a donuts shop. If he starts to think like "should I go in? no I'd better not go in because bla bla bla" then his mind is just playing a trick on him, the more he thinks about it, the higher the chance to give in and walk into the shop. The way to deal with it is to not even consider anything, just pass by and that is it.. the mind will then take no time over the procastination, over the "should go in" doubts. And that's how I go swimming, I go into automatic pilot, start making some hot drinks, wearing swimming costume, going through the motions without thinking about it.

It's been a couple of days that I started using the racing bike to go there, I carry the gear on my back and in the end it is a quicker process than if I went with the hybrid bike. I lift it over the sand so hopefully none will get into the chain and wheel bearings.

Anyway the weather was beautiful, sun was a bit pale but it was out with no clouds or fog, and the water was completely flat with no wind, a perfect day for swimming. Declared temperature outside was almost 8C, not sure about the water but it should be not colder than 8C.

I went in and swam breaststroke for a little bit, till it wasn't too bad on my face and then it was freestyle all th eway to the end and back. Imanaged to pace myself quite well and I had no problems at all, no head spinning, no cold, I took my time and even felt like I could maybe go for another 500 metres but nope, I am on my own and I won't risk it, maybe Icould do a little bit more for a while and then another little bit more but I am quite happy with my performance as it is, I cycled back home pushing it a bit and got home quickly. My feet were numb when I got home but now they are ok and Ido feel like I want the sun to be out tomorrow but I feel like going even if it is going to be foggy.

December 09 Today it was almost the proverbial glorious day, maybe it would have been, had I got there a tad earlier but I didn't, I wasted time getting a few plants out to catch some warm rays etc and so the weather spoiled a little bit by the time I got there.. however the sea was almost flat, the sun still managed to shine through a few clouds and the swim went fine.

I even found a swimming mask with tempered glass lenses that has no scratches, very strange since it must have been lost during the hot season and that ended 90 days ago.

Finding the mask meant that I had to get out of the water, back to my clothes, place mask there and then get back to the sea.. it didn't take very long, yet it was extra time that my body had to fight to keep me in temperature.

Also last night I didn't sleep for very long, I drank too much coffee during the evening and it spoiled my night, so I didn't drink any throughout the day, instead I had a lemongrass tea and  took one with me to the swim, with some cane sugar  it tasted just as good as the cooffe, if not better.

The place was deserted, I did the whole 250 metres there and 250 back then stopped in the 2 feet deep water, to try and gauge how much effort it required me to get my ass out of there to safety.

It wasn't too bad, yet standing up did require some effort and I did not walk completely straight to my gear, it was a crooked, slightly drunk albeit happy and dopamined walk.

Back at the gear I tilted my body and head sideway, stuck a finger inside my ear and wiggled it about to try and get water out, it eventually started dripping from my nose as well and there was a moment when trying to right myself, that I almost fell over.

Talk about being slightly suicidal uh? But there is plenty of strenght left so I am not too sure what's going on, I cycled fairly fast all the way there and really raced all the way back, when I got home my feet were still kind of frozen, couln't feel my soles but then I changed shoes and after a while I got back to normal.

Will have to try and go a little bit earlier than this, between midday and one o clock. I should also take the camera so that I can take some real December pictures for this page. There was a very low tide today, had to swim across almost the top of the breakers if that makes sense.. basically I was out way more than usual.

December 10
And yes I did manage to get there about an hour earlier than usual, I think it was about 14:00 when I got in the water. Beautiful, sunny day with a tad of wind but not too much.
This is the second day that I drink no coffee before going, just a lemon grass and lemon balm brew,  I can't say  I have noticed any difference.

The tide was very very low today, the kind of low that I only see once a year.. I did ask an old local man about the unusually low tide and he was ready to swear that the tide is this low every couple of weeks.. oh well I can say that I never touch the bottom of the sea, swimming where I swim but today I found myself veering out towards the open sea instead of going straight to the other side, and went going back it was the same thing. This happens only once per year, sayz me. But it reminds me to bring my camera more often so instead of saying "sayz me" I'll say "look at the pictures (you fool)"

I forgot to bring my swimming cap once again and again I felt no difference in the amount of cold felt.. I just do breast stroke for the first 50 or so meteres to get used to it, then switch to freestyle to the end and back.

I didn't get into any rythm at first and I even had to break the freestyle back into breast stroke and then back into freestyle but slower.. this time.. it's either freestyle or freestyle, so better slow it down and hang in there, which I did and then I got into a rythm and managed ok.
Maybe with the cap I'd get into it quicker? It could be.

The reason why I struggle finding the right rythm at first when doing freestyle is simple, I want to get there and back and get out of the water and so I race, to get there quicker. This isn't going to happen any time soon, as I can't possibly race there and back.. if I go too fast I get tired within 25 seconds, my heart wants to explode, I run out of breath and so I must breast stroke or I die there and then, that's what it feels like anyway.
If I swim breast stroke it will feel ok for a bit but it will take me longer to get there and back, (maybe double the time) in that time my body has to fight to keep in temperature and so I risk running out of energies while still out.. meaning that breast stroke could actually kill me on the way back.
it takes me 7 minutes to get there and and by the time I am on the way back, I am acclimatized, meaning I don't mind staying in the water. When glad to be in the water, my swimming is more relaxed and so I don't get tired nor I run out of breath as I am taking my time, happy to be in the moment. This way I can freestyle, meaning that I optimize the effort and I can do the whole thing in 15 minutes, which is what I know will get me safe out of the water with enough energies to race back one on the bycicle

The point where I change from wanting to get out to being totally at ease with the water and actually feeling the water quite nice, simply fresh, not cold is when I get to the other end and I stand up to see if I can stand.. and look around to see if I can see.. and when everything is ok, I then get back into the swim and that's the swim where it's like if I am inside some sort of vessel, piloting it to the other side and while the vessel is taking me there I can look around and sometimes I see the crabs take their ready-to-fight position as I am gliding over them.

At this point I have no urge to get out and so I can swim in a relaxed manner, happy to be there and so I have unlimited breath. Today I was contemplating this happy state, and wondering if I should take this apparently blissful state with caution,  when suddenly a very noisy breaker engulfed me giving me a start, -as if something was out to get me- and at that point I smiled to the notion of me being blind to danger due to dopamine.. "it seems to me I am even too alert" I thought  but then it hit me that if I got startled by a simple breaker it means that I was NOT alert but going off with the contemplating mind and that is the danger, surely it is from there that one goes to sleep forever.

Which brought me to think of the mp3 player that I don't use any more.. with heavy metal blasting into my ears I would be pinned to the action, not much of a chance to drift off while thinking of something else, nothing does startle me when listening to that stuff. And these were my thoughts as I got to the end of the swim, wondering what would happen if I was to turn round and do another 500 metres, bringing it to 1km.

It wouldn't be the first time that I do even more than 1km.. I swim at a steady 2km/hour and in the past I did do even 70 minutes, so that's about 2200 metres.. ok I am getting on with age and that was april, this is december.. but I just wonder if I could enjoy myself twice as much or run out of energy and stop moving.. uhm hey let's get out while I can and if I do like it that much then let's try to do my 15 minutes tomorrow even if the sun isn't out!

Last time I swam in the fog it felt twice as hard to do, when out I was fairly uncoordinated, stopping to look at nothing instead of drying up and when I drunk my hot drink I gulped it down as if it wasn't even burning hot, I then couldn't put the lid back on and  just sood there looking at my feet in stupor, then started to tremble quite uncontrollably and put my socks on in a panic, without cleaning my feet from the sand..

at which point I performed my life saver something that came from a russian soldier, it's the action of  giving a hug to some imaginary person, -you just hug yourself- first you hug with right hand up/left hand down then open the hug then hug again this time with  right hand down/left hand up.. just do this fast  till your core will warm right up and the tremors will stop, enabling you to get moving fast, now you can do what you have to do before you seize again, and in my case it meant getting on the racing bike, -feeling like I robbed nature of its most precious gift one more time- (bit of Dopamine anyone?) and yaaaaa---hoooooooo pedal/pedal/pedal/pedal (headphones maybe blasting PAINKILLER as performed by Death or maybe TNT covered by Motorhead) like a possessed person pedal/pedal/pedal/pedal all the way home... to a freezing cold shower!

December 11 No swim, some kind of a mystical storm happening in my mind, I just let the thinking mind take over..got up a bit too late,  turned pc on,  got stuck browsing, checking emails, by the time I knew it, it was dark outside... well bye bye sun I am sorry we didn't meet today, maybe tomorrow. And so the day was an uneventful one, alive because I have bean breathing but I might as well have been dead.. as it was just some time that happened but it might not even have happened. I mean if the day passed by just like the same old time blur, did it really happen? Did I live that day? And was it one day, one month, a year, ten/twenty years or a whole life which some people did not live?
December 11 2015 my mom's neighbour passed away. Born in 1930, he had been ill for a while. He made a lot of money doing the markets.. day after day, his whole life was spent selling clothes at various locations.. get up early, get to the place at 6am, build th estall, by 7:30AM everything is ready for the first customers, spend the day selling, then pack everything up, go home, eat, go to bed, get up at lix the sext day, repeat for your whole life.. day after day the same day..only thing different, the money is growing, the account is getting bigger.. he made a lot of money and with it, he built some kind of a castle, actually it looks more like the house that Al Pacino had in Scarface.

Colums outside, very ostentious.. the home of the man who has power, two big apartments upstailrs, a huge shop downstairs, a huge basement with clothes making machines, garages, huge parking lot outside, massive garden at the rear.. his natural time on earth run out at about this time.. he spent all his money on it and then fell ill and went into hospital and eventually died.. that's it, the end.

It makes me wonder if he could now come back and give it all away for the one more month on this earth, maybe a month to be spent traveling the world, seeying things, enjoying life and his money to the full.. just the one month out of all those years, his whole life spent ammassing money to build his huge house. Wait, wait, not one month but one day. Just one day spent cycling in the countryside along the river during a great sunny day in December, a soft breeze flapping the pirate bandana, just like waving the flag of freedom, mp3 player blasting some energetic music, a body that's pumping stamina via the pedals, all the way to the majestic Sea, a Sea at peace, cold but bonarious and willing to embrace one's body for a 15 minutes swim, the time it takes to really feel alive. This is what I lost December 11, he would no doubt have given all of it for it, I had it for free and stayed at home checking emails.

"Keep on moving" they say.. and they mean it. You lose too much if you don't. You could lose the equivalent of a whole life doing the markets selling clothes, 40 years turning into the one blur, all of it could be lost when losing one sunny day swimming in the clear Sea at Eraclea Mare, Venice, Italy.

December 12 I was not going to let it happen like yesterday but it would have been just as easily happened again. We are in charge of our own destiny.. can choose between letting life happen without you, simply pass by you or you can get right in there, stick your being in the middle of the happening, and let it take you, even if it looks just like getting on the bike and cycling to the seaside for a swim.

I think one of the reasons why I remained at home yesterday was the fear of death. I never checked my blood pressure and recently I get these slight fainting feelings when I stop and check if everything is alright.
I then mention this to people who get scared for me and they advice me to go get my pressure checked, "do it" they say, it might save your life, you don't want to suffer a heart attack while alone in the water, if that happens you faint, it takes just ten minutes in that water, you bocome history.

And so I m a thinking ok I should go get the pressure checked, I'll get on the bike and go to a pharmacy, but really, shouldn't I start monitoring it every day?
And so isn't it better to buy the freaking tool, learn how to use it and that's it.. "ok I'll do that" thinks me, I even located one on ebay, new type you just press a button and it does it all for you.. did I buy it?
Nope. But why? I bought a million little things on ebay and none got here yet, italian postman stealing things? I bet. Especially during the Christmas postal rush, millions of little things escaping the postal net, signed for not getting signed for etc, welcome to Italy chump (don't like it get back to your own fucking country, if this is your country, GTFO anyway, go on piss off).

So.. days might pass like this, months even. Am I going to lose another day not swimming? Nope. Fuck death, come and get me if you have to, I am going swimming.

And you know what? At th eend of it I felt as strong as a bull (insert Lemmy with that Argentinian band covering Highway to Hell).
Getting on the bicycle to get there I felt like somebody going to get executed.. maybe all this is due to the stuff I listen and that was indeed -Lost Forever- by Black Sabbath blasting while I was cycling there. The body is just like a frame then, a container that's empty, or maybe I should say neutral. It isn't empty it isn't full, it is just there and it is lazy and it just want some coffee and some easy time. It definitely doesn't want to get on the bike to cycle 6 miles so that I can get into the freezing water!! Oh no, definitely not. Analyzing the feeling, I didn't even want to put my swimming costume on, nor get some hot drinks ready.. no will to do anything.

But was I going to let it get me again? Nope. Getting out of it is actually very easy, it is the same as when you must do something and you don't want to do it, it is jsut the mind's fault for all these procastinations so you just cheat the freaking mind.. you just go oook I am not going to go I'll stay here but as you are thinking this you get into "the mode" and that thinking is the last thinking you do, from now on you are on board of "the mode" and that requires no thinking to do.

"The mode" is just a set of operations that you do in auto pilot, a modular set of operations. There is a name for this in martial arts but I forgot (maybe it is called the KATA). It's just like when they do a dance to a video, they learn the moves just like domesticated hamsters and they just repeat the moves, in a mechanical way, let habit take over.

This doesn't happen from one day to the next, you have to work at it for a while. It all goes back to self preservation and the saving of energy. In the wild you don't want to waste any energy, this is why animals go back to one known watering hole, go hunting in one particular spot, basically trusting what worked in the past and letting habit guide you.

If we were to find a watering hole every time we are thirsty it would be a huge expenditure of energy and the brain is set to save thinking energy, it is some kind of laziness that tell the brain to not to re-think what has been known to work in the past. I think certain habits when performed a certain number of times don't get processed by the main brain any more but become duty of the little brain, the one sitting under the main brain. You can look this up, to cut it short if you condition yourself to perform a set of operations every day, at one point all it takes to get into that mode is to starting it by performing the first operation and all the others will follow, in simple terms it is thesame as singhing a song you know by heart, you don't think about the words any more, you simply have to hear it and off your automatic brain goes into the song.

Said all this, I already conditioned my brain to perform a set of operations  designed to get my ass ready and out of the house onto the road heading to the seaside, I tried to explain it somewhere on another site I wrote on a while back, about "the mission" I then got tired of writing on it, a bit because the premise was totally wrong (being fat and in the process of losing weight I was trying to help fat people lose weight, but fat people don't want to lose weight, really, they just want to eat donuts and moan about being fat and maybe buy tons of pills to make them thin etc, also my writing isn't catchy, or whatever ) and nobody came to the site, the ones who did come either asked me about which pills to take or complained that I hurt their feelings calling them fat bla bla hate mail hate mail.

Anyway, in no time I am all set up and pedaling to the seaside, feeling like I still don't want to know about pedaling and maybe I am going to have a heart attack, the moment I get into the freezing water I have been feeling like a little start in my chest, (or maybe it is placebo, imagination/paranoia?)  if I am going to have a heart attack it's going to be the moment I get into the water, or rather under the water, after that I don't think there would be any problem as everything carries on fairly gradually, maybe a bit out of breath if I don't do it properly (more of that in a moment) but nothing that scares me, so the entry moment is the one..

And when I walked into the water I felt it and I thought this isn't even fucking cold! 8C big fucking deal. Aaarghhhhh here we come, I readied myself and just went under, then out then under and then breass stroke

and it really wasn't that cold at all. I tried to get into the "I am at home now" feeling, so that I could swim there and back without struggling once. I even stopped, cleaned my goggles just like someone who has all the time of the world and then started my swim and I had no problems whatsoever.

The one thing to remember when swimming in orter to maximize respiration or is it breathing? I mean the optimal way I have found to oxigenate my lungs requires me to breathe out the moment I have finished breathing in. If I do that, there is no running out of breath. The tendency would be to breathe in, hold my breath till almost the time when I am ready to breath in again, quickly expel all air from my lungs then quickly breathe in.. and carry on like this.

I think I have seen dolphins and whales breathing like this. They blast the air out and suck it in during one short peek out of the water and down they go for another 10 minutes. So I had the tendence to do this as well but if I do that I never get into a swimming mode, it isn't one long continuous breath during a one long swim but many little breathing contractions of the lungs, which aren't good at all, for me it doesn't work anyway.

So I never hold air in at all, breathing becomes a long breathing out which culminates in the 3rd or (better) the 4th swing of the arm when I breathe in and then the moment that I finish breathing in, I breathe out, as I am doing those 3 or 4 arms and so on.

Hope I explained it, it basically is constant, slow hyperventilation. Thinking about it, what I do is lenghten the time spent espelling air and so the changing of air in my lungs is more thorough, as opposed to holding air longer, in the attempt of extracting more oxigen out of it, but it doesn't seem to happen that way, lungs will get way more oxygen if I don't hang on to the air, the emptier my lungs are when I get to breathe in, the better.

There is also a way to keep your mouth out of the water for a tad longer, when going sideway to breathe in, that sideway rotation can be extended further, so that we aren't looking sideways but up, however when doing this it means that when we finished the breathing in stroke we are further away from the "looking down" position which then will require more rotating to be able to get the other arm out of the water.. so it means extra effort required, it comes down to not taking the shortest route to the end and back and that is not my aim.

ok what a mess of words I got myself in, I am not re-reading it either!

December 13 I was not going to swim, sun totally covered with clouds, about 4C and so I thought ok I'll use the energies to cycle into town to buy some cat food, it is sunday but I can make it before it shuts. About 3 kms into it I reach the one tiny village and there's sunday market there, it reminds me that the cheese guy used to give me offcuts for the cats so I stopped there, got cheese and cat food and turned round, sun came out I thought I'd get back home, grab my gear and go swimming! Yyyyy- haaaaa!!

The sun was never very strong but it was out there, no wind.. a perfect December day. I boldly swam my two laps, taking my time with not a worry in the world, as if it was summer, and that's how it felt.

I sat on a rock with my dressing gown on, drinking my lemongrass tea, listening to Stone Temple Pilots and drying up, as the occasional fully dressed person curiously looked at me. There was a couple with a yapping dog, he kept on yapping at everyone and the couple was going "no, jack, no, be quiet jack, no jack" and so on and on until I gave out a growl that terrified the dog, startled the couple and a few more passers by, a few turned round and looked at this mad man dripping wet growling at the dog.

The couple didn't know what to make of it but they all cleared away quite quickly. In my mind if the dog can bark there's no reason why I can't growl back at the little sucker.

Yesterday I kind of "defied death" and today it was more of the same and I felt I could have swam not twice the amount but three times! Come get me death, if not just GTF away and let me live my life. And my life felt totally great, plenty of strenght.

It is a very profound statement by which I acted out of lack of patience.. yes I should measure my freaking pressure, yes I have never been 54 in my life so  I don't know..  (man that's not OLD, that's ancient!)  perhaps I should stay at home watching TV wearing sleepers (wanna cuppa tea dear?) or my life will be cut short but you know what? I don't give a monkey's. Better to die like this than to drag it on forever on an hospital bed, possibly soaked in urine.

Ok sounds like superman talking, the man with no fear but it reminds me of a few real life examples of mind over matter and self conditioning of the brain.
Let's see if I can explain why there's less of a chance of me dying if I boldly look at death in the eye and dare it, than if I worry about my heart giving out on me due to my body pressure not being right, cholesterol, what have you.

Last example of this came last night while reading about an experiment they did in Switzerland. It appears that mathematics doesn't attract many women at University. It is a something that society just expect males to get into. But university professors teaching mathematics will say that yes out of 100 students, only 9 are females but females do just as good as males, there isn't any difference in "brain power". They did some lab brain tests while subjecting males and females to various mathematic tests and fond no difference between males and females. Then they took a similar test again, this time telling the females that they are more likely to fail it because it is strictly a male test and their performance dropped considerably.
This proves that when nomeone is expected to lose, there's more chances that he will indeed lose. So the outcome of the test is for females to stop thinking that they are not as good as males in math, the reality is that they are just as good but if they think that they are not, then they won't perform as good.

And this test and my own experience reminds me of two more experiments that have been done, as told by Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk.

The first one, was an experiment that took place a long time ago, with a convict tha was to be executed. They told him that he wouldn't be hung after all, but his throat would be cut. They left him soak that belief in for a week or so and then when the day came, they blidfolded him and let him into the prison's bathrooms.
One officer pretended to slid his throat using the non cutting side of the blade, at the same time another officer opened the tap and let some water flow. The Convict felt the cold blade on his throat, heard "his blood" flowing and had a heart attack and died. He knew this was the time for him to die, and die he did.

Another example of collective mind conditioning took place during a test that lasted a whole year. At a school they took the students that made up the two best classes of the school and divided them as evenly as they could. They took a test and gave the results out stating that the best students would go to class A and the ones that came second would go to class B.

The test was fake, the two classes were comprised of selected students that were as good as one another, the collective intelligence of the two classes was as even as possible.
but some students ended up in the class A and some other ones ended up in the second class, the B.

A year later the students of class A all came out at the top of their class, flying through all their exams while the "second class" students had all sorts of problems and bad votes, they behaved just as they were expected to behave and lagged behind, giving a mediocre performance.

And this is what it felt like when I swam soon after being told about the dangers of swimming alone, the unchecked blood pressure and all the rest.. I felt just like my heart was weak and maybe even felt it missed a beat when I first got under water. And the day after, I had some sort of mystical happening where I didn't feel like going, almost ever again.

With this I am not saying that everyone should go out and swim on their own and so long as they feel ok they'll be ok, not at all. It is quite stupid to go out at sea on your own, you should never do that, let alone when you are 54 and you don't check your blood pressure. You should stay at home instead, for your own safety.

December 14 Today I went swimming only because of what I wrote about some people spending their lives working like  donkeys and then ending up under six feet of soil.. and if they could, exchanging all their properties for maybe one extra swimming afternoon. With this simple but incredibly powerful notion fresh in mind I just didn't want to miss this swimming afternoon, even if the sun was very faint, actually when I got there at 14:20 it was almost dark..

And it was tough. Despite them saying that the sun would be out it was a different story. There were clouds covering it and it was freezing cold and even if there were no clouds the sun was very low anyway. Somebody I met said that it was 3C out there, to be careful. On the plus side the sea was totally flat, with no wind whatsoever so that was good, the swim happened, I did my 250 metres, got there, stood up, cleaned goggles, looked around, went back in and swam all the way back, another very steady 150 metres with little effort however it felt way colder than yesterday with hands and feet first tickling and then kind of getting numb quite early in th eswim, sooner than usual it seemed and then the feet staying numb for about an hour or two later.

As I was drying up the sun came out to give me some help but I did have some tremors and had to perform the usual warming up moves, which do work in producing heat but require even more energy so I quickly got on the bicycle and cycled home, not feeling tired at all, in fact I was pushing the fastest/tallest gear with what seemed to be little effort. When I got home I eat two caki, got on the bycicle with the trailer on, and went to buy some cat food, there and back about 20kms in the dark.

Now I am cooking a vegetable soup, if I manage to go to bed eating only this, I'll definitely be in calorie deficit, the weight right now with clothes on was 96,5kgs and yes of course I am so glad I went swimming even if the sun wasn't out, one thing to remember is that the sun at 14:00 is only in its two last hours of the day, after which, at 16:30 it is dark, so maybe I should be swimming no later than midday..

December 15 When I got there my vote for the day would have been a full 9.50 out of 10 day, everything was perfect except that the horizon blurred into the sea, betraying some fog somewhere far.
Then I got talking to some people and wasted about an hour.. by the time I went into the water it must have been 15;00 and it got a little colder, the already low sun, getting even lower!
Basically at midday is not yet fully warmed up and at 3 it is almost too late to swim. I'd say that getting in the water between 1 and 2 is the warmest time, when the sun warms you more. Maybe tomorrow I'll take my ancient thermometer with me as I am getting curious as to what the real temperature is. I'd say about 9C and maybe 8C in the water.

I got to a point that I don't care getting into the water any more, there is still that preistoric inbuilt feeling that you don't get naked in winter and even less you walk into the sea and then go under it, but once that is done, I jump out of it and let me fall back in for a swim forward and that's about it, I am fine almost immediately after that, always considering that I must breast stroke for about 50 meters before settring into freestyle and then there's no problem whatsoever, I am not even out of breath any more, I must be building up some, but the sun must be out, even if it is a faint sun which never goes up in th esky, it is always hoverig over the horizon..

Also, I have been having fun going swimming with the race bike, flying there and flying back, carrying no tools with me, prepared to walk the whole 8kms back if I get a puncture and you know what, if I go tomorrow I am taking the b'twin out for a spin!!! wowowowow

That'll be the first ride on it since I bought it, talk about lack of excitement! lol. I wanted to build up some better excitement using the japanese classic bike first, now that I know it fairly well I can't wait to see what the B'tin feels like, also I have learned to carry it with me over the sand, so not much of it gets spun over the wheels and onto the chain etc.

December 16 Incredible but today was a better, nicer day than yesterday. Maybe 1.5 points which means that if today was a 10 then yesterday would have been a 8.5  and not a 9.50 day. It really means that I don't have a precise way to tell a good day from a brilliant day and I am really going on how my actual perception of what I see before me when I get there, so if I love it I'll give it a 10 even if the next much nicer day is still a ten, or maybe I'll just say that today was an 11 day, yeah?!! yeeh my rambling mind is happy now .

When I got there the sea was totally flat, you could see for miles into the distance, colours were very vivid and the sun so strong it would blind you.

Water temperature a steady 8C and outside ... well, by the time I placed thermometer in the sun, some clouds came along, a little bit of a breeze followed and so it got to 11C and then stopped, it even went back to 10C by the time I got dressed so it's colder that I thought.

It's been a couple of day that I have been fairly parsimonious with the carb intake and today during the swim, something was different. It is the calories deficit that is finally starting to affect the body clock, which seems to be stuck at (my usual) plateau of around 98 kgs no matter how little or how much I eat, how much Iburn, what I do, I'll stay at around 98.

The difference manifested itself by the feeling of disconfort that was very obvious when I entered the water and then refused to leave me. I felt as if I wanted to go outside the water, my body was wondering
why do this effort of staying in the freezing water, swimming in the freezing water when I could get out of the water right now and do no effort?? Why, I mean why should I swim all the way there, that's about 10 swimming pool lenghs and then of course I must swim back, where is the point??? It felt soo good outside the water, totally dressed and cozy, so what are we doing in the freezing water?

This was the question that my body (very strongly) kept on asking me. And my head was threatening to hurt. Not sure if I mentioned it (only once!) already but the pain in the head is the same feeling when you eat an ice cream or something very cold and you get a very strong pain in your jaw/head and after a second or two it goes and you can resume eating your ice cream, being careful how you do it.

I read a great explanation for the reason of this pain somewhere on the net but I forgot where and I forgot what the pain is all about, I just know that I am well aware of this pain which at 8C will happen to me when I start a swimming session unless I take it very easy for the first 50 or so metres, during which I just have to breast stroke, placing my head under infrequently, gradually, etc till I can then do freestyle.

Today it was maybe 100 metres before I was free from the feeling of this threatening head pain and so I could do freestyle and the feeling was still that I did not want to go through this, I did not want to swim all the way there, too far! I wanted to get out of the water! If I get all the way there I'll then have to get all the way back from there and it's too far.
This is the body realizing that there is no energy left so this is no more an act of leisure but hard labour.
I carried on till the end, watching my breath and making sure I was using my legs and my feet and just propeling myself forward, steadily but surely, looking down for what was going to be my 7 minutes, maybe taking half a look ahead to make sure I was going straight and just went for it, no think except monitor my body, and feel first tickling then numbness in my toes, my arms and hands gradually becoming some kind of numb appendix that somewhat still moved me forward, yet I felt warmth in the torso and I couldn't see much due to my swimming goggles being very foggy, I haven't cleaned or degreased them in a while so that might be it but the water was cristalline and very clear so I could still see the crabs assume their belligerous position, like little soldiers ready to fight as I passed them.

Got to the end and I knew I was suffering unlike the usual but I still went through the usual motions, stood up took a peak from outside the googles, rinsed them, had a look around, nobody around the totally deserted place, and I saw a fairly strong sun shining on me, straight ahead there was what seemed a very distant sea breaker waiting for me.

At this point I am usually in awe of the situation, the surroundings, where I am, the beauty of these moments, the feeling of being alive, the glorious sun on my skin and the power of my strokes, but not today.
Today I just wanted to do these tough hard labour 250 metres back and get out. The end was soo far away, small and fairly unreachable but hey watch me get there. Head down, no hurry, stroke after stroke, breathe in and out sometimes every 3 sometimes every 4, fine tune the breathing out and the breathing in, the kick, the keeping pace, not too fast, actually try to slow down, there's time, there's time.

Feeling very much like I am tired of this and I am not enjoying this at all, too much effort, I feel no limbs and I wonder what it would be like if I couldn't swim back, the issue here not being that I physically won't be able to make it back as I said watch me swim back but I am doing it unwillingly, not enjoying it, yet slowly but surely I got there and even blasted the last 50 metres moving my limbs that I barely felt, breathing every 5 and swimming forwards very fast as if I owned the place, -which I don't- so out of respect let's say I swam if there was a big shark getting at me..

When there was no more depth, I went on all four, then kneeled, took out thermometer from my pants and took a look that lasted maybe 25 seconds trying to focus on the little red mercury thing, is it 7C or 8C? not sure but it is more like 8c but could it be 7C? Maybe 7.5C? Arrghhh I think, ok ok get out, it doesn't matter I must get out, and so I did.

Drying out was not easy, sun disappeared right there and then and a friend turned up, I had some small talk during the drying routine and all this caused me to lose the feeble focus I had and waste some time, and during the end of my hot drink I couldn't hold the cup as I was spilling the drink all over, I eventually gobbled it down, got dressed and it was all ok.
Maybe I'll have to get some written instruction on some big sign on exactly what to do when I get out, in the right order to follow without having to do any thinking.

Something like: put down swimming cap and googles.
1) Wear robe
2) take swimming trunks off, put them with swimming cap
3) sit on towel on the rock, rinse feet from sand
4) sip on hot drink, dry feet with third towel (microfibre one coming soon)
5) sip on hot drink wear socks, sip on hot drink wear underpants and tracksuit bottom
6) sip on hot drink put shoes on stand up take robe off wear top underwear a top long sleeved underwear b, wear neckwarmer, wear pullover, wear wool hat,
7) wear jacket, do russian warm up exercize, pack up get on bycicle, race back home.

The B'Twin bike feels good, maybe better than the japanese racing bike because it is a slightly larger chassis and maybe fits me better, it's actually lower but longer, it basicaly feels like a roomier bike, gear changes are very precise, I like the gear changing mechanism to be within brake levers assembly, the pedals aren't very nice due to them being the tipe you need special shoes for, the seat could do with being lowered slightly at the front but I don't think it can be done, so much for new type seat fixing system.. will have to take a better look, and the odometer was great, telling me I was doing 26/28kmh all the way there with a peak of 37/38kmh on the downhill bit after the bridge.

Overall a more stable bicycle due to what seems a longer wheelbase, maybe not lighter than the other. I guess it feels faster because of tyres having more pressure in them, the others have just about 5psi when they need at least 7, this one is a bit smoother. And the rims are of the deeper type, they are supposed to offer less resistance to air flow, something like that.

Anyway I made it back home and I eat yet another vegetable soup (carrots/cabbage/cicoria) with just 2 potatoes for carbs.. I also had a boiled egg and a wurster with some mustard and some salad.

I guess my carb deficit should be even stronger tomorrow, we will see what happens, I sure want to force my body into finally processing some of the extra fat I am carrying and feeding from some of it rather than from what I eat, in other words the way I understand it I am slowly getting my body to a state of ketosis, but maybe the water temperature is a bit too cold for me to force this just as yet? Uhm I think tomorrow I'll eat an apple an hour before going and maybe I'll buy some bananas.
Ideally I'd be swimming with just about enough calories and then during the cycle back I'd be burning fat, then back home to eat enough to have enough calories the day after to cycle there and swim, again running out of calories during the cycle back, I'll know about this soon enough by weighing myself, from what I see today I lost about 400 grams which is quite a lot.

I just followed the link above to the explanation of ketosis and it seems a bit heavy to digest so although I am not a doctor, I have gone through some water fasting weeks more than once so I'll risk some ridicule and will try to explain here what I mean by ketosis if the link is a bit too complex, my info comes from reading a couple of books on fasting by Dr Shelton and other sources I now forgot, always on water fasting.

When we feed, the stomach will eventually turn the food (the carbs part) into sugars and these sugars are carried around the body via the blood stream. Eating carbs, for instance eating tons of pasta the day before a 9 hours swim and then another lot of past a3 hours before the swim will ensure you will have an ample storage of these sugars in the blood stream, they will be readily available during your long swim, it is like having lots of cash in your pocket and going to the market and buying things with it.

On the contrary, when you are not eating enough carbs, eventually the cash (ready glucose in the blood) will finish and you'll have no more money to spend. You still have money in the bank (fat) and you can spend it but it isn't as readily available as cash.

I know the state of ketosis from when I did my water fasting, I do recognize its symptons, it is like  a form of tiredness, if you rush up the stairs you'll have no energy and if you are not careful you'll see black dots, head will spin and you risk fainting due to no energy and will have to sit down and recoup, and then get up.. slowly.. walk up.. slowly, you will feel no tiredness so long as you do ... things... slowly.. pacing... yourself.. no thinking either.. just ... like... a slug...  just save energies, it feels ok so long as no (quick) usage of energy is demanded on the body, if energy is needed, there is enough to walk, and to do almost anything that is light, for instance no heavy brain storming.

So, all will be ok so long as you function in a slug mode. Forget that you are a slug and do something that requires quick energy and you might feel like passing out.

While in ketosis and fat stores are available, the body won't consume muscles, nor vital organs, it'll feed on these surplus stores.

That's why there is a difference in the way that we must function when the body is in ketosis, the body takes some time before converting fat into energy so we can't rush, we cannot accelerate, we cannot stress, we cannot do any sudden movement or we'll notice a sudden unbalance, head spinning etc I'd say the worst that can happen is passing out, this equates to death if you are in the wrong place eg: in the water at 8C when nobody is around.

So I guess I don't really mean to get into a full ketosis state but close to it, the way I did it two winters ago it was by eating 50 pennette at 10AM then go swimming at 1PM all fine, just about, then energies kind of ended while cycling home and if in the evening if I felt hungry I could only eat salad.. doing this ensured that the little calories I eat, were there when I was in the water, the most important time of the day.

I think I'll try to get back to this while the winter unravels ahead of me.

December 17 Today another day close to 10. Outside my place there's some sort of an alcove where the sun hits and there is no wind or air circulation and the temperature in there was 29C.

The seaside was great, too, from here they say that if it is very clear you can see Istria on the other side of the sea, well we were kind of far from that but you could see out at sea to see the line that distiguishes the sky from the sea, I guess Istria is beyond that line..

Anyway, I forgot to take the swimming cap again, I did have some pasta at about 10;30 and I was at sea at maybe 13:00 so it isn't as if I didn't have any calories to burn but it was tough going.

I felt it very cold, eventually I got kind of used to it but while drying up and drinking my hot drink I was cold and trembling, I actually just checked the temperatures given by the weather people and we are averaging 4 o 5 degrees centigrades so that's colder than I thought, I will have to waste less time hanging about and no more forgetting the swimming cap..

Right now I don't feel  particularly excited about tomorrow's swim but knowing that it is colder than I thought gives me a new perspective, I know what the nature of the beast is and that's simply "cold".

December 18 Today I did get a good pasta inside of me at about 10:20 then however I had to run some errands and that involved doing 20 kms with the bicycle. I basically went to the bank to exchange a cheque and the incompetence, arrogance, self righteousness of those people pissed me off so much that I did the 10kms back swearing and pedaling as fast as I could...

mafiosi in the bank? maybe not in the sense that they belong to a criminal organisation but mafiosi in the fabric of their existence, from their fstupid mafiosi shoes and socks and suit and jacket and moustache and haircut and attitude? you bet!!!

"kiss my hands I am the Don" attitude? You bet! You go to the guy and ask him if he's available, you expect thim to say "how can I help you Sir" but this Italian Cun# just looked at me as if I was some dirt that should maybe have bowed to him and replied  "what is it that you said?"

His hostile stare was soo out of a freaking al pacino movie I just went "I AM ASKING YOU IF YOU CAN DEAL WITH ME".

And suddenly the Cu#t is acting all submissive, first just like some mafiosi who's tried the mafia bit on you lousy unconnected piece of dirt and then realizing I am just about to chew him to bits and spit him back out all over his freaking desk, HE started bowing all over the place, I mean I just want to cash a freaking CHEQUE you stoopid chicken brain can you fucking deal with it.. END???

These people are living 50 years in the past, or maybe 100, I can't believe this is the land of what was the Serenissima, 1100 years of history, the place that sparked off Rinascimento in Europe and now they  remind me of Comunist China meets Al Capone, they aren't there to help you out but to treat you like tdirt, I mean it is a freaking bank! It's my money they have.

I got home quite tired, changed bike, went to the seaside and proceeded to swim in what seemed.. a very hostile and cold water.

It was a nice sunny day, no wind, possibly a 10 or very close to a perfect day but I just was not in it with the mind, and possibly very tired, I don't know.. I did the usual 50 metres breast stroke and the water was piercing my forehead giving me the beginning of an headake, then I went into freestyle but my hands were hurting a lot from the cold,  like when you keep them under the tap and it feels like knives cutting through them.

I stopped and stood up, a beautiful day but my head was hurting, I just turned round swimming like an old woman who's afraid of getting her hair wet.. I then swam a little bit of freestyle trying to assess the situation, taking my time slowli and veering towards the top of the breaker where water is deeper and it was also quite clear and transparent, but it was like swimming in ice and suffering torture because of it, not very good at all, the sea suddenly became a dangerous place that could swallow me alive any minute.

I just swam out of the deep water towards the shore and then got out and had my hot drink in the sun, feeling kind of drained and tired.

Came home and eat pasta, meat, drunk coffe and wrote 1000 words about the bank episode.. an hour later my feet were still hurting from the cold. It is evening now and I am not looking forward to swimming tomorrow.

I don't like the B'Twin much. I prefer the other one because it is avery unassuming bike, yet it weights less and I like to see the white alloy hubs and rims and handlebars and brake levers even the rubber around the brake levers is the colour of rubber.

Brake casipers are also shiny alloy and not being dual pivot they are lighter, maybe they require a bit more strenght to work but they'll still stop the bike and look very good. I can lean the bike against the rocks without being afraid of scratching it and being a fraction smaller, it feels nimbler and less of a bike,  yet as fast, it is definitely lighter. The jap bike has all shiny alloy and the rest is black, exactly how it should be.

The B'tin has an alloy chassis and so it is a very chunky chassis, and you can't see it is made of alloy because it is immaculately and very vistously painted, with tons of lables to ostentate its qualities, the tipe of alloy, various colours etc etc bit sike a prostitute wearing too much make up, the other is just painted with a thick coat of black hammerite, very unassuming.

The B'twin has black rims that are very deep and so they look chunky, black handlebars, black blake levers and the gimmicky gear changing mechanism on the brake levers and its cables just add clutter and weight, yes its action is quite good but unnecessary for what I use it.

The B'twin saddle cannot be lowered at the front, the japanese bike can and is a fraction lower. The B'twin has pedals for cyclist shoes, the other has normal, albeit tiny pedals.

>> January 2016
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