This one is contraversial, I know, but you can call me all the names you like. I love my DryRobe, and I have one for Genuine Reasons. So leave me alone.
I have it for swimming. Or, rather, for before and after swimming – exactly what it’s designed for.
- It was a gift from my husband – my swimming partner. We’ve been swimming all year round for several years now. When we started, it was pretty much only us at the beach. There were a couple of other die-hards, but we were often the only ones in the water in skin. There are more and more of us now, but my husband remains pretty much the only man swimming. It’s a woman thing.
- It’s a local success story. We don’t have many international success stories here in sleepy North Devon, and it’s something to be celebrated.
- It’s blue.
- It’s so comfortable.
And, yes, I love huddling in it by the water, and drinking a cup of sweet, hot coffee from a flask on a winter day, but it’s also good for:
- Touchlines. (Oh, muddy rugby pitches and small boys)
- River banks. (Oh, rowing girls in thin boats gliding up and down the river)
- Frozen lakesides
- Star gazing. During lockdown, we would go out and look at the stars. A little line of us, on our backs, looking up at the sky. The kids in sleeping bags on a picnic blanket, me in my DryRobe. Looking for shooting stars.
It’s the coat I have in the boot of my car on days when it might just snow. I’ve walked round Morrison’s in it, completely naked underneath, after a spill in the river (yes, I thought I’d try rowing. No, it didn’t work out).
It’s mainly for swimming though. There’s quite a few of us at the beach. Some are dogwalkers, some are surfers, but there’s generally a handful of swimmers, all robed, like some bizarre religious order. We swim at Sandymere – it’s a long, shallow beach. It’s an effort to get out of you depth. I’m not a great swimmer – and the whole lacking eyebrows and eyelashes thing is a pain (when you don’t have them, you really understand why they evolved), but I bob about, I swim – canal stroke, my dad calls it – a slow breast-stroke, face out of the water. And I come out feeling ALIVE! – it’s my reset button. I missed it so much when I had a Hickmann line and couldn’t go in the water. And I can only do it at the end of my chemo cycle, and we like to get the tide right and….it’s complicated, but it’s great. I come out, red and tingling, and I put on my DryRobe, and I watch the other idiots bobbing about much more athletically than me, much more gracefully, and I really don’t care. I’m connected to my body and to the world in a positive way, and it’s wonderful.