The Great North Swim is now only a matter of weeks away. I’ve been swimming regularly but to be honest, the distance is the least of my worries.

I pulled the wetsuit out of the cupboard last month, dusted out the moth balls and then attempted the big squeeze……
Not good.

I forced the zip up but couldn’t straighten my arms and panic ensued within 30 secs. With no body glide I was falling all over the bedroom trying to trap the rubber under something solid so I could fight my way free.

I immediately pulled out my spreadsheet and started the calorie controlled route to a not so snug wetsuit but four weeks later I’m scouring the spreadsheet for dodgy formulas. Something must have gone wrong somewhere because I’m only about 2 ounces down.

I’m running almost daily and have now stepped into the serious measures zone. Stella has been eradicated (apart from Blog writing evenings) but if the scales don’t start playing fair I’ll have to join the bald penguin preservation society.

If I slice off both arms (rubber ones obviously), I’ll be able to move my shoulders and I’ll provide a new skin for at least two bald penguins, maybe even four, if they’re short.

As that seems an increasingly likely option at this late stage I thought I better get used to some cold weather swimming. So today I finally managed a trip to Tooting Bec Lido.

At 93 metres a length its practically open water swimming and the temperature was shocking enough to remind me that freezing mountain lakes will be unbearable without full body rubber protection.

I better make sure I don’t write too many blogs between now and September 13th.