This is the life: First swim of the year in the Katzensee

It's been a grim winter in Switzerland but, as of the last couple of weeks, the sun has begun to shine more and more. Today was particularly glorious, so Tim and I headed to the Katzensee (our local lake) early - and armed with freshly baked muffins from the local bakery for sustenance. Although the meadow where we laid out our picnic blanket was already in the sun, the pontoon into the lake looked somewhat shady and imposing, lying as it does beneath a thick canopy of greenery. We could hear the coots and their chicks on the water, and could see several people swimming or ready. So we went for it.

Tim jumped straight in; I lingered on the steps into the water, counting to an ever-increasing number and chuckling at a group of ten year old girls and boys. As overheard from the boys: "Ugh, the water is so cold; I'm not going in!". As overheard from the girls: "Let's go and play in the water - it's quite warm!" Telling of society?? Eventually, I jumped in. I had thought the worst ordeal of the day would be bearing my winter white limbs to the world for the first time since last September; it was actually the way the water took my breath away in true Tim Vincent fashion. It was so cold, bracingly cold, so cold that you can feel your goose bumps expanding even as you swim.

But it was oh so fresh and lovely - made all the better by lying on our picnic blanket afterwards soaking up the sun and munching muffins. As the lake began to get crowded around lunchtime, we moseyed home and spent the afternoon on our patio reading. We enjoyed deliciously summery meals courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow's 'It's All Good' (which contains some of the tastiest and healthiest recipes I have come across in a while): for lunch, avocado and mango salad with balsamic-lime vinaigrette and for dinner, white fish tortilla wraps with guacamole and jalapeno. This is certainly a standard of living I could get used to!
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