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Let it snow!

Enjoying a light dusting of snow this week-end!!

Nothing better to bring out the child in you than a bit of snow. This week-end we tried all kinds of outdoor sports rather unusual at Corralea: sliding down the hill on a plastic sledge, a snowboard and a surf board… being pulled along by the quad across the lawn and on the lane.

But nothing beats building a nice old fashion snowman…. Scraping snow, shaping a big body, and looking for the essential accessories...carrot, eyes, stick arms, hat and scarf. Bienvenue to Snowy…

Marley has already planned tomorrow’s challenge: Snowy’s cat ! Have you ever built a cat???

Snow is such a magical experience...

even better when you warm up your toes by a roaring fire and enjoy a nice cup of mulled wine or hot whiskey afterwards!

This year we didn’t have our traditional White Christmas, we did not head for France to visit the rest of the family. This Christmas, NO oysters, fresh "crevettes”, “foie gras”, wild boar, roasted chestnuts or “Buche de Noël”….and no skiing.

We knew Christmas 2020 wasn’t going to be Christmas as usual, so we had to try something completely different…

Delphine set the Challenge for Christmas Day….

Swimming approximately 80 metres (no wetsuits allowed) from the Jetty to our Forest Eco Spa (closed to all customers but ourselves)

Maybe a mere 80m… but it seemed like a mile long in the icy waters!!

Lough Macnean was sooo cold,... you first screamed with shock, then your body slowly got accustomed to the temperature and you felt energized with a powerful urge to move forward. Then as you reached the half way mark, it seemed as if you were swimming on the spot, helplessly treading water and wading arms and legs but not getting anywhere.

When we finally reached our destination, we could not feel our limbs any more and landed totally numb at the hot tub.

Lake water 5 degrees. Air temperature 7 degrees. Hot tub water 42 degrees.

We had to thaw out in the cosy sauna, bring our body temperature up, before plunging in the hot tub and feel that peculiar tingling feeling when your skin adjusts to the temperature of the water.

Have you ever tried winter swimming?

Its health and psychological benefits have long been known. Swimming in ice holes was a popular tradition in Russia and Finland; records are dating the tradition back to as early as 1525. Viking sagas gave dramatic accounts of warriors engaging in swimming competitions in the open sea and sea bathing for health really took off in the mid/late 18th century.

Only 11 people in recorded history have completed the so-called Ice Zero: a mile-long swim in freezing water, held in places such as Antarctica, Russia and Northern Europe.

A cold dip brings fresh blood to the extremities and the sudden release of endorphins brings on intense feelings of well being and euphoria.

It is said that regular swimming will reduce your body’s sensation of coldness and will boost your immune system. Coldwater swimming is also a great way to burn calories quickly and build muscle tone. Shauna (Aurora Yoga Studio NI) & Clare do it on a regular basis...brave ladies!

For leading Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, immersion in lakes and rivers was symbolic of his interfusion with the natural world and his engagement with local landscape.

I'm not sure I would do it again for such a long swim, maybe a dip would be more manageable... but it was definitely a rewarding challenge. We felt invigorated, and we enjoyed the most relaxing few hours in the hot tub after!

Then we happily indulged in less healthy activities....That is what Christmas is all about !!

Thanks Abbie! Food is always a great escape…


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