Each week, wild swimmer Joe Minihane swims and speaks with well known swimmers at their favourite spots across the UK (and beyond). Exploring nature, the outdoors and the joy of taking a dip, Floating is an audio take on Joe’s book of the same name.
My latest guest on Floating: Swimming Stories is Ruth Allen. Ruth is an ecopsychotherapist and author based in Derbyshire. Her work in outdoor therapy has gained a huge following on Instagram (@whitepeak_ruth) and her first book, Grounded, is out in March 2021. Ruth and I spoke over Zoom in December 2020, discussing the transgressive power of water, its spiritual pull and the issues with the much–fabled 'nature cure'.
My guests on the latest episode of Floating are Vicky Allan and Anna Deacon. Vicky and Anna are behind the gorgeous Taking The Plunge, a coffee table book of personal stories and beautiful images of swimmers, and a new book, For The Love Of Trees, produced during lockdown and out now. Our chat was a long and rambling one covering leech filled lakes, the perils of pike in the Cairngorms and rights of access to land and water. There were a few technical glitches, but otherwise this was a heartening and happy chat about the power of the water, especially during difficult times.
My guest on the latest episode of Floating is Nicola Rayner. Nicola is the author of The Girl Before You and the newly released You And Me. She’s also a keen wild swimmer. We went for a dip in the Thames at Port Meadow in Oxford and discussed water’s role in writing, its power to heal and dealing with swans while having a swim.
My latest guest on Floating: Swimming Stories is Amy Liptrot. Amy is the author of bestselling memoir The Outrun. A native of Orkney, she now lives in Yorkshire. We caught up in July 2020 to discuss her childhood swimming spots on the wild Atlantic coast, the places she's been going to for dips during her second pregnancy and her latest writing about the power of cold water in the year after giving birth to her first child.
The latest guest on Floating: Swimming Stories is Jessica J. Lee. Jessica is the author of TURNING and TWO TREES MAKE A FOREST. The former explores her year long quest to swim in a different lake around her adoptive home city of Berlin. Jessica and I discussed swimming through lockdown, dealing with techno–obsessed Berliners insisting on blasting tunes lakeside and the serious issues surrounding access to water for people from BAME and less privileged backgrounds.
My guest this week is poet, screenwriter and theatre maker Molly Naylor. Molly and I caught up over the phone to discuss our shared love of cold water, heads out breast stroke, dealing with anxiety and what swimming looks like during lockdown.
My guest this week is the author and poet Joe Dunthorne. Joe’s novels include The Adulterants and Wild Abandon, as well as Submarine, which was turned into a critically acclaimed film. Joe is an old friend and helped nudge me into the water in my early 20s with good humour and a modicum of peer pressure. We sat down in London’s Kentish Town to discuss shallow dives, sibling rivalry on the beach and the perils of social media for the chronically anxious.
This week’s guest is Rosie Cook of swimwear company Deakin and Blue. Rosie started Deakin and Blue after she started swimming and realised there wasn’t a costume that fit her properly, with only sports wear or bikinis for the beach available. She has carved a niche in the market and seen her kit worn by swimmers all over the UK. We sat down after a swim at London Fields Lido to discuss her brand and her swimming journey.
My guest this week is Tim Clare. Tim is the author of The Honours and The Ice House, as well as We Can’t All Be Astronauts, a work of non fiction about jealousy, mental health and becoming a writer. Tim and I swam at Stiffkey in North Norfolk in August 2019. It was a magical dip. Afterwards we talked about ice swimming, endorphin rushes and learning about bird life.
This week’s guest on Floating is the brilliant Alexandra Heminsley. Alex and I went for a bumpy sea swim by the pier in Brighton and then sat down to chat about learning to love the sea, body image for swimmers, especially women, and how to make wild swimming more egalitarian. Alex can be find on Instagram @hemmograms and on Twitter @hemmo
This week’s guest on Floating: Swimming Stories is Ella Foote. Ella is more commonly known as @ellachloeswims on Instagram and is an incredible advocate for the healing power of water and swimming, not to mention her work in the areas of body positivity and confidence. Ella took me to her favourite spot on the Thames, where we talked swimming with punky moorhens, the joys of risk taking and her new venture, Dip Advisor.
The first guest on Floating: Swimming Stories is Jenny Landreth. Author of Swell: A Waterbiography, Jenny is a regular at Tooting Bec Lido. After a swift (and breathless, for me at least) six lengths, we sat poolside to discuss the joy of lidos, toxic masculinity in the water and the pleasures of a heel breaking the surface in front crawl.