Memories of Byron Bay light the corners of my mind... Corny, but when you've done a life-affirming swim in paradise it stays with you and carries you through the Sydney autumn and winter to the next ocean swims season.
As I walk through the bum-end of the CBD to work, past the smokers crowded like sewer rats on the grimy pavement and with the stench from the garbage truck emptying bins along Pitt Street assaulting my nostrils, I dream of Byron.
Ahhhhhhh... that's better. For a bit.
By July, I'm back to my grumpy, intolerant self. It's not pretty.
To ease the pain, I visit the best website in the world for ocean-swimming nuts http://www.oceanswims.com/, which I've mentioned on many occasions.
Last time I was there (geez, I think it might have been yesterday) I scrolled through the photo gallery that features the 2009 Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Classic.
And guess what I found? Pics of me and my friend Mrs Snorkel.
What most amazes me, apart from my god-awful stroke and saggy bottom, is the water. Pure, clear and clean. Look at the legs floating out of Mrs Snorkel's frame! Beautiful, surreal.
Mrs Snorkel and me ambling in the sea.