Diary of an LOS Swimmer #1

The Water Humans

THERE is a competition in Irish open water swimming which seeks no such thing as swimming brilliance, but instead demands dedication, absurd perseverance, and a consistent state of average.

Behold, and welcome to, the Leinster Open Sea Swimmer of the Year league, a magical wonderland of mathematics, missed holidays, and mad dashes, that tests the most stable of stable minds.

The skinny is thus; From the end of May to mid-September, Leinster Open Sea (LOS) stages upwards of 30 swim races, in the Irish province of Leinster, largely in the Irish Sea.

The vast majority of these races are run as separate male and female events, with time handicaps allowing the slowest swimmers a head-start over the tuna fish and sharks.

The finishing order, is the final result and swimmers gain a sliding scale of points depending on where they finished, the minimum being three points, and the prize for…

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a christmas poem

This bizarre week in prose, by the talented Stephen Cass.

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It started on Tuesday, all stuffed from their dinner

The each-way thieves were on to a winner

Twisters grey horse was their number one guy

But he doesn’t go right, that Bristol de Mai

So on to the victor, the great rogue Might Bite

The Brits had a contender, to put up a fight

They’d win Gold for sure, at Cheltenham they reckoned

But wait! cried the hordes, Double Shuffle was second

And then came the Wednesday, would pain have no end?

The whip in the wrong hand, you dumbass Townend

While over at Kempton, with sales on at Zara

Head over heels, went Special Tiara

With Chepstow abandoned, the weather was dour

A grade one, for fucks sake, went to Whiskey Sour

Sharjah and Real Steel they fell with a dunt

Straight after the departure of the bauld Menghli Cunt

A new day it dawned, we thought ‘twould be…

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Water Human #2 | The sea is my cape

The Water Humans

THERE is deeply ingrained shyness and pessimism within me, that can only be cleaned by sea water.

Growing up, my confidence was any old horse, or my dog. When I went anywhere attached to them, it was like a superhero cloak.

Then it was my career; I had to talk to a lot of people every day that knew I knew a hell of a lot. Then other people read all I knew in the newspaper, and rubbed their chins, nodding.

For a while, my bike took over. A carbon fibre steed so strong we could tame mountains together. We were solid, and everyone knew it. That felt pretty good. Then everyone disappeared over the hill.

Now though, my power source, my sidekick, my confidence, is the sea.

I don’t remember not loving the sea. I remember being a poor swimmer. I remember the adrenalin of scared. I remember breast-stroking…

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New York for Recycled Equestrian

BACK-TO-BACK November hurricanes destroyed shot-lists, location hopes, equipment and morale, but somehow the phenomenal power of Emma Cahill came through in Recycled Equestrian.

Now the first short documentary of my directorial career has been screened at the Dublin International Short Film & Music Festival and is bound for the EQUUS Film Festival in New York this November.

It’s a baffling feeling, being horrendously disappointed that this short film is not what it could have been, and yet, overwhelming proud that it’s message STILL gets out.

That message is the story of Emma Cahill, a show jumper and veterinary student, who was paralysed by a horse riding accident while working in France.

She experienced paralysis, the darkness, the forced positivity, the revaluations and regroupings, and then she got up and walked.

This isn’t a fairytale, Emma is far from the physical person she used to be, and no amount of recuperation or fitness or strength work will change that; this is who she is now, and there’s no point in striving to get back to where she was, either physically or mentally.

That is the wider message she brings out in Recycled Equestrian, that we are never broken, just different; recycled.

And in that form, we can actually be better – don’t lose yourself in tragedy or grief for your former self, build the new you.

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Recycled Equestrian will be available to view online after its US premiere at the EQUUS Festival in New York this November.

 

The Showreel, Completed

The Showreel from Jessica Lamb on Vimeo.

WITH thanks to IrishTV and their weekend TV Presenters Course, held at the Ballsbridge Hotel, here is my Showreel, completed, finally.

I look forward to working with them more formally in the future, in the meantime, find their comprehensive coverage of Irish life on Sky platform channel 191, Freesat 400, Eircom’s eVision channel 191, free-to-air boxes and online at www.irishtv.ie and www.irishtv.com.