In early July 2018, I'll dip my toes in Dover Harbour, and with a good dose of luck and hours of training, my next steps will be one the shores of France. That's 18 months from now. 

This week is Christmas week. I'm doing more eating than swimming. I'm away from home, away from my routine, and that doesn't work out well for me. I've been for two swims - one a good effort, the other left me as sunburnt as a glazed ham. 

But... it's a good chance to get organised and plan, right? I've nailed down plans for my trip to the US in April for SCAR. I'm going to do a few hikes after the swims. Given that 7 minutes of land-based exercise left me unable to walk last week, I'm a little terrified. There will also be hot air balloon rides over the desert, a night in Vegas and a few nights on a buffalo ranch. Can. Not. Wait.