During the spring and summer , Sundays were the time that Mum and Dad left all thoughts of work behind for rest , relaxation and fun . That was Picnic day !
Each Sunday , they would pick a different location somewhere in the vicinity to explore . Mum would pack a lunch and they would head up or down the track to find access to a new Eden and laze away another Sunday .
Once a spot was found , Dad started a tea fire and they would root around discovering what surprises the place offered while the teapail boiled up . After tea and sandwiches ,they went to see what fun and mischief they could devise .
In from the track a few miles up , Dad spotted a pristine lake . The water was clear as glass , everything on it's gravel bottom exposed to sight . Most lakes in that part of the country were deep and dark showing no hint of what lay beneath . So this diamond was tantalizing to them both . It must have been a special place to someone in the past because on the shore they found an abandoned fishing boat .Perhaps it belonged to a former occupant of the section house .
Dad decided to launch the boat so he and Mum could take a ride on the lake . The two of them dragged the boat into the water and Dad poled it a little deeper . It soon became evident why it had been abandoned . Time and neglect had made it "as leaky as a sieve" . Mum , a nonswimmer , refused to go any further and climbed out . She waded back to shore and refused to succumb to Dad's encouraging disclaimers .
Dad poled it out a little deeper announcing that he was going to have a little swim before heading back in to shore . He stood on the prow , struck his best diving pose for his wife , and gracefully slipped under the surface of the water .
In less than a few seconds , he reappeared on the prow of the boat having launched himself out of the lake . " Holy Mother of C***** that's cold ," he howled .
Mum erupted into peals of laughter that didn't subside for the whole time it took for Dad to pole the boat ( now full of water to within a few inches of the gunnels ) back to the warmer edges of the lake where it became moored to the bottom . The whole time ...and it was a long time...Dad cursed and denounced the trick played on him by nature . Mum laughed at this picture of 'Adonis grounded' until she "peed her pants".
So the two of them rekindled the fire and sat while Dad warmed up and her 'laughing accident' evaporated in its heat .
Lesson: Clear , gravel-bottomed lakes in the north are , nine times out of ten , spring fed wells that are as cold as ice .