16 Feb Wild Sea Women – Scotland
I’d like to give some recognition to one of my oldest (not in age but long time) best friends, Michelle Haley.
Michelle moved up to Scotland a few year ago and when she was feeling some stress from her work and life in general, I suggested she come for a sea swim with me next time she was home (in Sunderland), her response was one of which I won’t repeat here (lol) but of course she ended up in the sea when she knew how much it was benefitting me with my health.
Michelle then started dipping at her local beach in Ayr, alone (with her partner and young daughter Mila watching), I suggested she setup a WSW group in her area so that she’d have regular company in the sea and also to encourage other women to experience the benefits of the sea, and so of course Michelle was totally up for it, and her group has just taken off in such a huge way. Already their Facebook group has almost 900 members, and now Michelle is never short of company when going for a dip.
Michelle, who has a very similar background to me (so similar it’s a bit spooky actually!), we met when we were teenagers, I then by chance ended up working with her in IT at a Mental Health Trust here in Sunderland (which was then Cherry Knowles Hospital), many years later we both landed news jobs working together at another NHS Trust, then a few years later again, Michelle decided to leave the NHS to work in the private sector for a company who at the time were the biggest IT company in the world (HP). I remained at the NHS for some years after this until I found myself in financial difficulties, which forced me to leave the job I loved at the NHS, when I was asked by a recruitment agent if I’d be up for working on a big project for a global company, which was to be taken over by another company, and required the IT infrastructure to be split in order to sell off the European part of the company (it’s a headache just reading that). I had no idea which company this was for but it was home based and the money was too good to turn down. I later realised that the company was HP – the same company Michelle worked for (which would later become AT&T). Although our jobs weren’t related at all, we were connected via Skype and would chat daily. I began wondering when my calling to move to Scotland will come haha. So just to finish the story, this contract was for 1 year, by which time I’d be out of debt and could go back to my NHS job, but the 1 year, turned into 3 year and HP was later taken over by AT&T (the largest Telecoms company in the world) and by this time I’d had enough of IT, it was running me into the ground, and the working from home life wasn’t all that good after all, it was actually very lonely too. And so in June 2019 I quit and just trusted I’d manage.
Michelle still works in IT (now with HCL Technologies working from home), but she is also a very talented artist (not saying that I am mind you, but just wanted to mention how we’re both artists as well), and has recently started training to become a Mindfulness facilitator to help bring some calmness to the ladies at the beach. Check out Michelle’s fabulous artwork here – her paintings will soon be available to purchase via our Wild Sea Women website (It’s ALMOST finished). Michelle is also planning an online painting class which we’ll post about at a later date.
Michelle has brought such a positive vibe to her local coast line and I’m so chuffed to have her with me on this journey.
Thank you Michi xxx