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Dodging the blue/green algae at Threipmuir Reservoir, Edinburgh

Jojo Fraser - wild swimming Edinburgh

With all that has been going on in the world, I have been feeling really thankful for the simple joys, such as an invigorating, cold water swimming session out at Threipmuir Reservoir.  To my knowledge, Threipmuir is one of the cleanest wild swimming spots in Edinburgh and I try and get there at least once a week.  It’s something that I have kept consistent for a long time now, and we all need a bit of consistency in these uncertain times.  It’s something that is free, good for my physical and mental health. It’s something that brings me joy.  I have been going religiously, first thing on a Monday morning, with a group of lovely peeps who share my belief that it is a top mojo injection.  I also try my best to explore new areas when I have a bit more time on a day off or over the weekend.  I will be uploading more content soon about a trip to Tyninghame Beach, which is slightly off the beaten track and The stunning Cairngorms.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a post circulating on social media about blue-green algae being spotted at both Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoir.  My first thought was

No, I need this mojo injection in my life.  Covid, you can take away our freedom but you can’t take away our wild swimming!

Wild swimming gives me the ultimate feeling of freedom so it was a little concerning as I had banked Threipmuir Reservoir as the reliable, ‘go to’ safe spot to swim.  I had read in a great wild swimming book my brother got me, all about the top health and safety tips.  Varying types of algae occur naturally in the water cycle of rivers and lakes, and in certain conditions they can bloom into a green colour.  The one to watch is the blue-green algae which is toxic and can cause illness in humans and be fatal for animals.  Signs to look out for after swimming would be rashes, skin or eye irritation, and effects such as nausea, stomach aches, and tingling in fingers and toes.

The images were nearer the Harlow side of the reservoir, which is the opposite side from where we regularly swim.  I decided to give it a break for a couple of weeks and check out some other spots.  However, lots of regular swimmers were commenting that the reservoir was mostly clear and still safe to swim.

I checked it out this morning and can confirm that all is looking well.  I will keep you updated.

This week, on time for a mojo injection episode 129, we are talking about following joy like your life depends on it.  My amazing guest, filmmaker and founder of Tedx Cumbernauld Women, Maureen Cuestas speaks passionately about following joy and living a heart led life.  She quoted lyrics from ‘All I know so far’ by Pink:

And even I can’t teach you how to fly
But I can show you how to live like your life is on the line

I love these words.  Do you schedule in joy like your life depends on it?  I was delighted to hear Maureen share how my wild swimming posts have helped to encourage her to give it a shot.  She now swims 3 times a week and it brings her immense joy.  She also loves a bit of skinny dipping, a girl after my own heart, which is a great way to feel a sense of freedom.  Freedom is a value that many of us hold dear and something we could all do with a healthy dose of in 2021.  After our powerful conversation, I felt super inspired and encouraged.  Part of my wellness plan for the past 16 months has been to schedule in joy like my life depends on it.  Because joy matters.  Sometimes we just need to face our fears and try out new things to find it.  You got this.

Jojo Fraser is an award-winning author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate.   She is a Tedx speaker and you can often hear her on BBC radio talking about our mental fitness, which she has been researching for the past 7 years. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental health, making it accessible and relatable to all.  She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.

Contact her at – or across social @jojofrasermojo




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