Comedian Paul Currie: Swimming in cold water is a life-changing phenomenon

1 Up and at it – what’s your morning routine? How has he changed?

I wake up around seven or 7:30 a.m. and stay in bed until 8:30 a.m. doing administrative stuff on my phone. I’m going to make a light breakfast, maybe poached eggs with an avocado, then walk my dog. I had the cutest puppy in lockdown – it’s a Bedlington Whippet (they’re like a little Irish hound). She is so calm and brings me so much calm – a real therapy dog. Then I could head out to sea for a swim or a quick dip – it became a new part of my routine when I realized the health benefits of swimming in cold water. It is the most wonderful and positive life-changing phenomenon since lockdown. Across the islands of Ireland and Britain, people realized that the sea was not scary or something to be feared, but really had to be enjoyed – and not just in wetsuits. When I was doing comedy gigs in Galway I would visit Salthill Pier for walks and witness the skin ‘crazed’ swimmers only in bathing suits or bathing suits bathing and I thought that was the craziest concept. Now I have seen the truth and felt the benefits.

2 What might you eat on a typical working day during…

To eat lunch? Poached eggs on toast, porridge and blueberries and an oat milk latte.

To eat lunch? Kaffe O salmon salad or toast.

Dinner? Pesto and vegetables with mushrooms and pasta or a large fruit and vegetable salad or maybe a stir-fry. I’ll have fish and chips or Indian as the occasional treat.

3 Is food important to you?

Yes, very important – it’s the fuel we put into our bone machine – we have to see our bodies as vehicles and yet we take better care of cars than our own bodies. Do you want to put unwanted fuel in your car? Nope; so why do this to the one precious vehicle/body we are born with. We need to take better care of our bodies and the planet, because we are all connected.

4 Were you able to work from home – if so, how did you find it?

I haven’t worked from home and I’ve never done Zoom meetings from home. I think screen time is unhealthy for all humans.

5 Weekend treat?

A long walk with the dog in a forest or on a long beach somewhere.

6 How do you stay physically and mentally fit?

I meditate and walk in nature, I breathe and I am present in the moment.

7 Have you ever been on a diet – if so, how was it?

I did and it was great. I had salads for breakfast, drank lots of water when I was peckish, and stopped eating after 8 p.m. It worked.

8 How do you relax?

Nature – lots of nature walks…and reading a book, in silence.

9 Teetotal or drink? I would have a Guinness or a pinch of rum and ginger, but only once in a while…

10 What book are you currently reading?

Nina Simone’s Eraser by Warren Ellis.

11 Best Netflix?

None – but Severance on Apple TV is the best TV show ever.

12 The most surprising thing you learned about yourself?

I discovered that I am a very good doggie “mom”. I never thought I could do it.

13 What are your goals for 2022?

To release an album of my band’s music and write and perform a brand new comedy show in Edinburgh. I also want to travel and visit the Ring of Kerry.

14 What time do you go to bed and do you think you get enough sleep?

I go to bed around 1am… so, no, I don’t get enough sleep.

15 Were you a fan of school sports/EPS or do you have a memory of that time that you would rather forget?

I didn’t like physical education at school. I hated rugby on hard frozen ground with mud like broken glass.

16 Biggest gripe?

Middle-aged “Lycra cyclists” (all men, for some reason) on narrow paths “on foot”, just speeding up. It’s so antisocial. I particularly complain about them at night with their bright 1000 watt LED lights that blind your eyes.

17 Staircase or elevator?

Stairs.

18 New skills or hobbies?

I can paddle without falling in, ha-ha.

19 What would you like to see changed for good when it’s all over?

I would like to see more arts and green spaces for people and more public and walkable spaces in cities. And, certainly, more recycling bins.

20 Has the coronavirus changed your attitude towards your own mortality?

I see it now as a beautiful cycle; I gained perspective through nature and by slowing down and realizing how connected we all are, how we are all one race and one organism, of continuous evolution and change within the planet and the continual chronology and growth of the universe. Everything is constantly changing, every second. We are all connected and we all need to make small changes and plant seeds of positive change, now, in this very moment, so that we all leave the world a little brighter and a little more positive. And it’s getting better, slowly, like a growing plant – you can’t see it, but it’s moving and changing, for the better.

:: Fresh off of this year’s Festival of Fools, Paul Currie is next at the Black Box, Belfast, at 1pm today. For other events, follow him on Facebook and Instagram.