Author Lindsey has quite the 'tail' to tell!
Mermaid and environmental campaigner has based book on her experiences
by Charley Rogers
South Bristol local Lindsey Cole has been “doing adventures” for years, often dressed as a mermaid. And now she’s written a book about it.
“The mermaid theme started on a trip to Indonesia,” said Lindsey.
“I was learning to free dive and I cut my hand on a piece of plastic – when I got back to the surface I realised just how much plastic was in the ocean, and it was really upsetting.”
Lindsey had been taking on challenges – such as cycling across Africa – and presenting workshops about them since 2010, and decided it was her duty to raise awareness of plastic pollution. So, in the winter of 2018, she swam the length of the Thames – with full mermaid tail – to show “how we’re choking rivers and oceans with plastic”.
But the incredible story doesn’t stop there. During the Thames swim, Lindsey came across a cow that had fallen in the river, and helped save her.
“I called the RSPCA and police, and they sent six firemen along to haul her out,” she says.
“The next day the story was on page three of The Sun newspaper – they weren’t really interested in why I was swimming dressed as a mermaid, but they loved the cow story!”
After appearing in the national press, Lindsey got a call from a children’s summer camp in Wembley, who asked if they could use her story as inspiration for their summer play.
She said: “I was invited to the performance, and it was the sweetest thing. I also got a lot of questions from the children, and it really made me realise how important it is to talk about serious issues like climate change in a fun and engaging way.”
The whole experience inspired Lindsey to put her mermaid adventure down on paper.
She said: “I’ve written a children’s book called The Mermaid and the Cow, about a mermaid who goes on a quest to clean her river from plastic pollution and makes an unlikely friend along the way.”
Lindsey also puts extra effort into her local deliveries.
“If someone in Bristol orders the book, I deliver it by hand in my mermaid tail. And if it’s someone’s birthday, I’ll even serenade them with my ukulele!”
Lindsey is currently planning a series of mermaid adventure swims around the world, and an accompanying book, with the next one taking place in Arctic Norway.
“It’s been difficult to organise what with the pandemic, but I’m hoping to be able to do the next swim in June or July,” she says.
“The great thing about the book,” adds Lindsey, “is that although they’re aimed at children, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other carers and family members can all enjoy the story – especially since it’s based on real events!”
The Mermaid and the Cow is available to purchase at www.lindseycole.co.uk where you can also find more information about Lindsey’s work and adventures.