It was a late finish or rather early morning by the time I fell into bed at the Melville. The evening do on Saturday had been great fun and after an intensive schedule and a day of presentations, chance to catch up socially with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for a year or so.
We chatted, danced, laughed, drank and threw a few quid over the bar. I’m not usually a night owl, more of an early bird as those of you who know me from Twitter can attest but I can turn my body clock on its head if circumstance dictates it. I was going to bed at a time I’d normally be starting to wake up, with an alarm set for 6:30am.
Years ago when I was an actress darlings, we used to tour around the UK. Seaside resorts featured highly in the touring schedule and it became our tradition among to have a swim, irrespective of the time of year.
I love UK seaside resorts in the autumn and winter. They have a distinctive tawdry charm, battered by the elements, without droves of ‘Kiss Me Quick’ Brits in tandem. Here we were in October, in Blackpool. My mind instantly defaulted to touring mode, albeit thirty years down the line. The quest for a dip kept vying for attention. I mentioned it on Friday. By Saturday it had become a resolve but I faltered. Somehow, once you’re warm, cozy and well fed, the prospect loses its allure. There was only one thing for it, a morning dip in the nip.
At lunch on Saturday I regaled my friends with the notion. No way did they want to join me, thinking it a mad prospect. Undaunted, I mentioned it again during the evening on a slightly low-key basis, not wishing to end up reading my public nudity rights from a scrumpled up British Naturism document to the local constabulary. They can be blithely oblivious to the salient aspect of British law in relation to nudity on occasions, as documented gleefully in the gutter press. With all the worry surrounding a pivotal member of my family who’d recnetly had serious accident and as the eldest of six, the mediator between concerned family and friends, keeping it small seemed a better plan.
By the end of our boozy Blackpool knees-up, I’d secured another three subjects who were happy to join me first thing Sunday, two of whom I’d been chasing Blackpool’s fabled lights with earlier.
The rendezvous was 7am in Reception. Three were on time, one had to be prompted with a text. Perhaps it didn’t seem like such a good idea once the day dawned.
We set off for the seafront, my light sabre leading the way. I did say slightly low-key ;).
Blackpool was still illuminated, with some venues pumping out their lights 24-hours a day. Gulls circled, the bin men were out on their rounds and the sea was about half a mile out!
The barman at the Melville had warned us when he learnt of our plans Saturday evening. “Have you checked the tides?” I looked at him blankly. It hadn’t occurred to me the sea would be that far out. It was.
We made our way across the sands, wincing in the face of the wind. It certainly woke us up! One of our party made his way into the sea without hesitation, receding into the water with purposeful strides. The rest of us were struggling with clothes and bags as the wind whipped around. Once he returned (he wasn’t long) we followed suit. The scenery was glorious. Before we entered the water, dawn was breaking, the sky bleeding out various hues of ochre and red, with Blackpool tower silhouetted against it.
I paddled around a little. This was my first skinny dip in the UK in October so I wanted to make the most of it. Once out I was reluctant to get dressed again, savouring the sensation of being outdoors and naked, with the sand between my toes and the wind swirling around. It also seemed relatively warm after the temperature of the sea. Totally illusory of course.
We made our way back to the hotel and after a HOT shower and breakfast I went along to Reverend Bob Horrocks morning worship. I recognised a few regulars at Bob’s professional presentation and communion. Christian Naturist Fellowship website here for those of you who’re interested.
Today was check out day. I’d yet to pack and check in with my hospitalised family member. I’m pleased to say at the time of writing, whilst still incarcerated ‘hell in paradise’ as he terms it, he has a release date later this month.
Returning to my room, I was greeted by the sight of clothes and belongings strewn all over the place, shades of being on tour when we moved from B&B to B&B relentlessly. I learnt to live out of a suitcase but evidently didn’t have the same stamina three decades down the line. After very little sleep and the worry about my family, with a long drive ahead my priority had to be packing and sleep so I missed the presentations I’d hoped to attend that morning. It was worth it for the memories we created.
Fortified by sleep, coffee and lunch, I did make the AGM. I don’t enjoy meetings but this one was good as far as meetings go, it was quick :). I struggled downstairs with all my bags, business and personal, my light sabre, a bunch of flowers given to me by a friend before I left Bucks, my laptop, walking boots, training gear, music system……..fairly typical.
Everyone else was already in place which meant I had nowhere to hide and ended up directly opposite the Executive Committee members who were about to start. A naked service followed by a naked AGM, not commonplace for all but standard for naturists/nudists. It’s a life lived naked as far as possible.
About 70 people attended Blackpool Baby. We crowded into the seating opposite the bar. Ballot papers were handed around, motions were carried and questions asked. Another Convention was drawing to a close. What a good one it had been!
Malcolm Boura stepped down after 10 years as the British Naturism Campaigns Manager and was made an honorary member. He ran two sessions over the weekend which were very informative and also provided valuable legal advice and insights in others. Useful public nudity download here.
The staff at the Melville Hotel enjoyed hosting British Naturism. One member Carol, poked her head around the door during a lull in the AGM to say how much they had enjoyed having us to stay and they hoped we would stay again. It’s a sentiment commonly echoed by venues hired by British Naturism. Any qualms staff might have about being faced with public nudity swiftly disappear once the initial shock of being in the presence of a number of nude people becomes the norm.
I certainly intend to re-visit the Melville, light sabre and all with a girlfriend next year. It was a perfect venue, a short walk from the beach with friendly, helpful staff, good home cooking and critically if you enjoy a dip in the nip, a constant supply of hot water. Be safety aware though because you don’t want to end up in ‘hot water’ adversely and don’t combine swimming with alcohol or you’ll end up requiring the ministrations of the RNLI