Break out the Barbie arms with Nude-ercise

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My first experience of a naked workout today and it was absolutely brilliant!  Helen Smith, a British Naturism member who has featured in a lot of recent press articles about her nude venture, is now running classes in London as well as Southampton.

I help Naturist London with my colleague Karen so women have a female point of contact for the swim and aim to be at the swim monthly, hosting Ladies meet ups. Today we broke with tradition and took part in Helen’s first class between 11:00-12:00am before heading back to Energybase for a swim.

I’ve taken part in a lot of exercise sessions in the past and can say with absolute certainty that you need a reasonable level of fitness to take part.  A mixed group, six men, two women, we warmed up before the fun began and it really was – the time flew!

Nude-ercise has elements of rugby training without the pad work so don’t book in thinking you’re in for an easy ride.  However Helen makes the class light-hearted and she’s encouraging and attentive to the varying fitness levels in the group.

The venue we trained at was clean and functional, affording excellent privacy so there was no chance of lascivious voyeurs drooling over our attempts to emulate Helen’s seemingly effortless stretches.  We chopping and changed under Helen’s direction, working in twos, fours, individually. There was no time to get bored and lots of banter.

Towards the latter part of the class various timed planking challenges were thrown into the mix, culminating in a plank off.  I’d love to say I won with my competitive nature.  I absolutely didn’t but had great fun trying!

As for Barbie, she evidently doesn’t cheat.  To ensure we didn’t slip into to reducing the impact of an exercise we had to make like Barbie.  You’ll have to take part in one of Helen’s classes to break out the Barbie arms.  No clues in the picture below.

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Contact Information

Via Naturist London :          Nude-ercise (including links to recent press articles)

Facebook:                                Nude-ercise  

That’s Solent TV                   Interview with Helen Smith

Picture Credit:                       Solent News and Photo Agency   Twitter: @snapagency

The Great British Skinny Dip #Septembare

To be screened on Valentine’s Day, Channel 4, 10:00pm

Channel 4  Press Release  9 June 2016

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“The Great British Skinny Dip (w/t)

This year British Naturism, Britain’s largest group devoted to the lifestyle, is reaching out to encourage more people to give it a go, challenging British attitudes to nudity along the way. The initiative is the brainchild of the organisation’s Andrew Welch, who is spearheading an event he’s calling “Septembare” when, over a weekend in September, non-naturists (or textiles as they call them) will get the chance to join one of a number of skinny dips that are being planned across Britain.

The documentary will follow the organisation’s attempt to co-opt venues and drum up support, and explore what the appeal is – why a range of people from all walks of life enjoy spending their spare time in the buff and how they manage to do it in a country where the climate doesn’t naturally lend itself.

Naturism is increasingly being sought out online by young people seeking escapism, fun and freedom – choosing to lay themselves bare at a time of increased body consciousness and airbrushing. With access to nudist clubs across the country as well as the wilder activities off the beaten track, this film will lift the lid on the world of naturism, climaxing with the skinny-dip weekend which may or may not bring new converts to the faith.

Production Company: ZKK

Director: Victoria Silver

Executive producer: Kathy O’Neil

Trailer released 9 February 2017   https://youtu.be/PYffmNq-5GA

GBSD:  The Great British Skinny Dip  website & on twitter  @GBSD2017

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Home Alone Naturism / Nudism

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Painting by Mary Bassett @MaryBassettArt

Some people choose to be home alone naturists / nudists whilst others are forced to be out of necessity where public nudity is taboo or frowned upon. On occasions people lack confidence and try nudity in a safe space which allows those first tentative steps.  However even in cultures where public nudity is permitted in principle, England for example, the vagaries of English law mean that cases have been brought against naturists who are nude on their own property or in some instances, in their own houses behind closed doors!

Malcolm Boura spent over a decade working and advising British Naturism as their Campaigns Manager and has extensive knowledge of the law and it’s application to public nudity and through association, naturists.  This page has more information about the organisation’s role in campaigning to preserve the rights of naturists in the UK, including handy downloads with legal guidance for naturists in England and Wales and Scotland.

On a personal level, many naturists/nudists find it hard to enjoy a clothes-free lifestyle in their own homes, whether due to opposition from friends or family or their living circumstances.  I have tenants for example who I get on very well with and whilst it’s no secret I’m a naturist, out of respect to them I choose not to be naturist in my own home. That said, when the weather (rarely) is scorching, I’ve been known to venture outside and sunbathe despite the fact my garden is very overlooked.  It’s a sad admission but were I male I doubt I would since the male nude is somehow considered threatening by many in our culture in art, photography and society in general.

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I received a message recently asking about naturist friendly accommodation in London via Naturist London which made me dwell on my own situation.  At the moment I’m perfectly comfortable not being nude, it’s too damn cold but in the summer when it’s particularly hot, there are times when it can feel a bit restricting having to remain clothed.

One very useful site Naturist Accommodation UK  “is for people who are offering or looking for bed and breakfast, self-catering, lettings, flat or house shares or other accommodation in an environment that enables social nudity or is clothing-optional.”  If you’re on twitter, you can Follow Naturist Accommodation UK  for updates @nacouk.

When I finally retire I’m likely to move and one of my main considerations will be the privacy a garden affords.  Many naturists choose to practice their naturism where they feel comfortable.  The same applies when I’m hiking naked with friends.  It doesn’t take long to get into the wilds and it doesn’t take long to fling some clothes on to save confrontation or test the definitions of alarm or distress.   Here’s the CPS page on nudity in public20150925_1401131

I’ve got five years before my exit strategy kicks in and after that I’m still not sure where life will take me but the requirements might include sunshine as well as the ability to skip around my garden naked.

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A blue-green fantasy comes to life in Hull

In July 2016 3,200 people took part in Spencer Tunick’s art installation the Sea of Hull to celebrate Hull’s rich maritime history and highlight climate change.

Commissioned by Ferens Art Gallery to highlight Hull’s status as the 2017 City of Culture and to whip up a PR storm in advance of the launch, Spencer was in town to create his typically immersive nude art. Participants were body painted on the Saturday and photographed nude for a smaller installation in the wake of the Humber Bridge on Sunday.

Groups were determined randomly according to the registration desk people selected on arrival into B1, B2, B3 and B4, which denoted the respective four body paints.

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I’d travelled to the location with a naturist buddy Rod Currie and we both ended up at the B1 registration desk, a light blue.  To my naked eye B2, B3 and B4 appeared to be increasingly darker hues of green.  Once captured on film, the four colours blended together to create Spencer Tunick’s Ode to the Sea.

With a call time anywhere between 2:30-3:15am the Queens Gardens had never seen so much activity.  Floodlights illuminated the respective meeting points and staff were on hand to dispense the colours.

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Erin, Coral and Rod brandishing their pots of B1

Periodic announcements were made, excitement increased until finally after much anticipation, Spencer himself emerged and spoke to the assembled throng from the top of a ladder.  He introduced his support staff, including Steve who would be central to crowd control (and our amusement) and gave an overview of what he’d planned for the day.

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Spencer instructed us not to smile “it’s too distracting” and asked that we remain impassive, entreating us not to smile for his videographers who were filming events as they unfolded.  For participants, it was obvious from the outset we were submerged in a surreal experience and the sheer scale of the numbers involved, the attendant press and a rogue drone meant all our senses were being challenged, quite apart from adjusting to the sensation of being naked in Hull City Centre in the early hours.


The first challenge for some and highly anticipated but not for old hands like ourselves, was the act of stripping off and daubing ourselves with paint.  Spencer had stressed anyone who wasn’t covered adequately would be pulled out of the frame.  No-one wanted to fall by the wayside. The team whipped us up into frenzy.  ‘Go, you have 3 minutes’ and with that we frantically tried to cover ourselves completely to Spencer’s critical satisfaction. The artist at work can be quite exacting and Spencer didn’t disappoint. He was also mindful of timings, with the centre of Hull being closed off from midnight on Friday 8th July until 10:00am on Saturday 9th July.

Once bodypainted, we were instructed to move on to the Rose Garden.  By now it was probably about 4:15am dark, dank and foreboding.  We filed in to the Rose Garden from Queens Gardens on either side of the park, surveying the bizarre sight of hundreds of people in different hues, moving forwards inexorably.  Once out of the confines of the park into the beauty of the formal planted rose garden, the enormity of what we had signed up for became apparent and the realisation we were about to create a piece of artistic history in Hull.

Spencer Tunick was positioned at the top of the BBC building, surveying the scene.  The attendant press were resplendent on an open top bus adjacent to the Rose Garden.  Once Spencer was satisfied we were sufficiently deep and dense enough, he began to capture his iconic images which will be unveiled next spring at Ferens Art Gallery.

Woe betide the people who were in the shot and not supposed to be. “Get out of MY picture.’  Spencer has a very keen eye, so crouching down behind a wall didn’t spare them either.  “You, over there behind the wall.  I can still see you.”  Spencer’s team, including Steve who seemed to bear the brunt of his exacting demands rushed around coordinating us and errant passers-by, walkie talkies in hand.

Mindful we had to remain impassive and revelling in the scale and solidarity of such a large group and my  B1 identity, my mind was whirring as I drank it all in.  I was an alien and Spencer was a usurper who we were wordlessly watching and monitoring.  Far from smiling, I spent the entire day giving Spencer the ‘evils’ although he wouldn’t have seen me, I was a drop in the ocean.  He’d told us earlier to be happy in our minds when we were experiencing the day.  Mine was a funny sort of happy, it was a totally immersive alternate reality for a few hours and not one that everyone would want to share but others had their own reality.

In total we were positioned into seven scenes.  I was lucky enough to be in all seven although there was some discomfort involved and we certainly had to endure low temperatures.  So much for the British summer!

I’ve been a public naturist since 2011 and spend most of my weekends at naked events and taking part in naturist activities but I don’t strip off if the weather is adverse or unseasonal.  On this Saturday however, those of us who took part in all seven scenes were naked from about 4:00-8:30am and it was both adverse and unseasonal.  The things we do for art!

My favourite scene was one where we were laying on the floor of a main thoroughfare in Hull.  What a beautiful city!  My eyes lit up at the historic architecture as we left the Rose Garden and I chatted to local participants to learn more. Meanwhile the attendant press trailed after us in their open top bus where they could gain access and the crowd, which had a festival–like feel to it from the outset, called out and waved to the cameras gamely.

Spencer tended to take one picture with us facing towards him, then one rear-facing picture.  Steve soon got in on the act.  ‘Steve’, said Spencer irritably when things weren’t moving fast enough for his liking or we Brits didn’t understand his instructions;  ‘Get on the sidewalk. Get on the sidewalk!’  Some would have known what a sidewalk was but as a group we stood stoically awaiting instructions in Queen’s English.  Once corrected and pavement was uttered, we duly moved.

One wag in the crowd picked up the exasperated Steeeve cry and that was it, we spent the rest of the time chanting Steve when Spencer mentioned his name, rather like a football chant with much hilarity.  “Who is Steve anyway?” I asked at one point.  “Does it matter?” Said Rod.  Moot point, not really no.

By now, about 5:15am I’d estimate with the battle bus in the distance and Spencer on a cherry picker, Spencer moved his droplets into place and decreed we lie down.  An incredulous “lie down?” went around the crowd like a Mexican wave, akin to the sigh which was involuntarily released when a few droplets of rain came down as we stood rear facing in the Rose Garden.

We lay down.  ‘Extend your legs.’  We extended our legs. ‘Extend your arms, even if it means you’re touching someone else.’  We extended our arms.  I was laying the other side of steel railings.  Positioning myself in my best life modelling pose, I snaked my hand out over the steel railing towards another blue-green alien and we lay waiting for Spencer to take his pictures.  ‘Another 30 seconds,’ said Spencer at one point.  Another 30 seconds went and we waited and waited, not daring to move lest we ruin the shot.  It was cold, it certainly wasn’t comfortable and it certainly wasn’t 30 seconds.

All intermingled, we were now separated into our colour groupings.  My B1 group watched and waited patiently while the B2, B3 and B4 were marched around.  I wondered at the time whether they were hyperlapsing the action.  I’m such a social media geek at times. I was correct though.

B1 was led down a narrow street and Spencer took another shot.  More nude-on-floor action. More groans. I lay in another one of my imaginary stunning life model poses, trying to disregard the cigarette butts which were in my eyeline.  It wasn’t much earlier people would have been spilling out of the nightclubs, bars and restaurants of the city.  Just imagine if you turned a corner and came across a Spencer Tunick tableau after a night out on the town, you really would think aliens had invaded!

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After this, directed and posed, we were all brought back together again and Spencer told us to mix the colours up. To once again be swirling around B2s, B3s and B4s was fascinating after probably 90 minutes of solely being with B1s. It’s amazing how quickly a situation becomes the norm.  I felt we were a tribe in our own right and the other colours were different tribes. In my mind, we danced around each other, fascinating in our differences and intrigued but also innately knowing the other tribes meant no harm.

The participants were like a representation of life in general, with different ages, body shapes, nationalities, mental and physical illness/disabilities. Spencer, perhaps not used to British sensibilities and political correctness blithely said in one of his interviews, that there were lots of old people there, disabled people, people with bandages and it was like being in the aftermath of a blue war zone.

As we lined up for the penultimate group shoot, Spencer again astride a cherry picker in his irascible way was goading Steve and we him with our chanting. If he was irritated by it he gave no sign and broke out into a smile when the crowd poked fun at his innocent ‘Fill the hole, fill the hole’ entreaty.  I was amused too by how Spencer lined his shots up.  Once in place he produced something from his pocket and peered through it at the crowd, rather like a ships Captain looking though a spyglass.

Leaving Hull’s retail area we trailed over to the final set up, the bitterly cold Scale Lane footbridge.  Only 600 people were able to participate in this Scene because of the weight restrictions.  I was ‘lucky’ enough to get on, although it wasn’t long before we all doubted the wisdom of our enthusiasm.  It was bitterly cold, the wind searing into our joints and stabbing our souls.  It might have been Steve (still not knowing his exact identity) who had Spencer in one ear and us in his eye line.  ‘Please’ he implored, ‘fill the space,’ indicating the centre of the Bridge.  ‘He won’t take the picture until he’s happy.  Do it for Steve.”  Those magic words.  We complied, although not without demurring, it was painful underfoot because of the shingle.

This time the press pack were ensconced in the Travel Lodge opposite, along with Spencer who made his wishes known in his customarily terse style.  ‘Get out of my shot’ he barked to some bystanders who were alongside in high viz jackets.  By now, time and discomfort was taking its toll and one lady fainted.  Once finished, we filed off slowly, far too slowly. The lucky ones got boiler suits and flip-flops to help raise their temperatures.  Rod and I were on the upper deck so missed out but we were still buoyed up by the whole experience.

We made our way back to Queens Gardens, past the town house where earlier millennials had been watching us with great hilarity and videoing our slow procession towards the Bridge.  The garden which not long before was littered in clothes and people, reverted to archetype.  Were it not for trails of blue and green paint demarking our progress around Hull, you could be forgiven for thinking it was all a big blue-green dream.

Would I do it again?  You bet!

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Blackpool Baby, Part II

 

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.

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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.

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Blackpool on Saturday, about 8am

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.

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We set off for the seafront, my light sabre leading the way.  I did say slightly low-key ;).  

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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!

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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.

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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 

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Blackpool Baby! British Naturism’s 2016 National Convention & AGM

The last time I saw the Lights, I was probably about eight.  My nose pressed up against the glass  peering out at the illuminations, transfixed through the raindrops.  Debbie, my younger sister and I were happily ensconced in the back of our grandparents car where we’d been deposited for the week and this was the highlight of our holiday with them. Roll on a few years and action replay, Blackpool illuminations provided the warm up for our Saturday night entertainment during the bi-annual British Naturism  National Convention & AGM and they still have the power.

I travelled up from Buckinghamshire the day before the Convention began.  The main motorway infastructure in the UK is heaving and predictably it was a slow, painful process. Finding the Melville Hotel wasn’t that easy either, with a multitude of one way roads but the ever-helpful member of night staff Shaun talked me in and helped me unpack.

Shaun was acting as porter, receptionist, barman, cook, waiter.  I settled down with a good home cooked meal and a large glass of red to take in the surroundings.

The Melville Hotel which owner Colin has had for six years, is in a prime location near to the seafront.  It has a faded charm but it’s perfectly servicable.  The staff were incredibly friendly, the food good home cooking and critically at the appointed time, we were able to revert to naturist mode for the weekend.  At 6pm on Friday night 14th October until 4pm on Sunday 16th October, the Melville was a clothes-free zone.

The staff had some trepidation beforehand (public nudity is a new experience for many people) but wherever we go as a group, the management and staff enjoy hosting us. We’re a friendly community and the nudity takes no time at all to get used to, even for nude novices.  By the end of weekend Carol who ran Reception popped her head into the room where the AGM was being held to say how much the staff had enjoyed having British Naturism to stay and we were welcome back anytime, although presumably not nude unless it were a special event such as this otherwise other guests might be slightly startled ;).

Guests started to arrive during the day on Friday and I hosted a coffee meetup in the lounge mid-afternoon which went well.  I’d love to have such a good turn out for our Naturist London Ladies coffee meetups!

As ever, it’s nice to put faces to names which you see on the community forum and greet old friends.  Whilst I enjoy the social events British Naturism put on, this bi-annual Convention is very satisfying because it gives committed naturists chance to discuss issues which are important to the community in person and specifically of concern or interest to naturists in the UK.

It’s not just national naturism which is discussed though, international naturism/nudism was on the agenda with presentations from Nick Caunt, British Naturism’s INF International Director.  Nick spoke about the impending World Congress in New Zealand which is due to be hosted between 16th-20th November 2016.

There was a varied programme of presentations, workshops and discussions during the weekend.  Excuse the ticks, they were my provisional choices.  Sadly I wasn’t able to attend as many as I’d hoped due to a family health crisis but those that I did make were very good indeed.

I did manage to get to Andrew Welch British Naturism’s Marketing and PR Director‘s presentation on the very same subject which was interesting.  I help the Andy, the PRO at Diogenes Sun Club with social media so am always keen to gain insights.

I also sat in on Malcolm Boura‘s discussion on Campaigns.  Malcolm has provided his valuable expertise to British Naturism for over ten years and is now stepping down from his role as Campaigns Director.  We talked through a number of issues facing naturism in the UK practically, politically and socially and discussed ways forward within British Naturism from a campaigning perspective.  This was a lively and productive meeting as you might expect.

Finally on the Saturday, I was able to sit in on the presentation on Beaches Campaigning by George Booth, British Naturism’s NW Representative and Nick Caunt  which was very interesting indeed.  A lot of parallel issues from the earlier discussion with Malcolm were apparent.  Malcolm sat in on the presentation too and it was helpful to have his legal insights and advice during the questions which arose.

After dinner that evening, we had some free time to explore Blackpool and see the lights.  I’d already been out early Saturday morning on a failed quest to find a postbox but admittedly didn’t scour the area for too long, I was rather distracted by the sea and trams.  Call me a bit niche but I love trams.

I’d struck up an accord with a lovely couple from Dundee, Derek and Arlene and a relatively new member of British Naturism and to naturism, Mick.  The four of us traipsed off to see the lights together.  Derek also shared my love of trams.  We were like a couple of schoolkids trying to get pictures and footage of the trams as they trundled past.

After cutting a deal on four flashing light sabres (my history darlings) we wandered along drinking in the sights of Blackpool at night.  I wasn’t prepared for it to be so busy.  It’s like a mini Las Vegas.

Sabres aloft, we boarded a tram where Mick negotiated the tram fayre.  The ride along the promenade parellel to the lights and hotels skirting the seafront was the optimum way to tour Blackpool.  We were on a tram, how often do you get that chance?

Tim Peake‘s influence as part of an AV display on the frontage of Blackpool Tower‘s base to fire up the children’s imagination about space exploration was carried through along the route, with large spacemen coming in to view, climbing lamp posts and perching on illuminated displays.

Journey over we returned via another tram.  Two trams in one day!  This journey was hilarious.  The tram conductor could easily have doubled up as a comedian and his repartee combined with a raucous hen party on board added to the hilarity.

We made our way back to the Melville Hotel for the final chapter of the day, a comedy show and burst into the bar, sabres flashing to the amusement of our nude counterparts. The first comedian ended up stuck in traffic so a substitute was pulled in after coming off stage from a nearby hotel.  He accompanied popular backing tracks well, interpersing songs with a volley of eye boggling bawdy, sexist jokes.  I fell about laughing.  There’s no way he’d have got away with those jokes in another environment but this was Blackpool Baby!

Part 2 as soon as I get the chance to write it

Don’t Turn Your Back On Me Baby

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as sung by Showaddywaddy on their 1974 album of the same title.  Pictures of the band look dated now and I’d argue that’s how many clubs and associations come across with their insistence on portraying members cheeks facing.

We don’t greet people in life bottom forward.  We face them, look into their eyes and extend a hand of friendship.  No wonder prospective naturists are confused.  On the one hand clubs are complaining about diminishing numbers and how they’d like to attract new members but it’s often a daunting prospect for people interested in the lifestyle to pay a visit to a swim or a club, especially if they’re single and worse still male.  Websites are often not that welcoming, the reception often less so.

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It’s an individual choice whether or not you choose to be open about your interest in naturism but the penchant for showing your affiliation to naturism by bum cheek after bum cheek after bum cheek is beginning to wear a bit thin.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they were active shots but normally the anonymous naturists are inert and often lined up. What sort of message is that sending across?  Not a very dynamic one and certainly not one that’s likely to appeal to a younger demographic.

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We can’t attribute the phenomena solely to Facebook either because they’ve only begun to allow rear shots in recent history.  From a marketing point of view its pants and it doesn’t sell the message that we’re revelling in body confidence and body acceptance.

Many naturist clubs have beautiful grounds and facilities.  Some members are happy to be featured in PR shots.  Use them or perhaps hire a naturist model for a photographic shoot. The community is awash with professional photographers, life models, artists, performance artists, many of whom would be happy to be featured.

So come on, turn around, what have you got to lose?

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