Known for her acerbic wit on The Weakest Link, last October Anne Robinson looked at Britain’s Secrets, including interviewing a naturist couple – Mike and Wendy – from Bedford.
As reported by the Daily Express (20/10/2016), the encounter left Robinson wondering if the great British public wouldn’t benefit from seeing more people nude in public. If they did, posited the journalist then perhaps our younger generations wouldn’t seek ‘perfection’ as depicted by manipulated photographs in magazines.
This came after Mike, Wendy and Robinson went to a park, and the article described how ‘passers by looked on in shock and horror’. Eventually the police were called. On arrival the officer threatens Mike and Wendy with arrest. It just goes to show that NAG needs to continue its efforts to get front line police officers trained in CPS’ guidance about naturism and public nudity.
One interesting aside, the newspaper asked its readers if they would try naturism in a self-selected poll. Of the 539 votes cast at the time of reading 77 per cent said they had already tried it, and only four per cent said they never would. The poll is not representative of the newspaper’s readership, let alone the UK population. Still extra questions did came to mind for the 415 readers of the article that said they had already tried naturism, like are they still naturists or did they try it once, years ago and never since? See what I mean about asking the right questions?
With over 200 visitors to Somerset last summer, Nudefest is to return to Thorney Lakes in 2017.
Details are still a little bare (groan) says Somerset Live (19/10/2016, but last year’s entertainment included nude visits to a local motor museum and cider brandy producer. Nudefest 2017 is scheduled for between 3 and 10 July 2017.
Book early seems to be advice, or be disappointed.
2017 – the year naturism takes off?
In his blog, Bare Thoughts, Harmen J Pordon wondered if 2017 will the year that naturism ‘takes off’. The evidence he uses to come to that conclusion is lots of tiny things, like: the pop-up restaurant Bunyadi in London, with its 40,000 waiting list, the greater frequency of social nudity on TV and programmes like Naked & Afraid, and the growing number of visitors to spas and saunas.
Pordon might well be right of course, but the evidence he cites is not hard evidence. It is just a feeling developed from a myriad of sources, not necessarily connected and we humans can be so fickle. What is in vogue one year can be passé the next, and suddenly the moment is gone. It is not guesswork – or gut feelings – that naturism needs, it is hard evidence derived from research trying to dig deeper than the observable events that give rise to feelings such as this. Yes, Bunyadi had a substantial waiting list, but did they all come from London or from a wider area? Just recently I mentioned in this column an article where the creator of Bunyadi said that a proportion of his guests were French. Did they make the trip to London especially? Pordon says the visitor numbers to spas and saunas are on the up, where did he get this from and for what country? What might be true for, Holland say, might be false for the UK or France.
Having said all that, Bare Thoughts is still a good read and should not be ignored just because of the faults in one post that I’ve highlighted here. I have no illusion that someone cannot pull apart one of my blogs just as effectively.
Nude Eating in Spain
It’s a bit like London buses, you wait ages for one then three or four come together.
Following in the wake of Bunyadi in London, and news that a similar restaurant had been opened in Tokyo, and another in Paris soon, we now learn from the Daily Express (28/10/2016), that another naked restaurant is to be opened this month, this time in Tenerife.
Entrepreneur Tony de Leonardis says that his new restaurant was inspired by Bunyadi in London, and is not so much about nudism, but looks beyond that concept, according to the article.
The San Isidro restaurant will offer meals cooked with organic food and local wines, and cost between €70 and €80, with reservations already being made in late October.
Prompted by an earlier article about the advantages of introducing young children to the natural world, Norman Bateman wrote to the editor of the Morpeth Herald (23/10/2016) imploring parents to become naturists. The article he cited said that children, who learnt to love nature at an early age, usually loved the outdoor life.
According to Bateman, letting children play in the safe environment of a naturist club has benefits beyond them taking to the flora and fauna around them. Bateman explained that he and his wife watched their grandchildren grow up to be fully rounded adults and more mature than their contemporaries, after enjoying a clothes free childhood.
Have you let children play naturally in a naturist club, either your own or grandchildren, and seen something similar?
WNBR & Naturism
The writer of another blog, this time The Naturist Page informed his readers that he was no longer a co-organiser of the Montreal leg of WNBR. He gave his reason thus: ‘I felt like I was no longer co-organizing a World Naked Bike Ride, but rather a voyeurism event where it was like: “Oh hey, come gather around and snap photos of the genitals!” which was not the idea behind the WNBR at all.’
Now I should admit that I’m a World Naked Bike Ride lightweight, having participated in just one (London) but observed others. In London at least, however, you could not fail to notice the horde of snappers with large telephoto lens attached to their cameras. The one exception was the ride in Southampton where it was hard to spot them. The obvious difference between them is the number of riders, London has roughly 1,000 riders every year, Southampton, that year, had roughly 50-something. It is therefore easier to be anonymous in London.
It does surprise me, however, just how many naturists treat this as an annual event for them. As many of the organising collectives are at pains to point out, the WNBR is a protest, not a naturist event. I think the confusion has arisen because of two things. First, many of the organisers are naturists, in the UK certainly and perhaps around the world. The second reason is that the collectives’ work so hard at organising the ride itself, they seem to have forgotten to tell people what the protest is about. The original ride was calling for less dependency on the motor industry and fossil fuels, with a little bit of body acceptance (positivity) thrown in. Only later did individual riders add their own pet peeves, including calls for greater acceptance of naturism. Also, naturally naturists took to the rides to be nude in a public place without any doubt that it was legal and now it seems the majority of the riders are naturists out to enjoy themselves.
As worthy as the WNBR is, in my opinion it is time that naturism stood on its own two feet. If we want an event to promote naturism generally then we should organise one. But I am also of the opinion that if WNBR is to continue as a protest then it needs to state its aims more clearly. Perhaps pick a single issue, like climate change, and promote it widely?