Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Reviews

Reviews that might be of interest to naturists. These might be of books, tv programmes or films. Or it might be of clubs or beaches visited.

Review: The Great British Skinny Dip

Media: UK Television, Channel 4
Broadcast: 14 Feb 2017
Running Time: 60 minutes.

Screen Grab: The Great British Skinny Dip (c) Channel 4

I should come ‘clean’ straight away and tell you that, as I don’t own a TV I have not seen this programme personally but republish an extract of a post by Andy Crawford, which went up soon after transmission.

This documentary follows Andrew Welch the Commercial Manager for British Naturism creating a number of ‘skinny dip’ events across the country in order [to get] people to try naturism for the first time.

This hour long programme portrays UK club naturism as it is. Most naturist club members are older people who like camping and socialising together, but [clubs] want to boost their numbers and get more people and particularly younger people, involved.

Andrew has the unenviable task of selling ‘Naturism’ to the public. Sadly, the overall result of The Great British Skinny Dip events and how many newcomers they eventually attract is disappointingly low. [To] be fair, the British weather was particularly bad that day, but Andrew remains upbeat and positive about it all and of the future of British naturism.

The programme also follows his relationship with new partner Sheryn, who is not a naturist but [is eventually persuaded] to try it, both by Andrew’s enthusiasm and not wishing to disappoint him. [She joins] a naturist club… and participates at one of the naturist events.

Also interviewed in the programme was a neighbour of a naturist who didn’t like the idea of naturism but accepted that this is what her neighbours did. The neighbour had some serious self-image and body issues over her weight and looks, and claimed that there was no way that she could participate in naturism because of this. She was also a bit envious of her naturist neighbours who could. The great irony is that if she participated in naturism, then she would almost certainly lose her phobias, boost her own self-esteem and feel a lot better about herself. That irony was lost on her, perhaps lost on the non-naturist audience too. Especially when you consider that she was a younger woman and that her naturist neighbours were somewhat older.

The programme left me with a feeling that:
– Naturism is for older people.
– That British naturist clubs are dying out.
– That selling Naturism as a product itself is not viable.

You can read the entire post about the show at Andy’s Personal Blog but read the rest of this one before you go there.

I would like to pick up on the last of Andy’s bullet points; that selling naturism as a product itself is not viable. While accepting the premise, my question is: what is it that British Naturism and Andrew Welch trying to sell? Is it ‘just having a good time’ or is it a concept, an idea, much like a belief system. If they are trying to sell a good time then Welch and everyone else attempting to do so are up against competition with serious amounts of money and are, quite frankly, more likely to loose. On the other hand if it’s an idea then while it is the more difficult sell, other things could hang from it. As a good example of this, take a look at the website for The Vegetarian Society. There they tell you why you should be a vegetarian and even help you to take that first step by providing a booklet with recipes for meals for you to make. But that is not all the society does, they then tell the entrepreneurs among us what the society can do for them and their business. Whether you agree or not with the concept, you have to admire their ability to ‘sell’ vegetarianism to the curious and encourage business-minded people to set up vegetarian businesses to serve a niche clientele: Restaurant, B&B, whatever. Maybe television shows like The Great British Skinny Dip, however well meaning, is not really helping. On the contrary, it may be re-enforcing the views of the woman featured in the show and referred to by Andy in his blog, not dispelling them.

In his resignation letter to the INF, Stéphane Déschenes of The Naturist Living Show fame suggested that the organisation should become more like a United Nations, somewhere to formulate the idea of naturism worldwide. Maybe, organisations like British Naturism need to think along similar lines and perhaps take a few hints from The Vegetarian Society. I think NAG should too.

Review: Book: Magpie Murders

Media: Book, Fiction 
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz 
Published by Orion Books 
First Published: 2016

If you remember, I learned about this whodunnit by Anthony Horowitz via a Radio Times interview. At a literary festival, Horowitz had been asked if naturism had been a theme in the book, to which the author said, ‘Yes’. Well, naturally I had to read it after that.

Horowitz has form of course. Having written episodes of Poirot and Miss Marple, as well as Midsomer Murders in addition to his own Alex Rider series for young adults, and Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming pastiches. So a wide and

Amsterdam Fun

In August 2016, fellow activist John Paine visited Amsterdam for a bodypainting event held in the Museumplein. A repeat of a similar event held last year, this year’s event has been given more room for the international group of artists and models to work in. Perhaps to put this into context, it is like holding the event in Convent Garden, at the height of the tourist season.

Efforts to bring the event to London continue, in the meantime read John’s report Fun In The Amsterdam Sun and discover what could be in store for our capitial city.

Review it!

One of the more popular sections of the now defunct NUFF website were the reviews provided by Tim Forcer. Tim can now be found writing book reviews for H&E Naturist but as he still has acess to the reviews he did for NUFF, we wondered if he would be willing to share them here. I am please to say, he is. Look out for some old – and new – reviews here shortly.

That set us thinking, however. Tim couldn’t have read and reviewed every book that has a connection to naturism, no matter how teneous so could you help him. We are not setting a word limit, write the article as short or as long as the book deserves, but we reserve the right to edit an article for clarity and gammar, and possible infringements of copyright or liable law. Just send your text as either a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or in Rich Text Format (.rtf) to reviews AT naturistactiongroup DOT org.

Now, you might be thinking why only books? Why indeed. We are willing to consider other reviews, for videos, places to stay and of courses, beaches (official and unofficial). Please bare in mind that Naturist Action Group is based in United Kingdom and while our website has an international reach, we will look more favourably at material with a British (and Irish) connection.
Cheers
Reg

Book Review of “The Naked Collection”, by Sally Dali

Book Review of ‘The Naked Collection’ by Sally Dali.

By Duncan Heenan, May 2016

This book is figurative ‘A Curate’s Egg’, i.e. ‘good in parts’. That expression is drawn from the story of a young Curate who, when staying with a Bishop, was served a boiled egg for breakfast which, when cracked open, turned out to be bad. When the Bishop asked him “How is your egg?” the Curate, not wishing to cause a fuss, replied “Good in parts, sir”.

‘The Naked Collection’ is a compilation of 4 self-published short booklet/essays, all by the same author; ‘Being Naked’, ‘Still Naked’, ‘Naked In Winter’ and ‘Happy To Be Naked’. I bought it on an impulse as light reading to take on holiday and within a few pages realised that I had fallen in to the trap of buying a book based on its title and a low price.

Each of the component works is essentially the same – the author’s personal memoir heavily laced with lengthy and repetitive expositions of her philosophy of naturism, which amount to the fact that she loves to be naked and loves to tell people about it. He memoirs reflect this in that she has led an unremarkable life except to the extent that she has dedicated most of her adult life to finding ways and places to get naked, leading her eventually to give up her life in England and go and live at the French naturist resort CHM Montelivet, where she now shows signs of boredom and scrapes a living working as a booking agent for some of the accommodation.  As a component part of her story, she is very open about her rather active bisexual love life but spares us the detail, and so avoids it becoming a ‘mummy porn’ story; but it may earn her some disapproval from readers who espouse monogamy. However, Sally Dali (a pen name) claims not to seek approval however, either of her love life (which forms a fairly small part of the books) or of her ‘obsession’ (her word) with naturism. She says she just wants to express to the world how wonderful naturism is, and why we should all try it.

Where the book failed, for me at least, was its lack of real content. We are told that she loves to be naked, and there are a few attempts at explaining why, but they all boil down to ‘I just do’.  But, because she has so little else to tell us, she repeats it many times with very little

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