Postcard from Spain Part Two : Day 1

I arrived in Spain at lunchtime, and we’ve now made our way to our usual apartment, one of several surrounding a communal swimming pool in a gated community, and we’ve begun settling in. As with last September, when I ran the ‘postcard from Spain’ series (which can be viewed here (SLN website page 22) and here (SLN website page 23) )

Almost all the food we need has already been laid in by our ever attentive ‘landlady’, so not much of a shop was required this afternoon. My only shopping requirement was to wander the 200m wearing only a purse ๐Ÿ™‚ to pick up a couple of ice creams for the children. As I write, two tired toddlers are sleepily munching their way through some dinner, and they’ll probably head off to bed soon-ish, even earlier than they would at home, thanks to an extraordinarily early start from home.

I’ve already said hello to our friendly, retired and semi-permanent German neighbours, whom we’ve known for several years now. Their English is poor, my German non-existent, and so we speak to each other in a mixture of French and Spanish ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah, the wonders of holidays!!

And so I’m currently sitting under the shade of the balcony’s awning, and -like the kids- also feeling the pace a little bit. If I stand up I can probably see Mr. Keng getting in a reviving swim in that pool, or chatting with one of the regular neighbours if there are any around, and it’ll be my turn next! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully that will revive me enough to enjoy what looks like a delicious bottle of rioja left for us by Sra. S!!!!

One of the advantages of using the same place time and again is that we ‘hit the ground running’ tomorrow. Currently, a hot sun has started to make moves at heading off to bed itself, and I dare say the children will drift off to some sounds from Mr. Keng’s ipod and speakers while I’m taking my own dip. We’ll light some candles on the balcony and just enjoy some lazy, quality ‘us’ time after that. Tomorrow? Don’t know. We’ve no plans, no schedule. We jsut go with the flow.

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will note that there’s still no sign of the now overdue SLN9. Apologies for that, but I got waylaid by holiday preparations. We’re actually good to go, and the press of a few buttons would publish it, but in the likelihood that I’ll be doing the ‘Postcard’ series for the next eight days, I’ve decided to hold it back until I get home to the UK, and then get further waylaid by doing all the washing (substantial, and odd, given that we’re all bare most of every day!). I’m anticipating some further excursions around the grid for the Fourth of July…it’s always a good time for free ‘stars n stripes’ bikinis, etc….so I’ve pencilled SLN9 in now for publication some time around 6-13 July.

Of course, I want to maximise the naturist season, so SLN10already in preparation- will appear at the end of August, and a further episode of ‘Postcards’ will pop up in September. That’s your SL Naturist summer mapped out for you!!!postcard1 border

As a result, I’ve not seen ‘much’ to put on today’s postcard, but while I, and others, were getting served naked at the cafe…naked men drinking beers, sarong wearing women, swimsuit clad families eating a late lunch or tapas…I spotted a topless mum, towel slung over her shoulder, fussing over her children in that animated manner the Spaniards often have. In a way I felt I’d come home, rather than travelled from home, such is the relaxed familiarity of such scenes.

Ella

nb: as all ‘postcard’ scenes are effectively ‘posed’, the main model this week will be either myself, as myself, Mr.Keng, as himself (but two of us having free time to log into SL simultaneously is highly unlikely) or one of my two ‘alts’, ‘Eve’ (Sl name SLNModel1) or ‘Adam’ (SLNModel2)

Models, as posed, will be credited accordingly.

A village in Provence

Here is another of those lovely little picturesque sims that, while not naturist, is certainly suitable for -at the very least- a bit of naturist photography.

french village1

Unless I’m mistaken, that’s cloudy Pernod in the bottle on the table. Nice detailing!

I love finding or, more often, having Harry find, these sort of places. Even if I don’t personally indulge in any naturist activity at these places, they’re lovely to poke around. And in a sense they’re almost like part of a naturist holiday anyway. Even if you’re staying in a naturist resort/camp site/hotel, there are times when you do throw on a sun dress or shorts and T shirt and make your way to ‘textile’ locations, villages just beyond where you stay, to soak up a bit of local ambience.

This village in Provence kind of straddles both the ‘textile’ -there are a thousand little villages like this in France- and the naturist, the layout being a little reminiscent of the Ile du Levant, a French naturist island in the Mediterranean.

I suppose that gives our model some justification for stripping off and wandering au naturel, even though she violates the Ile du Levant’s dress code by not wearing ‘le minimum’.

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‘Le Minimum’ is just a little triangular cloth that, historically, got around the question of what’s acceptable in public places -shops, etc- or not. The rule, I believe, is that you must wear ‘le minimum’ in the boulangerie or boucherie, and that failure to do so contravenes the clothing code, although nowadays a sarong or pareo does an equally good job.

You can see images of the Ile du Levant in Jean Miaille’s photography hereย and here and here. In one, you’ll even see girls wearing nipple pasties…how very SL!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Almost all non-naturist photos, but totally enchanting vistas of Ile life.

Despite violating the dress code, there wasn’t a gendarme around, and our model seemed to get away with it.

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The windows on the cafe certainlly need cleaning!

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Our model poses beside a typically French, Citroen box van.

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Our model check the ‘cartes postales’ to send home to insanely jealous family and friends.

To have one model jailed is unfortunate, two have two jailed on consecutive days would just have looked careless. Right, Harry?

 

Ella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bodypainting

Here’s something of a naturist perennial we’ve not covered before. Bodypainting.

From naturist clubs to the WNBR, bodypainting contests are a regular occurrence, and even show up in mainstream media.

The first instance I remember of it is former British Olympic heptathlete Denise Lewis bodypainted (top half) for a magazine. Of course, there may have been many, many instances of that sort of thing being done prior to that, but that’s the first photo that I recall in the style.

denise lewis

 

Since then, the practice has just ballooned out of all proportion, from the sublime…

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World_Body_Painting_19

 

…to the ridiculous (and amateurish!)

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although I’m pretty clear in my mind that the photo below is probably the one that made me laugh most during the course of researching this post.

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Not, obviously, the same body painter as the one who did the following (or maybe they just practiced?)

face mounty

 

The time was when you could find anything that existed in the real world in Second Life, but with something of a recession and shops closing, we weren’t sure if we’d find body paint. But, happily, we did at the Anthropology Main Store.

A whole couple of walls of ’em, so if you want to join the body painting revolution in an SL context, now’s your chance!

Anthropology also do a series of fun tank tops and tatts. I’m not overly disposed to tatts, in RL or in SL, but I did see one that tickled my fancy. What do you think?

bambi and thumper

 

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, there’s a photo studio next door, so that’s exactly where we headed for a bodypainting photoshoot, and the results (some of them anyway) are below.

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Pookes

And Molly’s day had begun so well…

Prior to being the chief architect in having Molly sent to prison, our day had begun so well, at Su Casa, at the lighthouse, where Molly posed beautifully for a lovely set of photos. There’s not much to say about the set, other than Molly was great fun (both on this shoot and the subsequent ‘courthouse drama’ we re-enacted). I hope to use her as a model again, after her release. ๐Ÿ™‚

molly1 molly2 molly3 molly4 molly5

 

Harry

Molly in support of Femen

Working with another new model, Molly, meant I didn’t get to post as much as planned because, on the back of Ella’s earlier post, we decided to do a bit of re-enactment. ๐Ÿ™‚

Notice the ‘zebra’ styled shorts worn by the Femen protestors in that post. It proved to be a simple task to make a pair from scratch using inventory items (there’s a ‘zebra’ fabric in there) and a new pair of shorts were had.

I’m not going to get into the politics of the case, simply to say that you can’t accuse SLN of not reacting to news events, as here’s our very own graphic re-enactment of the Femen protestors’ experiences. I’ve nothing to say about Femen’s actions in Algiers, and Molly (despite the title I’ve given the post) isn’t siding with anyone. It was just the opportunity to have SL replicate RL -one of my favourite themes, remember?

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There’s no embassy that we could find in SL, so we opted for Molly holding a topless protest on the steps of a town hall.

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Molly is taken to a police station. The desk sergeant has just nipped out to Krispy Kreme‘s, by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

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She subsequently appears in the dock of a SL courthouse. For ‘public indecency’, baring her breasts in a non-adult sim ๐Ÿ˜‰ she is taken away to a jail.

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Looks like it’s solitary confinement for Molly! Oh dear! They’re only breasts. Not actually offensive.

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Molly fought the law and the law won

If she’s going to be ‘breaking rocks in the hot sun’, it might be best if she took off her shirt…er…hang on…isn’t that how all this started? ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a lot of fun making this short photo-essay, and we hope you like it. Molly will be available for modelling assignments in about three months….

Harry

Swivel eyed theocratic loons in both directions

That ol’ devil called synchronicity..again!

Just as Harry was posting about generally reading his favourite paper online, I was…reading my favourite paper online!

And I picked up this story, about Femen activists, a group whose actions we at SLN ย have largely supported in their efforts to highlight the subjugation of women around the globe.

Until now.

femen algeriaMembers of the group (presumably those photographed, above) have been jailed for ‘indecency’.

And the sheer hypocrisy of the Algerian authorities is plain for all to read in the accompanying text! ‘In Islam we respect…(women)’, said one of the prosecutors. Really? You respect them through your patriarchal society telling them how they should behave? You demand they cover themselves from head to toe in support for their freedoms and equality? You deny them the same rights as men out of ‘respect’? Utter nonsense. As one commentator puts it, it’s the words of ‘swivel eyed theocratic loons’.

Granted, topless women will have the effect of causing offence in some situations, regardless of the religious nature of the country involved. In Spain, going nude in public is not, necessarily, an offence (that right is enshrined in the Spanish Constitution), but there are limits, you know? Not in a school playground, for example, or in front of a church while worshippers exit. There has to be a sense of not deliberately causing offence for offence’s sake.

There’s a fine line, of course.

If you aren’t living on that line, then protests aren’t going to get the media coverage required in order to highlight the cause. Topless is what Femen do.

This time, however, I wouldn’t nail my bra to the mast of ‘womens rights’ being fought for here. While ‘tits out’ certainly still has the power to create massive media coverage (yawn! They’re breasts…isn’t it time society -certainly in Europe- got over them) it seems a deliberately provocative act in a Muslim country. And not very well thought out. Swivel eyed feminist loons, in many respects.

amina

Theoretically taking action against the gaoling of Amina Tyler, a Tunisian femen(ist) supporter…well, why not stage any protest in Tunisia, rather than Algeria? And painting ‘in prison for being feminist’ on your body isn’t quite right. While I’ve no issue whatsoever with posting topless photographs of yourself on the internet, with the words ‘f*** your morals’ emblazoned across your chest, I do have some issues with spraying words on walls of mosques (or cemeteries, depending on your source(s) of information). The mosque, additionally, is a World Heritage site. Classy. Show your feminist attributes by defacing World heritage. Whatever next? Blowing up the Buddhas of Bamiyan? Odd to think that Amina Tyler’s tactics are just smaller scale Taliban. Ironic, huh?

If you’re going to demand respect for women in patriarchal societies, then the first thing you need to do is show respect for other people’s sensitivities. Their religious sensitivities. Or their cultural ones. Otherwise, you become as bad as them. And if you can’t bring yourself to respect a mosque, then at least have the common decency to respect the dead. You don’t agree with patriarchy’s morals? Fine. Express yourself in the manner in which you did. You don’t agree with the need to respect religion or the dead, then you’ve lost me. Sorry.

The Femen poster reproduced above demands that Amina is freed. But on what grounds? Sure, she should be freed on the basis that going topless and disagreeing with a certain code of morality is a freedom of expression. Spraying on mosques (or cemeteries) isn’t freedom of expression. It’s desecration on different levels.

Bare breasted in public I have no problem with whatsoever. I think there should be equality in all societies where men and women can go topless with the same rights. Bare breasted protest to highlight inequalities I have no problem with, simply because they -breasts- retain a power to achieve media coverage (although that, in itself, strikes at the heart of Femen’s actions. What’s getting the coverage? The cause? Or the tits? We can probably remember certain Femen actions (against an amused Putin, against the Pope, for example) but what was the precise cause of protest? Can’t remember, can you?

Oh…that’s right. Feminist action.

Never mind ‘F*** your morals’, or ‘Free Amina’ or whatever. In this instance it’s a case of ‘f*** your stupid, ill-thought, moronic protests in support of what appears to be an idiotic provocateur’. And please don’t cry if Algeria locks your members up. You’re modern day Emily Pankhursts. Pankhurst did time in Holloway prison in her fight for female emancipation in Britain. Maybe some Femen protestors, if they’re going to be stupid about it, need to do the same in Algeria and not whine about it.

Sorry, Femen, but you’ve lost my support.

 

femen idiots b&w

 

Pookes spells SLN’s message to Femen out loud and clear

Ella

Antoinette

A new model! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is Antoinette, and I happened to bump into her at Eden while scouring the clubs for locations. She readily agreed to pose, and her ‘payment’ was the framed ‘burnt’ photo (the fourth on this page) for the wall of her SL home, as well as copies from the remainder of the shoot.

Nice poses! (all currently free at a shop called tram, apparently. New to me, but I’ll certainly ask my usual models to hop over there and pick up copies for themselves).

antoinette1 antoinetteb antoinettec antoinetted

 

I’ve a rare day off work today, without anything really pressing on my time, other than wander down to the High Street of the village where I live and pick up a hard copy of my favoured daily paper -I usually end up reading it on line in airport departure lounges ๐Ÿ˜ฆ – and have a bit of a read while sipping tea (I’m British, we drink tea) so I’m going to be out and about and around the sims snapping away and, later on, posting to SLN.

Harry

‘Party’ female identified.

Right after the last post went up, regarding ‘another party’ and an unidentified female, Harry IM’ed me, right at the same time I was reading about older avatars on the daallee blog. Synchronicity, yes?

Apparently it’s ‘Vera’, an older avi that Howie is great friends with. Here’s another view, demonstrating that naked beauty isn’t the sole preserve of the young.

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I think she looks gorgeous.

Ella (hopefully signing off for tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Picemony

Not sure how we ended up on this naturist search engine, as we work it organically, word of mouth, no advertising.

However…this post has arrived on picemony. Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 23.08.34ย It’s the posting titled ‘At the Club’ (a party at Howie’s apartment, spread over two days from ages ago, but still an enormously popular posting).

I should point out that there was another party there last week, and there are photos in Harry’s SLR camera awaiting publication. Due to RL commitments I didn’t get to go, but I think Pookes was there for a while, according to an IM I received.

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So here’s (publisher) Howie at the party with a female guest whom, I guess, we’ll see named in due course. It’s down to when Harry goes his editing thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ella.

Skinny Dippin’ Pond (2)

Popping into SL this afternoon I saw Ella’s post about the Skinny Dippin’ Pond, so headed on over there to see for myself.

It was my pleasure and delight to find that its owner, Nick, was tanning himself at the time, so I took the opportunity to grab a few words with him and knock off quite a number of reels of film!pookes SD pond2_001b

Nick looks relaxed while Pookes tops up her tan

From his profile, it’s clear that Nick is one of ‘the good guys’, a dedicated naturist and someone who holds true to the same family-orientated naturist values that we hold at SLN. And conversation with him simply reinforces this idea.

The sim is small, but no less interesting for that, precisely because –as Ella pointed out in her post– it’s a simple idea done fantastically well.

How many of us began our naturist lives in a skinny dipping environment? How many of us stole off, as a group of teenagers, to collectively strip off by a lake, a river or stream, maybe after dark, and try to steal glances of our friends’ ‘bits’ in the gloom? ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s almost a teenage rite of passage. And that is part of what Nick’s trying to achieve here, with users being able to plug into their own memory banks of teenage (or older) skinny dipping experiences.

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Pookes makes her way through the reed beds while Nick warns ‘careful, it’s deep out there’. He was right!

I must have been about 15 or 16 the first time I indulged, and it was that period of life where we’re moving away from being under our parents’ wings all the time, discovering ourselves. A group of us had shared a couple of bottles of cider, quite enough to get us tiddly…probably about four mouthfuls each! ๐Ÿ™‚ bought for us by someone’s elder brother. I can’t remember which friend it was. And then someone suggested a skinny dip. So we trooped off to the river, got collectively naked in separate groups, segregated by sex, and made our way out from the overhanging branches of riverbank trees to swim and giggle a lot without actually seeing much of the guys involved!

What I do remember is the wonderful sense of swimming without a costume, and a feeling that grips me until today. In fact, I think I spent all of the weekend thinking about that experience, that feeling, and wanting to replicate it immediately. I did replicate it a few weeks later that summer, when most of our friends seemed to be off on holiday and there was only myself and one of the guys who was part of our group left at home. He’d been there that evening, and we sat and talked on some wall somewhere about it and decided we’d do it again. No cider this time, and a much more heart-palpitating moment as we were actually stripping off in each other’s presence. I didn’t fancy him, didn’t even think he was terrifically good looking, but he had what you would call a ‘great personality’. Everyone liked him, guys and girls alike, without any of the girls thinking they’d want to go out with him.

Anyway…he was the first guy I ever actually saw naked, and the naked swimming was divine! Those two nights over the course of a summer, long ago, set me on course to becoming a naturist.pookes SD pond16_001b
Nick has placed an alien in the trees, evoking the movie ‘Signs’, a wry little folly that reminds him of his farming roots, also reflected in the items scattered around the sim.

So when Nick says the Skinny Dippin’ Pond is meant to evoke memories, I guess that’s the sort of thing he had in mind. I certainly hadn’t thought about those incidents for many years.

Look out for the alien Nick has placed in a tree! It’s a lovely little touch, a ‘folly’ that he says reminds him of the Mel Gibson film ‘crop circles’, and farming folk’s fear of…something…spiders, rodents, aliens making crop circles! What a wonderful idea! Elements of one’s past piled into a sim, to perfectly summon up the builder’s personality!ย pookes SD pond23_001b

Pookes checks out the rubber tyre rings used as swings while Nick contemplates catfish

Nick…angler, naturist, farm-raised boy, sci-fi movie watcher…and all nuanced beautifully into his Pond. We even have a tractor, a water tower and (quite possibly, I didn’t ask and am not sure) some sort of agricultural lawnmover in John Deere colours. Must ask the next time I see him!pookes SD pond25_001b

Pookes considers taking to the swings while Nick turns his face to the sun

Nick says that he enjoys the angling element of SL too, and his next project is to introduce catfish to the pond, so it’s obvious that his intention is to undertake a slow evolution of the Pond. We like that; in a fast-changing SL we like the familiar and comfortable, but with slow, subtle changes to a sim that retain users’ interest.

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If it’s simplicity you want, and a chance to soak up SL’s ambience in a quiet, reflective way, unhurried by the glitz of SL’s shopping malls, then this place (is a ‘skinny dipping’ build almost a first for SL in a proper skinny dipping context?) is for you.

I will be back, frequently, to see how Nick develops it and simply to sit, chat and socialise with other users. And that’s where SL is at its best, its most effective. Removed from the need to purchase endlessly and simply enjoy it for what it is without any commercial interest. I’ve reminded Nick that we’re always keen to hear of people’s news, updates, developments on any naturist-related sim, and to keep us informed. That goes for anyone out there who is running a naturist-related sim. SLN works best to everyone’s benefit if you keep us informed of your evolving sims.

Pookes.