Heroes of Naturism : Kate Humble (2nd award) and Natasha Brooks.

Unless you’re inside the UK the name Kate Humble probably won’t mean anything to you.

But she’s one of our (as a nation’s) favourite TV presenters, simply for being ‘just Kate’, a woman who is attractive, but not glammed up for the cameras, just naturally beautiful, and an expert presenter on all things wildlife and countryside.

Did I mention that she’s also a naturist?

She previously was awarded one of our ‘Heroes of Naturism’ awards back in 2014, and is now the only person to be given that ‘accolade’ twice.

Humble, who lives on a farm in Monmouthshire, has previously admitted to being a keen naturist, saying: “Sometimes having clothes on is entirely inappropriate.

“If there’s no-one about and you’re in a beautiful landscape, there’s something lovely about a nudie dance or a skinny dip. But I’m very private and it’s not for show.”

Tomorrow evening, on BBC Wales, she goes ‘wild swimming’, au natural, on the TV programme ‘Off the Beaten Track’, and you can get a sneak preview on Kate’s Twitter account. (scroll down to see a little video of her skinny dip, in freezing November weather) in the company of artist Natasha Brooks, also a wild swimmer/naturist.

There are numerous articles on ‘Wild Swimming’ in our archives.

Artist Natasha Brooks goes wild swimming in winter.

Natasha Brooks

Brooks is also being given one of our Heroes of Naturism awards for her film ‘BlueHue’, a short about nude, wild swimming.

 

I’ll probably watch this on the BBC’s iplayer facility over the weekend and report back. But for now, these two brave (more in the sense of braving the cold rather than going nude while doing so) ladies are the latest recipients of our Heroes of Naturism award, for bringing the entire concept of wild swimming/skinnydipping to a mid-evening, mainstream BBC audience and hopefully making the entire concept seem like a lot of fun and encouraging others to try it.

Ella

edited to add a still from the Twitter video preview…

SLapchat

You all know about Snapchat, yes? The photos appear briefly and then disappear?

Except that they don’t always disappear…apparently.

I was able to source numerous Snapchat images from Google images.

I’ve never used the app, or even been particularly aware of it until recently, when an acquaintance in SL told me about three weeks ago of fairly basic ‘thing’ going on in SL which is going by the name of SLapchat.

Quite how widespread this is, I’m not sure, but the way it was explained to me is as follows :-

You upload some RL images to your SL avatar’s inventory (an upload costs L$10). These are, typically, within the ‘style’ of wherever you’re visiting, and people are pixelating their faces in some, but not all, instances, or replicating actual Snapchat type filters and overlays to disguise their face and thus provide some level of anonymity.

So if you’re visiting, say, Frank’s Jazz Place, you might want to load up a photograph of yourself in an evening gown, working out in the gym in real life if you’re visiting a SL gym and so on…

But where it becomes ‘interesting’, from a naturist perspective, is that if you’re visiting a naturist sim…


I’ve pixelated information on the screen grab, but you get the idea. Viewing profiles means you can see an image of the person behind the avatar. Our model shall remain anonymous but yes, she uploaded a photo to her SL ‘1st Life’ info box, complete with a snapchat styled face overlay.  The RL image can’t be downloaded, but while experimenting we found that a screen grab, as viewed from the perspective of someone viewing your profile, could be saved, i.e. see the pic above. I’ve no idea how widespread this SLapchat thing is on the grid, or how many people are briefly uploading RL photos, but I’d certainly countenance that you proceed with extreme caution regarding real life images.

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite a while now, because quite frankly I thought the entire concept was quite frankly far-fetched, but the same SL acquaintance pointed me at a thing on Tumblr…

 

Now I’m wondering if this SLapchat thing is following on from some sort of meme on Tumblr.

The jury’s still out on this regarding it being a hoax or an actual thing within SL. Currently, my money is on the idea of it being a hoax, but…do you know different? And if you’re an SL user, and SL naturist, is it something you’d even consider doing? Or does SL and RL remain separate at all times?

Ella

 

 

 

 

 

The Gap Year

I’ve no idea how globally known the idea of ‘the gap year‘ is. In some countries, including the UK, it’s a year away from schooling between finishing secondary level education and beginning third level education -university.

The summer I finished secondary education I got a summer job in France, at Cap D’Agde, and discovered naturism, an experience that quite obviously remains with me and added to my growth as a person. From naturism I spun off in various directions to discover more about feminism, environmentalism, exercise and healthy eating, care for the planet and physical work!…and all by the time I arrived at uni four months later. As time goes on people have distilled the rather vague notion of a gap year (although mine only lasted 1/3rd of a year) and now quite readily decide to tour the world before knuckling down to a degree, a family and a lifetime of work.

In the UK, it’s not unusual for an 18 year old to pack a rucksack and head off across Europe with some, not a lot, of money and then find bits of work to help fund their next leg of the journey.

The model in our photos is maybe typical of so many gap year students. I know I’ve personally spoken to various people who’ve confessed to me they’ve discovered ‘skinny dipping’ or ‘been to a nude beach’ -no one really calls it ‘naturism’ at this point in their lives- while on this sojourn around the planet.

With ‘skinny dipping’ or ‘going to a nude beach’ high on many people’s bucket lists, the gap year sees a couple of boxes ticked early in life. Our model has arrived at the beach with her entire belongings in her rucksack, although she is obviously very body confident, wearing little more than a tank top, probably to keep the rucksack from chafing her shoulders and back rather than for any false ‘modesty’ reasons. Having reached the beach, there’s nothing else for it but to strip off the little clothes she’s wearing and plunge into the ocean, happy and content.

Tomorrow, she’ll probably be on a bus or train for another leg of her journey, building experiences. But for today, while she may never call herself ‘naturist’, she’s naked, happy and at one with nature.

SL avatar Willow, who also has a little bit of the hippy student about her, also appears to be taking in some well-earned R&R on the nudist beach having just arrived with her worldly possessions on her back.

Ella

 

Time to grow up?

I find it hard to react with nothing other than hilarity that people are getting off on the idea of naked bodies, their mental capacity often stuck at age 14 regardless of however many years they’ve lived on this earth.

‘Tee hee hee…it’s a willy‘ [insert alternative pet name for penis here] shrieks some girls and grown women.

Or… ‘BOOOOOOOOBIES!!!!!’ roar the adolescent boys still extant in the heads of mature males.

Yes. It’s a penis. Or testicles. Or a vagina (strictly speaking, vulva, but no one uses that word). Or breasts. We’ve all seen them, felt them, tasted them and experienced them interact with other ‘naughty bits’ of the other, or same, gender.

So why does the adolescent, rather silly approach to ‘private parts’ -no longer as private as they might once have been for adolescents, thanks to the internet- still exist?

The world was able to cope with male nipples suddenly become public with the arrival of swimming trunks for men, rather than a one piece full body swimsuit. Why, eighty years later, can’t it cope with the female nipple suddenly becoming a normal part of a municipal swimming pool or beach?

 

 

Above is an extensive gallery of multiple, mixed gender naturists over different eras.. No one in any of the photos is ‘a model’, they’re all genuine naturists as far as I can tell. No one is priapic, erect, aroused, moist, turned on, sexually ready. No one is really even looking at each other. No one is pointing and saying ‘a willy!!!!!’ or ‘boobies!!!!!’ Because, in naturism, their genitals have become as invisible, or visible, as anyone’s eyes or ears or lips. They’re as likely to get as lost in the colour of another’s eyes as anything else…same as textiles. Attracted to their deep blue eyes or winning smile. Same as textiles. No one is pointing at another’s belly saying ‘too fat’. No one is pointing at anyone’s breasts saying ‘too small/saggy’. No one is pointing at anyone’s penis saying ‘too small’. They’re naked for comfort and logic. They’re naked for a sense of personal freedom and enjoyment. If they’re doing any judging on others, it’s because the other person is ‘nice’ or ‘an a**hole’. Mostly, they’re all just enjoying the moment of being alive and naked.

Isn’t it time you dropped all of the adolescent nonsense of ‘if I was in a nudist camp I’d walk around erect all day’ nonsense that you -yeah, that’s you in many instances- spout? Isn’t it time you dropped all of the adolescent words like ‘bitch’ or ‘stud’ or ‘slut’ or ‘ ho’ and called these people what they really are? Men and women?

Isn’t it time you grew up?

Ella

EDITORIAL COMMENT : November 2017

I tacked this Editorial comment onto the end of the Festival Nudista Zipolite post, but just in case it got lost within that…

…it’s that time of year when I look to the next year of the blog, and how we keep it fresh, what we add and subtract to it, how we continue to make it readable and interesting.

This blog has always been about genuine naturism, or my definition or interpretation of what makes genuine naturism, i.e. non-sexual and family orientated. The question is…has the time come -without ever thinking that it’s core naturism or without being approving of it- to acknowledge that there are locations around the world where genuine naturism is being ‘tweaked’ or usurped by the swingers and exhibitionists (i.e. Agde/Hedonism/bits of Vera Playa, Spain). I can continue to ignore this aspect of real life ‘naturism’, but am I burying my head in the sand? Has the time come to face the challenges set by the swingers, at least acknowledge their existence, in terms of reporting them, disapprovingly if needs be, in real life and also conflate and confuse what constitutes my vision of naturism as often set in Second Life?

Do I need to face up to the fact that there are many sex sims in SL pretending to be naturist, rise up, speak loudly and maybe even shame them into their hijacking of the word ‘naturist’?

I know there’s a lot more beaches out there in SL purporting to be ‘naturist’ or ‘nudist’ but which are nothing more than locations for SLex. On a personal level, my belief is that we maintain the status quo. Some readers, and some staff members, hold a different viewpoint, suggesting that rather than ignoring them we should report them and bring their devaluing of naturist values out into the open. Any comments will be welcomed. It’s my blog, my vision, but I’m not opposed to offering a viewpoint (which may not reflect the views of the blog in itself, as they often say in magazines) if there’s any sort of support for this. Even if we do decide to offer a slightly different viewpoint on ‘naturism’ in the real and Second worlds, editorial policy, entirely disapproving of these swinging/exhibitionist ‘naturists’, won’t change. But whether we, specifically I, like it or not, I suppose I have to acknowledge that others have a different take on what constitutes naturism. While the blog exists, while I’m an active naturist, I’ll never alter my views on my naturist values. But I’m just one voice. All voices must be heard. All views, as we move into 2018, are welcome.

I’d also be pleased to hear if readers would like to read more articles about a broader, more holistic definition of naturism. For me, my naturism includes things like eating healthily, taking exercise, taking care of the environment and such like. Is there space for us to adopt a bit of an eco-warrior side to the blog? We’ve previously reported on things like ‘Rainbow’ gatherings and even on mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind in a healthy body) aspects of a much broader naturism -sims that support environmentalism, for example. I’ve one avatar who would love to write for the blog, and her focus is on things like environmental protection and good food (although within this she has also experienced RL naturism). If anyone would like to read stuff about the environment -and sometimes naturism and eco-warrior politics do collide- I’d be pleased to add her to our list of occasional contributors.

 

Ella

Festival Nudista Zipolite

In one of those delightful quirks of SL (and SLN), I’ve been working on a new series of posts which is provisionally titled ‘Around the World in 80 Nudes’. I’ll be trying to capture the essence of naturism around the globe in 2018, and work has already commenced on the series, sourcing locations, finding SL locations that can be used as backdrops to real life, and mixing and matching real and second life photos regarding naturism around the globe as we commence 2018. During this research I discovered Zipolite Beach, apparently Mexico’s only naturist beach. And better than that, they’re having a naturist festival at the beginning of February, 2018. There appears to be a website regarding it…

Naked bodies spell out the words ‘Zipolite Zone’This programme of events is from the 2017 festival

Of course, I’m also reading phrases like ‘sex on the beach’ at the festival, so more research needs to be done to ascertain whether it’s a genuine naturist event, or some sort of Cap D’Agde/Hedonism styled ‘swingers and exhibitionists’ event. The photos I’ve unearthed would suggest it’s more genuine than swingers, but I’ll not give it our seal of approval until I learn more. However, it is certainly worthwhile posting on a location I’ve never even considered as a potential naturist destination before.

On that note…a bit of an EDITORIAL

On that note…this blog has always been about genuine naturism, or my definition or interpretation of what makes genuine naturism, i.e. non-sexual and family orientated. The question is…has the time come -without ever thinking that it’s core naturism or without being approving of it- to acknowledge that there are locations around the world where genuine naturism is being ‘tweaked’ or usurped by the swingers and exhibitionists (i.e. Agde/Hedonism/bits of Vera Playa, Spain). I can continue to ignore this aspect of real life ‘naturism’, but am I burying my head in the sand? Has the time come to face the challenges set by the swingers, at least acknowledge their existence, in terms of reporting them, disapprovingly if needs be, in real life and also conflate and confuse what constitutes my vision of naturism as often set in Second Life?

Do I need to face up to the fact that there are many sex sims in SL pretending to be naturist, rise up, speak loudly and maybe even shame them into their hijacking of the word ‘naturist’?

I know there’s a lot more beaches out there in SL purporting to be ‘naturist’ or ‘nudist’ but which are nothing more than locations for SLex. On a personal level, my belief is that we maintain the status quo. Some readers, and some staff members, hold a different viewpoint, suggesting that rather than ignoring them we should report them and bring their devaluing of naturist values out into the open. Any comments will be welcomed. It’s my blog, my vision, but I’m not opposed to offering a viewpoint (which may not reflect the views of the blog in itself, as they often say in magazines) if there’s any sort of support for this. Even if we do decide to offer a slightly different viewpoint on ‘naturism’ in the real and Second worlds, editorial policy, entirely disapproving of these swinging/exhibitionist ‘naturists’, won’t change. But whether we, specifically I, like it or not, I suppose I have to acknowledge that others have a different take on what constitutes naturism. While the blog exists, while I’m an active naturist, I’ll never alter my views on my naturist values. But I’m just one voice. All voices must be heard. All views, as we move into 2018, are welcome.

I’d also be pleased to hear if readers would like to read more articles about a broader, more holistic definition of naturism. For me, my naturism includes things like eating healthily, taking exercise, taking care of the environment and such like. Is there space for us to adopt a bit of an eco-warrior side to the blog? We’ve previously reported on things like ‘Rainbow’ gatherings and even on mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind in a healthy body) aspects of a much broader naturism -sims that support environmentalism, for example. I’ve one avatar who would love to write for the blog, and her focus is on things like environmental protection and good food (although within this she has also experienced RL naturism). If anyone would like to read stuff about the environment -and sometimes naturism and eco-warrior politics do collide- I’d be pleased to add her to our list of occasional contributors.

Ella.

 

All aboard!

Thanks must go to the Alexithymia blog, who pointed me in the direction of a sim that’s new to me. The Netherfield sim replicates, exceptionally well, the English Lake District. The teleporting-in point is the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway station, in the Lake District National Park.

Both the railway, and the park, are direct from real life.

(Above: real life photos of the station and a typical Lake District view)

There’s a story behind the railway. In 1965 the government commissioned a report into the effectiveness of the railways, when cars were becoming more affordable and widespread as Britain became more wealthy in the post-war years.

Lord Beeching implemented what were called ‘The Beeching Cuts‘. This recommended that over 2000 stations and 5000 miles of railway be closed…on an economic basis. Never mind that entire communities were held together by the existence of railways, even in 1965. They would go.

One thing I’ve always thought marked the difference between Germany’s post-war renaissance as the economic powerhouse of Europe, and Britain’s slow, unedifying decline, is the short-sightedness of the respective groups of politicians. Germany’s politicians largely get their forward planning right, Britain’s is a myopic vision.

Spool forward the fifty years since the Beeching Cuts and look at our world now (I’m sure some of you reading this will be nodding your heads in agreement about the short-sightedness of your own politicians, wherever you are, possibly even in Germany). As the world overheats due to our reliance on fossil fuels, as short-break tourism is now a regular occurrence for many of us, as we struggle to create a transport infrastructure fit for purpose to reduce traffic congestion, those railways that disappeared now feel like a lost (or more accurately, discarded) opportunity.

Branch lines were lost. But there were still enough railway enthusiasts around the country to ensure they didn’t completely disappear. Some were bought up by enthusiasts who renovated them, bought up steam locomotives and rolling stock and ran them as hobbies…that paid!

Such local railways are now a regular feature of the British tourist map, and I read some time ago that one such steam train line is now offering a timetabled, regular service! Take that, Dr Beeching!

Of course, there’s more, from a personal perspective. About 15 miles north of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway lies the village of Ambleside, on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Images of Ambleside

Ambleside, indeed the entire Lake District, is stunningly beautiful, and it’s where we first thought of moving to when we made the decision to leave smelly, dirty, unfriendly London.

In the end, because a lot of rich people from London like to maintain holiday cottages in the Lake District, it has become expensive to buy property there. So much so that locals can’t afford to buy there anymore, and properties are snapped up for more than a 20 something couple born and brought up locally could ever afford. We looked at a property in the early 2000s that would have cost us £250,000, a quarter of a million pounds ($330,000 €280,000). Today, that same property will have been inflated to something like £600,000! ($800,000!!!!! €670,000).

I suppose we were maybe part of this problem, the difference being we didn’t want to just roll in there every year for a fortnight. We planned to live there, work there, raise our children there.

In the end, we had to move about 100 miles further north, across the border into Scotland, and bought a property for less than half the price in the Lake District and about twice the size with a huge garden backing onto the sea and about two miles were Gran -built in babysitter!- so it all worked out well.

Of course, we knew about the Lake District and its beauty from a couple of holidays we’d taken there in the early days of our relationship.

This being SL Naturist, there’s naturally a naturist story to tell as well 😉

I’d met Jim, who was buying his own place in a fairly low-rent part of London. I’d grown up in a relatively genteel part of the city, but was now living alone in an even grimier, squalid flat in an equally wretched part of town. We’d started dating, I’d stay over at his on a regular basis but I’d be up and away the next day to university, then work after I graduated. He knew I was naturist, we’d even gone on a naturist holiday together, all things I didn’t tell my Mum! 🙂

Jim suggested we move in together and I raised this with Mum, a Christian, church-going lady, who referred to it as ‘living in sin‘.

‘You’ll give away your most precious gift and then where will you be?’ [If you aren’t sure of the subtext to that phrase, follow the link! 🙂 ]

I could never align the fact that she thought this way while simultaneously never batting an eyelid when my cousin and I got jobs in a naturist resort some years prior. I’m not sure if she didn’t really think like that, but was merely echoing what my grandmother, still alive at the time, would have definitely said. Anyway, I’d already given my most precious gift to Jim a long time previously, lol.

Despite the fact that Jim was now going to corrupt and deflower her daughter, Mum loved Jim, so to deflect her views, he went to Mum and asked if he could marry me (my Dad had already passed away), produced the engagement ring he’d already bought, showed it to her…and she gave her blessing. Now, because he had committed, it was suddenly OK to move in and go on holiday.

Not being able to afford another naturist holiday, we thought, we opted for a break in the Lake District and fell in love with the place. Ultimately, though, I guess we could have camped in a naturist location in France for about half the price and, subsequently, this is what we did for numerous holidays.

I’m glad to say the real life station is in substantially better shape than the SL version. It’s a stunningly good build, though, exceptionally photogenic.

Oh yes…that naturist story! There are hundreds of miles of isolated lakeside locations where it was, and is, very easy to strip off and go for a skinny-dip. While there on that holiday, and just walking on the Fells (the hills of Lakeland) we encountered 2-3 couples and a similar number of solo, male walkers doing just that. It was part of the fell-walking tradition if overheated, it seemed. So when in Rome..

(Note : the ‘Nessie’ -Loch Ness monster– in the photo above isn’t geographically -or probably scientifically- accurate, being strictly a Scottish thing.

 

…and in turn, I guess we were spotted by 2-3 couples out walking. No-one batted an eyelid. Perhaps they’d just done what we were doing, or would be inspired to do what we were doing, cooling off on a hot summer’s day in cool, clear water.

It was a beautiful week in a beautiful part of the world, with the man who was and is the love of my life. Just visiting this wonderful looking sim brought back a raft of memories of the time, making it one of the best SL experiences I’ve had in quite a long time.

Ella