Enid Blyton’s Naked Tennis

I picked up a story in today’s UK ‘Mail on Sunday’, relating to children’s author Enid Blyton. Everyone in the UK will be aware of the books she wrote, including series of them about ‘Noddy‘, the Famous Five and the Secret Seven. 

Many of the tales are related to little gangs of children from privileged backgrounds, all at boarding schools and getting up to all manner of ‘larks’, and in the Secret Seven I suppose there’s almost a blueprint for ‘Scooby Too’, in that many mysteries get solved.

I don’t imagine Blyton will have too much of a reputation beyond the UK, and with the progression of time the attitudes in her books have been branded (rightly so) as both racist and sexist. Some feature a ‘golliwog’ – ‘wog’ being a historical racist term of abuse in the UK.

Examples of ‘golliwogs’

Of course, Blyton didn’t invent the golliwog. Credit(?) for that has to go to Florence Kate Upton, who was writing books 40-50 years prior to Blyton. How much of Blyton’s racism was real, and how much of it was the times she lived in is hard to guess, but what’s clear is that the attitudes don’t belong in the 21st century, as they shouldn’t in the 20th, 19th or prior.

An example might be in Blyton’s book Mister Meddles Muddles, with text such as “Go to the kitchen,” said his aunt, angrily. “You are not fit to be here with us. You need to be taught more manners than the little black children. I am really ashamed of you, Meddle.” or“Now, there’s a very nicely behaved nephew of yours,” everyone said to Aunt Jemima. “You must be proud of him. If only we could have the little black children in far-off countries brought up like Meddle, what a wonderful thing it would be!”

Wow!

What interested me about the story reported today was her attitudes, from the plain awful -indifference towards her children- to the ‘outrageous’ (for the times…an affair with a married man, a lesbian crush) to the forward thinking -naked tennis. Yes, naked tennis.

I know it’s not much of a unique thing these days in the culture of naturism, with many clubs having their own tennis courts or miniten (a cut down version where space is at a premium in naturist grounds) and the internet is certainly awash with pictorial evidence of naked tennis being played, but back in the 1920s/30s such behaviour, particularly beyond the then growing naturist culture and lifestyle, would have been to court outrage.

Anyway, here’s a few photos of a more familiar naked tennis almost a century after Blyton, with our model Abbey even managing to do a bit of it herself in SL.

Ella

It has to be said…

…that I’m not feeling inspired by Second Life lately. Recent surgery, and a naturist season that has never really begun this year, have left me becalmed in terms of both blogging and even logging into SL.

I’ve been struggling with interest in both lately, and I find that there is now beginning to be a fair amount of repetition in the blog.

I’ve made no definitive decision yet -I’ve been here before and sometimes all that’s required is one new purchase/location to reinvigorate me again- but it’s beginning to feel as if the blog has run its course, as though it may be time to stop blogging. While I’ve had these periods before, they’ve never gone on as long as this one before.

I’m taking the time to decide. Nothing has been made certain yet. But unless something turns up soon, and relights my appetite for blogging and SL, it maybe feels like time to call it a day. Seven years, pretty much the same length of time The Beatles functioned in the public eye, seems like a period of time to run something before it gets boring. I’ll keep you informed, but right now, there’s nothing planned to post, and not much enthusiasm to even log in.

 

Ella

I’m only now feeling like I’m getting back into SL after an enforced lay off, and one of the things I spotted was L$1 Bento poses from Wasazu on the Marketplace.

Although they weren’t designed as naturist, a couple of them easily lend themselves to naturist poses, the first being one where a towel/wrap is blowing away…so I’ve photographed it with and without the wrap.

The second one is a perfect ‘wading out of the water after a swim pose’.

Ella