A message from Howie

Hi folks! A quick message. I’ve decided to retire. No, I’m not that age, don’t be cheeky, lol!

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I’m delighted to say that I received word today that my offer for an apartment in the naturist zone of Vera Playa, Spain -yes, the same place Ella regularly uses, and which I’ve visited in the past on several occasions- has been accepted. I was out there in April and viewed the apartment, but I’d heard nothing, and have subsequently viewed apartments in Cap D’Agde (as recently as last week, which I’d also put an offer on, but have retracted this afternoon on hearing this news). Imagine my surprise when my solicitor rang this morning to say that my April offer had been accepted. I’ll be heading out there in September to sign the paperwork, and will be moving semi-permanently there as soon as I’ve got the keys! 🙂

We (yes, there’s a Mrs. Howie) intend to spend most of the year in our new home, but will maintain our UK home and fly back to Blighty for part of the year.

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So…a new life and why not a new (and more accurate) SL look? I do maintain a bit of a ponytail in RL. It’s all to do with me trying to grow old disgracefully. 😉 I did maintain a beard, but shaved it off a few days back. But I decided that I should at least update the colour from what was my natural colour, when younger, to my natural colour as it is now. That’s right! Ash blonde! 🙂

I don’t imagine that there will be any apparent impact on the blog. When I move, there may be some interference with my presence while I get an internet service set up, but you, the readers of SLN, shouldn’t really notice any noticeable change other than my having the time to contribute more. Of course, that decision is in the hands of our editor!howie pam2_001b

I’m delighted to be able to be in a position to retire relatively young and, more importantly, fulfil a long-held wish, by both of us, that we could live the naturist lifestyle for a good part of the year. It seems to have some sense of appropriateness that I will be handing in my notice tomorrow, on a Friday, with immediate effect and wow! come Monday be a man of leisure. 🙂

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Freed from the constraints of work, Pam (Mrs. Howie, a very occasional SL user) says she may even make more regular appearances in the game.

I can’t begin to convey how thrilled we are with today’s news, and the prospect of a new life in Spain.

Howie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My holiday companion for June 2015

This time last year I was about to set off on holiday with two non-naturist friends who, over the course of our week in Spain, became naturist by the week’s end, and I reported their findings over the course of a week with our usual ‘Postcards from Spain’ series. I decided not to do a ‘Postcards’ series in September, 2014, as I’d done it several times, essentially replicating RL naturist findings in an SL context as they occurred.

That decision led to several complaints 🙂

It appears that you seem to like the ‘Postcards’ postings, on the basis that they’ve provided some insight into a naturist holiday from both an experienced naturist and newbie naturist perspective.

In about three weeks I’ll be in Spain, again, for my first holiday of the year -the one where I go ‘solo’ and leave the family at home. Sign of a modern marriage? I think so. It’s what we’ve always done, right from when Mr.Keng and I were first stepping out together and took vacations away from one another. We saw no reason to change when we got married and we’ve more or less continued to take breaks independently of one another ever since. For instance, had the football results turned out differently, Mr. Keng might have been in Berlin tonight for the European Champions’ League final (it’s being played between Barcelona and Juventus -from Turin, Italy, if you aren’t familiar with European soccer) to watch one of the teams he admires, Real Madrid. They were eliminated at the semi-final stage. As it is, he was in Edinburgh last evening to watch Scotland beat Qatar 1-0, and today he’s off on a fishing trip, which will undoubtedly end up in a pub somewhere to watch the game with his pals. Me? I’m going to get in some quality SL time later, and begin planning what’s going in the holiday suitcase.

Holidays are, of course, best when shared, so let me introduce you to this year’s companion. 🙂

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You’ve read about her before on these pages…

Yes, it’s my Dutch cousin Sylvia, the one who led the way on my first introduction to naturism in Cap D’Agde all those years ago. We see each other from time to time, and I used to stay at her apartment regularly when work took me to the Netherlands on a regular basis a few years ago. Despite sharing a set of grandparents, we’re quite often chalk and cheese in our approach to life. One common interest is, of course, naturism. Sylvia, her husband and their daughters are members of a Dutch naturist club, and she’s as regular a naturist holiday taker as I am. Perhaps even more so, as opportunities are more plentiful for her. Despite our common interest, we’ve never actually holidayed together since Cap D’Agde, despite promising ourselves we’d do so.

Sylvia had her children a few years before I did, so we each went through a period of thinking ‘oh, my babies are too small for holidays, we’ll take a couple of years off from vacations’. Her daughters are now young teens, and despite them reaching that ‘awkward’ age, apparently remain keen naturists. Now that they’re almost grown, and mine are of an age where they’re at school, and with the 20th anniversary of my nude debut approaching (June, 1995: Sylvia had been to a naturist beach prior to Agde) we decided we should have an anniversary of it.

Obviously, a return to Cap D’Agde was discussed. Sylvia was more keen than me, being someone who would quite readily wear a see-through ‘chain mail’ type of dress, as often worn by patrons of Agde as ‘evening wear’, as perfectly suitable. As for the stiletto heels favoured by many ladies…I prefer flats, or something with a much lower heel. High heels are something I’ve never quite come to grips with 🙂

While I’m someone who will readily bare all on a beach, I don’t really see that type of clothing as ‘me’. 🙂

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The type of dress that can be Cap D’Agde ‘evening wear’

So, we decided on Spain for the 20th anniversary of ‘the debut’.

Sylvia has been to Vera Playa before, and stayed in the naturist Vera Playa Club Hotel, so she sort of knows the layout of the place and likes it although, like Pookes, she prefers Croatia as a naturist destination. The family generally drive from Amsterdam to Croatia each year.

 

Another way that we’re ‘chalk and cheese‘ is that, when depilation became popular, Sylvia embraced that, whereas I, as you know, favour a more natural look. 🙂 Yes, I did it once and I didn’t like it and never did it again. Sylvia, by contrast, has gone ‘bare down there’ for much of the intervening twenty years since our debut. (In 1995, shaving was much less common and we both sported a ‘natural’ look. In the intervening period, Sylvia has also tried various nipple, clit & belly piercings)

While we’ve been on the phone, dovetailing travel arrangements, she asked ‘the question’.

‘Are you still not shaving your pubes?’

Well, no!

‘You should! You should do this!’ Despite being half-English, she’s very much straightforward, straight-talking Dutch.

When I came off the phone I spoke to Mr. Keng. ‘Sylvia says I should go bare down there’.

‘Go for it’, he said, catching me off guard. ‘See what it’s like’.

‘But you prefer a natural look, as do I!’ I wailed.

‘True. But sometimes it’s about trying new things. You didn’t think you could ever be a naturist when you began, did you?’ He barely looked up from his magazine.

No, but….

‘I will if you will’, he laughed.

And so, SLN readers, I turn to you…

‘Below the fold’, as they say in some digital media circles now, you’ll find a poll which asks the question as to whether I should, or should not, ‘go bare down there’ when on holiday with Sylvia. It closes this time next week, and…well….let’s see what you think….

 

Ella

 

 

Panties as swimwear

I was talking to one of my Spanish friends, Mercedes, last week via Skype and the conversation naturally turned to how the season is shaping up in naturist Spain. I’m not sure how the conversation took the turn it did, but we ended up talking about people, mostly women, who end up at the beach, not just our local Spanish beach, but beaches in general, without ever planning to have gone there that day. And come ill prepared!

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The thing is that many European women now routinely sunbathe/swim topless, so even on ‘textile’ beaches toplessness is a familiar sight. I speculated on why they don’t head out better prepared for a day at the beach. ‘It is Spain’, Mercedes said. ‘We don’t plan things. Things just happen sometimes and we go with the flow.’

I can recognise this trait, not just amongst the Spanish, but the ex-pats who now call it home. Indeed, the best laid plans can often go awry. Having marked out your day, you bump into someone, find this or that is happening, a band is playing, someone is having a BBQ and you’re invited…and what you had planned to do goes out of the window. I like this happy-go-lucky approach to the day, every day.

So yes, Mercedes is right. You set off to go to a garden centre or Ikea, run into someone, they’re going to the beach and ‘come along!’ in that open invitational way the Spaniards have about them.

By the time you get to the beach (which may be textile), you realise you’ve no swimming costume. No problem. You’re only wearing a flimsy sundress and panties anyway. So the panties, at a moment’s notice, become your swimming costume. Indeed, I have been caught out like this myself before now. A little way up the coast, in a textile part of town, we have friends who we ran into by chance at a heladeria, an ice cream shop, a couple of years ago. The female in the couple was topless, so I took off my sundress and joined her, sitting in panties on the sand. I have to say, as an aside, it feels strange to me. Fully nude, I’m fine. In my underwear, I feel exposed.

Not everyone is naturist, but I’d say the overwhelming majority of women in the part of Spain I visit are regular topless sunbathers, so women wearing only panties are a regular sight, as are men in briefs, on beaches. They’re just a practical solution to the problem.

Of course, if you go for a swim, and your undies are now wet, there’s another practical solution: take them off. I’ve also had the experience of throwing a sun dress back on and then tugging off the wet underwear, driving home ‘commando’, as it were.

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As usual, of course, it was necessary to replicate this real life scene within SL, so model Niamh headed off to the Eden Naturopolis sim to pose for us, wearing panties from Reasonable Desires (pack of 3, L$0). A scene I expect to see replicated, in RL, at various points over the summer.

 

Ella 

God bless my SL friends

No sooner have I mentioned ‘things I’d like to see in SL naturism’ and ‘I need to do more with the Moonella Group’ than a couple of creations, courtesy of SLN publisher Howie, turn up.

‘Share them around the group for free’, he says.

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‘Yep! I stole it in Spain’

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And now it’s on the wall of my house!

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‘Where’s my ladder? Where’s my electric drill?’ asks Howie

His signs, a no-swimwear sign, and a ‘Zona Naturista’ sign (shamelessly stolen from Vera Playa, Spain) will be offered as free gifts to those of you in the Moonella Group in the next 24 hours.

Howie, like me, is a Vera Playa user (or has been in the past). Both signs are now attached to the wall of his apartment in Eden, and certainly lay claim to the policies in play if you land there.

This time tomorrow, I hope to have both signs offered up as gifts via the Moonella Group.

 

Ella.

#EscracheDeSujetadores (Spanish Bra Protest)

Living in Scotland, I’ve got an ‘independence’ (from the rest of UK) vote coming up in September. I’ll not go into further detail now as I’ve another post lined up about that in the next couple of weeks. And yes, I do work in some ‘no fig leaf’ comparisons.

I’ll tell you now. I’m voting against independence. Yes, I’m English, but my Scottish husband will be voting against too.

In the past couple of years we’ve concluded the leader of Scotland’s Nationalist Party (the ones seeking independence, more as a vanity project than anything else) Alex Salmond has proven himself to be, well, a bit of an idiot.

So it’s satisfying to learn that our politicians aren’t singular in their stupidity. It can happen to any puffed up, self regarding moron anywhere in Europe.

Take Leon de la Riva, Mayor of Spanish city Valladolid, who is afraid to get in a lift with a woman because she might strip down to her undies and cry ‘rape’.

This has led to a ‘bra protest’ in Valladolid in anger at his comments.

In Malaga, the courts dropped a case against five alleged rapists, and their mayor effectively said ‘well, don’t focus on Malaga, there’s 1000 rapes in Spain each year’ (link in Spanish). And Spain has proposed some guidelines for avoiding rape, such as ‘take your first name off your letterbox’, which people believe attempts to shift the burden of blame from rapists to the victims.

The hashtags #EscracheDeSujetadores (Bra Protest) and #NoEstasSola (You are not alone) are now trending on Twitter as people grow angry at politicians loose tongues over very serious crimes.

Naturally, SLN supports those who are protesting against the idiotic remarks made by local politicians. We support the right for women to go about their business without fear of sexual assault or rape, and ‘she was drunk, it was consensual’ is never an excuse. If she’s drunk, it’s a man’s duty -a real man’s duty- to ensure she gets home safely, to not take advantage.

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Read more about the bra protest in Spain here and here and here (Youtube report via ‘Russia Today’ news).

Ella

Postcard from Spain : Saturday

We’ve had a quiet day and expect to have a quiet evening. Yes, down to the pool fully nude and no body-concerns at all, and down to the beach early-ish this morning. Even without my fair-skinned friends I’m often here with my children, so we tend to duck the sun when it’s at its strongest. The children now know that playtime at the pool or beach is for after breakfast time, and in the evenings. Otherwise we chill as a family in the shade of the balcony. Out come the colouring books while one of us entertains them, and the other might (we’re not, despite being naturists, great sun worshippers in terms of having to work on a tan all the time).

The three of us made it to the sea this morning, however, and we asked a stranger to take a photo of us together, as naturists. The girls are delighted by it (already shared around). I shall get it replicated for SL purposes when we return home, for our ‘scrapbook’. And that’s it from Spain for the first holiday of the year, and the first set of ‘postcards’.

Our next trip out (and it’s the RL Mr.Keng and I this time) is for what was to have been the ‘Vera Playa Skinny Dip Record Attempt’, since cancelled.  And we’ll be meeting up with the RL Mr & Mrs Pookes, who booked independently of us, but for the exact same purpose, to participate in the skinny dip. The RL Mr Keng and RL Mr Pookes are, I’m told (by the RL Mr Keng and Pookes) both participating in the ‘Naked Fun Run’ if it goes ahead. I’ve not heard anything to the contrary.

So from me…

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Ella

from…

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Nanni

and from…

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Bebe

it’s ‘Adios!’ from Spain.

Catch you on SLN next week when normal service resumes…

Ella

 

 

Midnight skinny dipping

I know I’m pretty scathing in my appraisal of Cap D’Agde and the sordid, exhibitionist, ‘swinger’ associations it brings to genuine naturism, regardless of whether or not there remains a rump of genuine naturists who use the Cap.

But I picked the following photo up from the Lady Godiva blog, and it certainly has an innocent charm when photographed at midnight.

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For all I know people may well be having sex in the dunes behind Lady Godiva, but the photo captures none of that sordidness. Instead, it’s a beautiful lady, at midnight, by the water’s edge.

Which reminds me of one of my own, recent midnight skinny-dips, at the festival of St. Juan in Spain last year. I knew it was a festival day, but was completely ignorant of naked bathing rituals. Mr. Keng and myself went for a walk after dinner, essentially following what sounded like a live band. As we approached the bonfire on the beach, we noticed that there were numerous naked people around, dripping wet. Asking someone else, we discovered there’s a tradition whereby, for luck, you strip naked, turn round three times, throw a pebble over your shoulder into the sea, then follow it into the water on the stroke of midnight (hopefully avoiding being hit by other revellers throwing pebbles!).

Prior to midnight, many bonfires are lit on the beach, and traditionally, in Spain, it was apparently the beginning of the Spanish beach season. That said, I note from research that there’s nothing about pebbles or turning around. Bonfires get a regular mention, and I note that if you stay in the water long enough to be washed by nine waves, it increases a woman’s fertility (that’s me out after eight, then! 🙂 ) Nudity would appear to be optional for this custom, but where I was there was a heady, healthy mix of the clothed and unclothed. It was a beautiful scene, all accompanied to the gentle flamenco-driven rhythms of a bunch of hippy types who’d turned up with a variety of instruments and had begun jamming. Quite what the truth of the midnight swimming customs are, or were, I’m not sure, but we were certainly more than happy to lose our clothes and merrily join in. This year, pre-warned, we’ll bring towels! 🙂

All I can say is that there will be participation and, I’m told by my non-naturist travelling companion, photos to be taken. 🙂

As luck would have it, I’ll be out in Spain on St Juan’s Day this year, to that will certainly form a ‘postcard’ or two that night (or the following morning).

With this in mind, I decided to get Diane and Harry to grab a few ‘midnight skinny dip’ shots in SL. Between them, they decided to utilise each other as models! So the following is a short photo-essay of them undertaking a skinny dip under the stars.

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Diane Midnight Skinny Dip collection by Harry Leistone

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Harry Midnight Skinny Dipping Collection by Diane Toxx (taken at Eden Naturist)

Ella