Category Archives: Naturism

Things I don’t know whether to be ashamed or proud of

1. *New Entry* Knowing all the words to the Les Miserables soundtrack

If I told you that me and my friend Libby used to act out Les Miserables with her teddy bear collection, would you judge me? Yes? Ok then, that never happened.

What if cool dudes like Jason Segal and Paul Rudd had obviously done the same thing when they were nippers?

That would make it cooler, right?

2. *New Entry* Planning to go to the Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q

Meat and stargazing. What more could you want? I can only imagine the gathering of poindexters that are going to be in that field in Wicklow when the Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q comes around in September, but this year, instead of secretly wishing I was going, I AM GOING. I am going to wear my ‘Nerdosaurus’ t-shirt and I am going to eat hot dogs and identify Ursa Major*.

* I now finally realise why my friend Rossa calls me Liz Lemon. Blerg.

3. Knowing all the words to We Didn’t Start the Fire: At a wedding I was at recently, the groom got up on stage after having a few ales and performed his party piece: singing all the words to Billy Joel’s historical masterpiece We Didn’t Start the Fire. I looked furtively around the room to see if people were in awe or in stitches, as I am never quite sure if this particular skill is an acceptable one to admit to. All together now… “Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray…”

Also, lest we forget:

(Also, while I’m admitting things, I may as well also admit to knowing all the words to Billy Joel’s Scenes from an Italian Restaurant AND The Pianoman. I spent a summer on Long Island once. It rubbed off on me. And before you start scoffing at Billy Joel, just remember that he’s responsible for Always a Woman to Me, and if you don’t like that song, then you have no soul).

4. Once meeting Irish president Patrick Hillary (but thinking he was the guy who had climbed Mount Everest): It was Mosney, it was the eighties, I was young. I had obviously just learned about Edmund Hillary and his pal Tenzing Norgay the sherpa in school, so when someone introduced me to an important looking man with the surname ‘Hillary’, I assumed that he was the mountain climbing man. God knows how long I smugged around for, saying I had met the conqueror of Everest. I should also point out that I was in Mosney for some kind of choir-related community games fiasco. I wasn’t even there for something cool, like hurdles or long jump.

5. Playing the part of Oliver in my school musical: I am a girl. Oliver was a boy. And yet I’m told I was very convincing. Hmph.

6. Teaching myself how to swim: Considering how much I love to be in water and how going to the beach is, for me, not about lazing around trying to change colour, but rather getting battered by waves, you would think that I would be an excellent swimmer. Alas, I am not. Even though I taught myself how to swim and  certainly am not going to drown anytime soon, I still don’t know how to do it properly and can’t do that suave breathing-to-the-side thing that people are so good at.

7. Going on holidays on my own: In October 2007 I needed to take a break, urgently. So I booked a last minute trip to New York, on my own. I went to a Yankees game on my own. I went to two Broadway shows on my own. I was in bed in my lovely hotel room by 11pm each night. I went to Harlem to find the house where they made The Royal Tenenbaums. I was the envy of the world… or the pity?

8. Knowing all the words to It’s The End of the World As We Know It: Okay so this isn’t quite as embarrassing (or enviable? Who knows?) as number one, but it’s not far off it.

9. Going nudist camping: Does actively agreeing to go and parade around in your pelt while putting up tents and going snorkeling mean you’re hopelessly brave, or hopelessly insufferable? It was actually one of the finest experiences of my life. I’m not quite sure if that had anything to do with the lack of clothes, but you’re never going to be sure if peoples’ reactions are going to fill you with pride or shame when you admit to letting it all hang out with the ageing Germans.

 

They’ll bring a microwave, but no clothes….

Nudie Campsite. Saturday. Around lunchtime: I’m well into the first full day of my naturist camping experience in the South of Spain. I’ve graduated from wrapping a towel or long shirt around me, to walking around with the shirt open, with nothing underneath it except my pelt. I had already had a snigger to myself at the thought of all the naked ageing Germans mincing around the supermarket in the nip with a basket, so heading in the direction of the campsite shop practically in the nip myself was a little strange.

In we swept, practically as naked as the day we were born, and stopped short. Of the four people who were in the little supermarket (a generous word for a maze of shelves selling flip-flops and stew-in-a-can side by side) including the shop assistant, were more or less fully clothed. ‘Abort, abort’ I whispered out of the corner of my mouth, and we hurriedly went about covering up our bits with the shirts and sarongs that we’d been practically dragging behind us mere moments earlier. Even though they warn you when you check in that there are NO CLOTHES ALLOWED, I guess it doesn’t apply when your bare arse might be brushing off the sliced pans.

Even though I was told on the phone, and on arrival at El Portus about the no clothes rule, I was glad to discover that nobody was going to rip the clothes from my back if I dared to cover up while on site. Although I’ve been to the naturist beach in Vera lots of times by now, I’m still only about 60 % comfortable with the whole naked thing, mostly because I wouldn’t want to look at me naked, so why would anyone else want to? But I suspect that anyone who is truly a naturist never really thinks about anyone looking at them. It’s more about the relaxation and freedom of simply not wearing clothes. While I can appreciate the absolute joy of not having to remove a swimsuit magician-style behind a towel when you emerge, arse full of sand, from the ocean, I’m still not sure I’m totally convinced. I can appreciate someone wanting to be at one with nature and really rough it, but when people are cooking in MICROWAVES and watching TELEVISION while camping in the nude….they’re hardly at one with nature.

Bottom (tee-hee) line, going starkers can be very relaxing, very handy, and produces a line-free tan, but I’m not sure if I would ever be comfortable sitting eating my dinner in the nude, or going for an evening stroll. And can you imagine a naked disco? Black eyes ahoy!

In saying all that, I was very sad to be leaving El Portus after only 2 days. It is a supremely relaxing place (with the exception of our wealthier and naked Tai Chi-loving neighbours in a nearby hired cabin, who appeared to require 45 minutes of hammering to make their dinner, and entertained themselves by playing Stairway to Heaven on a recorder. Yes, a recorder)

They also played 'The Boxer' and several verses of 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean' on the recorder

El Portus also boasts really clean facilities, and a small, stony, yet absolutely amazing beach, with crystal clear, super-deep water perfect for snorkeling and diving. I would return just for the beach and the simple bliss of cooking burgers on a 10 euro BBQ and eating them by torchlight….in a sweatshirt. Hey, I was a bit cold!

Hi-dee-hi nudie campers

Today I’m going camping. Naturist camping. In the nude.

I have mixed feelings about the whole nude thing. Before I came to Spain, walking around in front of one person naked was hard enough for me, never mind large groups of strangers IN PUBLIC! I was also afraid that going au natural was the folly of ageing Germans, the type visited and documented by that lovely scamp Dawn Porter. However,  I was willing to try out the nearby naturist beach, in a place called Vera. I wasn’t sure if I’d be taking my clothes off, but I said I’d go and see what all the fuss was about.

In my head I had imagined tall, bronzed, beautiful glamazons stalking up and down the beach with their glorious breasts, naturally hairless limbs and perfectly tamed lady-gardens. I was pretty sure that my sensible swimsuit and/or supersize beach towel would be staying put. I am blessed with Irish skin and a far, far from perfect body – beef to the heels like a Mullingar heifer.

But in reality, the glamazons are few and far between. Instead, the beach at Vera boasts a very similar demographic to any beach. Families, couples, people on their own. It’s quiet, there are no groups of rowdy teenagers, and nobody points and laughs at my wobbly thighs or bra-less boobs. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take every inch of self-control not to constantly cover myself up with my hands or towel or anything that lies within my reach, but it’s not as hard as I had imagined.

So, today, I’m going a step further and going nudie for a whole weekend. My towel will never be far from reach though.

Me, later today