With the naked eye

I understand Nessie and his wife are naturists believing firmly in the benefits of air and sunshine as extending uninhibited to all parts of the body. They enjoy these benefits in their garden whenever they can, Nessie’s wife being less embarrassed by the presence of, say, friends than Nessie himself whom I have never seen in less than his shorts, and to take off his shirt in my presence he required his wife’s encouragement who felt sure that I “did not mind”. Nessie’s wife is so convinced of the therapeutic value of sunshine that – if in female company only – she will discard her clothes quite abruptly in other people’s gardens, not before having made sure that there are “no fellows” around. I once heard from friends who have a swimming pool in their secluded garden that she was spontaneously tempted to have a dip, dropped her clothes then and there without any ado and went in, thus displaying a considerable sporty attitude for her age. In this case she did not mind both her friends’ , the lady’s and the gentleman’s, presence, the latter, I gather hastening to look the other way rather than be blinded.

My husband also believes in taking off his clothes in our garden and on the sunny beaches of the South. I learnt it from him and have enjoyed it ever since.

Once I had a little adventure on an island in the South of France. We were the first people on the beach which lay in glorious morning sunshine. It was absolutely heavenly, and I was jumping and dancing around, even venturing to run along the beach to a group of rocks about two hundred meters away from the place where our clothes lay. Steve followed more leisurely. I reached the rocks, jumped up to the top and looked round the corner. What did I see to my horror ? A detachment of – French, of course – soldiers marching briskly towards the rocks and me. I turned round rather briskly, too. Steve was at a distance beckoning me to come. He did not know there were, still hidden by the rocks, soldiers behind me – he only saw there were soldiers in the opposite direction, on the other side of our clothes, distinctly marching towards them. I ran for my life and just about beat them to it – sitting down and grabbing a towel was all I could do. Steve had joined me and together we watched them march past us, first one detachment, then the other one. The sergeants were well in control and everybody pretended not to see us. After this little incident we had the beach to ourselves again.

Once or twice we stayed in a naturist camp.I did not like it. The best time again was early in the morning when all the other campers were still asleep, and in the evening when it was getting cooler and people had left the beach. I then put on my long, soft, flowing silk-dress, just that, apparently almost as becoming as nothing at all, and we sat down to watch the sunset. The rest of the day I spent near our chalet, doing the occasional shopping at the camp centre where I saw groups of men walk about in a funny get-up : hat, sunglasses and T-shirt. I suppose it was sensible to protect sensitive parts of the body from the burning sun. It just looked funny, especially from behind. I wondered what sort of occupations they all had in their ordinary every-day lives.

In Scotland I had a lovely time on the deserted beach of a holy island. It was at the end of September – windy and rainy weather with the odd spell of sunshine. I had miles of beach to myself and beautiful clean water which made my skin go red and hot. Excellent hydrotherapy, Nessie thought when I told him, except that he reckoned not a man would have been able to follow me into the cold, not having the fatty tissue females have. My only companion, it is true, had been a seal.