In the Garden, Skyclad and Working

Hauling the cut branches to the back lane.

The past few days have been busy in our garden area, especially with the removal of a few bushes which have tried to take over the garden. If anyone ever asks if a Dogwood is good in a small garden, the answer I now have in response is “No.” The bush wants to take over the garden like some psycho dictator. Removing it called for a several stage approach since we waited so long to resolve this problem.

A mass of roots in one great big ball

The first stage was to cut the bush down in stages. Since our landfill wants all bushes and branches in bite-sized pieces, that was job number one. With the bush gone for most of the above ground section, it was time to dig around the roots to plop the roots out. Easily said, but not so easily done. But with grit, time, and determination the job got done. Then it was time to tackle the second Dogwood which was much easier as it wasn’t a very healthy bush.

Rest and relaxation on the back deck

By the end of the afternoon, all was done. It was time to relax on the deck and enjoy a cold drink [non-alcoholic as I was also cooking halibut]. With a good rest, it was time to pack up the camping trailer for eight days at Green Haven.

I leave home early Sunday morning in order to do a book-signing event in Regina, followed by a meal with my eldest grandson, then a short half-hour drive to the campground where I have a season’s pass. I plan on meeting up with Happy Bare and his spouse for two evenings and a day’s time together. All is well in my world.

Ami Marie, Another Friend on the NOOK

Another friend at the NOOK – Ami Marie

At the site called the NOOK, there are a continuing number of new members.  Though there are literally thousands of members, my friendship numbers are high at just under 300 people. Ami Marie is one of these numbers, a very recent friend. I don’t know much about her other than she is friendly and loves to model. Her husband takes a good number of her photos that she shares with us at the NOOK.

At home and welcoming us as visitors.

Ami Marie has agreed to be featured here from time to time, just like my other NOOK friends, Lukas, Melvin and Sandy, and a few others who show up here on occasion. Like others, it takes time to get to know a person well enough to speak of them in honest ways so that my words don’t misspeak. Perhaps, like me, you will look forward to getting to know Ami Marie better.

One thing I have learned over the years, is to never judge a book by its cover, or a person by their appearance. So, I move forward in each friendship giving each person a good level of acceptance from which to build upon.

Nude Friends on the NOOK and Elsewhere

I have been a member of the NOOK for a number of years and have developed some great friendships as a result. I will be meeting with one of these members, Happy Bare, at the beginning of June at my home naturist campgrounds, Green Haven.

I have been a member of other naturists sites but haven’t really connected with others in most of those sites with the exception of Freedom Fields, run by a couple I originally met on the NOOK, and the Naturist Community.

Some of my friends from the NOOK are regularly featured here in blog posts, friends such as Melvin and Sandy, and Lukas. Other NOOK friends have appeared in the second book of Naked Poetry. Of course, I do have naturist friends who I have come to know from the face-to-face world and other online venues such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has been an ongoing problem as they are as adverse to nudity as it is possible to be. Twitter on the other hand, seems to be the friendliest social media platform where naturists/nudists can build real friendships.

There is one important caveat to remember – the online world is not as transparent as the face-to-face world in spite of having people willing to appear vulnerable. The intention one has in posting an image is not often the message that a viewer hears. Images are powerful, more powerful than words. Each person viewing an image has a set of filters and associations that are triggered. As a result, building a friendship relationship with people online is problematic. If one is to develop a real friendship, it must stand the test of time with conversations that that go beyond the knee-jerk responses to images.

Too often, people go in search of some Magical Other which they project onto the images of a certain gender [man-man, man-woman, woman-man, woman-woman] without consideration of what the intent of the “other” is when it comes to online relationships. Many aren’t looking for hook-ups or soul-mates or friendships-with-benefits. Rather, they are simply searching for others with whom they can share thoughts, others whom they hope will accept them as “just” a friend.

The best one can do is to listen to the inner radar. Monitoring oneself is the best strategy. If one reacts with “heat” whether that heat be positive or negative, then one is not really reacting to a person, but with inner contents being activated, a complex. Falling in love online is almost always a disaster waiting to happen. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are likely due to an extended dialogue that is not fuelled by images or sexual talk. I do know a few couples who met online, felt a connection, then began the long process of “getting-to-know” the other person in as many areas as possible. One couple that I have met have been together for almost twenty years. It is possible, but not typical. More typical is that hearts are broken, trust is shattered, and one is left feeling abused and abandoned.

Happenings in the Life of a Nude Writer

Too early for nectar in the hummingbird feeder.

It’s May on the Canadian prairies and that means the weather shifts from cold to hot at a moment’s notice. Only a few days ago we had +32 Celsius with sunny skies and very brisk winds. That was followed by temperatures dropping to +3 Celsius as a low and then +8 as the high temperature with no sunshine and continuing winds. It is far from being naturist friendly. As a result, I am spending more time on my writing projects.

Since I had removed the original book three from the “Broken” series from Amazon and from my continuing sales through Chapters and Indigo,

Tea break while writing nude on the back deck.

I have begun the work on rewriting the book in a completely different format with a new cover planned so that it matches the other two volumes in the series. The photos in the book will be removed and the story will unfold as a story more than as a memoir. So far, I am now at 28,000 words with the likelihood of reaching 90,000 when all is said and done.

As well as writing, I have begun to plan and arrange for more book-signing events including an August long weekend jaunt to Winnipeg and three Chapters stores in that city. Of course I hope to have time to visit family in that city while there. Other events are being planned for Calgary and Edmonton with a return to Red Deer, Saskatoon, and Regina anticipated for the season wrap up in October. I should easily engage with more people and sell more books with the addition of extra book-signing events between now and then. Too bad I can’t sell my books while nude.

And Then It Got Hot

A warm and pleasant evening

We returned home to very pleasant weather, a treat for the senses, on Sunday evening. Yesterday was another pleasant day with the exception of strong winds and the emergence of mosquitoes. Today, on the other hand, was a scorcher with temperatures soaring into the 30+ Celsius range, not something typical for a mid-May spring day.

Finishing touches in the garden

Yesterday evening I had tilled the garden with the exception of the last few feet along the west fence which I turned over by hand this morning. With that task done, I spent a few hours working on my books, skyclad of course, on the back deck at my usual yellow table.

Then, it got hot. We had planned on a mid-afternoon walk but with the temperatures soaring, that plan was scrapped. My wife appreciates the shade more that I do, but had no issue with my taking the opportunity to catch a few rays – after all, I am a sun worshipper in the classical sense.

First layabout of the year with no issue or chore to interfere with the moment.

Now, having had my fill with exposure to the elements on both sides, I have withdrawn into the house in order to share my day with you. In case you are wondering, I have republished my René Beauchemin novels and I am nearing the same for my “Broken” series of books. The work of writing and rewriting continues giving me all the purpose I need in my life at this time. Now, back to the sunshine.

Free-Hiking – Hiking While Skyclad

A year ago, I wrote a post about naked hiking, or free-hiking, which I am revising as I look forward to more such adventures this coming season of warmth and sunshine on the prairies. It is raining as I visit extended family and I find myself with a bit of time to spend here to prepare this post. The women are out shopping and my brother-in-law is working on his computer. Later we will finish up the task of making smoked sausages. When we return home at the end of the weekend, the weather is supposed to great for a return to hiking.

Free-hiking on the prairies, summer 2017

When the temperatures and conditions are right, I will soon able to find myself walking in nature completely divested of clothing.  The hills shown to the left, are only eight kilometres from the town in which I live, here on the Canadian prairies.

Hiking has to rank up there as one of my favourite pastimes. Hiking while free of clothing is an experience that is hard to describe to others who find extended walks a challenge – mentally or physically. And even with others who enjoy hiking, to contemplate hiking while nude is even more of a challenge. Yet, when a person has dared to try this, there is a curious shift in body perception. It is as thought for the first time, one can truly breathe deeply.

I almost always hike nude alone. Most of the time when I am with others, there is a need to be wearing hiking clothes. Hiking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain in 2015, was a shared hiking experience with many, many others. Last spring i hiked in Eastern Europe in a group of ten hikers. And, as with the Camino, we all wore clothing.

Free-hiking in France – NatFree

Yet, having experienced hiking nude, the desire to share this experience with others is something that I have set in my “bucket list.” And this is a real possibility as there is a group that hikes in Europe every year, the Naked European Walking Tour [NEWT], where participants from various countries gather together to spend a week in Austria doing daily nude hikes through the mountainscapes.

Natfree, kindly gave permission for the use of a photo [above to the right] that gives one an idea of the experience of free-hiking. The photo was taken early spring in France. Natfree, who organises these and the NEWT walks, is also part of an online site dedicated to Nude Hiking – Les Marcheurs Nus du Val de Roanne.

Free-hiking in September, 2017

Looking forward to this coming season, I anticipate more free-hiking opportunities than I have been able to experience in the past. There are a few paths I explored that look promising. All I have to do is to seize the opportunities that present themselves such as with the trail I chanced for a short distance last autumn pictured to the left. Another trail was found in the parkland area of the prairies [treed areas around farmland] which I hope to try while skyclad at the end of the month when I spend a week at Green Haven.

Who knows, perhaps this year will provide me with even more nude-hiking, free-hiking, experiences.

Post-World Naked Gardening Day Thoughts

Lukas the day before WNGD

I’ve been thinking [oh no, not again] about World Naked Gardening Day. I see that there are two problems associated with the concept. The first concept is that of “Garden.” Like most people, I think of garden as a place to grow food, or perhaps to grow flowers. But on closer reflection, I am taken to the term used as “The Garden of Eden.”

Eden is a place of nature with, as far as I can remember from my reading of Genesis, where there are no buildings. The world of nature is the garden. So, I thought that the term “garden” should be expanded to include any outdoor setting where there is at least a bit of grass, shrubs, trees, etc.

Lukas in the Garden of Eden the day after WNGD

People, such as my Netherlands friend, Lukas, typically have to work on the “official” day for WNGD. Other friends from New Zealand had to cope with the edges of winter, not at all “gardening” weather if they were to take part in this event. It seems that the date was picked to match the typical weather for the mid-latitudes in the northern hemisphere.

Harold clearing weeds from the flower bed.

This year I was lucky even though I am much further north, the northern latitudes, in a place that doesn’t have its weather moderated by an ocean or two. Harold, another friend who hails from the mid-latitudes in the USA, but not too much further south, typically can enjoy WNGD every year when he has the opportunity without weather being too much of a factor.

Harold at work cleaning up weeds that encroach upon his private Garden of Eden.

However, that is the problem in a nutshell – the where and the when of World Naked Gardening Day.

What if we just simply did away with the WNGD and just used WNG? Everyday would then be a naked gardening day. Perhaps just use a tag such as #edenworldnakedgardening. The idea is to support the state of mind as well as the state of undress that was the original intention in Genesis – earth, water, trees, flora, fauna, and adding naked people into the mix and calling it all “good.”

Somehow, I don’t think we could go wrong with this idea.