Skyclad Autumn Activities

Roses, and autumn leaves on the birch trees.

I am busy with yard work as it appears that we have a week of summer-like weather before winter begins to make its annual trek through the prairie region of Canada. I wanted to capture some of the beauty that bursts forth with this last burst of nature’s libido before frost turns all the colour to drab browns and greys.

Working the straw into the clay soil of our garden.

The busyness had me focus on tilling the garden. Our soil is hard because of clay. Over the years I have put in numerous bags of peat moss, mulch, dried grass and leaves, coffee grinds,  and egg shells into the garden to help make it easier to work. But to date, the garden remains hard clay making tilling a work out. This year, we are trying to see if using straw will make a difference in the soil’s consistency. I’ll find out next spring how well this latest effort works out.

This morning, our focus turned to canning, putting into bottles, the sauerkraut that has been ageing. We ended up with over fifty pints of sauerkraut when done. This afternoon, I finished up the tilling I had begun yesterday afternoon. Now, It’s time for a cuppa tea on the back deck with our neighbours. Of course, that will be a “wearing clothing” event.

 

Surprises While Skyclad and Pruning

Preparing our bushes for winter with a pruning.

I have been busy in the yard today, as the temperatures are warming up. While doing the pruning as pictured to the left, it was a balmy 18 Celsius. Little did I realise that the activity would become a lesson for me.

My neighbour walked into the yard in order to borrow a leaf blower. Nothing unusual with this as neighbours borrow things when needed. My wife had set out the leaf blower for her on a bench beside the garage. When she entered the yard and saw me pruning, she gave a start and began apologising for intruding on my space. My first thoughts were, “Oh, shit, I am in for it now. I’ve just offended one of my wife’s best friends.” Before much could be said, she went to the bench and picked up the blower then left the yard, again apologising.

Later, when I was done with my pruning, which I continued to do while skyclad, I went into the house and put on some clothes. I knew that “we” needed to have a talk as this is the neighbour who had just removed the trees, and in the process exposed my back deck to her view, as well as any who might visit her. She was still working in the yard, and came over to talk with me on the deck. She reaffirmed my earlier beliefs that my nudity wasn’t offensive to her. She was simply surprised as she thought I wasn’t in the yard. Had she known, she would have waited until another time to get the leaf blower.  She didn’t display any signs of nervousness or uneasiness while talking with me.

What I learned was that though nudity wasn’t her thing, she had no issue with my being a nudist in my own yard. With that lesson, I realise that the real issue is inside my own head. I also learned (well was reminded) that my yard is a mini community space with regard to my neighbours. And, as such, I need to pick and choose my time nude in the yard with more care so as to not shock or cause any distress. Almost all of my neighbours are women, older women who have not had the best of lives at the had of the men in their pasts.

This isn’t about being afraid of being reported, but more about being sensitive to needs of others. I wonder how this will look for me in the future when it comes to my being nude in my back yard. I am not about to build privacy fences with locked gates. Our neighbours are friends.

A Dozen Naturist Books Found New Homes

Sunset silhouette on the way home.

As expected, I made the drive to the city while nude. I made a stop about twenty-five minutes into the journey in order to fill up the car with gas. I did put on my clothes for this but was soon nude again before pulling out of the gas station. I found two photo locations en route for my naturist photo archives. I stopped once more on the outskirts of the city in order to put clothing back on so that I would avoid any trouble for the remaining minutes to the book location.

The day in the city went well. I managed to sell twelve books in just two hours including one of my poetry books. My best expectations had been for eight books, a hesitant expectation since none of the autobiography books were included in the book signing event at Word On The Street. Once that event was done, I spent some time volunteering with the writers’ guild. It was a quiet two hours and I was finally ready to head home once I had purchased the things on our grocery list.

The above photo was taken just as the sun was setting, a silhouette that doesn’t show that I was nude. But then again, it doesn’t have to as long as I am aware of that fact. My photos are taken for me at this point in my life. They aren’t meant to prove anything to anybody else. Still, I enjoy sharing the occasional photo with others who will not find them offensive. Just like these words here, the images are snapshots of an ordinary life being lived nude when possible.

 

 

Word On The Street for a Skyclad Author

Word on the Street (WOTS) is in Saskatoon today and I will be there.

I will be travelling to Saskatoon shortly as I have two events that I am taking part in while there. Of course, that means that I will have to keep my clothes on for most of the day. I do, however, have the opportunity to make the hour and a half drive nude – with the heater on. It is cold out this morning, with a temperature of zero Celsius and it isn’t supposed to get much better. It will be a day for warm clothing here on the prairies.

The first has me signing books for any who risk buying my challenging poetry books – after all, each poem is paired with a naturist image – a risk that I am assuming few will take. I do hope that the René Beauchemin novels sell well since they don’t have nude photos included in them. The second event is at the Saskatchewan Writers Guild tent where I will meet people curious about being a writer and wondering if being in a collective such as the SWG is right for them.

Challenging Others With One’s Nudity

Holly in her hot tub as a reward for a day well spent.

It’s interesting how weather reflects what we do and when we do it. In the U.K. my friend Holly enjoys sunshine while here on the prairies in  Canada, we are under dark skies with very cool temperatures, occasional drizzle, and a breeze that makes it feel even colder.

Blustery day by the lake

Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time in the water. Yes, I did go in for a short while, but the water was definitely not warm.

The scene above with dark clouds, is reflective of how I am experiencing my life at the moment. I slip, periodically, into regions of darkness where the rules don’t seem to exist; that is, rules which keep one balanced and “civilised.” In this state of mind, I have been known to burn my journals, permanently delete photos (of myself only), and cause psychic mayhem. Knowing this, I am listening closely to what is bubbling within. Often, the shadow has something important to teach me. And in doing this, I came to realise that keeping a double life in terms of blog sites, was unhealthy for me, and likely something that caused distress to many who are in my face-to-face world.

As a result of this, I have deleted all but three posts at Through a Naturist Lens, since all of those posts and more are already posted here. These posts are less censored in terms of images, perhaps more honest because of that. I am leaving the other site in place because of my books which contain a link to that site. The posts remaining there explain why I am a naturist and that is about it.

I will continue to lead a double life in the world on this side of the computer screen, much like my friend Holly, because of family and community. Not many are truly comfortable in having to deal with a naked, older male. Now if I was a younger, female person such as Holly, I would hazard a guess that fewer would be challenged in seeing me nude.

Negotiating a Naturist Presence

Removing the sheet protecting the Swiss Chard

I was up early this morning, too early, because my head was swirling with scenes and possibilities with my planned new novel. Four o’clock in the morning is too early. I waited until five before turning on the coffee maker. By five-thirty, my wife and I were again looking out at the darkness waiting for the first hints of light to divulge the hills hidden in the darkness, hills that are a good six kilometres away as the crow flies. The overnight temperature dropped to one degree Celsius, a slight improvement from yesterday’s minus one temperature. By seven-thirty it warmed up to three degrees. so I went out to the garden to take off the sheet and blanket that we use to protect the few remaining veggies – Swiss Chard and Zucchini Squash.

In the early dawn’s light, on my back deck overlooking my neighbour’s yard.

My neighbour had three trees taken down yesterday, Boxelders, as they were hosting a huge population of box elder bugs. I will have to take down a young maple tree so that the bugs don’t migrate to it and infest my yard. With those trees down, the view into my neighbour’s yard, and vice-a-versa, from my deck is virtually open with only a few thin cedar trees providing any sort of privacy screen. What that will mean in the future as for my being nude on my back deck is undetermined. Her privacy, is now compromised. If I am on my back deck, she won’t be able to ignore the fact of my nudity other than by avoiding being in her back yard, or by my refraining from being nude on my deck. She has seen me nude in the past, and that was okay in small doses. No protest was ever given, so there is hope that there will be no problems in the future.

Each of us finds ourselves constantly negotiating our presence in the world of others. As we transform, the others around us change in response to us, As the environment changes, we change. How we change, and how the others around us change in response, demands that we reframe our understanding of ourselves and of the others around us. The greatest danger is to get stuck in old understandings which become like shoes we have outgrown. We end up harming ourselves psychologically in ways that leave us angry, depressed, and unkind to the others around us.

There is only one problem that presents itself, the fact that people rarely talk in any depth about the changes and their affect on intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. Do I talk to my neighbour or just let time and experience teach me, and in return her? Or, do we both pretend that nothing has changed?

Planning the Skyclad Writing to Come

Touch-up painting

Today has been a long time coming. New tub and tub surround, new toilet, new sink, repaired walls, new baseboards, refurbishing the cabinet above the sink, and a host of small tasks that swirled around all of these steps in giving our bathroom a new look.

I got busy with preparations before breakfast and finished before it was time to eat lunch. Now, I am finding myself free – well at least for a short while – for some time here on the computer. That freedom will be short lived as I have to pick up a new roto-tiller for our garden, an afternoon project. When that is done, I have to winterise our small camper. I am thinking that these will be tomorrow projects. I don’t expect that I will actually till the garden for a few more weeks, so at least that is on hold.

A few thoughts on the new novel series are finding their way to the surface. I expect to begin the actual writing of the novel at the beginning of November, a time that should allow me to do most of the needed research before then. So far, this is what I have come up with:

  • One idea was to have the protagonist a man from the present time. I am leaning towards having René Beauchemin, the protagonist in both the Small Company of Pilgrims, and It’s Complicated, be the time traveller. Since I have already positioned him as an immortal because of his ability to recall his past lives.
  • A second idea is to ignore the theme of mythology and immortals, and simply have each novel in the series tell about the life and times of a family through the generations in North America up until somewhere around the near present. This parallels the first idea minus the link to the present and René Beauchemin.
  • A third idea is to have each novel be a period piece with no link from one novel to the next other than a loose chronology of history. This seems to be the most difficult, especially in trying to make it readable for a general reading audience.

If you were to think of reading a series of novels that tells the tale of Canada, and New England from 1600’s to around 1970, which of the above three approaches would be the most appealing. I look forward to your comments.