Stuart wasn’t a naturist until he met me. He lived a quiet life with his wife, wrote factual historical articles of local interest for the nearbyÂ paper and was a keen gardner.
But there was obviously something in him that wanted to expand into expressing himself in a more exciting way.
And that was done via deciding he wanted some pencil drawings done of himself in the nude, galvanising him intoÂ contactingÂ me about four years ago which led on to me doing a number of nudes of him, and a watercolour painting of him earlier this year summing up his life so far and all the things that have had an impact on him. And I know that of all of those things I’ve probably had one of the largest.Â
Of course I understand that when you start down this road of wanting to beÂ displayed in a nude in art it naturally leads on to wanting to be nudeÂ more often with other like minded people. Its not dirty or rude, just a natural progression, andÂ anyoneÂ who is a nudist will tell you that.Â Its not a sexual thing, although there is a feeling of sensuality about it, of having the gentle breeze on your skin, of feeling at one with nature, takingÂ us back to that cave-man that isÂ tucked away in us all, even though we think we’re civilised and domesticated in our brick houses, there is still part of us that harks back to that side ofÂ human nature (comparing todaysÂ barbeque’s to cooking mammoths around theÂ communial camp fire and you’ll agree!) .
This year has been a big one for Stuart in that he has had the opportunity to be with other like minded people on a nudist beach for the first time in his life, and he is 75 years of age, don’t forget. I think it’s wonderful that he has had the chance to do this, and am always interested to hear how he is blossoming into a fledgling nudist and loving the feeling of freedom it gives him. He has also found a “Naked Garden” to visit this summer with *clothing optional* days that means that he can attend it and enjoy walking around a beautiful garden in the company of naked, and clothed people, at one with nature, although of course it means taking extra care when enjoying the fragrance ofÂ roses, especially if they’re the prickly sort, as you lean closer to take a sniff at eye level to find an unexpected and not at all pleasantÂ sharp pain in theÂ nether regions.
Â Which leads me on to the thing I want to talk about now….
Stuart decided a couple of months ago that he’d like to write an article for a naturist magazine, which I wasn’t’ at all surprised to hear about, since he writes very well and has been published many times in a couple of local papers, and has a humourists way of describing circumstances that amuses his readers.Â To accompany the article he wanted to send some photos of himself – nude – enjoying the natural delights of the countryside. There was only one person he could ask to help him take these photos, step forward Erotic Artist and friend – Jackie Adshead. “Yes, Of course I’ll do it” I said, since it fits into the sort of thing that I find quite normal in my life. Only problem was that I’d got a commission to finish, then the weather turned for the worse, then he was busy the day I was free, then it was too cold again, until, ta-dah, we found a day when he was free, I was free, and the weather was mild and sunny. It didn’t matter that it was this week inÂ October, we’ve not had any hard frosts yet so it still looks like the end of summer in this part of sunny England.
We decided to set off on this adventure to a walk both he and I knew well, since I used to live about two miles from where he currently lives so the fields about a mile from his house are ones I’ve walked many times over the twenty years I lived in that area. The reason being that it made sense to know what was over the next hill, the roadsÂ nearby, how close humanity was, because the last thing I wanted was to find that he had stripped off on a road that was overlooked by people driving by, or mothers taking their kids home from school. I knew there was nothing sexual about it, but didn’t want the chance of anyone else overlooking us. Of course he was dressed for the walk, in normal everyday attire, and had planned on stripping off just for the photos, which probably begs the question of “enjoying the country air” when its just forÂ a few fleeing minutes. But it was October.Â And this wasn’t a naturist site, it was ordinary fields near housing estates and villages.
We set off, he entertaining me with tales of the area, the dates when certain buildings and edifices were built or bombed during the Second World War, he’s a walking encylopedia of knowledge of the area and a fascinating companion for taking walks with.Â We quickly crossed over the main road and descended a green pathway scattered with accompanying rabbits “Shall we do it here?” he said, obviously eager to get to the photo sessions, I looked aghast atÂ the surroundings andÂ said “No!” asÂ I pointed out the upstairs windows of the large house we’d just passed, and more to the point the twenty or so windows of the small housing estate we were walking towards, not here, not at all. He acquiesced and we carried on walking through fields, over stiles and following well worn paths by autumnal hedges their berries bright red and vibrant against the bright blue sky. And soon came to a dip that was a hundred yards off the pathway, so it was highly unlikely that anyone would see us, or unexpectedly round a corner to find a 75 year old man stripping off to air his prerogative. Stuart, started to take his clothes off, his walking shoes causing the most problem as they had to be untied each time. and quickly stood on a low growing nettle, which caused him to shout out a bit and me to start laughing in a totally inappropriate manner, which isn’t conducive to taking a steady photo, but I think it was the incongruity of the situation that we both found ourselves in! I took some photos, he found an area that wasn’t too nettley to stand in, and I took some more, quickly moving around to change the direction of the angle of the photographs, and then telling him he could get dressed now. He did, glad to be out of the chill breeze that was cooling his predicament. We walked on, across the rolling landscape of South Derbyshire, the gentle hills and woods very familiar to me, since I’d walked themÂ many times before. We passed through farm gates, and met a man with a dog who asked which way was back to the pub where he had started from and Stuart gave him a five minute history lesson on the area, about the local landowner who had lost thousands of pounds on horse racing and what had happened after the big house had been sold. We set off again, up the hill, and all the time I was looking for other places where we could take some more photos for this collection, but none were any I was happy with for a mile or so, too open countryside, too overlooked by the big house nearby, too risky. We passed a large lake, and looked north over to the distant hills of North Derbyshire, both agreeing that its a lovely area to live in, and grow up in. We both have long connections with this area and know it well. Then walked on again, passing under large trees as the path took us right by the big house, now private appartments, admiring the sun through the leaves of the trees onÂ this gorgeous autumnal afternoon. We soon joined a small lane that eventually took us back to the main road, and met a woman walking and soon were in conversation with her, talking about the primroses in abundance there later in the year. After a cheery chat with her, I nodded towards another small lake near where we were standing, and told Stuart that that would be a good place, it was down in a dip, had lots of trees around it, and couldn’t be seen from the lane although it wasn’t far from it. A couple of women in horses plodded by as we sussed it, then I told him to be quick, knowing we couldn’t be seen, but equally not wanting to encourage anyone to come and take a look at what we were up to since we could easliy be heard! He stripped off, fortuanately no nettles this time, and stood on the bank, by an overhanging tree, whilst I tried not to fall in the water by the bank, or trip over the fallen branches nearby. Again, more giggles from me, whilst I tried to take the photos as fast as I could, and keep the camera from shaking as well. Two minutes later he was dressing again, and with a sigh of relief, we nonchantly wandered back to the lane as a large lorry drove by, the driver high up in his cab might have seen Stuart in all his glory, but fortunatly was oblivious. Phew.
We walked on again alongÂ the lane, me looking for other venues, but knowing that as we neared the main road again there would be less and less chances – and then spied a small woodland area that ran parallel to the lane, and beyond itÂ a cropped field, the golden light of the late sunshine gleaming on it, and thought it an ideal spot for the last of the photos – so we clambered over the fallen tree stumps, crossed the small stream, fought our way past an overhanging branch and came into the sunlit meadow, turning away from the main road about half a mile away and the two houses upper windows that might have been able to see our activities. Stuart, quickly stripped off again, and I took some more photos, in this sunlit setting with the backdrop of the trees, looking over towards a rolling hill about a mile or so away, lovely setting, and over about five minutes or so took half a dozen more photos, content in the fact that although a couple of cars had driven down the lane, we couldn’t see them, so they couldn’t see us, or so I thought. Stuart dressed, and was more than happy to get his clothes back on since the chill wind was slightly unwelcome around his ramparts he said! I smiled, and relaxed, as we made our way back through the small wood to the lane, looking back as we neared the land and realised with an icy chill that the sunlight meadow was well lit through the backdrop of of silhouetted trees, and anyone standing on the side of the field, by the trees, would also be in sharp contrast. Whooops, not such a good spot after all. I can just imagine some woman drivign home from work, glancing off to her right as she drove down the lane thinking “I thought I saw a naked man there, but don’t be daft, I must be dreaming!”. I didn’t mention it to Stuart though, he’d had enough of a big adventure that afternoon, and something more of his usual cheery self as we strode back to his house, smiling about the reason for our walk, and knowing that it had enhanced his day, week, year, no end.
We arrived back at his house, his wife waiting for us, as we greeted her. I offered to show Stuart the photos I’d taken, that’s the joy ofÂ digital photography where you can see the screen and the images you’ve taken straight away. I showed him the screen, and the pictures, and said “This is the close-up I took of the hawthorn berries, this is the close-up of the dried seed heads, this is the close-up of the spiders web, this is the close-up of the nettles – whhhhhhhat? You didn’t want me to take any photos of anything else, did you……?” 🙂