|BN Front Cover|
|Derek reminisces with Jack|
|Magnolias naturist resort|
|Other news & Caroline Obituary|
Actually at this time of year it's a view from the armchair, placed as close to the fireside as possible! Roll on summer! Still by the time that you read this, the shortest day will have passed, the days will begin to get longer and before we know it the camping season will be upon us.
I keep thinking what great shape the club is in! Just to reflect, we have a new central pathway, and we have replaced a significant stretch of underground water pipe; we have created additional camping spaces following a very positive visit from the council; finally (we hope) we have fixed the leak in the conservatory roof, and have cleared the sites for the new sauna and for the new youth building.
We have record numbers of members, including a healthy number of new faces and almost 100% renewals. The pavilion and pools are looking great. We've got planning permission for the new sauna building and static caravan replacement and as part of this development. We're now investigating the possibility of putting water and electric ring mains right round the club, so we may be able to offer more water points and maybe even electric hook-ups to campers and hut owners, (subject to a feasibility study and consultation with members!).
On the social side, and from a sporting perspective, we just go from strength to strength. We have in our midst some international boules champions; national miniten finalists, as well as a very strong Volleyball team. We can be proud of all of them as they project such a positive image for the club, far and wide.
Next year we are again lucky to have a hugely impressive programme of events that will give so much pleasure to so many, so please do come along and join in and share in the fun and laughter that makes Heritage the really wonderful and magic place that it is.
Don't wait until the summer; although the winter is much quieter, there is still plenty going on. A sauna (Wednesdays and some Saturdays) to chase away those winter chills. Why not join the regular Sunday crowd, and even join in a game of miniten?
In the autumnal gales, the marquee decided to go walkies and was a write-off. So we've got a fine new marquee. Please be sure to anchor it well in times of wind.
Family Week August 2004
For the last ten years during August bank holiday week HERITAGE hands the club to its children. The weather was pretty awful this year and this may have been the wettest year of the decade.
The week kicked off on Sunday 22 August with a lunch-time BBQ and all the stalls and the Heritage Garden Party - a traditional naturist 'village fete' which allows the children to throw wet sponges at the adults. Each subsequent morning and afternoon brought different sports, arts and crafts, with drama rehearsals led by Jenny over the lunch-time period.
Wendy's Pictionary on Wednesday evening proved a popular new event. Diana's Pilates session was brilliantly attended and much appreciated by some of the less youthful (in age, that is). Chris LT worked with the kids to produce panels for new patio sun umbrellas. Other craft activities included making wonderful icing sugar fish with Eileen.
Food-wise, we had the traditional and highly enjoyable evening communal fish and chips, chili, and Monday Bank Holiday curry cook-out. In a departure from tradition ( or perhaps in keeping with it ) clothes ( well togas actually ) were donned when Bert created Sports Day, Graeco-Roman Olympiad style.
Boules at Heritage
Even in the winter gloom the fanatics bowl them boules ..
On a damp and drizzly Sunday in November a group of sixteen people gathered to play a game of fun miniten. Each lady draw a partner of the opposite sex, although Anne had to play as a man to make the numbers even. We all had one serve each and played everyone else taking part to eventually get a winning pair. The winning pair of Elaine and Barry each received a Christmas Pudding.
BN 162 Front cover picture.
Seen this picture before? It appears as the front cover of BN162 and was taken by Ian in Tuscany during August 2004. It shows Kirstie hurling up the ball while Josepha looks on.
Ian, Josepha Chris and Pam with Al and Kirsite shared the Villa Corunna in Tuscany, having delicately explored with the agents whether it was discrete for naturism - it was!
PS the picture is NOT fixed - she really did hurl the ball up like that and the shutter really did click at the right moment
This year Broadlands in the UK hosted the international naturist boules competition
48 teams representing Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy assembled on the Friday evening for the draw. Saturday afternoon saw the start of the leagues, with both Heritage teams winning their first matches. lan and Lynne lost one of their Sunday morning games but are to be congratulated on coming 3rd in the "Plate Trophy".
On the Sunday, Sandra and John beat an English team and two Italian teams and were then surprisingly told not to play our remaining game because it was to be a final play-off on Sunday afternoon to be held at the same time as the Championship play-off final. After one hour we were 9-6 up and, with 100 people watching and after a series of measures in our favour, got to 12-8. In the next end we "blocked" the front of the coche with 3 boules and nudged on. With their final 3 boules our English opponents pushed us up for 2 then failed to shoot us out so we won the "Plate" Trophy. We had the consolation of being beaten on the Saturday morning by the European Champions !!!
Stamina is the main priority. Sandra and John played for a total of nearly 7 hours, with 64 ends and delivered about 380 boules between us. We all now have to re-qualify for next year's International in either Holland or Belgium via the Nationals next Spring.
The White Cockatoo
In September this year Chris and I made our first trip (of many we hope, since Sarah will soon be studying in Melbourne for a few years) to Australia to participate in the Golden Wedding celebrations of his aunt and uncle. After a great 10 days with them, we headed off to Queensland with a view to exploring the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef On the Internet, Chris found and booked us into a naturist resort called The White Cockatoo, not far from Port Douglas and a naturist beach that John told him of.
What you need to know about the White Cockatoo, and what Chris had slightly overlooked, is that it is totally textile from May to September and then totally nudist from October to April. This is for both climatic and commercial reasons. Unfortunately our visit there was the last week in September. Doh!
Nevertheless our hosts Tony and Lenore Fox made us extremely welcome and suggested the best local beaches for stripping off. (To tell the truth they weren't brilliant.). The best day was when Tony took us in his speedboat to the outer Great Barrier Reef for fabulous nude snorkelling and up the Daintree River to admire a huge crocodile.
ARE BACK IN FASHION
if you haven't bought your GPS yet then congratulations! Garmin and Magellan make most of them and these days they come with street maps as well. This is a 'sport' which only the truly anorak do naked without their anorak.
There is a secret society inside Heritage - a group of deeply psychologically challenged individuals - a cabal of technophiles who no longer swing with the compass - a satellite coven who dabble in arcane rituals - the GEOCACHERS!
No longer an adult pre-occupation, Heritage have inculcated children into this electronic activity. During Children's Week the woods were alive with scrabbling under benches into hidden nooks and crannies as secrets were uncovered. Sundial can now reveal that there are over dozen GEOCACHERS at Heritage who even prefer to done their anoraks rather than to bare all in the sun. Sundial now tells you all. Read on.
This extraordinary new physical activity involves walking round the planet carrying a GPS ( Global Positioning System ) receiver looking for old 'Ammo Cans' and 'Tupperware Boxes'. http://www.geocaching.com/ is the website responsible for all this frivolity. Type in your postcode and the GPS Coordinates of these treasure locations are displayed. Some GEOCACHES are hidden so close to naturist beaches and locations that one suspects there are even more other naked geocachers outside Heritage members.
Ian and Josepha have just returned from Mallorca and underneath the hat marks the spot of where the 'Barbie' Travel Bug was left for a bit of skinny dipping. This most wonderful naturist beach is in the south east corner of Mallorca. Plaja Mago is on the Figuera peninsula at GPS N39deg 28.520min E2deg 31.22min, a truly wonderful cove and the ONLY cove in the south of the island that is out of site of all habitation. Its very small, barely the width of the restaurant at the back of the cove which serves the most delicious fresh fish. [ A travel bug is a small object left in a tupperware box with a 'mission to travel' - and is moved from site to site by geocachers. ]
In IDAHO USA there is Geocache GCC973 where the instructions are 'Take a towel with you! Swimwear optional' . In Wiltshire UK you can celebrate the nudist highwayman at Geocache GCKVZ2 'The inspiration for this cache is the infamous Cherhill Gang who roamed along this stretch of the coaching road from Bath to London. The gang operated in the 18th Century and are notable not least because of their modus operandi: They would stand and rob you wearing nothing but their boots, a mask and a big smile! One cache in CALIFORNIA GCXHQT is dedicated to the honor of our friend who used to frequent this beach for some nude sun bathing.
There are even a few nudist travel bugs of which the Nude Dude is one of set of three 'clothing optional' bugs. Some travel bugs are typically camera shy naturists but Naked Nell flaunts all. Her GeoTask is to : to explore and travel the world, on a search to check out and see some of the latest fashions now being worn by all the other geo-caching gals for this outdoor activity so she may not qualify as fully fledged naturist herself. Ian, Josepha, Al and Kirstie intend to launch the fully NATURIST travel bug into the GeoWorld. Sundial will report and track his or her adventures.
Near HERITAGE there are about 20 of these hidden boxes all within two and a half miles of the front gates. So if you cannot find Ian or Josepha or Chris or Pam or Steve or Cath or Tony ( but never Carol ) or anyone else then its just possible they are at 'Ambarrow Ridge' or 'Swinley Forest Rail' or 'Wellingtonia Giants'.
Have fun and look up
Mr Tumnus and Kewfriend
on the Geocache website.
Derek reminiscences with Jack
He first heard of the naturist movement from one of his mates in the RAF whose parents were naturists. He passed around the magazines they sent him. In 1947, the year after he was de-mobbed, Jack was looking around for some interest to fill his spare time, no doubt missing the companionship of the services. Remembering the magazines he had seen, he came across a copy of H & E in a newsagents which had an advertisement for Heritage.
Cycling over from Reading, he found the club with some difficulty. At that time a high hedge enclosed it. Jack rang the bell. This was a real bell hanging from a tree, with a wire leading to the bell-pull on the outside of the hedge. After a time a young girl's head appeared over the hedge. This was Joy, Mary Gill's sister. Jack explained why he had come. Joy opened a gate in the hedge to let Jack in and his membership of Heritage had started.
In those early days trees covered most of the site. There was no electricity, no water even. Most of the young people who formed the membership came on their bikes. They had tents for sleeping in over the weekend. These were kept in a shed, which was the only accommodation the club possessed. A large hole had been dug in the ground in which a solid fuel range had been set with a chimney and a roof above the ground to keep the rain off. This was not only used for cooking but also on a Sunday evening for heating water, brought in containers for a communal bath.
The swimming pool started in 1950 and was designed by a member who was qualified as architect, town planner and structural engineer. It was illustrated in the October 9th 1952 edition of The Architect and Building News. In those early days members also used to go 'skinny dipping' in the lake in the woods a few minutes walk from the club. This could only be done early in the morning or late in the evening. Members with children took them during the daytime when costumes had to be worn.
Jack's best memory of those early days is the way he met Ellen. When he told an older member, Arthur, where he was working in Reading, making equipment for milking cows, Arthur advised Jack to get to know Ellen who worked in the office there. This led, as we know, to a long and happy marriage but Ellen did not join Heritage until after they were married.
Jack reckons that he has now been a member of Heritage longer than anyone except Mary Gill.
Heritage of the Mind
Why had I decided to devote a whole weekend at London University for a workshop lecture and training session? Both days were of over twelve hours including getting there by train and tube. There was also the odd doubt and a little internal battle about what on earth I thought was doing there when I could be going to the club, and where did I think it was leading me? Yes, I had wanted to spend the course fee on a little more sunshine. It sharpened my resolve to ensure I got value for every minute I spent there.
Once Valerie Austin, a well known hypno-therapist and international trainer got started I was totally absorbed. We had demonstrations of hypnosis up to and including coma level. We practiced as hypnotists and subjects with other students. We saw 'regressions' and 'suggestions' for treating problems. They gave guided visualisations, they showed how your metabolism slowed down so that you in effect live longer.
Valerie Austin allowed herself to be put under (she had a back up team of hypnotists) and her breathing slowed down to one breath a minute. When they showed the volunteer being taken to coma level she described what was happening by watching the patient's reactions on the monitor. One or two doctors were asking questions in their own jargon but she was able to answer in their terms as well as ours as she was a consultant psychologist for a hospital and was married to one. She had worked with Paul McKenna the TV hypnotist.
Ah Hmmm. On warn afternoons I have noticed some club members are rather more advanced in these techniques than I had imagined. I suggest we all need a place to relax which may become increasingly necessary when stressed, to shut down for a while and go into the subconscious or unconscious like our private secluded 'conscious reality' at Heritage. Perhaps some naturists have an unconscious recognition of this need that has led them to seek out this sort of ambience for their support and protection of their well being. The Medical professionals talk about 'psycho-immunology' or in 'psycho-babble' of 'being our best self. "All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Alien Poe
article from H and E
The following article appeared in the Christmas Issue 2004 of H and E, but not in our Christmas Sundial. This 'on-line' edition of Sundial is always a little different from the printed version as it is our window on the world which we share with you.
You want some exercise. You've done the beach bit. The tan is topped up. You survey the options. Another round of boules - errr no! The only exercise you're likely to get is bouncing on one foot while you've dropped the boule on the other - and its so passé. Tennis - at midday? - errr no! Those tennis balls can fly and they'll get you if heat exhaustion doesn't. Volleyball !!! Brilliant !!! errrr no! The wobbly bits will be bouncing over the net with the ball. You need Naturist Canoeing!
White water and tanned bodies, cooling rapids and blazing sun, gentle paddling and serious exertion. But where? The River Cèze in southern France flows through a designated naturist zone which includes the resorts of Genèse, Sablière and Feyrolles. But dramatic as the gorges of the River Cèze are, they are nothing compared to the Ardèche Gorge. The only problem seems to be is that just 200 metres of the beach at Les Templiers is naturist designated.
Solution - very simple - ignore the problem. The French have a splendid 'laissez faire' attitude. If you ask at the tourist office, you are informed that the Ardèche is not a naturist river. If you ask what might happen if you are naturist you are told in one breath that a gendarmes might arrest you but there is no access to the river once the gorges have been entered - ie do as you want! So we did - two years running!
You start at Vallons and end near St Martin. This is the full 30 kilometre descent. No - I didn't add a zero - it really is 30 kilometres, through some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe. In addition to many minor rapids, there are five sets of serious rapids and your chances of staying dry are close to zero. Is it DANGEROUS? Danger is involved but common sense and obeying the river's rules and regulations are essential. NEVER remove your life-jacket - its there for a purpose - and YOU WILL need it. [ So strictly speaking the descent is not 100% naked - hey but who cares? ]. At the 'La Dente Noire' rapids, which are difficult, the local authority has a permanent first aid post and rescue boats during July and August. I have seen these boats in action: they respond quickly and they do save lives. The local rescue services will respond fast: this year a woman ( not a member of our party ), pulled into and collapsed on the naturist beach at Les Templiers in front of us. Within five minutes of the rescue call the 'sapeurs' had her under treatment having sped up river in an inflatable.
full 30 kilometres, which takes you under the Pont d'Arc,
is at least a 7 hour canoe trip including breaks. Last year in a very strong head-wind, the shorter 24 kilometre trip took us 8 hours. You will definitely know you have taken some exercise by the time you stumble onto dry land. But be not afraid - provided you are even reasonably fit and well, anyone can do it. Last year HERITAGE CLUB put 12 canoes onto the river and the combined age of the final pair to arrive was 150 years! [ And yes - they did turn turtle a few times ]. Our youngest canoeist was 9 years old. This is close to the minimum age restriction. This year a smaller group from Heritage Club managed the full descent in almost record time in good conditions - ie a good river level and a following wind.
Pack dry clothes in the water tight containers for the finish - and lots of 'snacks'. You will emerge cold, tired and hungry. There won't be many naturists on the river but you won't be alone. One group of PGL children doing the descent squeaked to each other and us about 'nudies on the river' before realising we were as well. Great hilarity! When you crank yourself out at the end of the trip soaked, naked and knackered no one cares.
So get a bunch of friends together and give it a go - and then go do it all over again!
Practicalities: the HERITAGE Naturist Club Tel: 01 344 77 50 32
(http://www.heritageclub.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org )
used Alpha Bateaux Tel. 33 (0)4 75 88 08 29 - Fax 33 (0)4 75 37 16 72. Single day per person cost €27, includes the bus back to base car park.http://www.canoe-france.com/ardeche/indexa.html email@example.com .
There are 60Km, 30Km, 24Km and 6Km descents. The 60Km descent, because it passes through towns would only be naturist for half its length and involves overnight bivouacs. The 6Km and 30Km descents pass under the Pont d'Arc. If the canoe company says the river is 'closed' - believe them!
We were based at the naturist resort of Sablière tel: 33 (0) 4 66 24 51 16,
which is just 20 kilometers away from Vallons. They had recommended Alpha Bateaux to us - but there is a multitude of other companies. We gained a 10% discount for being naturists, as the canoe receptionist was naturist, ( and wanted to join us but her boss said No) ! Be prepared for being absolutely exhausted but on a real high! http://www.vallon-pont-darc.com/site_uk/decouverte_uk/sitenaturel.htm
Sun at Magnolias
This resort has just opened and already has had excellent reviews in the naturist press. Val and James were intrepid early visitors to the rersort.
I stared into an empty case. I had never been on a holiday to a naturist resort before and was unsure what to expect. This wasn't helped by having had a nightmare a few nights before where I dreamt that I had walked into the resort, took all my clothes off and went to the pool only to find everyone was dressed and that the naturist resort was next door! Would it be like being at Heritage, just for longer? Or like Studland? As it turned out it was a bit like both, but in many ways a unique experience for James and me.
Magnolias Natura opened as a naturist-only complex in October 2004 having previously been for gay men. The complex has 28 bungalows around a pool and bar/restaurant. The bungalows are described on the website as basic, which was true, however they were clean and had everything we needed for a week-long holiday. This included a comfortable large double bed, so large in fact, 1 almost needed a map to find James!
The small, well stocked bar and an open air restaurant (it does have an awning - see below) are well run by an enthusiastic Dutch couple who were really enjoying their new experience of naturist clientele. The food was fresh and well cooked with usually 2 to 3 choices for each course. Certainly during our week at Magnolias the bar was a centre point for people to gather and chat over their experiences that day.
Being a small complex it does tend to have a friendly, naturist club atmosphere. Being relatively new to organised naturism, I was very pleased we had joined Heritage last summer and now felt very comfortable living naked. James and I did have a game spotting the new arrivals and deciding if they were hardened naturists or had only sunbathed before (this would have been us before this summer). It did actually show for the first hour or two but then people relaxed and realised the true joy of naturism. Everyone was welcoming and even with the language barriers, pleasantries were passed including the essentials of where the short cuts to the beach were! The guests were predominately couples and a few single sex groups and came from mainly European countries, especially UK and Holland. There were no school age children, but there again it wasn't school holiday time.
downside of Magnolias was the unheated pool. Even us hardy northern
types (or in James' case, from over the border), found it extremely
cold. I am sure that during hotter weather it would be seen as
refreshing, or even pleasant, but not during November. As there is only
the pool, sun beds and bar, I also think it would benefit from some
other activity such as a boules court, shuffle board etc. That said, I
am unsure where the space would be found to put these.
Now the weather. Go to Gran Canaria for winter sunshine, everyone said. I think I am jinxed! Or at least James is! We had 3 days of rain and 4 days of broken cloud. This is apparently unheard of in the beginning of November. When the sun did come out though, it was lovely. The broken cloud also let enough sun through to enable us to top-up our tans. Even during the rain it was still warm enough to sit with a gin and tonic in the nude or for the not so hardy, shorts and t-shirt. One morning sitting around the pool watching the torrential rain coming off the awning, the only thing to do was get into the pool.
I stripped off and was quickly followed by several others who had been eating breakfast, moaning about the weather. The local staff decided at this point that naturists were mad swimming in a downpour!
The nearest shopping complex is Faro2 which is a 10 minutes walk away, a larger shopping complex is a short drive away. Maspalomas beach is a good 30 minute walk away. Shuttle buses go to the beach fairly regularly and apparently taxis are quite cheap although we never tested them. Maspalomas beach is one of the few natural yellow sand beaches in Gran Canaria. The naturist section was certainly busier than I expected, especially as the weather was not good, notably the vast numbers of people walking along the shore line, at times more than 5 or 6 deep. It made the Coastal Path at Studland seem positively quiet'
I would recommend the sailing trip; a day with I4 people, all from the resort, on a large yacht sailing up the coast. If it is a bit windy though, it isn't for the infirm or faint hearted, since this was a proper sailing yacht, capable of sailing along at a fair speed and drink-spilling angle! So what did we write on the postcards home? Meeting new friends and seeing a lot of them around the pool? Staying in quite a posh place as we all tend to dress for dinner?
Dilluns Tancat i Gossos No!
Don't worry. I'll explain.
We found ourselves there by a fairly odd set of circumstances. Last autumn I won a prize in a wood-turning competition; prizes are usually more wood-turning tools or, possibly, a training course. This one was a training course, but in the south of France, in the Arriege, with accommodation for self and partner. Partner said she could cope with this and was available in mid September 2004.
Vera Playa was too far and we were a bit stumped until we spotted an advert in BN for Camping Relax-Nat, near Girona and not too far from the French border. Contact by e-mail confirmed availability and, better still, a special offer for the over 50's of 238 euros for a week.
Travel to Mont Ras was pretty routine. We had a bit of trouble finding the site which is, in fact, a bit past the village (look out for the sign on the left). The gate to the site makes the Heritage doors look a bit small but at least it was operated by motor.
The major part of the site is given over to about 300 pitches for caravans/campers, most of which were empty in September. The permanent accommodation is two sizes of mobile homes and the wood (or plastic) panel buildings that they called "Campeco"(about 15 of each). These provide a living area with table, two chairs and bench seats; "kitchen", with sink, boiling rings and fridge; main bedroom with double bed and second bedroom with two small bunk beds. Outside there is a covered veranda with table and chairs.
The central part of the site is a
good sized swimming pool, lawn and terrace area. In the reception
building there is a bar and small "supermarket" providing the
basics for survival, also table tennis and pool tables. Elsewhere there
are other games areas, shower blocks etc: all of the kinds of things
expected on a site.
What is not available is any form of restaurant. One restaurant is within easy walking distance but it was a very upmarket place and not for the likes of the average self-caterer! We fell into the habit of driving to find a good meal at lunchtime and making our own snack for the evening. The former was not difficult and we found several excellent places to eat; the latter was very pleasant to be able to sit on our little balcony, comfortably undressed on a nice warm evening.
Out and about from the site there are interesting places to visit. We visited the cork museum in Palafrugell; visited the old centres of Peratallada and Pals and had a fascinating morning in the Botanic Gardens of Cap Roig. The seaside locations of Calella de Palafrugell and Sa Riera provided good seafront restaurants and, in the latter, a cliff top walk of about 500 metres to a pleasant "Playa Naturista".
In searching for other naturist beaches we found confusions in the names in the various references. The Platje de Pals, just north of Sa Riera, proved to be easily accessible with the naturist section starting within 100 yards of a parking spot. Pleasant, but dominated by enormous radio masts. Cala Estreta is a splendid little cove accessible from the car park at Platje de Castell a bit further south. However, this does mean a half hour walk through the pinewoods to get to it.
And the title? "Closed Mondays and no dogs" in Catalan. Pictures and information can be found at www.campingrelaxnat.com
Caroline - an obituary
During my many years at the club I have, as well as editing Sundial for a long period, been a regular contributor since its inception. Sadly, it has often fallen to me to write the obituary of a member who has just died. This is always a sad and difficult assignment as we consider all Heritage members to be our friends and indeed in many cases close friends.
To write of Caroline passing is possibly the most poignant I have had to undertake. Gwen and I have known Caroline since she was first introduced to Heritage by our friends Joan and Graham, when but a few weeks old. We saw her grow up at the club alongside our two boys and her sister Mary. She was a bright and intelligent girl who blossomed into a talented and accomplished woman. She rose rapidly through the ranks in her Civil Service career, holding down a responsible position that entailed taking charge of a large department.
Caroline was always very helpful, thoughtful and caring but at the same time she was a private person, fiercely independent, a fact that made it difficult to get close to her. She remained single and in her later years, by choice, she lived alone and although part of a close and loving family of which she was very proud, somehow at times she seemed to prefer being apart.
However, Caroline had one undying love and that was for Heritage, her greatest joy was to be able to use her free time relaxing at her hut and it was particularly significant when, this year, she missed staying during Family Week which she had always eagerly supported.
She will be sadly missed by all at Heritage, particularly those of us who had known her for so many years. To Joan and Graham who brought her to the club some forty eight years ago it is a tremendous blow. To them as well as her sister Mary and Keith and family and also brother David with Lisa and family we extend our deepest sympathy on their loss.
Sports Results 2004
New potential members are met by the membership team and come for an initial three visits, usually on a Sunday
[ see our web pages on membership ] .