‘Tis the season for going on holidays so as well as Victoria’s post about travel to New Zealand today, wonderful readers, I have Penegrin Shaw on an ‘interesting’ trip to Croatia. I’ll leave you with Penegrin’s bio–oh, and for some writing that can best be summed up in the author’s own tagline: ‘Sci-fi writer barbecues himself & offers you flesh’, check out Penegrin’s blog at The Ribcage (what a great blog name!). Penegrin also writes for EtherBooks.
Penegrin Shaw is a thirty-something husband, father and failed musician living in an in-bred English town.
He has a blog on wordpress called The Ribcage is working on a collection of short horror and sci-fi stories which he is going to self-publish this year and his first sci-fi novel.
Penegrin says he is on Facebook and Linkedin, but is still scared of Twitter.
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On a recent holiday to Croatia, my family and I headed to that beach (the one that every island or tourist destination has which is on all of the postcards) and I spotted a wonderful sign which clearly illustrated that fires, dogs and nudists were not allowed on the main beach.
Tarnishing nudists with the fire-starting or beach-pooping brush was unfair and putting them in league with these modern QHSSE dangers, though amusing to me at the time, also seemed a bit over the top. I do understand one thing however; no straight man in the world wants to see another man’s penis; especially if it is bigger and/or looks like it does push ups and has full gym membership.
Zlatni Rat (the name of the beach we arrived at) comes out from the land as a peninsula. It is a nature reserve with trees in the middle, with a park offering shade to children when the temperatures rise and in the event that their parents are too tight to fork out for an umbrella.
We headed to the quieter side of the peninsula on this particular day. I dragged the buggy along as if it was the cold, dead, body of my mother-in-law (she’s not dead as I write this) and we settled on a ideal spot where there was a gap where our child could not annoy people around us, were he to cry or whinge (which we fully expected at some stage had they run out of ice cream or we ice cream money).
After getting ‘the boy’ ready in his full beach regalia, I lay on my dad-towel, sucked my stomach in, looked across the idyllic waters, panned to my right, blinked, then realised that the gap we had chosen in the sand was actually no man’s land betwixt those that wear swimming attire and those that wear nada; the fire-starting, beach-pooping nudists! They had been forced into a little corner in what had become their beach ghetto, where the water appeared calmer, shallower and warmer than elsewhere. I wondered at that moment if some of these had infiltrated the cult and shed their clothes, just to get a better pitch (like people pretending to be vegetarian on aeroplanes in order to get a nicer meal?).
Before alerting my wife to this revelation, I must admit that I did scan the beach with beady eye hidden under sun shades (fake Ray Bans purchased just a mile from where we lay at that moment) to see if I could capture a glimpse of anything of immense quality.
My surveillance provided me with some good intel on the unclothed coven which I will share with you;
- Most of them were of retirement age.
- All had excellent tans (as if they were gypsy nudists forever travelling from one beach to another.)
- All lay with their legs unashamedly akimbo (to allow a really personal view.)
- They read a lot – crime thrillers proving most popular.
- None took picnic or packed lunch and nor did they have a naked cafe facilities to go and eat in should hunger take them - this would annoy me were I to adopt this hell-raising lifestyle myself and have to dress/undress every time I fancied an Amstel beer.
- One woman on the beach was considerably younger, lighter and more attractive than the rest. Was she the token fitty? Was she envied or hated by all the others, or were they in awe of her perfect body and well groomed under-carriage? Did she get a kick out of being the only stunner on a beach of roasting whale blubber and tanned hide?
More questions came to me there and then as I continued to stare at the barbecuing meat:
Question one: Were we considered edgy perverts for choosing no man’s land as our preferred base for the day (or were we just Vanilla in the eyes of those around us as we were a family)?
Question two: Should we move?
Question three: How big would my own penis look to those lying in the beach, were I to emerge from the sea without budgie smuggler or banana hammock? Would I style out a slow walk back to my sun-lounger, or would I run and unleash the willy helicopter on all around me?
Question four: What if the opposite happened and I emerged from the sea like an angry Dalek?!!?
Question five: Has anyone ever survived the immense pain that must be third degree willy sunburn? Factor 50? I would actively look for something higher, if at all it exists…
The idea of naturism/nudism, or whatever it is called by the hardcore that partake in it, must have stemmed from the 1960s flower-power age, when people were so out of their minds on acid or bong, that they just forgot where they’d left their clothes.
Not content with burning just their bras, this mind-altering state of nakedness never left this generation and they adopt it still whenever there is a naked bike ride, or a Nuddy bake-off to be entered.
Blame The Beatles, blame the science department, blame Linda Lovelace…
What I fear, is that this wonderful, harmless, pastime is lost in the dystopia that awaits us and once this generation of clothe haters is gone from this Earth, so will be the anomaly that is the nudist beach; forever lost, along with the penny farthing, the VHS recorder and Morris Dancing.