The Naked Truth
I’ve been thinking about what I now see as dressing this up: looking for the serious angle, preferably philosophical, but if not then sociological or whatever—and it does have that sort of potential, but I don’t have time to get into that sort of thing now—I have to write 20k words over the next couple of months or so for my dissertation, so everything else has to be minimized. But when all the seriousness is stripped away, one thing remains: call it exhibitionism if you like, and I dare say I do have a streak of that in me, but whatever underlies it, I most certainly have an urge to come clean about what I’ve been doing recently.
Which is, basically, lying naked on a beach. Also standing, and walking, and swimming in the sea. But mainly lying on a towel, basking in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, and getting an all-over tan.
Having gotten that off my chest, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal, and I’m not sure where to go from there—as if the urge had been satisfied. But this does seem a bit short, so maybe I’ll just add some practical information.
Where was this? The strip of public beach that parallels the car park at the end of Chemin de la Matarane, Ramatuelle, France. If you zoom in on that Google Map you can make out, not actual sunbathers, quite, but one of their big parasols, made obvious by the shadow it casts. (I should perhaps mention that the beach is usually much busier than when this satellite shot was taken.) If you zoom out, you can see that this is just south of St. Tropez, on the CÃ´te d’Azur.
This particular stretch of beach is one of two or three along the bay on which public nudity is accepted. I first visited it in 1981, on a package holiday, camping at St. Raphael. The couriers organised a coach trip one day to Port Grimaud and St. Tropez, with a visit to a nudist beach. I wasn’t awfully impressed, back then, though, perhaps because, inhibited by the people I was with, I didn’t strip off myself. But I did, and do, when the opportunity arises, sunbathe naked back home. So when I revisited the area last year (September 09), I remembered that beach, and paid it another visit, this time throwing caution to the winds, and enjoyed it immensely. So much so that I made sure my accommodation was much more convenient for my return in May this year—last year I did rather a lot of driving, much of it through heavy traffic, and in that respect my latest visit was a vast improvement. I got to the beach every day but one (when I took a train into the mountains), and on every day that I got to the beach but one (the first, when there was a really quite cool breeze, perhaps the Mistral) I got butt-naked.
Well, there it is, out in the open. I won’t add “at last”, because in fact I “came out” as a naturist a while back, elsewhere on this site. But that wasn’t broadcast to Facebook and Twitter, as this will be. I would actually like to write about a couple of more-or-less serious related issues, but that will have to wait. I’m due back on the CÃ´te not much more than a week after my dissertation is due in, so might not manage much, or any, blogging for quite a while, but we’ll see how it goes…