Just me and my skin

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Himself went fishing today, so I decided to celebrate a day alone by not getting dressed … at all … apart from sandals, which became necessary when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Malinois decided that an unclad momma-boss lacked authority, and commenced chasing the horses with joyous disregard for my shrieks of “LEAVE IT!” from the porch.

As I barreled loudly across the yard clad in nothing but my Birkenstocks and brandishing a leash I did experience a brief little something-or-other, and if I’d had time to analyze it I would have said, “Huh – so that’s what a qualm feels like” – because while I dislike the Nasty Neighbor whose house overlooks the relevant portion of our yard, I don’t necessarily want to cause him a heart attack. But, you know, priorities … I got Argos out of the corral, confirmed that there was nobody waving at me from any of the surrounding pastures, and headed back into the house.

Out of consideration for the Nasty Neighbor I confined today’s gardening to the front porch, taking tulip bulbs out of pots to be stored until I plant them someplace permanent in fall. Apart from that, it’s been quite an ordinary day, largely spent dealing with some otherwise annoying business from behind my desk. I opened all the windows and set the ceiling fans to spinning and didn’t bother with air conditioning, and oh, the pleasure of a whole day of just me and my breeze-kissed skin!

Once upon a time I would strip off without a second thought. I’ve never been to a nudist resort – the idea of a place dedicated to being naked has always seemed a little silly, and I find it hard to believe that people there would be any less judgmental than people anywhere. But if you’re puttering about at home, or off on the river or at the beach or up a mountain somewhere where there’s no one else to notice or care – except, perhaps, one or two whom you love and trust – being naked has to be the best way in the world to minimize laundry.

I really wish I hadn’t stopped feeling happy and at peace and comfortable inside my skin.

Cape Point on a summer day.

Cape Point on a summer day, many years ago.

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About Belladonna Took

Into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, at constant risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic. A wife, a mom, a daughter and sister, kind of a grandma. Until recently a full-time dog rescuer, now more concerned with rescuing myself. User of dog hair as accessory, decor and garnish. Technical writer, strategic thinker, occasional entrepreneur. Voiceless poet and storyteller. Born again Christ-follower and former missionary schoolteacher chewing on some uncomfortable questions. Ignorer of rules, challenger of assumptions, believer in miracles. Skeptical libertarian, equal opportunity despiser of politicians and assholes. Gonnabe gardener, wannabe beekeeper, Monsanto-hating tree-hugger. Morbidly obese chocaholic, with a horse I don't ride because I might break him, and if not he would probably break me.

35 responses »

  1. You made me laugh out loud picturing you careening after your dog in nothing but Birkenstocks, with the sudden qualm of huh, wonder of Mr. Nasty Neighbor is about!

    Being comfortable inside our skins is something i think many of us struggle with and it goes way beyond just being sans cloths I’m afraid. Nice post. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right, and it’s something I am challenging myself to keep working on. Thanks for stopping by – I’m glad I made you laugh, because the situation made me chuckle too. Once I’d got my young crazy under control and safely away from flying hooves, anyway!

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  2. How awful it is that one’s neighbours sometimes have a bird’s eyeveiw of one’s garden! So it is for us, complicated by being on a corner and not much by way of hedges or walls. The latter by choice; the former are growing… In our home in Cape Town, and over the weekend, The Husband, would, as a matter of course, clamber out of bed to feed the hungry squirrels. He sleeps in his birthday suit. Even now, I think I would die a thousand deaths if some unsuspecting passerby looked up to see him checking out the sunrise, as he does everymorning, from our bedroom window which is on the first floor at the gable end of our house, overlooking the road. Then, I think, what-the-hell – its our house and we live here – your misfortune if you go about peering into other people’s windows!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fiona, et al …

      ‘Acshully’ we have a small farm property and the nasty-neighbour’s house is a good 300+ metres distant. He’d have to use binoculars (not that I would put him past it). Regardless, Belladonna has never been one to be embarrassed by other folk inadvertently seeing her skin.

      Some 16 years ago we were camping and boating on Lake Chelan ( https://www.google.com/maps/@48.0786431,-120.3455413,9z?hl=en ) which is a remote lake some 100 km long in the ‘outback’ of Washington State. It is in a true wilderness area. There are no roads around the lake, which is surrounded by 2500+ metre mountains. The sole manner in which to traverse the lake is by boat.

      Because of the remoteness, I doubt we had seen 3 other boats over the entire length of the lake. After a few days camping, we decided to return to civilization. It had been incredibly hot (over 42 Celsius) during our boat/camping adventure with little respite. At one point we stopped the boat at a small cove, at the mouth of which cascaded a glacial-fed stream down the side of the mountain. Belladonna quickly stripped off all garments and climbed a bit, some 40-50 metres, up the mountainside to a small pool to bathe in the stream’s water (which was not much above freezing in temperature).

      After a bit, Belladonna was chilled thru-and-thru (she claims she was merely ‘refreshed’ ) and started to wend her way down to our boat. At that precise moment a group of folk in another boat, the first boat we’d seen all day, came slowly into the inlet and Belladonna was caught in fully nude lèse-majesté with absolutely no-place to hide.

      The boaters were delighted to have caught her naked. They started yelling, cheering, whooping and sounding the horn on their boat. Belladonna, bless her heart, refused to react by trying to cover her nakedness; She merely waved back at them and non-chalantly continued climbing down the side of the mountain to our boat.

      Liked by 3 people

    • YES, exactly! I remember a conversation I had with someone once, when I lived in Sekhukhune (I ran a little mission school for a couple years). I made some comment about how it seemed not quite modest for men to whip out their willies and pee against a wall, and he told me, very firmly, that it was rude to look. I thought about it and that’s absolutely true. I mean, there are other good reasons for not peeing in the street, but modesty isn’t one of them – any more than women should be deemed immodest for breast feeding wherever they happen to be when baby is hungry.

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      • Yes, I quite agree about the peeing in public and against other people’s walls. I guess that there’s a fine line between modesty and, dare I say it, respect. Both, I think have to do with personal levels of comfort – in our own skins, as well as with others. Wonderful stories and equally wonderful memories so graciously shared! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I am determined to get there. Partly it involves improving the condition of said skin and its contents, but head-work is necessary too. I guess I’ll know I’ve made it when I check into a nudist resort! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Naked, in nothing but Birkenstocks, and carrying a leash? Sounds like the start of a German dominatrix novella. Brava for having the courage to take a naked photo. I have a hard time just being in a swimsuit, none less a birthday suit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There’s a story attached to that picture. It was a blisteringly hot summer, I was visiting Cape Town and persuaded a friend who lived there that we needed to cool off in the sea. Cape Point juts out just where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans join, and the water on the Atlantic side is deliciously cold – just what we needed. We stopped en route and bought a slab of chocolate to share, and by the time we got to Cape Point it had totally melted. No problem – I took off the paper wrapper and dumped the foil-wrapped bar into a deep rock pool, where it hardened up fast (with a yummy coating of salt). Then I stripped off and went in. Helene, my friend, was horrified, but it looked so good she stripped down too – and there we were, happily soaking and splashing around in rock pools, getting drenched by waves, having a wonderful time. We were a memorable sight, I’m sure, because she’s as skinny and flat as I am rotund. We’d been there maybe an hour when I wandered up from our pool … and came face to face with a young fisherman. The poor kid was so shocked! His eyes nearly popped out of his head, and he RAN back to his car and drove off in a great hurry to find somewhere that wasn’t infested by wannabe mermaids.

      A couple years later I “met” Himself online, and after he’d pestered me enough for a photograph of me I mailed him that one. He still has it taped inside his desk. Obviously after that he had to marry me…lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A fun story indeed. As a nudist couple we have always been quite open about our lifestyle choice with our neighbors. As such the occasional sighting of us nude by them has resulted in an occasional face to face conversation about neighborhood issues, a chuckle here and there and some big smiles. Some of the encounters have just been very funny. We loved hearing the stories here. 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by! I I’m sorry to see you don’t have a blog … When I clicked on your name, I was hoping to read some of your stories! And also for information about places I could go to … one day … when I feel a little more comfortable in my skin… 🙂 (Although I’d probably have to whack Himself over the head and drag him there by the non-existent hair.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A Blog….hmmmm, well we both still work with little free time, wouldn’t even know how to set one up. However we do enjoy following several blogs especially when they pertain to naturist issues and stories. Also enjoy commenting and trying to be supportive of those who do blog. Glad you checked us out and know that we are genuine. You would be most welcome at our resort, very friendly people, no Hollywood types there, just normal folks. Funny stories, yes we have a few. Might share one or two with you when we have a few moments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Giggled out loud at this part, Belladonna.

    “…being naked has to be the best way in the world to minimize laundry.”

    And we all need to do some of that, yes?!?!?

    With blessings,
    Dani

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  7. Hi, and thanks for visiting my blog earlier. 🙂 I wish I had the confidence to go nude, ever. I can just about manage to get naked in the shower without having a panic attack! 😀

    Like

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