It seems we are enjoying a post lockdown surge as we had the maximum number allowed in the pool yesterday with about 25% visitors. Lots of new inquiries about membership recently too. And a few months ago I was wondering if our club would continue. Our regular home in Eastbourne has not reopened after lockdown and needs extensive repairs and our new home informed me that our Sunday slot had been lost as they extended their public hours. Luckily we now have a new if later slot.
I am always surprised by how far people travel to our swim. Yesterday we had visitors from Rochester and Horsham. But it is not just the traditional naturist events that draw people. I have found a lovely quiet community hall in a country village where we can exercise naked with the doors thrown open wide for ventilation and to let the sunshine in. For yoga and Qi Gong we get naturists from Eastbourne and Ashford, both an hour's drive. And just to make sure people keep coming we replenish the body as well as the spirit with revitalising tea and cake - not just energy and vitalism.
I am looking forward to our first 2021 beach day on Tuesday not only to see who turns up but also to see if the 'any beach is a naturist beach' is true. I'll be armed with the police and CPS guidance on naturism just kin case we need to argue our presence. Let's hope the experiment is successful as the council are cracking down on parking at our usual beach by handing out parking fines and our chosen beach is relatively easy access with miles of parking for our less abled members to be able to come.
My two 'projects' are also going well. My walk leaders are off to Painshill today to survey the paths and determining the positioning of waymarkers and marshals for a safe Naked Heart Walk in aid of British Naturism. Our bidding 'director' will also be releasing part 2 of the video we made at our last visit. Luckily the weather has changed considerable since then, so we look forward to a midsummer walk in comfortable temperatures suitable for all.
And I am about to book my second group for the naturist safari in West Sussex in August. So twenty if us will be going and some will be taking a break at the newly refurbished Max's Garden just a few minutes drive from the Knepp estate where the safari takes place. I am rereading Isabella Tree's book 'Wilding' about the project at Knepp and hope to see and hear creatures that were commonplace when I was a child. When we moved from Croydon to Clacton in Essex I thought we had gone to he edge of civilisation. Our house, which would have been underwater in 1953 had it been built, backed onto an area of marshland so my Mum could interest us in the hoards of migrating birds that came and went over the seasons. It was just an ordinary low lying piece of land with two small rivers which were drainage dykes. Something similar can be found at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve where hundreds of thousands of pounds and a great deal of effort have sculpted the earth to create a new purpose built 'habitat' to support our dwindling wildlife and a 1/2 million pound 'Discovery Centre' will enable visitors to view the reserve without getting their feet wet, their bodies chilled or even the need to bring a flask and some sandwiches.
And still more. People asking when we will be having another naked badminton event, when are we going to the pub for naked dining and am I thinking of another naked event at an art gallery again soon.
The only blemish I see is the paucity of other naturist events elsewhere in the South Eastern corner of the country. Come on let's share the work and expand horizons for naturism while the post lockdown surge in interest in all things naked is with us. As I watch the ebb tide on Tuesday afternoon reveal some sandy patches on which we can practise our Qi Gong exercises in the fresh air, I will be hoping that we make some steps forward to hold in the flood of new social naturists we are seeing.