Monty Don says goodbye for this year !
The final programme of the 50th season of Gardeners World
Monty Don says goodbye for this year !
The final programme of the 50th season of Gardeners World
Gardening Tips from Gardeners and Horticulturists I follow on YouTube
This is re-posted…click on the pic to read the original post
So why is nudity necessary?
Nudity is not an alien concept for me (and I feel genuinely in debt to my parents for that!), we are all born naked but not many of us are lucky enough to be brought up with naturism as an ordinary occurrence. That’s right, I’m a naturist. And before you all gasp with judgement at a young lady wanting to be naked in public a few stereotypes need to be addressed and corrected:
First and most importantly, nudity is NOT sexual. Not unless you flounce around in a suggestive manner; which even then you will likely achieve a more immediate effect simply by shrugging into some inexplicably small and uncomfortable lingerie. (For men it’s true also, you may not have frills and bows but many women would agree that when seen objectively the gentlemen’s parts, although not without their function, are not the most tidy and inviting, so a nice pair of boxers won’t go too far amiss.) Hence naturism is not about being attractive and it certainly isn’t about sex – it’s about nature. Being comfortable with the reality of yourself and others, releasing public stereotypes usually supported by clothing and finally relaxing into a natural way of living without expectation or judgement.
We are not all naked all the time !
Nudity is not a compulsory or regular part of life just because you see yourself as a naturist – it is a lifestyle choice that says that in certain situations you are open to the concept of social nudity as a freeing and comfortable past-time. It doesn’t mean I walk around my house naked everyday – I have two Dutch housemates that might get a shock if that were the case. It doesn’t mean we force our naturist habits on others. It doesn’t mean we freeze ourselves in the name of naturism, when it gets cold we put clothes on – we are naturist not stupid. And it doesn’t mean we would be comfortable being naked amidst a group of textiles (that’s what we call you strange clothing obsessed beings). Naturism is common in the format of a campsite, a beach or a spa. Naturist campsites are very safe communities that are usually quite difficult to join whilst spa’s and beaches are public which brings both the benefit and downfall of accessibility, bringing me to number 3…
Because we are happy in a naturist environment does not mean we want any Bob or Jack seeing us naked. Naturist groups are respectful, non-sexual situations where one doesn’t look at another’s body because there is no need to. We simply all have naked bodies and it isn’t appropriate or worthwhile to stare. This means, and I’m talking now to all the meerkats and peeping-Toms I’ve come across in my time, that by being naked we are not an invitation. You have no right to enter a naturist area if you have no respect for this lifestyle and you certainly have no right to stare or photograph us. This would be weird in general public so why would you intimidate someone simply because they happened to be aiming for a no-white-bits tan?
Naturists cannot be stereotyped. Unfortunately I am aware that I am exactly the kind of person people would assume to be open to nudity. But dreadlocks and paint-brushes aside I can state from experience that naturists come from all walks of life and the free-loving hippie vibe is just not a genuine presence in naturist locations. You can be sat with a lawyer or banker, a full-time parent, a student or bar staff and you wouldn’t know until you really got to know the person. Another beautiful thing about ridding ourselves of those telling lifestyle costumes.
It has been scientifically suggested that nudity is good for our health! Of course this is only logical that natural living would be but many don’t think about the reduced stress and increased vitamin D achieved by the powerful mix of nudity and that long-awaited sunshine.
So being a naturist all my life has become a large part of my being. Some naturists feel it makes them no different apart from some seriously relaxing holidays, but for me it’s a proud lifestyle choice and a strong belief that it has made a massive positive influence on my life and personality. I feel it frees me from the stresses of society and makes me strong and unique.
As a teenager I struggled with body confidence issues that reached the stage of attending Slimming World and breaking down at the glimmer of a camera lens. Both unfortunate and increasingly evident issues in today’s young generation. But these problems stem from the pressure given by fashion, advertisement, television, music, and so on. Often a figment of social imagination and expectation rather than genuine problems, our idea of ‘healthy’ or even ‘attractive’ weight is disastrously mistaken. On the other hand, in naturist environments I could finally release my sucked in stomach and save twenty minutes of painful self-judgement each morning trying to choose which outfit shows the most airbrushed version of myself. This is why society needs nudity.
We need to know what average people look like. We need to know it’s ok to be ourselves and aim simply for happy and healthy. And we need to realise that there is more to learn about a person than what first meets the eye. It’s amazing that we are surprised by the shallow, make-up slicked, ‘selfie’ producing generation when we suggest no natural alternative. And on top of that, if we are born naked what is so wrong with it? It’s a real shame humanity has developed to the extent of being offended by its own natural appearance.And lastly, why it is relevant to my practice. Aside from the fact that my best work is often made naked amidst a pile of paint and blankets (you don’t get your clothes stained that way!) my work is centred around society and I feel nudity is a perfect symbol for being unashamedly honest about our presence on Earth and my hopes to bring it to a purer and healthier form in any small way possible.So let’s strip off the stereotypes, the politics and the expectations of society. Jump out of whatever box you’ve been put in and join me in thinking clearly and independently..
Some of the latest videos from the good people I follow on YouTube
Humans are drawn to nature. We feel better when we spend time in forests, gardens, or parks. It implies that an instinctive bond exists between humans and other living systems.
Similar ideas are echoed in the cultural practices of friluftsliv, the Scandinavian philosophy of open air living, and in shinrin-yoku, Japanese forest immersion (or “forest bathing”). And there’s science to back up those warm fuzzies. So, if you need more motivation to make time for a jaunt outside (or convince someone to join you), you’ve come to the right place.
1. Nature deficit disorder exists, and most of us have it.
Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the social, behavioral, and health consequences of alienation from the natural world. Although scientists are just beginning to understand the health impacts of urban, mostly indoor living, one thing is clear — we need to put down our devices and get outside.
2. It’s good for your heart (literally).
Japanese researchers have shown that forest bathing, the practice of sitting in the forest, lowers your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate variability. It has also been shown to decrease stress hormone levels.
3. You’re less likely to be overweight.
In both kids and adults, access and exposure to nature has been shown to lower the risk of obesity. This relationship is most likely due to increased physical activity. Additional studies show that forest bathing decreases blood sugar and cortisol, both of which are also associated with obesity.
4. You’ll be happier and improve your memory.
People who live close to nature experience less anxiety and depression. Walking in nature has been shown to improve mood and short-term memory in people with depression, as well as decrease rumination (repetitive, negative thoughts) and brain activity associated with mental illness.
5. You’ll fight off illness more efficiently.
Exposure to nature improves immune system function in otherwise healthy people, increasing the production of natural killer cells, an important part of our defense against viruses and cancer.
6. Your brain will work better.
In children, time spent in natural settings decreased ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. In adults, contact with nature improves focus, concentration, and work productivity.
7. You’ll get more out of your exercise.
Being outside is good for your health, even without the benefit exercise. But if you do choose to exercise in nature, studies show that you’ll feel a greater sense of revitalization, energy, enjoyment, and satisfaction.
8. You’ll feel less pain.
Just looking at nature scenery in a photo or out a window can reduce our experience of pain.
9. You’ll sync up to nature’s rhythms.
Being outdoors, and away from artificial lights, helps synchronize your biology to natural circadian rhythms. Scientists investigating chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, have shown that our connection to natural light/dark cycles helps to regulate our sleep, our moods, our stress levels, and our hormones.
10. You’ll practice mindfulness, naturally.
Setting aside artificial stimulation and immersing yourself in nature makes you more aware of your surroundings. You hear the rustle of leaves, the creaking of leaves, and the songs of the birds. It’s mindfulness meditation at its most simple.
You can get most of these benefits even with sporadic exposure to nature. Even if you can only get out of the city infrequently, it will improve your health in countless ways.
What are you waiting for ?
*This is a repost it was originally published on MindBodyGreen and can be found here: Original Post
A couple of weeks ago we visited the Pink Floyd exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum in London and thoroughly enjoyed looking at artefacts and memories from one of our favourite bands. I took many photographs most of which are found here on this post. I could never do justice to this exhibition by writing about it but this journalist did. You can read the article by following the link at the bottom of this post.
” The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains review – look, a Flying Pig ! “
Written by Alexis Petridis – Tuesday, 09 May 2017
“Liverpool Street Refreshment”
The refracting prism, the businessman ablaze, the giant inflatable pig: they may be pop’s most anonymous band, but Pink Floyd’s artwork is instantly recognisable – as this stunning V&A show proves.Virtually the first thing the visitor to Their Mortal Remains sees is a quote from the late John Peel regarding Pink Floyd’s legendary anonymity: “They could have joined the audience at one of their own gigs without being recognised.” On the face of it, that should preclude Pink Floyd as a band on which to base a V&A exhibition in the blockbusting vein of 2013’s David Bowie Is, 250 million albums sold or not. Then again, as the exhibition makes clear, few bands in rock history have ever been as creative in their attempts to distract attention from themselves.
In truth, a certain anonymity seems to have clung to Pink Floyd from the start, even when they were fronted by Syd Barrett, a man as photogenic and pop-star pretty as he was talented: an early cover feature on the band in Town magazine doesn’t feature them on the cover at all, opting instead for a female model with the band’s psychedelic light show projected over her face.
Nevertheless, they endured a brief moment of old-fashioned pop stardom in the summer of 1967, replete with appearances on Top of the Pops and in the teen magazines (“Syd is 5 foot 11 inches tall, with black hair and green eyes – the mystery man of the group and a gypsy at heart”). By all accounts – including the testimonies from band mates and friends featured in a heartbreaking exhibition video – it was an experience that seemed to wreak almost as much havoc on Barrett’s fragile psyche as the vast quantities of LSD he consumed, hastening his decline.
The exhibition plunges visitors into the psychedelic world of the 60s from which Pink Floyd emerged. After Barrett’s irrevocable descent into mental illness, a combination of survivors’ guilt, English reticence and bloody-mindedness forged in the aftermath of their frontman’s departure – when almost everyone, including their own managers, appeared to give Pink Floyd up as a lost cause.
It seemed to drive the band’s retreat from the limelight. Barrett’s replacement, guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, had all the right ingredients for rock god status except the character: for all his brilliance as a guitarist, he seemed even more reserved than his new band mates.
Pink Floyd never appeared on one of their own album covers again after 1969’s Ummagumma, and seem to have spent almost as much time devising ways of diverting their audience’s gaze as they did making music. A groundbreaking quadraphonic sound system built at their behest got almost equal billing on their gig posters, although Their Mortal Remains reveals that the grandly titled Azimuth Co-ordinator looked suspiciously like something knocked together in someone’s shed.
At one show, a roadie was obliged to appear on stage dressed as a Tar Monster, complete with a penis fashioned from a washing-up liquid bottle that squirted black fluid over the front rows. The 1972 tour on which they debuted a nascent version of The Dark Side of the Moon was promoted in the press with a photo of the band with their backs to the camera. Come and see us live, but don’t look at us: that seemed to be the message.
Their masterstroke came with The Dark Side of the Moon’s release the following year. Early 70s rock was filled with striking images, from Bowie’s lightning flash makeup to Led Zeppelin’s mystical Zoso symbols, but few had quite the same lasting impact as the refracting prism design that Pink Floyd’s longstanding visual team Hipgnosis came up with for that album’s cover. An entire room of the exhibition is devoted to it, and rightly so.
In cynical modern parlance, it was a brilliantly simple piece of corporate branding; 44 years on, it remains the image that first springs to most people’s minds when the name Pink Floyd is mentioned – although Hipgnosis’s designs for their subsequent albums were scarcely less iconic: the photograph of two businessmen shaking hands, one in flames, for 1975’s Wish You Were Here; the shot of a giant inflatable pig floating above Battersea power station for 1977’s Animals, a giant neon replica of which fills another of the exhibition’s rooms.
The Dark Side of the Moon made Pink Floyd global superstars, but the bigger they got, the more Pink Floyd themselves seemed to recede. A 1974 tour programme attempts to elicit information on the band members via a questionnaire, to no avail: “Personal likes: ‘Not much.’ ‘Too personal’.” On stage, they were dwarfed first by a giant circular screen showing specially commissioned films, then by enormous inflatables and vast parachutes in the shape of sheep.
By the time of 1979’s The Wall, they were sending other musicians on stage in their place, wearing rubber life-masks based on their faces, and performing behind 40 feet of cardboard bricks onto which Gerald Scarfe cartoons were projected. Their Mortal Remains makes an intriguing attempt to link their ever-more complex stage designs with Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboard player Richard Wright’s background as architecture students, although others at the time took what you might describe as their elaborate reticence for haughtiness and pomposity: one wall of the exhibition is devoted to their one-time label mates the Sex Pistols, with Johnny Rotten’s I HATE PINK FLOYD T-shirt at its heart.
Masks worn by a four-piece ‘surrogate band’ who opened The Wall live show each night. Waters’ acrimonious mid-80s departure from the band is tactfully skirted around, although keen students of Pink Floyd’s endless icy, passive-aggressive internal struggles might note with interest the glaring disparity in space afforded Waters’ last album with the band, The Final Cut, and their first without him, 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
The latter gets a whole room, which seems less a reflection on its contents – curiously more dated-sounding now than the music they made in 1967 or 1973 – than on the vast, box office-busting tour it spawned, which tellingly saw Pink Floyd reprising not just their greatest hits, but their most famous visual effects. To the evident fury of Waters, who considered himself the band’s creative genius, it didn’t seem to matter to audiences whether he was there or not, as long as it sounded like Pink Floyd and an inflatable pig floated over the crowd: such is the downside of carefully cultivated anonymity.
Or perhaps it did matter. There’s something touching about the way Their Mortal Remains concludes not with The Endless River – the largely instrumental album Gilmour and Mason constructed in tribute to Richard Wright, who died in 2008 – but with footage of the quartet’s solitary reunion, at Live 8 in 2005. Their performance ends with a slightly uneasy group hug, which one band member has to be visibly coerced into joining: Pink Floyd were awkward in the spotlight until the last.
superb exhibition charting the successes and failures of a quintessential England band. Set to music and clips of all band members this exhibition shows the boundaries they pushed. Best of all the “Money” mixing desk where you can hear the song without bass,vocals, guitars etc etc. There’s also the fame Syd Polaroid from 1975.
We had a good day looking around a few drinks and a curry afterwards before setting off for home. The exhibition only runs till October 1st so chances are if you’re reading this you have probably missed out.
Photography by Our World Photographics
Original text can be found here Guardian Article
A mass skinny dip took place last Sunday morning as hundreds of naked skinny dippers ran into the North Sea for charity in Northumberland. The North East Skinny Dip is a popular annual nude event that takes place at the autumn equinox at Druridge Bay.
Druridge Bay is a 7 miles (11 km) long bay on the North Sea in Northumberland, England, stretching from Amble in the north to Cresswell in the south. Northumberland Coast Country Park is situated on the bay, and part of the bay (the section near the farm-steading of Druridge, in the centre of the bay) is owned by the National Trust. Coastal areas on the bay are set aside as nature reserves.
Each participant registers and pays a fee of £12 before the event, which gets donated to charity.Skinny-dippers of all ages then ditched their clothes and ran into the Sea against a backdrop of a glorious golden sunrise.
The Skinny Dip saw around 400 people of all ages take off their clothes and plunge into the chilly waters as the sun rose.Some of the nude crowd held hands as they ran into the sea theyfully embraced the liberating experience by splashing and paddling in the cold water.
Before sunrise, skinny-dippers were treated to entertainment from a percussion band and a female fire eater.Profits from the event will be gifted to Mind, the mental health charity. Let’s raise awareness of mental health.
“The more we talk about it, about our own experiences and the experiences of those we love, the more chance we have of fighting the stigma attached to it.”
There were camp fires on the beach as the growing crowd, which included campers, got ready to strip off.The annual event, which is now in it sixth year, is organised by Jax Higginson, from Sunderland.
The mass dip, which began back in 2011, raises money for MIND – a charity which provides advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health
It sets out to counter negative body self-image.And it also demonstrates that the human body comes in all sorts of diverse shapes and sizes.Organisers said: “It is about celebrating life and nature and our own, unique, physical bodies.
*This post is gathered from various internet sources
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