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Woodworking

Free Gardening Ideas

Building a raised bed

Digging the Dirt

Eco Friendly Planting

2020 in Pictures

2020 has been a year like no other and as a result the subject matter in all forms of media, has changed amazingly.People didn’t go to places they normally would have gone, or done all the things the normally would have done so I’ve brought together a record of the year here in just a few photos. The places we did go and the flowers that grew in our garden and in others.

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The Plants

Mainly from our garden, the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Hyde Hall in Essex and Rosemoor in Devon

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The Places

Mainly from our holiday in North Devon, visits to our naturist club near Billericay and the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Hyde Hall.

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Clothes Free Living

Relaxing clothes free naturally at home, the Shepherds Hut in Chittlehamholt and at Arcadians.

Lock-Down Naturism

From naked gardening to Zoom yoga sessions, here’s how nudists managed to stay connected during lock-downs. One naturist participated in “World Naked Gardening Day.”

   

Irish Naturist Association, like other organizations and social communities, naturists have shifted to a virtual platform during lock-downs. From nude gym classes to World Naked Gardening Day photo contests, nudists around the world have connected on a new platform. The associations have witnessed a spark of interest during lock-downs and continued membership growth over the past few months.

While clothing might be optional, masks are not. As the world begins to reemerge from lock-down, people are flocking to restaurants, beaches, nature trails, and resorts. Among those crowds are naturists and nudists, reuniting and shedding clothes for the first time in months.

People partake in the naturist way of life for a variety of reasons. Some people join to discover a newfound sense of freedom, a way to promote body acceptance, and some go nude to eliminate materialistic barriers.

“You can actually feel the weight of the clothes,” Laurent Luft, the Association des Naturistes de Paris president, told Insider. “You know how liberating it is to be without clothes, and when you actually put them on again, you feel their weight.

It’s not just the weight of the clothes themselves, but everything associated. Whatever the reason is, naturists, too, faced cancelled events and postponed trips due to lock-downs and stay-at-home orders.

For the American Association of Nude Recreation, all of its 180 clubs and resorts closed at some point this year, said Jeff Baldasarre, the director of marketing and communications.

ANP also had to close down its facilities. The association was created in 1953, and today it offers access to a complex with a pool and gym, and the group hosts external events. All of those events, from singing classes to yoga sessions, were canceled and the facility shut down in March.

“For us to be put out of action, it’s a huge punch,” Luft said. “We’re so used to having that direct social contact with people.” In-person events have now moved to an online platform.

Many naturists turned to Zoom during the lock-down “For the first weeks of confinement I really felt that thing missing in my life,” Luft said. With the help of Luft and other ANP members, the association pivoted to an online structure.

They created a YouTube channel where gym and yoga instructors recorded workouts. When members responded that they needed extra support to make sure they were properly doing the right exercises, they hosted live Zoom classes.

“Also there’s that element of social contact,” Luft said. “Even though it’s from a distance, they can have a little chat and they feel as though they’re actually with other people.” The Irish Naturist Association also employed social media to connect members.

“At the inception of lock-down, social media played an important role in keeping naturists in spirits,” Leticia Medina, the event coordinator for Irish Naturist Association, told Insider in an email.

From celebrating World Naked Gardening Day with a photo contest to virtual coffee-shop hangouts, Irish naturists had a full social calendar.By pivoting to online platforms, the naturist organizations described how it allowed for international conversations.

INA hosted international chats, where naturists from Mexico, France, Spain, the UK, Brazil, Slovenija, Hungary, Serbia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark could connect.

“It has been extremely educational, just a fascinating insight into other countries’ way of experiencing naturism and dealing with their own circumstances,” Medina said. “I feel we are all so different, you cannot apply the same considerations for all climates, legal situations, and social awareness stages.”

While those naturist associations saw great success in virtual events, Baldasarre said the American Association of Nude Recreation faced some challenges. Baldasarre said that a majority of AANR’s members are between 40 and 70 years old, and some weren’t interested or decided against switching to the online platform. The association’s initial virtual events didn’t get the response it predicted.

The naturists Insider spoke to discussed how removing clothes removes any preconceived notions
“You go to these nudist resorts and you can’t judge anybody by the watch they have, the dress they have, the Hermès bag they have,” Baldasarre said. “You can’t judge them by that because they have nothing on.”

People are listening rather than focusing on materialistic things, Baldasarre said. “For me, the social side of it is the best thing. The fact that we’re all on the same level,” Luft said. “A 25-year-old guy can be good friends with a 75-year-old woman.”

Luft described how naturism is often misconceived as sexual, but he emphasized that it’s the opposite. Many of the groups provide a family-friendly atmosphere for naturists to interact with. Small gatherings at parks and beaches are a common place for nudists to reunite after months of lock-down. Membership continued to grow during the lock-downs. Medina said she believed that the lock-down presented an opportunity for people who had considered naturism to try it out.

British Naturism launched an initiative called “work naked Wednesday,” and Medina said members of INA joined in weekly. Baldasarre said his team was initially worried about seeing a dip in membership, but that hasn’t been the case. AANR has been around for 90 years, and Baldasarre says it has “been consistently growing every year.”

 

During the lock-down, AANR has experienced continued growth, according to Baldasarre. Since the majority of the association’s members are retired, people are still leaving work behind and connecting with one another from home.

In 2014, ANP closed for major maintenance for about five months. The association lost many of its members because nothing had been put in motion to “stay afloat.”

“We rebuilt, and what we rebuilt was even bigger than before,” Luft said. This time around ANP quickly adapted. The videos have provided a way for ANP to stay in contact with its 400 members.

“The main goal was to help people stay in contact and stay fit, but also we could still maintain an image,” he said. “This time around we kind of feel that people haven’t forgotten us.”

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Luft said his group was also surprised that the videos attracted new people who live far from Paris, where the organization is based.”There have also been some people that have converted to naturism because of those videos,” Luft said. “That’s something I really didn’t expect.”

Luft said he typically imagined people discovering naturism in person, like someone on vacation stumbling upon a nude beach. “We never imagined people confined to their apartments would discover naturism,” he said.

Beaches have become an even more popular place to retreat for naturists post-lock-down. As lock-down restrictions lift, naturism looks slightly different “Interesting tan lines,” Baldasarre joked. As small gatherings take place, people can shed their clothes but not their face masks.

The associations Insider spoke with are also following the distancing guidelines of 6 feet, and some resorts have put in additional cleaning and sanitizing policies. AANR’s resorts are located both in the US and internationally, and some have slowly been able to reopen following local government guidance. Others will remain closed for the rest of the year

This is a re-post the original can be found here: original post

Christmas is cancelled

Christmas has just been cancelled in Essex and again its a total complete mess up, on the part of the authorities who seem to decide things generally, on postcode areas. They let people move around the country, then place greater restrictions, after people have gone.

I’m sorry but am I missing something? We had a full lockdown in April and the R rate fell, since then most governments, in most countries, have fannied around with the guildlines and up the infection rate goes and even more people die !

The only answer is a full lockdown except for food shops ! NOT including DIY & Garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, Builders merchants and off-licences. NOT Market stalls,
businesses providing repair services, Bicycle shops, Taxi and vehicle hire, Laundrettes and dry cleaners, pet shops.

NOT including Agricultural supplies shops, Storage and distribution facilities, Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts and Golf courses. Schools should also close too.

No travelling anywhere !

Typically now, I have three days off before Christmas two of these enforced and the weather forecast is awful too, even so on the Monday I managed to get into the garden.

There’s not much I can do really as it’s so wet everywhere, what with the constant rain. Everything is saturated, so it’s a case of feeding the birds in the morning, doing a little bit of tidying up and hoping the plants make it through the winter and bloom again in spring.

It tends to be difficult even buying reduced priced plants at this time of year, because they look so shabby, even dead, but I’m confident most will come back, when the warmer weather returns.

Under grey leadened skies, I managed to get the last of the bulb planting done for this year. Some cheap bulbs, cheap compost and slightly damaged freebie pots, has completed my spring display.

In this monster pot went 2- Mount Everest alliums 6 – Shubertii alliums and 8 Kimmeridge narcissus.

While in this went 1 – Ilex Blue Princess 1- Coloneaster Coral Beauty shrubs & 8 Stresa Tulips. So as we go into a Christmas on our own, there’s just time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Taking Stock and Planning Ahead

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden”

It may look a bit tired at the moment, but making plans for your garden now will reap huge benefits in the year to come.

Now the plants and shrubs have died back the pressure to garden everyday is off so its time to rest, rejuvenate and plan.

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”

There is a real sense that things will steadily get better, once the winter equinox December 21st has passed. This just happens to be today in the UK.

Making plans for your garden now will reap huge benefits next year so go out and take stock now. Look at your mistakes and own up to all the errors you made last year and learn.

“Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.”

Don’t dwell over the mud, the weeds, the untidiness or the uncut shrubs and hedges.

Begin now and work out a schedule for what needs doing during the first month of the year.
Maybe a timetable of weeding, digging, mulching, sowing and planting. So all is ready for the time planting begins.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere”

The answer to success in the garden is simple really it is “the more you put in to it, the more you will get out”.

What happened last year and what can I learn from it to help me make the garden grow just that little better this year?

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”

Over the past two years I’ve begun to grow as much fruit and veg as I can; I still like the lawn to be mown and the hedges clipped but I’m trying to push the boundaries of what I can and can’t do.

2020 has been a funny year, so just take stock and be positive about what lies ahead in 2021.

The Shortest Day

By Caroline Westbrook

British Summer Time officially ended over 8 weeks ago and that marked the start of shorter days and much longer nights.

With just a couple of weeks left before 2021 dawns, we’re not very far from the shortest day of the year – when you have the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of night-time – which falls just before Christmas.

That day also marks the start of the Winter solstice – but just when is it due to fall this year?

Here’s what you need to know…

When is the shortest day of the year in 2020?
This year the shortest day of the year – in the northern hemisphere that is – will be on Monday December 21.

The day occurs when the Earth’s axis rotates leaving the North Pole at its furthest possible tilt from the sun – resulting in the reduced hours of daylight.

While it marks the start of the astronomical winter in this part of the world, the southern hemisphere will get to experience summer, with longer days and shorter nights.

It’s then reversed in June with the longest day of the year and the start of summer in the northern hemisphere – and winter and shorter days in the southern hemisphere.

How much daylight will we have on the shortest day of the year?
The shortest day will see us getting just seven hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds of daylight in London – although this will vary depending on where you are in the country (only by a matter of minutes though!)

However it’s not all bad news – as the days do start getting a little longer and the nights a little shorter from then on, not that you will notice much difference for a good few months.

The astronomical winter lasts until the Spring Equinox, which next year will be on March 20 2021 – while the clocks go forward once again on Sunday March 28 2021, once again ushering in longer days and shorter nights.

This is a repost the original Post can be found here : original post

It’s all about the freedom

Why do people become nudists ?
Many people wonder why people become nudists. What kind of people do that? What are they like? For most of us nudies that is a question we never ask ourselves. So it is fun to give you some insight into the mindset of nudists and naturists. We might even learn something here as well!

I always tell that the people you meet at work, see in the train, at the supermarket or in a restaurant could be ‘one of us’. There is no external brandmark that sets us aside from the rest of the world. Maybe the majority of us has a more ‘green’ view on the world, but it certainly does not apply to all. There are a lot of political discussions between left wing and right wing oriented people. And the ones that are in between those two are also represented.

It is all about freedom
How and why people become nudists is best explained by quoting some of my friends. For most people it is the absolute freedom they experience when they take of their clothes.

It cannot be compared with anything else in this world. The feeling of the wind, the sun, the water on your body is liberating in itself. Especially in these 24/7 online kind of times this is kind of ‘healing’. A perfect way to unwind and get the screen out of your mind.

It has been scientifically proven that there are great health benefits to nudism and naturism. It is a fact that most people aren’t happy with the way they look. Women think that their bellies are too big, and men think that their arms are too small.

And with the availability of idealised pornography, both men and women are increasingly dissatisfied with their genitals. But absolutely most frightening is the fact that a growing number of teens and young people are also suffering from the same insecurities.

The good news from this research paper is that communal nudity with other people makes people feel better about their bodies and themselves. Why? Because at a nudist beach or a naturist resort you will only see ‘unfiltered’ people. Tall people, small people, skinny ones, overweighed ones, people with scars of operations or accidents, etc. The people on the train, so to speak.

So, maybe without knowing: nudism gives people a solution to their body confidence issues that doesn’t require them to look any different or to buy anything at all. It is a way to be happier without changing anything at all, except our perspective.

So if someone asks you the question why people become nudists: nudism is the cheapest form of therapy in the world! And it comes with an extra boost of vitamin D as well!

There are also great practical benefits to nudism. First of all: you never have to figure out what to wear! For most men, the choice of their outfit is just a matter of minutes (maybe seconds). For women, on the other hand, it can take a substantial amount of time to get to the perfect combination. Look at the time you have save here!

Another thing is that, when you go for a swim, you really don’t need anything else then a towel for a plunge. If you, on a hot summer day, drive by a beautiful lake you can just hop in, cool off and go your way again.

And your body dries a lot quicker than a swimsuit! And. In case you have never tried it, skinny dipping is a great way to experience what all those nudies are talking about when they tell you about ‘freedom’.

So far we have found that the feeling of freedom, the scientific argument and practical issues are reasons why people become nudists. Are there more reasons to be found? Yes indeed! Maybe the most important one has been unmentioned yet: some people just like it!

They really love being without clothes whenever possible. Not only outside when they go for a swim or want to take a sunbath. They also enjoy it at home. Some even in cold winter days (though there are some economic and environmental issues to consider there).

For some people it is a reason to move permanently to a naturist resort. In Holland, just a few miles east from Amsterdam, a project has started for a naturist neighbourhood. It is a complete ecological place to live. I know a couple that have decided to live on naturist resorts the entire year. In fall and winter they move to Spain and when spring arrives they come back to Holland again.

This is a repost the original can be found here :- Original Post

Succulent Planting

A morning photo

So after a good 3 days in the garden last week, my day off this week was spent doing a lot less and just relaxing ahead of 4 days work then another 3 days off.

I started my day of course with a coffee,before heading out early to get some shopping. I also bought some bird food for me and my mum and also some bedding plants,for a Christmas planter or two. I also bought three succulents to put into a rather charming pot,that used to house a candle.

After a summer that included a seven week lockdown for me, I seem to be in the mode of using all the pots I have collected, this time it was a Christmas tin and a small willow basket.

In the tin, I put some Cyclamen S. Serie Winter White and of course some Cyclamen S. Serie Winter Red, making the traditional Christmas Red and white. In the basket I used Primula Acaulis mix and both look great.

After that I headed inside and watched TV, catching up with “Love Your Weekend” with Alan Titchmarsh, “Kitchen Garden” with Carol Klien and then “Glorious Gardens from above”. Not bad for someone who didn’t like gardening until a few years ago.

It’s like a drug gardening and if you get a free hand (in other words no one else will help you), you can experiment, recycle, design and buy exactly what you want.

I find though it’s very difficult to throw things away and at the same time tend to reimagine, what things can be. Slow cookers and flu baskets become planters.

Packing cases and old wardrobes become trough planters. I’ve even used old wooden fence posts and raised bed legs. These are items other people will just throw away.

A night photo

A delightful three days

To my delight I had three days off this week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so I had a chance finally to do some tidying around the house, as well as in the garden and it stayed dry. Monday and Tuesday were spent, doing housework, getting supplies, delivering and collecting a bike as well as tidy up in the potting shed.

On Tuesday I bought a couple of cacti to refresh my glass bowl display as well as buying two more shrubs and also a potting tray, which was half price at £5.99 (RRP £12.99). Added to this I also cleaned some tools and filled my tool belt with all my gardening hand tools.

So on to Wednesday and it started like the others overcast added to that it wasn’t very warm around 10°C. So it was a case of wrapping up warm in my new gardening camouflage hoodie, rather than enjoying a joyous clothes free one, but still I definitely managed to get all the things done I wanted too.

From early October the weather had been a right mixed bag meaning itwasn’t worth doing many jobs as the weather would just put you back to square one. Firstly I managed to rake up most of the leaves around the garden, before going on to scarify the lawn, with my trusty rake.

2020

This had the advantage of getting all the moss out of the lawn and meant as it was a little wet I didn’t get my new Wolf Garden moss rake filthy dirty before I had a chance to use it properly. I will wait until Springtime I think to use that.

2018

I got around 5 bucket loads of moss out, which hopefully means it won’t hand on to the moisture and prevent the lawn drying out.I did look into whether I could use the lawn moss for anything else, and here’s what I found.

I found that dead moss raked out of lawns, can be added to the compost heap. Although slow to rot in bulk, moss can be composted if well mixed with plenty (four times the volume of the moss) of other ingredients.

Moss can be stored and added gradually as other ingredients become available. This time I just put it in the green bin but maybe next time I will if I can sort out a composter.

It was hard graft, but good exercise although I may bring the winter mower out to give it a last cut to get rid of the shabbiness. The next job was to cut down all the dead and rotting blooms and vegetation in the pots, troughs as well as dumping the soil in the hanging baskets.

This all went in the green bin, which is now half full and not due to be emptied until March, as they emptied it for the last time at around 8.30 this morning.

Summer Blooms

As the rain clouds appeared and the light began to fade, I started the final job planting the rest of the spring bulbs in pots as well as planting two euronymous plants out the front, which had been hanging around on the patio, still in shop pots for ages. At around 4.30 I went inside for a long soak and a hot coffee.