Mike ‘Mupp’ Watson tracks his journey from newbie to nudie
‘Try it for the first time,’ they said. But just how many firsts are there? Well let me tell you, there have been many, so many, read on…
My first time ever was a naked swim at Chepstow with the Western Swim Club, over three years ago now. I was nervous but admit that within ten minutes the feeling of complete freedom from not wearing swim shorts was amazing. That was it, hooked and no looking back.
I wanted more and with recent changes in my personal circumstances, it became possible for me to pursue further naked first adventures, a veritable whirlwind of different events which have brought me joy, fun and great friendships.
February – Naked dining
Organised by Dine Naked Bristol at the Bristol Cookhouse, an evening of good food, drink and great people. If you haven’t yet tried naked dining put it on your list, a great introduction to mixing with fellow Naturist diners, you will do more, believe me.
March – Butlins
A three-day music event in Minehead. Not a naturist event but with a group of fellow Naturists all of whom I made friends with over a few months and was grateful to be invited to join them. Thanks guys.
Easter - Isle of Wight
A weekend away with friends, 11 of us staying at a house in Shanklin with fantastic hot, sunny weather. There were several firsts here; a brilliant ‘Holi’ - throwing brightly coloured powdered paint around - which decorated all the naked bodies; a visit to Blackgang Chine Naturist section of the beach; a naked meal at a pub - not strictly a first but this time the barmaid did her own first, having felt a little over dressed and decided to strip off and join in, all in a day’s work…oh, mustn’t forget my first nude Easter egg hunt!
May – Little Orchard Slad
With friends, to the home of Terry and Rod Clifford, a little oasis of a place which they open up to visitors who have booked, to enjoy their house and gardens set in the beautiful countryside. There we were welcome to use the gardens, indoor pool, sauna, outdoor hot tub accompanied by homemade cake and biscuits, tea and coffee and some great home produced ciders.
May - A meal in a train carriage
Naked dining in a Pullman train carriage in a pub garden, who would have thought it? A big red train carriage fitted out with dining tables and chairs and a mini bar, quite a niche dining experience and full of character. I also had my first ever camping experience let alone a naked one in a nearby field. The site was run by Naturists, how handy was that? So along with a bunch of friends the evening was spent as nature intended with BBQ, fun and chats around a pit fire until the early hours.
30th June – Abbey House Gardens
Full steam ahead now, on a roll. This time it’s a visit to Abbey House Gardens, a large historic listed house set in vast well-kept gardens, open several times each summer to “clothes optional” visits. Meandering paths, up and down levels, and around interesting gardens where there are many places to settle down to picnic and sunbathe naked at your leisure. There is even a river which you can swim in if you want to. There is a café and tearooms, Koi carp ponds - and it’s all enjoyed naked in the company of other visitors who leave their clothes on.
June – Clover Spa
A well-established Naturist spa in Birmingham, and another place with a great host, Tim Higgs, and a crew to match. I was made very welcome from booking to leaving. Facilities include gardens, large hot tub, sauna, steam room and relaxing areas. There are a good choice of treatments available, yep, I got it all - even had my first naked massage.
July – Nudefest
One of the biggest events on the BN calendar, 500+ people, a week’s worth of events from clay pigeon shooting to biscuit decorating, climbing frame to dog agility, live bands to silent disco and so much more! Amongst many firsts at Nudefest there is one that stands out – nude firewalking. Not many can say they’ve done a firewalk, let alone naked. My first Nudefest did not disappoint - great company, growing friendships all the time along the way. By the way, how about a first for Nudefest itself…the local pub decided to open up for naked dining each evening in the week. Now, I’m an old hand at that malarkey…
July – Party in the Stark
Three days of fantastic live music held at the Naturist Foundation in Kent. Another silent disco (been there!) and camping at this well-established club with great facilities and very welcoming members. Nice food, freshly cooked in the clubhouse along with visiting food trucks each evening, an indoor pool and games courts to boot, fun nights of singing, dancing and body painting came and went. I just love dancing naked by the way, however another first in my repertoire of times being at one with nakedness.
August - Nude River Boat Cruise
The firsts are still coming thick and fast, just loving it! My feet might touch the ground one day! This time a three-hour boat cruise on the River Exe in Exeter. Organised by Torbay Sun Club, it has been running for several years now and seems as popular as ever with food and drink, live music and the locals on the riverbanks and quaysides joining our festivities by waving and cheering us on our way and on our return. This trip also involved another two firsts - an AirBnB stay over and a day spent at Budleigh Salterton Naturist beach.
August – Toad and Mikron
This was probably a little more special as firsts go as it was also my birthday, and a birthday to remember! This time it was an event laid on by Dine Naked Oxford organised by its founder Sandra Ballard at the fantastic Toad Gin Distillery in Oxford. Entertainment was provided by the brilliant Mikron Theatre Company. Please check them out, a lovely lot of guys and gals who travel the length and breadth of the UK canals by barge performing plays of a traditional Britishness, our one for the evening was Redcoats, the story of Butlins…fun, laughs and learning all the way and all set in an artisan gin distillery where you could test, try and buy as well as see it being made on the premises, a really great setting.
To top off my birthday and most definitely a first was a TV appearance with Sandra on BBC Oxford News. They came along to Toad to film a piece for its evening slot about our evening’s event, plenty of re-takes, plenty of giggles we managed a two-minute slot on telly, hurrah! Just have to add I had two, yes, two bottles of gin precariously placed at a certain level to hide my modesty for the viewing public!
September – Stoke Waterworld
The second event at this venue but my first. What can I say but several hours of slippy, sliding, splashing fun! I had a great time - beware the black flume is all I can say haha! Still making friends along the way, we naturists know how to do that.
2020 and beyond
So, here I am at the end of my Diary of Firsts. I wrote this article in Autumn 2019 and have since been to Alton Towers and also the Dine Naked Oxford Murder Mystery evening. I’m aware there are many more firsts for me to catch up with, and if I can catch my breath maybe another diary for BN magazine in the future.
I wish to sign off this article with some comments about the Naturist community. Community, is defined in the dictionary as, ‘A group of people living and sharing the same attitudes, interests and characteristics in common’. We can all fulfil our firsts, enjoy and embrace them, but most of all look forward to our seconds, thirds you get the gist!) of everything out there available for us to enjoy as Naturists. And so, like the little old me, go out there and have the time of your life ….NAKED ! …. there’s a whole new world out there, thank you Naturism.
Mike “Mupp” Watson
Another FIRST, I will be holding my first ever event; a quiz night and 3 course meal at the Kings Head and Bell in Abingdon on March the 7th, everyone is welcome, tickets are still available at this link;