Originally posted in our Naturist Freedom UK forum on 16 July 2012
Back last night from the most wonderful weekend at Spielplatz with YBN (Young British Naturism) treating and teaching with my therapies.
Suzanne Piper; Editor of Naturist Life, kindly lent me her caravan so I was able to party with the best of them and retreat to my nest to recuperate. It also gave me scope to grab a coffee and hit my social media trail periodically.
Spielplatz in St Albans, Hertfordshire is set in 11 acres and has residential accommodation and a clubhouse, an outdoor heated pool, sauna, a boules piste, shower/toilet facilities, the scope to camp and even, I gather, to hire a tent.
The clubhouse has a bar and offers food/drink at weekends and the members, as you’d expect with it being a naturist facility, are very friendly and they welcome day visitors; http://www.spielplatzoasis.co.uk/.
There’s a lovely feel to the place. It’s very quaint and peaceful and I felt as if I was in Europe somewhere, not the depths of Hertfordshire.
One of the members Pete, is the Chairman of Sun-Folk which adjoins Spielplatz. Again, a lovely little retreat from the textile world but with a different feel to it altogether.
Sun-Folk is set in 5 acres of lush grounds so there’s plenty of scope to camp but this is more secluded and private, being a member only Club; http://www.sun-folk.org.uk/
Built in the 1930s, it has lovely facilities but, as is all-too-common with landed clubs around the country, falling membership levels and with diminishing members juggling incomings and outgoings and maintaining the club, perhaps we should all be doing more to put the word out about our local clubs and their facilities to pique peoples interest and to bring them into Naturism?
Sun-folk has a large clubhouse with a very old school feel to it. Really solidly built with large wooden lockers for members to store their clothes and bits in when they visit, with no locks. That’s another thing I’ve found within this community, it’s very safe, trusting and trustworthy. I’d be as happy to leave my purse lying around a naturist club as I would my local church. Even at Alton Towers which BN (British Naturism) take over for the weekend with 350 or so naturist from all over the UK and a smattering from overseas, I feel the same.
There’s a good sized kitchen, a sauna, loo block, hot and cold showers, a pool (undergoing maintenance at the moment and built by the members. It’s not large but it is big enough to circle around like a goldfish and for the kids to splash in). There’s also a separate and very welcoming conservatory which gets baking when the sun actually shines. It was hot enough yesterday and the sun wasn’t shining for long.
Sun-folk also have a volleyball court and Miniten courts (3 I think off the top of my head). Sadly they’re now rather weed-strewn and overgrown but with a larger membership and renewed interest from members, this could be rectified without too much trouble.
Pete mentioned they’d hosted a Druid group last year for a week of Druidly going- ons. Me being me, I found a blog about it; http://philipcarrgomm.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/a-healing-retreat-thats-what-i-need/
It sounds like the sort of thing I would have enjoyed; a. healing retreat with good food and therapies galore. Sun-Folk really is the perfect venue for this type of event.
Eariler in the week, I’d taken part in an Outside Broadcast for BBC Radio 4 Live and was interviewed by JP Devlin at my local Naturist Club, Diogenes Sun Club. I spent Saturday treating and teaching basic massage to YBN after the BBC 4 Radio interview went out and I’d managed to grab some breakfast and liaise with Andy Cremer, who’s my Mentor at Diogenes Sun Club and the Diogenes Press Officer. Do I still get to keep you as my Mentor now I’ve passed my probationary period by the way Andy? I like to collect Mentors 🙂
On Saturday evening, I bobbed over to see Suzanne who I hadn’t seen all day other than to wave in the morning because I’d worked so intensively, only to find she’d had a nasty fall. I nearly fell over myself when she opened the door and I saw her shiner and various cuts and bruises on her body. The irony is I was on her doorstep and knew nothing about it because I wasn’t getting my usual social media fix. Ordinarily I’d have picked up on it much earlier via her Status Rep.
Suzanne was obviously still in shock so I arranged to go back on Sunday to do some work with her. I was remiss actually because I didn’t question her adequately and should have established the likelihood of concussion/compression but my brain was addled after the working day and waking too early.
The social on the Saturday evening was just brilliant and that’s all I’m sharing here other than to say we had great fun with the customary dancing and all-round laughs. What a lovely group they are. I really enjoy working with YBN and they’re very appreciative which is gratifying.
I enjoyed teaching the Massage Masterclass and we kept it very relaxed so those who were interested could wander in and out at will. Some were very keen and were practising on each other the following day whilst I was lucky enough not only to be given a beautiful bunch of flowers but to receive a treatment myself from one of the YBN members who’s newly qualified in Sports Massage. The flowers weren’t necessary but they were very gratefully received. The massage was necessary and equally gratefully received.
I do these things because I want to and it adds another dimension to the events for the YBN members. They were particularly grateful on Saturday because the weather was so awful and it meant there was one more option – incessant rain doesn’t half limit your options!
Sunday predictably was slightly more chilled after two evenings of partying. I partied Saturday but not Friday given the fact I intended to schedule Saturday intensively and also because of the impending interview which I’ve still not heard fully, what am I like?
A big long line of us took part in the Great British Skinny Dip (GBSD) and I mustled in on the act. Emma Stokes said I was like YBN Mum but Emma who’s part of the YBN Team is so good at overseeing the YBN crowd, I said, “More like you’re the Mum and I’m the Gran, considering my age (50).”
I don’t help my reputation by pitching with picnics and bread and cakes although in this instance they missed out on cakes because the radio interview turned my week on its head
Naturist Life; http://naturist-life-magazine.co.uk/
BBC Radio 4 Live. Interview with JP Devlin/Emma James; http://all-nudist.com/2012/07/16/emma-speaks-reporter-strips-the-birth-of-a-naturist/
Diogenes Sun Club; http://www.diogenessunclub.co.uk/
YBN (Young British Naturism); http://www.bn.org.uk/youth/index.php
BN (British Naturism); http://www.bn.org.uk/index.php