And I will do so all summer if possible. Those arms and legs need the kiss of the sun pretty badly.
And I won't be presenting the neighbours with an eye-popping spectacle. My rear garden is quite private. I could actually prance about in the nude if I liked. But I won't, just in case a neighbour pops in, or roofers suddenly start work nearby. I imagine that roofers are always on the lookout for sunbathing housewives. Anything female with the right bits to leer at. I've no intention of satisfying their base animal intincts.
So no nudity in my back garden. But I know that casting aside all clothing, and taking a natural approach to gardening, has much to be said for it. You may in fact have heard of Ian and Barbara Pollard, the Naked Gardeners of Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, Wiltshire - a little town just off the Cotswolds. On 'Clothes Optional' days, they may be observed planting, weeding and clipping in their birthday suits, and why not? Here they are:
Well, that's a bit of a nudefest! Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of this public skin exposure - of course not - but what exactly would one say if one walked innocently around a giant shrub - or through a gap in a tall hedge - and were then suddenly faced with a Naked Gardener? Perhaps:
'Oh, hello! Lovely weather today! Isn't the sun so marvellous! God, it's warm! Don't you feel stiflingly hot, without any clothes on...?' (blushes and faints)
'Oh, sorry, I didn't know you were there! I love your hat! What a fabulous toolbelt you're wearing!' (blushes and faints)
'Oh, I hope I didn't interrupt anything! I can see you're really busy! You must be doing this all day! Um, aren't you worried about these bees stinging your...?' (blushes and faints)
'Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to intrude! I'm sure you don't want people looking at...Oh, what lovely gardens! What lovely plants! What an amazing bush you've got there!' (blushes and faints)
But then I'm completely inhibited, and so easily embarrassed. I will blush horribly at anything, including myself. Of course, most people take this kind of everyday sunworshipping in their stride, and indeed coachloads of garden-loving tourists visit these famous gardens every day during the sunny months of the year. To my credit, when last staying on the Cotswolds, I dared myself to go to Abbey House, and nearly did, but would you believe it, they weren't open? I had to visit the American Museum at Claverton instead. (Phew)
It's well known that men, if keen naturists, will pose around unabashed, but I have to admire the bottle that Barbara shows (if the camera does not fib) by revealing so much of herself to the public gaze. That said, you'll notice that the photos all have pot plants, arms, elbows, toolbelts and saucers placed just so, to conceal the naughty bits.
Barbara isn't shy about her breasts, however, and good for her. Actually, I don't suppose I would be, in the right circumstances. Nor complete exposure, if a thousand other people were doing it, and you'd look an idiot if you didn't join in. There, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm Pure British when it comes to Revealing All. And, of course, if we all went around naked, there would be no point in going to the Abbey Gardens at Malmesbury. Except to see the plants. I just hope the National Trust doesn't copy the idea.