18 December 2010
I brush over England’s performance in the third Test at the WACA in Perth Australia. Let us say that it turned out to be one of the worst defeats we have ever suffered at the hands of our old enemy. Australia gloriously snatched victory out of the jaws of almost failure. Suffice it to say that we lost comprehensively and the series is now all square with two Tests to come.
Although I lived in Australia for 4 Â½. years I worked in every state capitol except Perth. This city is, as most people know, the furthest distance apart, in any part of the world, from another city in the same country, over 2000 miles. I was determined to remedy this omission by visiting Perth and did so, four or five years ago, when I stayed with my good friend Karyl Nairnâ€™s parents, Mal and Ann, who live, in a lovely comfortable house, between Perth and Fremantle. (Karyl, an international lawyer, was very largely responsible for funding the production of The Fisssion and Chip Case, I mentioned yesterday, which we mounted in Budapest, as well as playing a leading role as president of the Intergalactic Arbitration Centre! and adding a great deal of humour to the script.) I could certainly consider living in this beautiful city it wasn’t so far from the other Australian cities. To give you some idea. it’s about as far from Melbourne as Moscow is from London, with a three hour time zone difference.
Mal qualified as a vet and is part owner of a vineyard and winemaking business which I visited -very good wine it was too. He also has â€˜a spreadâ€™. outback at which I was also privileged to stay .
Much of Perth is overlooking the sea and there are some wonderful harbour dwellings, second only, to my mind, to those around Sydney Harbour. The only drawback of living there being that is so far away from any other part of civilised Australia.
The Nairnâ€™s had a self-contained granny annexe in which I stayed. I was therefore free to come and go through my own front door without disturbing the family, which is in a civilised way of staying with people. Having said that Mal and Ann, who are the nicest couple you would ever wish to meet, very generously invited me to join them for most meals, and even more friendly, Â invited me to join them on Friday night for a informal supper in front of the TV for the important weekly â€˜footyâ€™ match. You can take it that you have â€˜arrivedâ€™, in Australia if a family extends this sort of invitation.
The Nairnâ€™s house was situated within walking distance of some fine beaches. I was surprised, on my first visit, walking along the beach to see a notice saying, You are now leaving the Family area and entering the Naturist beach. (Or words to that effect)Â Such â€˜nudyâ€™ beaches are not uncommon in Australia, which surprisingly, seems to accept such things without being prudish (maybe this is down to the multicultural nature of the population after the massive immigration they have enjoyed over the past 50 years).
Most Australians seem to accept them for what they are, places where people are free to feel Â the sun on their skin and swim, as God made them, in the sea like a fish. A unique and happy experience. As a lifelong naturist, I certainly enjoyed visiting the beach and found the Australian attitude to nudity, unlike that of the majority of the British, to be quite enlightening. Interestingly, this beach had several families of it, a number of them with young children as well as young couples and was not populated by weirdos, as ill informed people might believe. Whether or not the Nairn’s approved of my beach activities or not, I have no idea, however, I believe had they really disapproved I think they would have indicated somehow.. One thing, however, I know Mal will thoroughly approve of, Â is Australia’s thrashing the English at cricket, particularly on his home ground, at which, I have no doubt, he was present and revelling in it.
I should perhaps add, for the benefit of my family and my closest friends, that my naturist Â tendencies were generally only exercised in private, mainly in my garden at home, behind a 6 foot high large circular screen. Yes, on a hot summer’s day (will they ever come again?) my friends and colleagues may well have heard the sound of birdsong in the background and wondered where on earth I was. All I can say is that thank goodness they were not video calls on Skype! I think the only public appearances I made were on the special beaches, both in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s amazing how very quickly you get used to the sight of naked people, of all shapes and sizes, some of them are really aren’t shapes Â not really very beautiful! (In fact, of all living animals I think that humans are the least attractive!) Even some of the most modest and shy people, I have known, I found very quickly acclimatise themselves to the other naked people and lose their initial embarrassment I believe that the world is divided between those people, like me, who have a genuine need of the benefits of naturism, or Â indeed not only the benefit, but indeed the, need for the vitamin D, Â they derive from the sun, and the rest. We are Â medically classified as S.A.D.-suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder-but there is a propensity for labelling every human condition. I am not winter person, if I had my way,. I would happily hibernate, in a warm cosy place, rather like a mole, from November to February