A Canadian Naturist

Normalising Naturism

A Shift in a Naturist’s Mood with the Appearance of Sunshine

It is cold out there. Minus 15 Celsius.

The sun is out, but I am staying inside for now even though I am allowed to be in my own yard. To be honest, -15 Celsius doesn’t sound or feeling inviting for a few moments of outdoor sunshine as a naturist. Still, it is enjoyable looking out the windows. While at the table having breakfast this morning, I saw a pair of Blue Jays. They are a first for me here in our yard, or even in our town. Usually, we have to be quite a bit further north to see these birds.

Today, my mood has improved. I finally decided to shave [not the moustache or the goatee] after five days of neglect. That was the first sign of a shift within me. I guess it would be similar to deciding to dress rather than stay in pyjamas all day like many who are depressed because of Covid-19. Of course, I don’t wear pyjamas. Like all naturists, the height of fashion means being totally bare. Still, I do wear a light sweater when it gets too chilly in our house. I’m not a glutton for punishment. I love warmth.

This morning I helped my wife set up an online bridge table which will be restricted to her friends here in our tiny prairie town. Now, they can play bridge at distance and not worry about gathering, as per usual habit, in someone’s home. Social isolation and distancing is paramount. Her friends are glad that we have returned. Now they can stop worrying about us. And, with our return, options for filling in time alone are increased.

This is the power of community. Community normally exists outside of one’s home, with the home being a retreat from community into a private sanctuary. With Covid-19, community needs to preserved. Thankfully, technology helps with this. I imagine that over the next few weeks, various strategies will be enacted to bridge the distance of physical isolation.

For myself, I am finding that I am commenting a bit more with others who are on Twitter. It is a way of breaking my self-imposed silence, a way to stop lurking and start communicating more. There don’t have to be many words spoken/written [and yes, it feels like the words are spoken, at least inside of my head] to feel oneself stepping outside of silent boundaries. Our words are heard, and often values whether it be with a “like” or a “retweet” and especially with a comment offered in return. I can’t imagine going through this pandemic in total isolation, as though one is in a solitary confinement prison cell. This was what those who went into isolation during the Spanish Flue at the end of WWI had to have experienced.

What are your strategies for connecting to family, friends, and community as you self-isolate or quarantine?

This is How We Will All Serve Each Other

Confined to my home and yard is a blessing in disguise.

Life couldn’t be better for us tucked into our comfortable home on the Canadian prairies. Now, it is all about waiting at distance for the healing of the world to begin. We slept last night for a full nine hours. While having coffee in our living room while looking out the large picture window, I commented that we had been living on adrenaline for almost three weeks. It took both of us living on high alert in Ecuador to ensure that we were able to leave that country before it went on complete shutdown. Yesterday morning, the last Canadian repatriation flight left Ecuador with some of our friends lucky enough to find land transport to Quito where all of the repatriation flights were accessed. The whole exercise taught both of us that we need community – family, friends, neighbours, national governments, and countless unnamed service people.

I got to go out onto my back deck. It was cold -10 Celsius, with a brisk breeze to make it feel even colder. I didn’t stay out long, not because of the cold, but because I knew that I should stay inside. I wan’t breaking any rules on the back deck. But if anyone saw me on the back deck, regardless of being nude or clothed, it might cause stress. After all, I just returned from out-of-country. However, that brief moment was needed to tell me that I was truly at “home.”

Our modern world is all about personal freedoms and rights. What so many of us fail to realise, is the fact that we can only have these freedoms and rights because of the collective working together to protect these freedoms. In times of crisis, such as we are experiencing world-wide at the present, the collective is the whole human race. Borders between  countries, such as between Canada and the United States of America, are just concepts that have no meaning when confronted by a threat such as Covid19. The real threats aren’t the “other.” The real threat begins with the “self.”  We become the enemy when we defy logic, common sense, and regulations that are being imposed to help us help ourselves.

At home in my library-office, connecting with you at distance.

These words from our Prime Minister here in Canada, tell it like it is. “So be smart about what you do, about the choices that you make, that is how you will serve your country and how we will all serve each other … It’s in our hands, it is in your hands.” Governments can only do so much. If we don’t do our part with self-distancing, then this will be the funeral pyre of our modern world. Yes, there will be those that will emerge from the ashes like the phoenix bird.  However, if you and I are to arrive on the other side of this pandemic, we will need to protect ourselves and all those around us via physical social isolation and distancing.

The virus doesn’t spread through the Internet. Keep connected using social media. Virtual presence is better than no presence. On the plus side, no one cares whether you are clothed or not. Therein lies a new freedom. That said, be careful when online. There are too many voices of despair, too many who see the crisis as an opportunity to profit from the fears and miseries of others. If you hear messages of hate, block. If you hear voices that attack others based on gender, race, colour, religion, or for any reason at all, block. This is not the time to disrespect. It is the time to offer messages of hope for individuals and humanity as a whole.

With this now said, I want to leave you with these words of another contemporary hero in Canada, Rick Mercer who has gained fame for his “Rants” which have had the purpose of keeping our politics and our country real.

Back Home in Quarantine Naturist Style

Back home in quarantine.

It is Tuesday and I am finally at home. It is -5 Celsius outside, not exactly the kind of temperature that invites a person to sit outside au naturel, especially with a good breeze making the trees dance around. Still, the glimpses of sunshine between the clouds is inviting. For now, I will wait.

Now that I am back home, I am in quarantine for a minimum of fourteen days. The likelihood is that we will continue to self-isolate for a few more weeks after that with the only change being the ability to drive into the countryside to go for walks. Until that time. We will confine ourselves to our house and our back yard.

When we got to our final airport, a nephew and his mate brought my truck, filled with gas, to the airport for us. In the back seat of the truck was almost $200 worth of groceries to help tied us over for a while. We already have a full deep freezer and stocked shelves at home with non-perishables. One of our neighbours turned on our water and prepped our house for our return. Another neighbour left a bottle of red wine in our doorway as a welcome home gift. Connections are important. Community is important.

The world has changed, and it is continuing to change faster than we realise. I am unsure in which direction the change is going other than it feels somewhat positive, at least for what is happening in Canada. As for the USA, I don’t feel so positive. I will just leave that statement as it is written. Since it is about how I “feel,” I don’t want to predict anything or make any judgement calls.

Now that I am at home, I have been busy with sanitizing everything that I have touched, including everything in the bags that I brought home. It is just how I do things. Naturally, everything that I am doing is being done while clothing free. I will likely not need any clothing until the first 14 days of quarantine are completed. Since no visitors will be allowed in the house, no one would become offended by my nudity.

On another note, I will likely be busy for the rest of the day and leave a return to writing and editing until tomorrow. This post was an important task for me, as you are part of my community. Be safe, stay home. We are all in this together.

It’s All About Perspective.

Just hours before leaving Ecuador

Well, it has been an interesting few days.  Yesterday, I woke up early in our hotel room in Quito, Ecuador. I never sleep in to be woken by an alarm clock when travelling. I just don’t trust alarm clocks and wake-up calls. I got this early morning photo while coffee was brewing. We left the hotel at 7:00 am and walked to the terminal which was about 700 metres distant. It wasn’t long before we made our way through the usual airport routines to find a place to wait for boarding time. Then, with some sort of magic, we were on the plane and ready for take-off a good half hour early.

Arrival in Toronto also went well. However, once there, we found out that we couldn’t go to an airport hotel as we would then have to remain in Toronto because of new Covid19 regulations. So, we spent the night in the airport. It wasn’t all that bad considering we had re-t-entered our home country safe and sound. It’s all perspective. There was just negative, if really a negative, I didn’t get to sleep nude as is my normal practice. LOL!

Our flight from Toronto to Calgary this morning was a lesson I will never forget. I’ve been hearing nothing but negative complaints about the cost of flights and that there was little choice in what was available. When we boarded out flight, we found out that there were only 31 passengers for a plane that holds more than 140 passengers. Regulations now require an empty seat between passengers for social distancing. Our second flight has 16 passengers on a plane that normally holds more than seventy. When I asked, I was told that few people are booking flights. If they tried to maintain the normal flight schedules, they would fly with as few as one passenger. This is what it now looks like in Canada.

I will be boarding my last flight to reach home in a matter of minutes. Stay safe out there. Keep your distance, stay home, and survive.

A Naturist’s Pause in Mid Pilgrimage Home

Self-quarantine in airport hotel.

We are in Quito. Yesterday was a unique experience as we made the ten hour drive [normally about an eight and a half hour drive] of 525 kilometres. Most of the travel is through very winding mountain roads as Quito is located in the Andes mountain range which travels the length of South America.

We got stopped ten times for papers, passport, and health checks along the way. Those stops accounted for the extra time. In two of these stops we were required to exit the van and get blasted by vaporized chlorine, using the same equipment that similarly disinfected the van. At almost every stop, the van was disinfected the same way, both the inside and outside of the van. For the whole journey we were required to wear face masks and constantly use provided antiseptic solution to clean our already clean hands. The checkpoints were manned by national police, municipal police and the military carrying weapons. There was no fooling around. No attempt at humour as the journey would have been halted with unknown results. No one was willing to find out so all six passengers in the van were very well behaved. We were the only people in the van over 32.

Once we arrived and had claimed our reserved room, it didn’t take long to claim the room as a clothing-optional residence. It is a good-sized room with a large sitting area and a desk for my use.  I have to admit, we’ve both become a bit phobic about sanitizing everything. We had prepared our own alcohol-based “wipes” and we used them liberally to clean all surfaces in the hotel room. If we leave the room, we wear our face masks and use antiseptic gel if we touch anything, such as elevator buttons. Then, we resanitize everything we touch [doorknobs and such] upon reentry. And the, we follow the hand-washing protocol being preached in every corner of the world. It should help keep us safe, at least at the best of our ability.

One of our grandsons sent us this youtube video to keep up our spirits – Stay the Fuck at Home. Then not long after that treat, our middle child who is mother to three of our grandsons sent us a message: “So my flight attendant friend said when you get home if you can live without the stuff in your luggage you should just let it sit for 14 days. Luggage is extremely dirty and touched by many hands. So run around naked for 2 weeks and then do laundry please.” Who would have ever thought that an adult child would ever give this kind of recommendation to her parents? LOL!

I will, hopefully, put up another post tomorrow, either from the Quito airport before departure, or from the Toronto airport after arrival in Canada. Likely, it will be the latter scenario. Until then, I encourage each and every one of you to “Stay the Fuck at Home!”

Last Post from Olon, Ecuador

A final photo from the yard of our casa in Olon.

We got lucky and now have air tickets for the repatriation flight on Sunday. Tomorrow morning, Friday, we travel to Quito where Air Canada will pick us up on Sunday morning. We are making the travel to Quito early as we don’t like leaving things to chance at the last minute. We have booked two nights at the modern airport hotel which is within walking distance. Leave nothing to chance. As a result, this post will be the last from the casa here in Olon.

The day has been hectic beyond measure, totally an anxiety filled day for both of us. It will be a relief to be able to return home even though it is still winter on the prairies and we will be confined to our house for another round of quarantine.  Family are doing their part in Canada to make our return as problem free as possible. Gas in our vehicle which will be waiting for us at the airport. Vehicle filled with groceries which the missus has listed for a certain nephew who has kept our vehicle in his yard over the winter to date.  Our friends have been doing their part as well.

One particular bit of help was from our next door neighbour who emailed me this morning to tell me she had a dream last night about our returning home. Every bit helps. And you, my readers, have been part of that positive support group that have kept my spirits up while in quarantine here in Ecuador. Thank you.

All is Well and Clothing Optional in Our Ecuadorian Casa

There is a decided lack of clarity in our modern world.

As this post’s title says, we are alive and well here in our casa in Ecuador. This is not something we take for granted. We are diligent in doing our part to keep out health as good as it can be. The most important part, is how we safeguard our psychological health, how we keep up positive spirits. Once one descends into anxiety and depression, the physical health becomes even more compromised. So, how are we doing that?

We have created routines. Most of our pre-social isolation are kept in place, such as morning coffee on the patio, connections with our children and grandchildren using social media, playing competitive card and dice games, daily exercise, and working together to prepare meals are some of those routines.

A new family group was created using Messenger, with the express purpose of cheering each other and bridging distances. Our adult children need this as much as we do. As well, we have been practising using a new message translator for our WhatsApp application so that there are no misunderstandings when talking to Ecuadorian transportation companies.

Now, for me, the added bonus is that I get to do all of this basically clothing free. I have a pair of shorts and top ready if needed. Of course, if I leave the property to get a few groceries, the clothing is obligatory. Life has definitely shifted to a more hopeful attitude.

COVID19 Has Shoved Its Nose into My Face

The world has gone crazy

I got an email late, yesterday evening, telling me that a repatriation flight is going to leave early tomorrow morning from the Quito airport. There was a problem that quickly reared its ugly head. How do we get to Quito as the provincial borders are all closed, and there is a curfew in place to restrict movement. A quick call to a trusted source told us that two days earlier, a person we both know, had taken a taxi from here to there. Because of the curfews, it took two travel days to reach Quito. A quick juggling of numbers and we knew that the plane would likely have been ready to land in Toronto before we could get to the airport, if there were no complications en route. We didn’t buy the air tickets. An hour after the announcement, all seat tickets were sold.

This morning, many who aren’t in Quito are realising they bought tickets but can’t get to the airport in time. A number of them are stranded in unknown towns along the way, with no way to return to their rentals or homes, nor any way to go further in hopes of catching a different plane. Naturally, this made for a poor night of sleep. Now, we have come to the realisation that we will likely be in Ecuador until the borders reopen, something that could take months. We accept that reality. I mean, if one has to be in social isolation, as if one is already in quarantine, what better place could we choose?

Brain on hold. Where are the words and the motivation to write?

This leaves me with a lot of time for writing new material and working on the needed editing of my previous efforts. I was working well on my projects up until almost two weeks ago. Then, COVID19 shoved its nose into my life.

We are both healthy, though we are in the target demographic for being annihilated by the virus.  To keep it that way, we have been rigorously exercising and being extra careful with our eating and drinking habits. My sorties to go out for groceries as needed, are severely limited. And when I do go out, I wear a face mask. It helps that most I encounter on the streets [and there aren’t many on the streets] are also wearing masks – it’s mandated. Everyone is keeping a healthy distance from each other. Well, almost everyone. There are the young adults who somehow believe they are exempt from all rules that impinge on the sense of entitlement. However, that is a different story which I won’t go into at this time.

Now, we are having a few people deciding that they will do their part to take care of us. Water jug delivery, grocery runs, printing needs – they are offering and are there to make sure that this Abuelo and Abuela are kept safe. This involves both young adults and the not-so-young. It helps when you are visible and friendly in a small fishing village in the middle of nowhere along the Pacific Ocean. Now, all we have to do is stay sane until we can finally return home. And yes, most of the time, I do get to live clothing free.

 

Enough is Enough – Go Home and Stay Home

Our private courtyard in Ecuador.

I know, it looks like it is beautiful. And, it is very, very beautiful to be honest. Three buildings surround this green space. We are the only residents in this compound. The grounds are open to view by any passersby, but at this time, those numbers are very low – just the occasional foreign surfer, or dog walker, or cyclists who feel the rules of social distancing doesn’t apply to them.

Like all foreigners here in Ecuador, my wife and I spend much of our time combing through governmental info from both Canada and Ecuador [yes, I can read Spanish] to make sure we know the official news. Many foreigners are not so discerning and some are being “taken to the cleaners” so-to-speak as they book and pay for plane tickets for flights that don’t exist. There are no short cuts nor guarantees that we will get a flight before Ecuador says “No!” to incoming flights. If that happens, we will remain in Ecuador until regular flights return, likely some time in June if we are lucky.

I don’t dare complain as we are safe here. The weather is perfect. We have more space than many who find themselves in our situation. And we have each other. The bonus, because of our location, the opportunity live more of my life outdoors while nude is possible. Naturally, I take advantage of that opportunity.

This morning, the Prime Minister of Canada addressed Canadians with a crystal clear statement: “Enough is enough. Go home and stay home.” The threat of invoking the War Measures Act to enforce his words was implied, an act that his father had invoked during the time of the FLQ crisis in Canada in the early 1970s when he was Prime Minister of Canada. The last thing PM Justin Trudeau wants for Canada is to become another Italy.  Here is a link to some recent responses to personal freedoms in Italy.

It appears that the president of Ecuador is not going to be far behind in doing what is necessary to enforce social distancing and social isolation.

Before I wrap up this post, I want to point you to the latest Naturist Fiction blog post which talks about writing in the Covid19 era, and what it implies for Naturist writers. As well, a special wish for the blog post’s author, Paul Z. Walker who is celebrating his 60th birthday today. Now, I’m off to do some sunbathing au naturel on the patio. Lucky me.

How Social Isolation is Different than Social Distancing for a Naturist

Social Isolation in a tropical place.

This is really what it is here in Ecuador for me at this point in time. Our community is getting even stricter. Curfew has been lengthened, now beginning at 4pm until 5am. Too many foreigners in the community are still carrying surfboards to the beach, and wandering around as though COVID19 has nothing to do with them. As a result, tensions are spreading thin with regards to foreigners and the local people. Of course, a number of local people are also ignoring the increasing number of rules that are intended to keep the community safe for both locals and foreigners.

Since I am an “older” person, I now am restricted from going to the grocery stores. Social-distancing had been replaced with social-isolation. I “must” arrange for younger people to do my grocery shopping for me, and to bring prepared meals from a few restaurants now offering such meals. At least, I can go outdoors on this property. I am luckier than most of the foreigners in our community with this beautiful courtyard. With no neighbours sharing the yard – the other two houses are empty – we have the place to ourselves.

Since we are on the edge of the community, near the end of a dead-end road, there is not much traffic. There should be even less, but that is not my concern. Because of our “natural” distance from others, I get to spend more of my time outdoors without the need for clothing. Of course, I have to keep a pair of shorts nearby as our caretaker appears a few times during the day to check up on us, and a few passersby like to stop and talk for a bit. No, they shouldn’t be out and about, but that is irrelevant. They are the ones who believe rules are for other people and that they have the god-given right to do as they damn-well please. I guess you can see my anger showing up a bit here.

I get to sunbathe, meditate, read, write, do social media – all without the need to wear clothing and outside. Now, it is time to get busy with more editing. Ciao until the next time. Remember, “we are all in this together!”

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