Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Category: Covid19 (Page 1 of 2)

From Darkness to Light

Early morning darkness

I’m sitting in the darkness of early morning with only my screen and a fireplace set on low flame providing the only light. Outside, a full moon makes the snow appear to glisten, while two female mule deer wander slowly down the street, stopping only metres away from the window to listen before slowly sauntering across the street to an empty lot. It’s cold outside, well sort of cold at -12 Celsius. There is a light breeze blowing making it feel like -16 C. It’s the perfect time for one’s thinking to be less than bright and cheerful. As I scroll through my social media accounts, there is little to find that inspires hope. Stress is the norm. Frantic activity becomes a weapon to beat away the shadows that threaten. All of us need to find and use strategies to channel our frustrations. Our mental and physical well-being depends upon it.

It has been a year of losses for so many of us, if not most of us. Some have lost loved ones, some have lost livelihoods, some have lost connections with others, and most have lost faith in the governments that have been elected to protect us. I am trying to put a veneer of positivity in my own life. After all, I have everything I would ever need. I have no debts. I have good health, and I have family though I can’t visit them except virtually. Covid19 did enter my world in a personal way when our middle child got the virus. She works in the medical world, a front-line worker. Thankfully, she got over it without damage though her three children and her husband lived in fear until she was cleared and able to return to working full-time with covid19 clients. She messaged me to let me know she just got the first dose of vaccine. Needless to say, it did a lot to ease the pressure in my chest.

In a few days, 2020 will come to an end. The vaccine has become the symbol of a pathway out of the darkness of 2020. Will I get the vaccine? When it is my turn, I will. I want to travel again so that I can actually see my children and grandchildren face-to-face, to hug them, and … the list is so long. Like everyone else in my network, both virtual and actual dimensions, there is a thread of hope that begins to grow as the nights begin to diminish, even if ever so slowly.

How long will it take? No one knows. We only know the now. There is no choice but to hold the tension of what is. Being present, even though it is painful in so many ways, is vital. Slipping into the dimension of the past, constantly looking at the world through a rear-view mirror only feeds depression. Escaping into thoughts of the future feeds a crippling anxiety. We have managed to get to today, and that is a major victory. The knowledge that there is a spring and summer to follow has fueled our collective psyche since humans became conscious beings, allowing us to walk through the darkness of time of year, of spirit, and relationship with others.

The full moon told me this, as did the flame that ripples in my fireplace.

Moving Towards a New Normal

Privacy fence

The new privacy fence is done. I still have a repair to do for one of the old fence sections by the garden. With that done, I now have a new fence, a new garden shed, and a new deck. That brings an end to my focus on building projects, at least until the autumn season.

This has been a very different kind of spring for me. Normally, I would have travelled to three different homes scattered across the Canadian and American prairies to visit my grandchildren. As well, I would have attended about five book-signing events with the hopes of selling more of my books. Because of #StayHome #StaySafe, I have not ventured out using my truck, with the exception of two lumber yards and two grocery stores. The only other times for leaving the house and our property was to go for walks. It has been a strange three months indeed.

I’ve been paying attention to life. I have decided that this year will not have me travel to sell books at major bookstore signing events as I have done for the past three years. I don’t see or feel the need to travel very much. I have a yard that is now naturist friendly. I have free-hiking trails not too distant from my home. And, I have more than enough projects to keep me busy – writing projects for the most part. Naturally, #Covid19 has played a big role in having me think twice about travelling and trying to keep life “normal.” There is no returning to the old normal. All of us are finding ourselves forced to create a “new normal.”

Another decision I have made because of moving to a new normal, is with regards to this blog site. For a while, I have wondered about keeping it up. I think I have exhausted my desire to keep a naturist blog site going. I have been publishing naturist posts since 2009. My audience has dropped off significantly over the past number of months, suggesting that my readers are basically done with the blog site. as well. However, instead of shutting it down, I will try to post weekly for a while.  I will re-evaluate my decision later this summer. Before making a hasty decision, I will leave the fate of the site to you, my readers.

Creating a New Naturist Normal in a Pandemic

The fence will be replaced

It’s not that there is no sunshine, it’s just that it is so fickle about staying out long enough to make a difference. There has been enough sunshine to allow me to keep my tan which I acquired in Ecuador during the winter. It’s the prairie spring winds which really get to me. But enough about weather.

Work on the back deck is slowly coming to an end. All that remains is a bit of trim of Duradek tiles and then building a new railing. My neighbour who is a carpenter and works at the lumber yard tells me that I had built it so strong that the house will fall down first. Where most people would use three support pillars and one beam, I have used eleven pillars and three beams. I image that I will have the deck completely ready for a christening with wine by Wednesday. Of course, with social distancing, it will be a party of two, my wife and myself.

Like everyone else, I am getting tired of Covid19. There is nothing I would love more than being able to travel to see my grandchildren and their parents. Even though they have lifted travel restrictions with our neighbouring province where my son lives with his family, we are delaying a visit until both parties feel that no one will be compromised. My son doesn’t want to put us at risk since we are in that demographic that is most at risk – over sixty years of age. We don’t want to put our little grandchildren at risk. It would devastate us if somehow we carried the virus to inadvertently contaminate them. Our daughter and her family in the USA is not even a possibility for at least another month. Should the gate to cross the border open, I doubt that we would rush through it, at least not until, like with our son, both sides are confident in keeping each other safe and Covid-free.

So, what do I do in the meantime? Well, obviously I will continue to do projects at home – next project to make the fence more like a privacy fence. Also, equally obvious, is that I will continue to invest my time in writing and editing. Somewhere along the way, more later than sooner, there is also the project of making audio book versions of my novels. And as usual, almost everything is done without clothing, if at all possible.

How are you navigating through these pandemic times? What is your new normal?

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

Living room work station

As I sat here in my living room, working on my naturist novel, the sky turned very dark. Then I heard thunder. It wasn’t much longer before lightning began to flash in the sky as a storm moved closer. And now, the rain is beating down in torrents.  In other words, it is raining cats and dogs, or as they say in French, il pleut a verse. We need the rain. Other than very small showers, it has been an exceedingly dry spring.

Earlier today I was able to do some more work on the deck’s reconstruction. I am pleased with the progress to date, but I am also pleased that I likely get a few days off from this reconstruction work.

The novel is drawing me in. I wrote the initial draft of this novel two and a half years ago. Because of so many other projects, I left it to sit on the sidelines for the most part. I did post a number of chapters of that first draft to my Patreon page. But even that didn’t get the attention the novel deserved. I decided to invest my writing time with this novel, a naturist novel of sorts, before I return to other projects. I am learning that I can’t really multitask all that well with juggling a handful of writing projects at the same time.

Now, about the novel. The setting is in Vienna, Austria for the most part. In the rewrite version, the main protagonist is learning to share his place in the story with a co-protagonist, a woman. The story becomes their story rather than his story, which is how the original version was told. The rebirth of this novel has this man have a name change. Everyone else in the novel, his co-protagonist and the secondary characters, all get to keep their names as given in the first draft. So far, I’ve managed to add an additional 2,000 words in less than five chapters rewritten.

In one way, the novel is reading more like classical literature and less like a subsidiary genre. That will change as the novel progresses. I have to admit, that I am excited about this return to this novel.

On a different note, I am making changes to my Patreon page. I want to make the page better for visitors with more content. The free portion of the site will become the dominant part. The patron section will continue to offer new material which will be more “personal” in nature. I had thought of simply abandoning the Patreon site. However, there is no problem with Patreon. What is needed is a reinvestment of myself in the site, especially for patrons. The site will be getting a major overhaul in the near future. I will keep you abreast of the changes here. Hopefully, this will encourage more of you to become patrons.

First Free Hike of 2020 – An Excellent Pandemic Activity

The deck is coming along nicely

I honestly didn’t expect that I would get out for a free hike today. The day began overcast and very, very windy. However, by about 2:30 in the afternoon the clouds broke and there was scattered sunshine. That was all it took. As a bonus, the wind dropped in speed to just very windy. I begin the walk at the seven kilometre mark from our home.

I drove to the normal spot for the shorter version of my free hikes, not sure if I would even be able to hike as the farmers were out in force seeding crops and spraying  pre-emergent chemicals to keep the weeds down until the crops had a chance to establish themselves. I was lucky. There was no evidence of farmer activity which meant that I would be able to walk the full distance without worrying about meeting anyone along the way.

At this time of year, there are no mosquitoes or other biting insects. With warm temperatures, the walk was rather pleasant. It was with regret that I reached the turn around point as it meant that I didn’t have much longer to spend outdoors in complete freedom. Though one can see for many miles without a tree to obscure one’s vision, the landscape is varied enough to be interesting. More importantly from a naturist point of view, the location is off the beaten track. I have yet to meet another human on these free hikes over the past few years.

With the walk completed, I put on my shorts and shirt and drove back to my home in the small prairie town. I still have a few chores related to the deck to complete before the afternoon is done. Then, I will be returning to writing. The writing muse has finally put in her appearance and I find myself motivated again to work on my naturist novel. Such is the new normal of life in the Covid 19 era for a naturist.

All Decked Out For Now

Deck supports being placed

Saturday afternoon and all work has ground to a halt on the deck. I am at the stage where I am placing the joists on top of the new beams. The last beam was set in place this morning after our usual six kilometre walk in the countryside. Yesterday I had finalised all of the deck supports and installed the first two beams.

I had made another trip to the lumberyard yesterday as well, to pick up a few extra boards and to buy “hangers” for the 2×6 joists. No hangers were to be had, although there will be new hangers arriving on Tuesday morning. I just had enough hangers to be able to get the frame up, and place the joists according to where they need to be. Once that was done, it was time for tea “au naturel” on the cement patio at ground level.

With tea done, I cut the last four joists and then placed the three-step riser in place for the deck. These few jobs were done skyclad as it was quite warm, though windy. I had thought I might then go for some free-hiking, but the wind and scattered clouds dissuaded me. I was then persuaded to simply clean up all the tools and relax in the sunshine. I will remain clothing free for the rest of the day, unless a neighbour decides he needs a free beer. He is always embarrassed by my nudity unlike his wife, so I go easy on him. It is about respect. I have no desire to lose the friendship of neighbours in our small prairie town. One needs to have good, dependable neighbours. We look out for each other regardless of differences.

I have no work in the yard for tomorrow, so hopefully the weather will allow me to go for a naturist walk in the country hills, a trail that I often use in late spring, summer, and early fall. As well, I am quite certain that I will take advantage later today, and for the next few days, to get some writing done on one of my novels.

Getting Down to Naturist Basics and Deck Building

Filling my truck with free dirt

Well, it seems that my last post was a “dud” as far as my readers are concerned. Perhaps, it was because it was too serious, too psychological. Though it has garnered no likes or comments, I will leave it there while I return to posting less serious material. I have a feeling that the corona virus pandemic has affected us all with its seriousness, leaving us to want to hear more “normal” stories of daily life, a naturist normal. With that said, I will return to my actual life on the prairies in the present, a life with limited outdoor nudity because it still isn’t warm enough to spend too many hours outdoors without clothing.

The shed is done and the old deck is now gone. For the next while, I will be getting the structural frame for a new deck built. For an academic type such as myself, this is easier said than done. I end up spending a lot of time “thinking” before doing, just so that I don’t have to tear it all done because either a, b, or c hadn’t been considered. One of the pre-construction tasks has been to build up the dirt around the house so that water doesn’t flow toward the house, a real problem for older houses.

I know a farmer not too far from town, who has a large hill of dirt next to a large dugout he has had prepared to bury old concrete and such. I got permission from him for a small truckload of dirt to be used against the house. Though it was cold and windy, I did manage a few moments of nudity while shovelling, just to say that I am tough. Of course, I wasn’t that tough as I soon reverted to my work jeans and a checkered shirt, along with my work gloves. I filled the truck the old fashioned way, by hand. That task done, I returned home with the intention of emptying it at some later point during the day. Two hours later the dirt was where it belonged.

Then it was time to plan out my first beam that would span twenty feet [east-west].  I placed four cement pads at regular intervals to hold the doubled 2×8 beams. Then I placed an adjustable deck support on top of each of the pads. Taking a length of wood, I then found that I was able to have the beam supports just as I wanted them. That was yesterday.

Today, we went for a six kilometre walk as a change of pace to begin the day. Once back, I got to work making sure that all was ready for the next stage. Now, in the middle of the afternoon, all turned out just as I had hoped for which now allows me to prepare for the second of three beams that will support the deck surface. Life is good and it’s time for some tea, or nude tea time in the back yard.

The Naturist Blog Site’s Audience

Nude but not rude

I have been reading a number of posts from naturist bloggers whom I respect, that are talking about the use of images on Naturist Blog sites. The consensus appears to be that “borrowing” images from the world of cyberspace, with the exception of images that are in the public domain of Creative Commons, is a no-no. I have been of the same opinion for many years though I do admit that every now and then, one sneaks into a post without my first having done due diligence as to whether or not the image is actually in the public domain.

As a result, I am making an effort to verify all the images that haven’t been taken by me, or by someone who has given me express permission to use a given image. Even with these “with permission” photos, there is a legal requirement for having a photo release document for each of these photos if there are questions in the future. However, with the exception of such photos that I have used in my published poetry books, I doubt that I will worry about it. I did have the poetry book photos covered with release forms. So, if a photo disappears from an archived post, likely it is because the image was not proven to be in the public domain.

I am continuing to use photos, almost solely taken by myself, for this blog site. This is a naturist’s blog site and my photos will reflect that fact. That said, I am not “genital centric” when it comes to these photographs. For example, in today’s photo taken moments before I began to write this post, it is obvious that I am not wearing clothing and that I am outdoors. Equally as obvious is the fact that I am a male and wouldn’t qualify as a specimen showing a classical, muscular model.  You don’t need to see a penis for the photo to do its task of telling a story. In this case, the photo was taken for my diary/journal in which I record my projects such as the current one where I am deconstructing a deck in order to rebuild a safer version of the deck. Some of the work is done while nude, while most of it is done while wearing clothing – it’s mostly about weather at this time of year.

Do I need to have photos? For me, the answer is quite easy. This is my site, one open to the world and more importantly, one that is about the reality of who I am. I choose what to say, I choose what images to use, and I choose over time, which posts will survive in the archives. Not everything I write needs to be saved for posterity. My journal is a different story. Just like writing and then editing a novel, or even a non-fiction book, not everything written gets to make the cut for the final product.

There are “purists” out there who would and do judge based on some sort of fundamentalist belief that a) genitals must be presented in a naturist photo, overtly or casually, b) that nude photos must be included, and c) that whatever has been written MUST be left in the archives. These fundamentalists don’t have blog sites for the most part though they are quick to let others know what constitutes a “real naturist.” It’s all about control. They want to have the naturist world conform to some vague, amorphous ideal that is circulating in their heads with the problem being that these ideals are set in stone, slightly differently, for each of the purist fundamentalists.

Okay, I got off track there, apologies [I am a Canadian and apologising is part of our cultural psyche – yes, this is humour] are extended.

I have been deleting posts from the archives. In my opinion, what is eventually left is worth reading. Some of them will likely be revisited and expanded upon as I perhaps gain a bit more wisdom or see an opportunity to add to the topic of a particular blog post from the past. Editing. All writers do it to some extent.

There, I have given my opinions, now it is time for you to agree, disagree, or offer amendments to these ideas. I am, if anything, open to ideas, suggestions, and even criticism. After all, in the end, you are my audience.

Extending the Definition of Naked Gardening

Door put on the Garden Shed

It’s World Naked Gardening day and I have to admit that I spent more than my fair share of the day without wearing clothing. I did wear clothing when we went for our morning countryside walk, and when I was actually “working” [it’s just the way it is around our place]. However, all relaxing both indoors and outside are done while clothing free. I don’t have to worry about tan lines as I get as much sun exposure as I need.

I did do some more work on the garden shed. I built the second door and I secured all the siding. Then, the process of cutting out the corner boards using the leftover siding began. By the time I called it quits for today, I had a garden shed that is basically ready to use. There still are some finishing touches, most of which will likely get finished tomorrow, weather permitting. A gardening day doesn’t just mean the tending of plants, it can include anything and everything that pertains to a garden, including the garden of the natural world outside of human habitations.

Like most naturists, I am often outdoors in the garden area, working or simply enjoying the area while clothing free. And also, like most other naturists, I find being clothing free in the wild nature out-of-doors is my preferred “garden” activity.

On Monday, I am off with my truck to get some sheep manure for the garden. This will be a task that I will do while wearing clothing as we are getting the manure from a local farming couple about ten kilometres distant from our home. A few days after putting it on the garden, I will till it so that it is well mixed. With the shed being completed, it will be time for me to begin a major deconstruction and reconstruction of our back deck. It has issues.

It appears as though I will have all sorts of opportunities for being physically active in our backyards this spring and summer. Even though it appears that our provincial government will begin opening up activities, businesses, etc., beginning tomorrow, my wife and I will not be rushing out to test the limits of safety for quite some time. The day will come when we will get to be face-to-face with our children and grandchildren. Until then, it is all about staying mentally and physically fit during this Covid19 pandemic.

Keeping Busy With Normalising Naturism

A toddler’s stand

I got a haircut this morning and I now feel I look the way I see myself – neither scalped nor shaggy. Once that was done and we had our morning walk, my task was to finish making a step stool of sorts for my youngest grandchild. The wood was cut, holes were drilled and the whole assembly was put together before it was time to have lunch. This afternoon it is being painted by my wife. The finished product will allow the little guy who is going to turn one before too long, to stand at the counter top to be involved while mother and sister are busy doing whatever at the counter. Older sister who is three, also has her own stand.

Naturally, this meant no time for writing this morning, and so far, none this afternoon. We did get out for a quick four kilometre walk. Normally we walk about twelve to thirteen minutes to travel one kilometre, today, the pace was between ten and eleven minutes per kilometre. There was a strong wind which was blowing snow pellets directly into our faces for a good part of our walk. We wanted the walk over as quickly as possible, especially since we had other activities waiting for our attention.

On a different note, I am more than surprised at how our neighbouring country, the USA, is fracturing during the pandemic. Large public gatherings are protesting “stay home, stay safe” directives, defying social distancing. Today that same public is calling for President Trump to fire the man responsible for the well-being of America, Dr. Fauci. Strangely, a similar crowd is calling for the Prime Minister to fire the doctor who is in charge of keeping Canada safe and healthy, Dr. Tam. Canada, unlike the USA, collectively follows the directives of Dr. Tam which has allowed us to test more, self-isolate more, and somehow that has resulted in a much better result than that of our southern neighbours. The angry opposition is finding itself more and more distant from the mainstream of the Canadian population.

I don’t want to make Covid19 the focus of my post here, or my posts in general, but it is hard to ignore the pandemic, especially when it touches every single person on the planet in some form or other. So to help change the channel, I turn to my writing and I listen to music. Another day will pass and another day will come. Now, it is time for me to return to my current work-in-progress.

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