Contains nudity

Contains nudity


Photos: Radio Times and the Daily Telegraph and Touchstone Pictures

Similarly devoted #TheArchers fans will not have been able to move for (tasteful) nudey photos of the female cast of the show in Lyndy Snell’s production of Calendar Girls, this year’s Ambridge Christmas show, which will be broadcast on the wireless this weekend.

Last month’s London DumTeeDum tweetup, that featured LovelyDeadNigel a.k.a. Graham Seed, was abuzz with talk of a corresponding tastefully-shot naked calendar featuring some of us Tweetalongers. Even yours truly was asked – I assumed they were joking – but I even considered it for a little while, soon realising that prior commitments, amongst other things, would prevent me from taking part. Not to worry though, because even before that tweetup, @Dumteedum had managed to garner the services and studio shots of about nine willing volunteers. Having seen Ms @Jojosexyheels‘ putative contribution, I know I could never match up.

Reassured that the incipient calendar will not be filthy smut but, rather, done in the best possible taste, I await the ordering details. It will go well in my pantry, though it’s a little chilly in there for long-term baring of flesh.

In case you have just returned from another planet, Calendar Girls was a stage play and film about Women’s Institute women from all walks of life raising money for their local hospital by producing a calendar of tasteful nude shots. Actually I think I was at a stage in my life when I used to fall asleep whenever I entered the warm, dark environment of a cinema so I can’t say I remember much about the film.

Lots of people have a go at this every year, from Pirelli to the French Rugby Team, most of whom seem completely unabashed when displaying their all for the camera, but I think I’d be a bit more modest. It got me to wondering about what I’d use to conceal my assets if I were to pose for this sort of calendar, all in a good cause, of course.

Maybe it would be a tray of the infamous brownies that never go right or, as I might prefer, a music stand holding an opera aria score. Maybe I’d be concealing my chest with a filigree fan. More likely I’d be behind my ironing board, iron to shirt.  If I can do it, perhaps my friends might. There might be, say, a friend holding sundog training dummies; someone with a casually-slung saxophone. Perhaps another friend would use a strategically-placed hairdryer to conceal her embonpoint. Another might have a spreadsheet showing companies that had been rescued from going bust.

Who else is there?

One friend might pose behind a magnum or two of Champagne; another might be carrying a bowl piled high with Tabbouleh. There would be several carrying laptops and at least one friend might be standing behind a baptismal font. Some would be holding little dogs or a cat – very carefully; some might be sitting behind sewing machines or microscopes or wrapped in an academic gown. The picture in my head – always far more vivid than the pictures in front of my eyes – is vivid and true. Each woman is smiling with confidence at the camera, knowing she is doing a good thing.

Have you ever considered doing a nude photoshoot for a charity calendar? If so, what would you use to maintain your gravitas? How would your friends pose? Or perhaps you would just not bother with props and stand there in all your naked glory like some of those French rugby players. What do you think?




Imagine, dear reader, me rolling around on the floor of my boudoir like a chipolata on a grill. I have jet lag and I can barely keep my eyelids aloft, let alone anything else.

I don’t think it’s ever hit me this hard before. Those extra two days of my India trip were enough to reset my body clock this time around whereas my normal four day visits don’t give my brain any time to stop and realise what’s going on.

I woke at 3.30 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. Combine this with energy-sapping cold weather (though not, thankfully, inside anymore) and a Monday fast day and you find a blogger whose brain has well and truly ground to a halt.

I’m off to bed hoping all the time that inspiration strikes me tomorrow.

Night night.


Visiting my mum

For those who follow her progress, I can report that my mum seems to be well and thriving in her home in India. Although I had to explain who I was the first time we went to see her yesterday, she’s recognised me each time subsequently. I don’t think one could say that for Winky, though, but perhaps my cousin does not have such a distinct imprint on what’s left of my mum’s fragile memory.

This is how we communicate with my mum, who no longer wants to wear her hearing aids:

We take a pad and write simple sentences in English. Nothing too long-winded or complex: no dependent clauses. She can then read them and respond. Whenever she repeats the question we can point to interactions from previous pages. Of course this communication method is only going to last as long as she can read English. I suppose the next step is sign language or simply being present with nice open, empathetic face or to sit and hold her hand, though she’s never been keen on any sort of physical contact.
Luckily I am finally managing to practise my singing. It’s and a half weeks, now, to my diploma exam and, not gonna lie, I’m fretting about it. I started practising as soon as we arrived her yesterday and, half way through Le Manoir de Rosemonde, I received a phone call from reception asking me very politely to please turn the volume of the TV or music down. I suppose that’s quite flattering in a way. Today I went to practise in the gym, which is otherwise only rarely used, I’d guess.

I’m unaccountably sleepy this evening so I’ll post this post and wish you goodnight.

Neral flora and fauna

Written on Tuesday 15th September. Posted today:


My mum and Shain watching telly.

I saw my mum a few times today for half an hour or so each time, which as about as long as she can concentrate. It’s very apparent, though, that her powers of concentration fade as the day wears on. It was good just to “hang out” with her and watch TV for a while this afternoon, some Marathi film with a stupid plot and stereotypical characters, including absurdly beautiful main protagonists and a lot of not very realistic stage fighting.

It was clear that my mum has become quite close to her main carers, and they showed me photos of her on her birthday and clowning around. How gratifying it is to know that she is comfortable and relaxed here and that they obviously care for her. I’m wondering whether they’re on their best behaviour while I’m here and just waiting around for me to turn up. Perhaps I’m cramping their style.

The monsoon rains are fading now with intermittent thunderstorms and heavy showers replacing the continuous rain. Between the showers, the birds and butterflies come out to dance and it seems that the flowers bloom more strenuously. Walking to the dining hall this evening my olfactory system was mobbed by the scent of jasmine.

Here, then are a few photos of today:


And a little video. I think we can agree that Spielberg has nothing to fear from me:

Happy birthday sweet 16


It’s not quite the birthday I’d planned for her, but I’m thankful that we at least had a dining table and I could cook a proper meal and some brownies.



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