Boobs, Bums and Lady Gardens AKA The Naked Calendar

We all remember calendar girls – back then the naked calendar was somewhat taboo.  Yet now everyone seems to be doing them. A great way to make money, especially as it gives everyone the chance to have a giggle – even if it is at your own expense.

So of course on Saturday morning I found myself walking in the torrential rain to the University Students Union to bare all for charity.  At about 10.22am I am beginning to question why I agreed to this, however at this point I was already there – so turning back was no longer an option.  Radio broadcast on the other hand was.

In my bag were two cuddly toys to cover my lady parts, thankfully they were large enough for the task despite my failure to check beforehand.  Before I knew what was going on the clothes were off and poses were being struck.  A fairly liberating experience yet intensely bizarre – one of those things to cross of the bucket list, even if like me, you’re not 100% sure it was on there in the first place. One more thing tried, one less thing to do, one more thing to be embarrassed about!

Schubert and Sergei used to cover my lady parts

Despite the embarrassing laugh I had at my own expense, talking to others I found that some people are certainly not keen on the naked calendar idea.  T would seem there are concerns that people would be intimidated by others bodies and perhaps bullying would occur.  In my mind this is not the case.  We’re not posing for page 3 after all – you can’t see anything, in my own experience two cuddly toys were covering my top half whilst Bridget Jones style knickers were covering everything else – so very far from sexy, I’m hardly going to be the centrefold of next weeks playboy magazine!

Concerns aside the naked calendar continues to be a money maker and popular fundraiser for charities.  If people will buy the calendars and people will take part in them – why not?

Has the naked calendar had its day?  Do they promote the wrong ideas about body image?  Or are they just a great fundraising idea and a bit of a laugh?

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Making Life an Adventure …

Just a short post today about what inspires me.

What does inspiration mean?  According to the dictionary, inspiration is somewhat philosophical calling on areas of theology and grand ideas.

Dictionary Definition

Now I don’t agree with the complexity of that definition it fails to really get the message across.  Inspiration comes in many forms, it doesn’t have to be something grand, it can simply be the sun inspiring you to go outside or at the other end of the scale, a great politician inspiring you to want to change the world.  Regardless of what it is that inspires you, I think inspiration is what makes the world go round.  Without inspiration we wouldn’t want to get up in the morning, nothing would happen and nothing would change.  Today my inspiration was simply the example above – the sun.  Its just something simple but why let its simplicity get in the way of its being inspiring?

   

   

  

   

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Olympics vs Paralympics

Last week I was lucky enough to head over to the Olympic Park.  It was an amazing day and an amazing experience.  I have to say it really refuelled my excitement for London 2012 – Patriotism took hold once again with ferocious cheering for team GB.

Photosynth pan of basketball arena

Olympic Park

Trafalgar Square

The park is incredible and six times the size I had assumed it to be.  I have to admit it was quite the walk between venues.  I saw goal ball in the copper box followed by wheelchair basketball at the (what looks to be inflatable) basketball arena.  Both sports I found to be an inspiration – the basketball, well quite frankly it was terrifying!

Later on in the day having headed Trafalgar square-ward I sat watching the big screen (although it’s supposed to be summer, I would advise a thick coat at the very least).  An explanation of how different disabilities are ‘graded’ in events hit the screen, showing how events are grouped and how according to disability, more points or time concessions are awarded.  So forgive me, if the Paralympics is graded according to ability why then doesn’t everyone compete in the same games?

Ellie Simmonds wins Gold

Of course there is the argument that the media would automatically gravitate towards the likes of Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis leaving those less able-bodied in the lurch.  Yet may I point out that in Beijing, team GB came second in the Paralympics yet 4th in the Olympics.  Is it then not true to say that these Paralympians would so too act as media magnets just as any able bodied Olympian?  The likes of Ellie Simmonds and David Weir spring to mind …

If this ‘grading’ system separates Paralympic athletes then why not have a 4 week games that includes people of all ability levels?  Why is the separation from ‘mainstream’ athletes necessary? Everyone would then contribute to the same medal table, competing for the same team.

At the end of the day I’m cheering for team GB – why that has to be team GB in two separate tournaments I am bemused by.  Olympian or Paralympian – they are both an inspiration, and both could thrash me!

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La Fleur Rose Vif!

Just a short post today and first I will explain the title.  We have had a rare glimpse of British summer time today, which I have to say I have greatly enjoyed. It has been increased only by the fact I have moved to a holiday destination (well close enough) – sunny Bournemouth!  It feels somewhat like holidaying in France, the odd french road sign keeps popping up, directing tourists away from the channel ferry ports.  For this reason I’ve found myself ‘frenching it up’ for a large proportion of the day, in my mind I am a Parisienne!  In any event ‘La Fleur Rose Vif’ sounds a lot better than it’s English translation, ‘The Bright Pink Flower’.  If anything I’m adding a touch of elegance to lucybarclay.wordpress.com!

But enough about my french day dream!  The sunshine lured me outside and having cut back the thigh high grass, I came across this beauty.  And I have to say I do like to photograph a good flower!

Hibiscus Flower

Bright Pink/ Rose Vif

Shot taken from below

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Oh Hello Again British Summer …

I have returned from a week in Cyprus, the weather back home is, shall we say, chilly.  Of course I made the fools error of thinking because it’s sunny and baking hot in Cyprus, it will be the same come home time at Gatwick.  In fact if truth be told I didn’t even consider the weather back home in ye olde England.  I got off the plane, clad in teeny tiny denim shorts and a strappy top.  The result –  I shiver my way through Gatwick and out to the car park to complete the journey home, nursing a minor case of hypothermia.

But to be honest it’s to be expected, this is the UK after all.  If we didn’t have the weather to complain about life just would NOT be fun!  In fact bad weather and nice queue is enough to set any Brit off on a tyrannical rant about the injustice of it all, myself included.    But if we consider just for a second the possibility of the UK being 35 degrees centigrade every day with blazing sunshine, nothing would ever get done.  We would all switch our complaining to the heat rather than the rain, hail, sleet and whatever else we’ve been subjected to this July.  So while a bit more sunshine would be nice, I’m kind of glad as sunshine for us brits is a treat not a right, it makes the whole experience feel much more like a true holiday!

Cooling down in a tomb

My reasoning is based on last weeks trip to Cyprus.  Every day was scorching, at least 35 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  I am not one for just sitting on the beach or by the pool, mainly for the reason that I am pasty white with freckles – the perfect recipe for a beetroot red sunburn after a mere half an hour outside.  I am one more for exploring the local area, seeing the sights etc etc.  And I have to say a week in Paphos  delivered.  The Tombs of the Kings, the medieval fort and the mosaics – all of which were a thrill for (and I don’t like to admit it) a history geek such as myself!

The Tombs of the kings are in fact not ‘tombs of the kings’ rather ‘tombs of government officials’.  Set on a piece of coastal desert and carved into the rock, you can imagine the heat.  It comes to something when you would rather sit in a tomb, a place of death, than in the sun to escape the heat.  Of course my snow white skin was absorbing the heat (even though I’m not sure that is scientifically correct), my thighs were chaffing (because unfortunately I was not gifted with airbrushed supermodel legs) and my hair was making my neck hot.  And I could feel that complaining energy coming.  Having done nothing but moan that it was cold back home and ‘why didn’t we have any sun?’ I was about to fulfil my British stereotype and begin complaining about what I could, the heat.  But I thought to myself right there and then, ‘I’m enjoying this’, ‘these tombs are interesting’, ‘why complain?’  And the same goes for the mosaics, the fort and the various other sights of Paphos.

Tombs carved into the rock

The sun and the heat was all part of the experience, it made it a true holiday.  But back home, our weather is all part of the British experience.  Maybe it’s not sipping cocktails on the beach or by the pool, but that’s no ones reality, well not a regular person at least!  I couldn’t imagine my normal job behind the bar and waiting on tables being particularly enjoyable in 35 degrees of heat.  And of course it’s given me something to complain about, now I’m sat in a cardigan shivering, having returned home from a scorching Cypriot paradise.  I joke of course …

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Photography Experiment … There is hope for Spring/ Summer 2012 yet!

I know its raining outside (and has been for a while now).  Its supposed to be spring, yet the Daily Express has predicted not just rain but snow as well for may 2012.  In fact its supposed to be to coldest May on record.

I know its not ideal, when we ditched the coats, hats and scarves in favor of the shorts in March, that was the beginning of summer for many of us.  At least we thought it was!  But even if it is raining periodically and not as warm as we all hoped it would by now, I realized today that Spring/ Summer 2012 is starting to rear its head!

I braved the outside and captured these shots, really lovely and colourful maybe there’s hope for summer yet!

Beautiful plants still with the rain drops on them.

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