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A few years ago I decided to start a new career as a performer. I used to be a biology teacher but couldn't face walking around in a white coat all day teaching children who didn't want to learn. Actually it wasn't so much the children as the system cause I think all children want to learn - they just don't all want to learn in schools. Anyway I now work as a Life and Executive coach. Work is perhaps not the right word because it never feels like work. I just love to see people grow and change. I love it when they peel of the layers of limiting beliefs and find their true self. And I make some great frends in the process. I've re-discovered my writing and have published two poetry books and now working on 2 CDs, a novel, a book of short stories and talking to someone about a collaoration on a film script. That should keep me busy for a whild. Oh and I do bellydance.
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Monday, 28 April 2008

Bare bodies on South Downs

Saturday is one day I'll not be forgetting in a hurry. Its not everyday that I have to get up at 4.15 a.m. to get a coach from Birmingham to Firle is Sussex for a bare body extravaganza. I always knew it was going to be interesting but it surpassed even my expectations. There were only 15 of us on the coach from Birmingham so I assumed that the recruiting of the expected 450 people must have come from nearer the event - other wise we were going to be very thinly spread indeed. A couple of our party seemed to be still on whatever they were taking the night before and already I was questionning my sanity. One guy I was chatting to said he travels around the world taking part in naked installations - I was obviously among experts (or at least one).

Three and a half hours later we were being ferried up to the Downs by minibus as the track was too small for the coaches. Hardly any expense had been spared by the ITV crew with the massive white tent, the carpetted floor, breakfast (bacon and sausage baps for the meateaters and danish pastries for the vegetarians) I was moved to ask 'where is the protein in danish pastries' but was advised not to ask that on camera for the first of what proved to be many an interview to camera throughout the day.

The rehearsal was thankfully fully clothed and I was grateful to have been cast a a left finger. I'm not sure how the guy who'd been cast as the penis tip felt but he fulfilled his position admirably. I have to confess that I felt very confident throughout the day - until it came to actually taking all my clothes off and putting on the boiler suit in which I would make my way back out onto the Downs when I began to feel a little anxious.

Panic didn't really set in until the order to ditch the boiler suits and take up our positions on the grass so that we could be filmed from the helicopter came. What I hadn't actually bargained for was that we'd also be filmed by the crew on the ground. I have to confess that after a few minutes of lying in the beautiful sunshine with my eyes closed (funny how you think that if you close your eyes no one can see you) I began to relax a little - and by and by even plucked up the courage to give an interview to camera - completely starkers!! Well, how liberating is that. I'll never view my body with quite the level of secrecy I did before. I have been at my most vulnerable and survived. I guess it helped that there were over two hundred other naked bodies around. I bit of a surprise for the ramblers walking the South Downs Way. What they must have thought when the turned the corner to see naked bodies spread out all over the ground with camera people weaving in and out of them. A helicopter overhead, and Trinny and Suzanna standing naked hugging each other in the middle of a field.

It was all quite uplifting and liberating really. But the best part of the day for me was the service provided by the delicious Butlers in the Buff. (See photo) Very fitting for the event. The shows go out on June 3/4/5 not sure of the time yet but will post a reminder.


sambrooks said...

So brave!!! Saw this in the newspaper this morning so will go back and see if I can spot you in the picture. Love the blog - a really good read xx Rachel

Cheli Zajaz said...


I was there too.. (and I think at some point I spoke to you, i remember you telling me about the life coach/motivational talks)

I was part of the left arm ;O)

It was a glorious day! I am so glad I took part, it was a massive ego boost, and not half as embarrassing as I thought it might me!

Take care
Michelle x

Predencia said...

Good to hear from you Rachel. How are things? Not sure if brave is the word but it was certainly liberating. Which newspaper was it in and would you by any chance still have it?

Predencia said...

Hi Michelle. Are you THE Michelle whose body we made or the other Michelle? Did you get the email with the picture of Trinny and Suzanna clinging on to each other for what looked like dear life? I think they were brave - standing up in the middle there. I agree with you, it was amazing. I'm still pintching myself. It will be great to see it next month.