Living the Dream, by Pat Gallagher, president of Irish Naturist Association

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    Sitting here in front of the computer on a miserable Sunday morning with torrential downpours outside, and reading the naturist blog. Then it occurred to me that I have never made a contribution, so now seems as good a time as any.
    Many reading this blog may know me and Mary. Many others will not. Mary and I discovered the freedom of not having to wear clothes back in the mid 70s. We were fortunate enough to have got the lend of a friends caravan near to a beach in Co Wexford. We usually went in June and mid- week the beach was mostly empty. We had a wind cheater for comfort. I soon realised that when I came out of the water and dried off I was still wearing a wet bathing trunks. After a day or so I dispensed with the trunks after swimming and discovered this sense of total freedom. Mary was somewhat fearful that someone might come along and see me, but then she copied my actions and discovered for herself how free it was to be naked and not have to wear wet clothing. We soon dispensed with the costumes altogether and strolled around as nature intended us to be. When we would see a person coming along we simply went to cover behind the wind cheater.
    We took to this lifestyle like a duck to water, soon exploring quiet beaches and lakes
    where we could be naked. We even found a small corner of our semi detached house. Where with the use of a blanket on the clothes line we were not seen from the neighbour. We continued this scenario for a number of years until we discovered the Irish Naturist Association and joined. The association then was somewhat of a secret society with one venue in south Co Dublin. Occasional visits to Brittas beach where we spent most of the time in a large sand dune for fear we might be seen. However, over the years we progressed and soon had proper beach outings and the use of a corporation pool on a weekly basis. Now we were practising proper naturism.
    In 1997 Mary and I decided to pull up sticks and move from the city to a rural setting where we might be afforded more privacy to be able to live our lifestyle. After looking at many places all around the country we found this ideal old farm dwelling in Co Roscommon. It was much further than Mary wanted to go but on arrival this little house somehow seemed to say buy me. So we did. We moved on the day before our 27th wedding anniversary. We knew no one around so it was either a brave or totally senseless move. As it turned out it was the best decision we probably ever made.
    We soon settled in and got to know our way around and meet with people. We were
    accepted well by all but still had our complete privacy around our new home.
    In the beginning the gardens all around were completely overgrown with just about every kind of weed and bramble it’s possible to have. The weather was good so we set out to clear areas for use. This we were able to do without clothing except when using certain heavy power tools. 20 years on now we still carry out some maintence but mostly as nature intended. But mostly when the weather is good we just laze about naked and eat meals in the great outdoors as much as possible. We grow some fruits around the gardens which when picked goes to jam making. This is a hobby that Mary enjoys doing nude except for the occasional use of an apron for health and safety reasons. These jams are sold in the Farmers markets around Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo and are in high demand. We used to have our own stalls in markets but now we have another person who sells our jams. Most of the work outside and indoors can be done without clothing so we can spend many hours naked as nature intended. In winter we heat the house with radiators from the range so again no need for clothing as the house is always quiet warm. And there is nothing more exhilarating than being able to go out in the frost and snow for a short walk around the property before coming back in to a warm home.
    We got lucky a few years ago when an offer of a hot tub came our way at the right price. This is installed in a specially made housing outside on the veranda. We love to use it regular especially first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. And it is also appreciated by our naturist friends when they visit.
    I hope by putting our story in writing it has made others think and consider changing their lives so as to get the most out of being naturists and living the dream also. A few photos included to show a little of our lives.
    Pat and Mary

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