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Round & About articles from the 2005 season reproduced from BN magazine.


Spring


Having rounded off the year with a most enjoyable Christmas Lunch, followed by "A Bit of a Do" which annually allows the adults to dress up and celebrate Christmas in style, then the Family Christmas Celebrations Day - we have now had our New Year`s Eve Party which was a great success; music and dancing of all styles to cater for all ages, though no Brahms Lullaby for our newest recruit - but he slept through the crackers, party bangers and another of our fantastic firework displays anyway!!  He obviously felt secure and safe in the knowledge that he had been born into an extended family........one that is so nice to be part of.


Now follows a comparatively quiet period punctuated by further working weekends when members gather to tidy and make good our ancient woodland site, whilst waiting the arrival of our new Spring carpet. This is something we have to look forward to every year....with it`s fresh floral fragrance and sumptuous shades of blue.....yes!  our Bluebells!!  It`s a sight always well worth waiting for.....and indeed the membership fees, even before you`ve benefited from the clubhouse, patio, pool, sports and social events that Blackthorns has to offer.  It`s a wonderful start to the Naturist year and fills us with thoughts of a sunny hot summer that we hope is on it`s way!


We have our Valentine`s Dance on Sat. 12th Feb with Easter Celebrations on 26th March and a table tennis tournament and our annual slide show.....a chance to look back and linger over past events and the development of the club site, with fond memories, and a chuckle or two no doubt!


Friday 27th May sees the welcome arrival of the SunTreckers who I`m sure will participate in the Petanque Competitions on Sunday 29th.


There will be our secretary`s 35th Wedding Anniversary celebrations to share and he informs us there will not be just the usual nibbles and nuts, but is going very upmarket with a plentiful supply of can of peas for us to share.........I think he is trying to compete with the Blackthorn`s Cuisine...(canapés)......don`t you?!  Fond congratulations go out to Noel and Caroline from all of us.


Miniten Singles on 12th June is just one of the sporting events in a very busy calendar, arranged by our new Sports Officer, Lee.


June 26th gives us BNER volley ball and table tennis events.


"Family Week" starts on July 30th this year......a community event that many stay at the club all week for.......which provides a fun packed time of sports and social events that caters for everyone - even the baby can "bring a bottle"......as I`m sure the rest of us will!!  


But you don`t need to be a budding Olympic medallist to enjoy Blackthorns.  Take advantage of our lawns and more secluded woodland areas, (especially if you are new to naturism and a little shy......believe me I (Ronnie) understand.....I was totally new to this lifestyle myself only last May!), and enjoy the freedom away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Leave your troubles at the gate and come along in and relax with us.....remember, none of us are strangers; just friends you have yet to meet


Summer


Red noses and frightful hair-dos were the order of the night on the 12th March and they raised over £91 and a good few laughs.


Our Easter Disco went down with chocolate eggs raffled and boiled eggs decorated and Easter bonnets trimmed with chicks and flowers. The winning one had a rogue duck who looked like he`d been on the Cointreau and it must have been him who ate all the little sugar coated chocolate eggs before I had chance to photograph them!!!  You wait `til I catch him....I`ll serve him orange sauce!!!


The next day saw the Table Tennis Tournament, which was proudly won by Claudette and Stuart, followed by a splendid lunch by Allison and her helpers and rounded up by the annual Slide Show in the evening.  Our Chairman gave an excellent pictorial history of Blackthorns with a wide range of special, and fun, moments shared at the club.  They raised many a sigh and a giggle!  I wish I could share them all with you and show you the mad, fun times, had at Blackthorns......you have to be here to believe it!!


“April Showers Disco” was on the 9th but not called that to encourage rainfall. The only wetness wanted that night was the liquid refreshment type!


1st May will have seen a” Darling Buds of May” with the theme of Ma & Pa Larkin and family.  We have the tractor but alas, no farm animals!


The Suntreckers joined us for a week at the end of May and were present for the Petanque games on the 29th after helping celebrate our club secretary`s 35 years of wedded bliss.  Congratulations to Noel and Caroline!  And thanks for all your hard work.......much appreciated by one and all.


World Naturist Day on June 5th is a good chance to open our gates to friends and family non-members to show them what Blackthorns is all about and let them see what they are missing!


June 11th is the Gymkhana and Village Fete.......the horses are a special low maintenance/easy care breed!


Miniten Singles competition on June 12th and YBN Weekend on 25th and 26th for Volley Ball and Table tennis games.


July 2nd will be another Cockney Night with live music and a knees up with Derek and a traditional feast and of course the Pearly King and Queen costume competition.....sew get sewing!!


Singles Outdoor Club will be visiting for the weekend of the 9th July.


July 24th heralds more Miniten competitions and then 30th starts our infamous Family Week with a full diary of events from the Saturday Welcome Party to “Children`s Sports Day”, “Pub Games” and “Horse Racing” to “Fish n Chip Supper with Bingo”,  “Ladies Afternoon Cocktail Party” and daily bar-be-ques and evening discos and ending with a rousing “Barn Dance and Hog Roast” (that`s Pa Larkin`s best pig!) evening on the 6th, and lots more in between and besides!!


The Suntreckers know a good thing when they see one and will be joining us for an 8-day rally from Aug 1st.


Mixed Vets. Miniten competition is on Aug 14th and Crazy Golf tournament on 27th with Petanque on 28th & 29th.


September 18th will see Blackthorns hosting the BN Fun Run with the opportunity to be sponsored and raise money for Cancer Research.


See you there!


Autumn


Well, our infamous blue carpet arrived as it does every year and you should have seen it!!!  Absolutely splendid!!  Fragrant and inviting and oh so.........blue!!


Walking through our Pippin Wood has been sheer joy during April and May in particular.  It feels like sacrilege to place your feet on such beautiful and seemingly delicate little flowers of the violet, primroses, forget-me-nots and all their relatives, but it is amazing how they spring up again to delight another day!  The trees have been sprouting their brilliant shades of green buds and have gradually created their canopy of leaves that rustle and sway in the breeze......you have to be there to feel the serenity it evokes.


The April Showers Disco went without a splash but Deane donned his yellow So`wester and cape all evening anyway, to ensure he stayed dry!


We entered 7 pairs of players into the National Petanque Tournament and they came 4th, 10th and 13th. The teams were made very welcome at Broadlands and the weekend was enjoyed by all.

 

The "Strictly Come Dancing" with old time tea dances was well attended though rumour has it something stronger than milk was added to some of the beverages as the evening went on!!


We were all delighted to welcome back the Suntreckers for the last weekend in May and the weather was warm enough for them to share their inflatables in the pool with our younger members and enjoy a great game of rounders.  It was nice to hear the sounds of laughter and triumph echo across the lawns.


Noel & Caroline`s Anniversary evening was a really good one, with live music and fine food and drink served to a very packed clubhouse which reflects just how much the pair are thought of.  Thank you Caroline and Noel for letting us share in your celebration.


The Derek Brown Petanque Trophy took place on the 29th and was won by Karen and Mick whilst the following day saw Blackthorns defeat the Suntreckers 8:4 for the Captain`s Trophy. They will just have to come back next year and try again!!


Whilst June kicked off with the World Naturist Day, we followed that with our Gymkhana & Village Fete, complete with stalls and fairground fun, homemade produce competitions, Tug-of-War and the annual Duck Race......it`s amazing how many yellow ducks flock to our pool in June! A Campfire Singalong rounded the evening off in a jolly fashion!


The 12th saw the Miniten Singles Competition and the 25th was the Y.B.N. weekend with an evening B.B.Q. and disco. July 2nd was the Cockney Night and once again competition for Pearly King &

Queen outfits.


The end of July heralded the start of our Family Week when almost everyone managed to take part in something every day of the week and most had to stay over at night in order to gather the energy for the next day!!  What better way to start this than a Caribbean Evening with food and dancing. The 31st saw the fun of the Children`s Sports Day and the 1st of August saw the return of our friends, the Suntreckers, for an 8 day rally and to get in some extra petanque practise!!!


Saturday 6th rounded off the week with a Barn Dance. Sunday 14th was the "Mixed Vets." Miniten Rally, the 27th was the Crazy Golf Competiton and 28th and 29th were set aside for Petanque Competitons.


September`s highlight will be the BN Open Fun Run with optional sponsorship in aid of Cancer Research UK. And this seems to have brought our year full circle and we must once again be preparing ourselves for our semi-dormant winter period....a sad time in a naturist`s calendar.




Winter


The BN Fun Run took place at Blackthorns on Sun 18th Sept and weather conditions were favourable for this to be a fully naturist event. 11 adults and 13 children took part to make another memorable experience for competitors and spectators alike.


All participants won our admiration, as the race seemed somewhat gruelling. It was indeed an all terrain course but I doubt the runners appreciated the beauty of their surroundings as they ran through Pippin Wood that day!  Congratulations to Bernard for finishing the 5 km in 22.30 and to Trudi, following at 23.27.  The children’s 1.6km race was won at 7.01 mins and the winner went on to join in (unofficially) with the adults and came in 2nd at 22.34mins......serious competition in the making!!  BN’s Eastern Region Reps Kelvin & Gill attended and Kelvin presented the much-deserved awards. We were able to donate £103.50 to Cancer Research on the day and this will be followed by Blackthorns share of the entry fees and further donations being collected from the sponsorship forms.


Attending the AGM in Kettering on Oct 23rd was made even more memorable by accepting on behalf of Blackthorns, the “Club of The Year” award.  This came as a very pleasant surprise!


As autumn set in seasonal work began in order to maintain and preserve our ancient woodland surroundings. There is always plenty to be done: hedge trimming and ditch clearing, tree coppicing and even some felling. Alas our Saturday night communal barbeques are now finished off indoors as lounging on the patio long into the night is now a little less appealing once the charcoal begins to cool. The good news is that our pavilion extension is well under way and this will mean more space for comfy chairs around an open fire and with plans submitted for a sauna to be installed, we will soon be enjoying the winter months as much as our summer ones!


The Halloween festivities were really wizard!!  There is always a good turn out of witches and wizards, and their black cats, in Pippin Wood; drawn in by the light of the pumpkin lanterns.  The November firework party most definitely went with a bang!  We are fortunate to have a qualified pyrotechnic as a member of Blackthorns so we have the luxury of a safe and superb display put on for us each year.  The children made their Guys and they were added to the huge bonfire, which kept us warm even when the hot punch had run out!


This leaves us to round off the year with our annual “A Bit of A Do” which gives us chance to dress up and dine in style..........even naturists like to dress up sometimes!!


And Dec 18th is our “Informal Get Together” which is a daylong event where we can practise getting into the Festive Spirit and over indulge in food and drink, with a very good excuse for once!  Ho! Ho! Ho!  


Of course the finale of the year is our New Year’s Eve Celebration party......you can guess the date!........when we’ll dine, drink and dance all night!


And there will still be plenty to tidy throughout the wood.  No! Not an aftermath to the parties, but due to Mother Nature needing a helping hand!   We are already dreaming of the days getting longer and warmer.  Come on Spring!  We want to get our clothes off again!!