Everyone’s up in arms about Prince Harry getting his kit off in a Vegas nightclub. Personally I can’t see what the fuss is about – I’m all in favour of a bit of nudity. In fact, I’m so keen on the idea that last month I stripped off for a nude shoot with Cotswold photographer Kate Brown. Kate runs All About Eve, a female-focused venture offering boudoir photography with a twist: it all takes place outdoors.
My own shoot took place in the dramatic grounds of Abbey House, Malmesbury, home of the Naked Gardeners. I met Kate when the dew was still glistening on the grass, and had a whale of a time cavorting through the gardens, frolicking in the fountain and gazing dreamily into the river wondering if I could get away with fish fingers again for tea.
I had had vague thoughts that the photos might make a good birthday surprise for my husband, after the rather flat reception he gave last year’s electric screwdriver, so I kept schtum about my antics and tripped back from Abbey House with soaking wet shoes, an enigmatic smile and cramp in my left buttock.
The birthday surprise was somewhat scuppered when I wrote an article on my experience for The Guardian. When the editor emailed me at lunchtime to say the feature had just hit 50,000 page views, I had a brief moment of anxiety. Who did I know who read The Guardian? Pretty much everyone… However, I figured the likelihood of anyone being able to pick my bottom out from a line-up was pretty slim. Which is more than can be said for my bottom itself.
Then my editor at Cotswold Life suggested he run a piece on my All About Eve experiences. ‘Let’s make it a spread,’ he said, and I sniggered childishly. ‘Why not?’ I said, gaily writing up a feature and selecting more of Kate’s fabulously flattering photos.
With a month to go until my husband’s birthday, I decided I would have to come clean. It was a matter of days before the September issue of Cotswold Life hit the shops, and the thought of him casually thumbing through a copy in WHSmith was too much to bear.
After a candle-lit and rather boozy supper, I brought down the ribbon-tied box in which Kate had put a selection of my favourite images. A stunned silence ensued. I kept my fingers tightly crossed – if he thought I was a brazen hussy for this…
But the silence was short-lived and my husband was wonderfully, flatteringly delighted with the photos. ‘And you did this just for me?’ he said.
‘Well,’ I said, pouring more wine, ‘not exactly…’
You can read the full story and see more of Kate’s wonderful pictures in the September issue of Cotswold Life, out now.