Dawn has just broken outside Kensington Palace: the perfect time for a naked swim. Queen Victoria looks down stonily as I strip off, but except for her, the swans, ducks, geese, joggers, dog walkers, sleepy-eyed shift workers and the small army of police guarding the royals, we are completely alone. The pond beckons.This weekend, as you are no doubt already aware, witnessed the watery birth of The Great British Skinny Dip. It’s a gimmick thought up by British Naturism – the national society for social nudity – to promote their cause. By now – the hope will have been – the beaches, lakes and leisure centres of this country will have seen more naked arses than a Brentwood bikini waxer. The organisers hope it will be the start of a whole month – if not an era – of public indecency. They’ve even given it a name: “Septembare”.It’s a cute effort, but is our cold and hateful little island really ready for this nude dawn? We might have permitted ourselves a tiny rush of titillation when we heard, in June, that a clothes-free restaurant had opened in London, but we’ve made up for it by keeping Stephen Gough, “the naked rambler”, in prison for a total of ten years.
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