Sunday, August 08, 2010

Wild About Skinny Dipping

Dr Alice RobertsWe like Dr Alice Roberts in my house. Or rather, I like Alice Roberts in my house. My wife, I suspect is a little more ambivalent seeing her as yet another addition to the already overlong list of top television totty pin-ups that I adolescently maintain in my mind to mull over on a rainy day.

But you see, Alice Roberts isn’t just eye candy. She’s intelligent and astute and has a soft gentle voice that was just made for television voiceovers. And she’s a doctor. And a scientist. And she sometimes dyes her hair red and she once showed an X ray (or something) of her clitoris on TV. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: that’s going the extra mile in the name of science, but for me it was a very direct and very personal come-on – there it is, Steve; I’ve shown you where to find it!

So it was with interest that I noted she’d made a documentary for BBC4 on the subject of Wild Swimming. My mind blazed with images of Dr Alice, face and body painted like a tiger, cavorting in a swimming pool alongside other suitably painted animalized ladies... possibly the top ten from my list of top television totty pin-ups... but as I read the Radio Times review I realized it wasn’t going to be like that at all. It was in fact a documentary about swimming, free and unfettered, in the UK’s rivers and waterways. A televisual homage to Roger Deakin who extolled the virtues of wild swimming in his famous book, Waterlog.

And I have to say it was lovely. Although I am not a great swimmer, I can really see the attraction of wild swimming. You are immersed in the natural environment, part of it rather than just a casual observer, you are seeing the natural life of the river and the riverbank the way the wildlife sees it.

At first Alice did her swims in a wetsuit; her rubber enveloped limbs cutting smoothly through the peaty water, but she soon proclaimed that she was missing out on the full sensory experience. She wanted to feel the water upon her skin, moving across her flesh, tingling her all over... my Bunsen burner suddenly pulsed with an intense flame so blue it cracked my petri dish clean in half.

Could she mean...? Did she mean...? I hardly dare whisper the words skinny dipping... for, ahem, I was taking no vicarious titillation from the intimation only wandering how far Dr Alice could push the envelope of respectability whilst honouring the ethos of wild swimming and being at one with nature. After all, I am not the kind of man who watches TV programmes just to get off on occasional glimpses of flesh and suggestive movement, no; I wish to be edified and educated. My higher ambitions illuminated and excited.

As it was, Dr Alice merely meant losing the thermal protection of her wetsuit and swimming in nowt but a one piece bather. Would she be able to take the cold though? The average river temperature in the UK for the time of year she was filming was something like 15 degrees C. Now that’s damned cold. Would there be pokie action? Some of the more uncouth of you were probably thinking. But not I. No. I was pleased they showed how cold Alice was with nothing more than a nice thermal imaging camera borrowed from a passing thermal imaging camera salesman. Look how blue she’s gone. Oh heavens. That water is cold, isn’t it? I do hope they get her warmed up again soon. Nothing to titillate here, folks. All good science.

But as it was, all was not lost on the skinny dipping (purely for scientific research and artistic integrity) issue, for to honour the memory of Roger Deakin Dr Alice decided to conclude the documentary with... gasp... a real totally naked and unrobed skinny dip in an unnamed pool in the Lake District that has by now, I suspect, been religiously sanctified and dedicated to the memory of this great boobs-out event. (Latest news reports state that votive offerings have been left at rocks near to this sacred tarn and candles lit in the trees to better aid the sight-lines of passing binocular users).

And so, as the denouement of this fabulous documentary neared, Dr Alice, proud and curvy in her geeky boffinness, threw off her white fluffy bathrobe with an almost Old Testament defiance, and plunged full length and body long into the cold clear waters of Wordworth’s birthplace. Back and forth she surged, scarcely causing the surface water to ripple or break, a veritable nymph of the pool awaiting the pen of Tennyson to immortalize her forever... while some inept camera man floundered around behind her doing the doggy paddle and only managed to snatch occasional shots of her legs from the mid-thigh down and her arms barely up to her shoulder tops, I mean, really! What kind of shoddy camera work is this? Is this what I pay my TV license for, BBC? She was skinny dipping, for God’s sake. Bloody skinny dipping! Naked in that there pool and you had a ruddy great professional film crew to capture it. Where were they? Did they shove a couple of apprentices behind the cameras or something? Were the real film crew down the pub playing Sudoku or sinking jars of Riggwelter? Sod respectability and the higher cause of science! I feel really let down.

Damn you, BBC!

P.S. In protest at the BBC’s ineptitude I may have to start a new series on this here blog called Steve’s TV Totty Of The Week. This will be a new feature and will probably not be weekly at all but merely dragged out when I have little or nothing else to waffle on about and will feature – you’ve guessed it – my TV Totty Of The Week. Well done, Dr Alice: you have the honour of being the first in a very long and very shallow line of totally self indulgent, sexually gratifying blog posts about TV totty. A round of applause for this week’s winner, please.


33 comments:

Keith said...

Did you see her on COAST last night, ( probably a repeat, but it is impossible to tell with that programme ) trying to determine what gave the English seaside it's distinctive aroma.

I think we could all have told her in about two seconds flat.

MOTHER OF MANY said...

Mmmm!
What can I say?

Kelloggsville said...

I gave up tv watching a couple of years ago. I wonder if I should start watching again. Equality being what it is now I guess there must be a lot of naked male form, tight, muscle ripped and ready to mull over. I'm off to start a bit of channel hopping.

Steve said...

Keith: absolutely. Raw sewage.

Ally: things that make you go "mmm"...? Eh?

Kelloggsville: I'd stay away from the antiques channels if I were you...

Heather at Notes From Lapland said...

it'¨s so funny to hear about skinny dipping in this light, you should come out to Finland Steve, you'd get your fill of of erm... intellectual and edifying experiences. Admittedly, many of them might be with over weight middle aged men...

Being Me said...

TV totty posts, eh? Just what I'd like to come here to read... Oh, who am I kidding? You could write a review of your Wheeties box and I would think it was witty and intelligent. So here's congrats to Dr Whatserface getting her geeky kit off. It makes for damn funny reading.

Steve said...

Heather: boobs or moobs? Boobs or moobs? Hmm. Overweight middle aged men don't really float my boat though the Finnish landscape might... I think if ever make it out to your part of the world I'll play it safe and stick to the real "hills and valleys"!

Being Me: you are so kind - especially when I have been (I admit it) completely self indulgent. As for the Wheeties box... hmm... that's not a bad idea, you know! I may have to save that for a day when inspiration is low.

Suzanne said...

I did a post a while back about wild swimming, but it was a programme with Robson Greene (probably wouldn't have done it for you in quite the same way!).
The thing I loved about it was the other wild swimmers he met, and their reasons for wild swimming, it was so interesting. Will try and watch the programme you mentioned, it sounds good.

Steve said...

Suzanne: so there is some male totty floating about too then (though I'm not sure I'd call Robson Green totty)? Kelloggsville will be pleased!

Wanderlust said...

No idea who Alice Roberts is but what a pleasure to read. You have such a gift!

the fly in the web said...

So where was the big guy you posted about earlier?

Steve said...

Wanderlust: given your wonderful post today that's praise indeed. Thank you.

The fly in the web: he's emptying the bins out back...

Rol said...

Next week, Bettany Hughes. Got to be.

Steve said...

Rol: I hadn't thought about taking requests but after Googling her I think you might be onto something there...

English Rider said...

Witty and well written as usual. I hope whats'ername gets to read this. It is quite charming. An Ode, almost.

Steve said...

English Rider: indeed, a paean to public nudity and an ode to Alice! Thank you for your compliments, ma'am.

Owen said...

I'm sure once she sees this she'll be wanting to come over and put on a private wild swimming event in your bathtub for your eyes only... what else could any right-minded woman do after such a breath-taking homage ??? Hope you'll tell us about it after . . .

vegemitevix said...

I found the whole 'wild swimming' thing hilarious. Isn't that just normal old swimming? Um like we used to when I was a kid living in the South Pacific? Too funny.

Steve said...

Owen: I was going to make a joke about doing a couple of lengths but I really don't want to cheapen my homage...! ;-)

Vegemitevix: ah but in this country swimming in rivers is a big no-no and rather naughty and frowned upon. So people as a rule don't do it... Alice Roberts (and John Deakin) are encouraging us to free our minds and think differently. It's a very quiet, very English rebellion.

Suburbia said...

lol! the summer sun is getting to you!

Steve said...

Suburbia: yes, I think I need either a cold swim or a cold shower...!

TheUndertaker said...

Dear Lord, but this sounds sad, haha. If it was that cold there must have been nipples though? Or can't they show that on British tv? : )

The Dotterel said...

Oh, now you're talking (or at least, I thought you were). As an avowed Alice Roberts addict AND a wild swimming enthusiast (and lover of all things Roger Deakin, especially Waterlog) I would've been in my seventh heaven of happiness with or without the shoddy camera work. But I was in France! Can you believe it? I missed it... Damn!

Steve said...

TheUndertaker: show nipples om British Television?! Are you mad woman? I've had to invest in cable to get that! ;-)

The Dotterel: it's still available on iPlayer (if you can work out a way to get it to download to my mobile phone please let me know). Plus the lovely Dr Alice has her own web page: http://www.alice-roberts.co.uk/... fill yer boots, my son!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oh, the minds of men. It does make me wonder what goes on in there. I can see what you find attractive about Dr Alice, as another woman of course.

CJ xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

p.s. forgot to ask; I was thinking of naming you in a tag - nothing too thought-provoking or deep and meaningful, and you might even be able to include Dr Alice. If you would rather not (I'm not big on tags and memes myself), then just let me know and I'll find some other mug. Err, lovely person.

Cheers, K xx

Steve said...

CJ: what goes on in the minds of men is surely not that much of a mystery...! ;-) As for the meme - count me in. I'm always up for a challenge and if I can include Dr Alice all the better...!

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

Steve, you made me want to run down the garden and dive, naked, into the river. Sadly, it's only about two foot deep and would just cause a huge amount of embarassment to our neighbours. Ah well, another time.....

Steve said...

Previously (Very) Lost in France: funnily enough I have been feeling the same urge too; I have the River Leam right outside my office window beckoning to me... however, I have thus far resisted as I don't think that "death by submerged shopping trolley" is the kind of obituary I should be aiming for...!

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

Yes, I too have a river outside my office window (are you sure you don't work in the same office!). The council has helpfully put up a board so you can identify the 'local residents' but makes no mention of the Asda shopping trolley, old car tyre, numerous McDonalds burger boxes and a Keep Left sign. Strange that!

Steve said...

Previously (Very) Lost in France: if you can see a can of special brew, an old shoe and a half submerged tesco carrier bag then we must practically be nextdoor to each other...!

Rol said...

I can't believe you're not familiar with the work of Bettany Hughes, the woman who makes history sexy. She's like the Kirsty Alsopp of creaky old ruins.

Steve said...

Rol: to be honest once I'd Googled her I recognized her straight away - I'm sure I've watched some of her documentaries on either Channel 4 or 5 and, I agree, she's hot. Brunette and hot. And clever. And glamorous. She's certainly qualified for the next TV Totty spot. Keep watching this space.