I grew up in a naked family. I thought this was a completely normal thing.
One night, when I was about 8 I couldn’t sleep, went downstairs for a glass of water and saw my Mum stark bollock naked making a papier-mache dolls house.
She looked up at me casually and said ‘hello ma wee toots’
Stark bollock naked is probably the wrong phrase. She doesn’t have bollocks. Not physical ones anyway.
The microwaved pinged, punctuating the odd atmosphere and she said ‘ooh that’ll be my lamb chops. Do you fancy one?.
I sat on the squishy sofa eating the lamb chops with my naked Mummy and wondered ‘When I’m a grown up will I wear clothes?’
As an adult I strongly admire my Mum’s attitude to many things in life, nakedness being one of them, but sadly I’m not quite as liberal as her. There’s something comforting about layers of clothing. Even as a child I flitted between ‘FREE THE NIP’ and ‘oooh a lovely cosy jumper”. When my family and I moved from Italy to England I was at school shivering in a cardigan and scarf and said to my teacher ‘Do we have summer in this country?’ She replied with “Yes Ilaria. It’s July, it’s summertime now’
I’ve been a fan of layers ever since. My Mum’s Glaswegian, she doesn’t feel the cold.
But one day I was feeling all hippie and free. In the safety of my childhood bedroom the real me came out…I wasn’t alone though.
A young lad called Wayne cleaned everyone’s windows in the village. I was convinced I’d grow up to marry Wayne the window cleaner. The way he’d carry the bucket, overcharge the old ladies and whistle a tune as he made the windows sparkle – ‘what a man!’ I’d think. He wasn’t a man though, looking back he was probably only about 15 at the height of my crush.
I don’t think he was an official window cleaner, just a lad with a bucket. He’d clean everyone’s windows every couple of weeks, whenever he could be bothered. He didn’t have a schedule, he just turned up.
And so I was in my bedroom dancing naked. I was in the zone. Tragedy by Steps was playing loudly and my gangly limbs took on a life of their own. Was I a good dancer? No. Did I care? Not yet.
I caught Wayne’s eyes just as Tragedy was ending and Agadoo by Black Lace was starting. The remix from hell. I locked eyes with Wayne and panicked. I covered my nipples with the first thing I found, some toy cooking pans from my sister’s play kitchen.
Wayne looked horrified and disappeared down his ladder. My beloved Wayne.
You might be thinking, well why was Wayne horrified? Surely a naked dancing girl would’ve been an exciting thing to witness in such a small village. Well, to shatter the illusion, I was wearing a knitted bobble hat I got from the market.
A knitted bobble hat and a bare arse shouldn’t be a thing.
I think the music also put him off. He was more into rap and burning stuff.
After that I saw Wayne the window cleaner everywhere. Well, the village shop and duck pond. It was a small village. He pretended to not know my family. For 10 YEARS!
My Mum never did finish that papier-mâché doll’s house. I’m scared to remind her in case she takes off her clothes.
Photo Credit: (c) Andy Hollingworth Archive