Kay Hannam once told a man she was corresponding with through a dating agency to watch the Holmes current affairs show the next night if he wanted to see a bit more of her.
She didn’t let on that she had been filmed stark naked playing petanque at a naturist park.
After his initial surprise, Brian Williams decided he could cope with Ms Hannam’s penchant for feeling the fresh air on her (not so) private parts, and with time he came accustomed to going sans clothes himself.
When they got to know each other a bit more, Brian confessed he had laughed all the way home from one visit after realising happily that he wouldn’t have to talk her out of her knickers when the time came, as she usually didn’t wear any.
Ms Hannam, 66, shared such anecdotes in her memoir Nude With Attitude which she launched at the Millennium Art Gallery in Blenheim on Friday evening.
The idea for the book had been brewing since she attended an inspiring writing weekend about 10 years ago, and its completion was an exciting achievement for her, she said.
She had long enjoyed writing articles about her trips overseas, and press releases for her business or in her various roles with naturist movements, including a four- year term as national president of the New Zealand Naturist Federation.
Ms Hannam and Mr Williams have run Wai-natur Naturist Park in Wairau Valley since 2006 and have organised nude golf tournaments, nude boat trips and and nudie foodie weekends in Marlborough.
Prior to this they ran a successful naturist park near Lake Tekapo, which was the realisation of another of Ms Hannam’s goals.
Ms Hannam said she once attended a women’s networking seminar and was encouraged to imagine her dream business.
She had pictured herself sitting naked on a deck chair in the dappled shade of birch trees, tapping out a press release on a laptop.
This memory came back to her when Mr Williams invited her to an old rabbit board property near Lake Tekapo where he “apparently had a plumbing job to carry out”.
In fact, the job was at the house over the road, the only other house around for miles. During a stroll wearing sandals and not much else, she came across a scene much like the one she had pictured. She went back to the house and told Mr Williams she could live on this property, but was worried there was no heating.
She recalled him replying: “Oh, they’re putting in a log fire for us.”
He had arranged for them to rent the property, creating an opportunity for them to live together while she developed her vision, she said.
Ms Hannam’s parents raised her and her siblings with a casual attitude to nudity. She remembered getting dressed together around the oil-fired heater in Timaru winters.
She would later take her own children skinny-dipping near Pleasant Point, and through a friend became involved with Pineglades Naturist Club near Christchurch.
Naturism was more than feeling comfortable in the nude, she said, it was more like a life philosophy.
“I encourage young people, especially women, to feel comfortably about their bodies. There’s so much influence for young people to look a certain way . . . it’s OK to feel OK about your body, you don’t have to be a certain size.”
Despite, preferring not to wear clothes, Ms Hannam is rarely seen without a gold pendant, featuring a mountain peak and sunshine rays. She designed the pendant in Lake Tekapo and had a jeweller make them up in gold and silver. The peak is Mt Cook, but could just as easily be Mt Fishtail in the Richmond Range beyond their camp in Wairau Valley.
Ms Hannam retains a healthy complexion. She is not a fan of wearing sunscreen, she said, although she did wear zinc on her face, and preferred to put on a shirt or seek out the shade on hot days.
Her interest in naturism had opened business, travel and friendship opportunities, and she said it had been good for her health.
“I’m a walking, talking example of well-being. I feel really great and I can tackle lots of things and have a wonderful network of friends.”
Nude With Attitude
by Kay Hannam, $40.00
At Bookworld and Paper Plus