There were some pictures of people hiking whilst wearing only walking boots and rucksacks in my copy of The Times this morning. Shocking you may think but it was a story about how a Swiss man has just won his appeal in the Swiss courts to walk naked over his native hills if he so wishes.
Switzerland, apparently, has been in turmoil over this question and it has been a narrow victory for this intrepid adventurer who thinks his country should loosen up somewhat.
Naked pastimes seem to be in the news at the moment as there is a similar controversy raging in China where a Chinese tourist agency has declared its support for the so-called “naked boatmen” of Hubei province who had been told to cover up so that they didn’t embarrass women and children. They claim that it is much easier in their exhausting-looking work of pulling boats upstream if they are not weighed down by sodden and unnecessary clothing.
The Swiss man likes that freedom too but he also enjoys feeling natural in Nature after a week stuck in an office in his suit. In England we have had similar battles in our courts with our very own naked ramblers who enjoy letting it all hang out as long as the stinging nettles don’t grow too tall.
I am an unapologetic liberal and support all these examples of people’s right to wear what they want so I smiled when I read that the other case raging in Switzerland at the moment is the rights of women to wear the burka. Apparently whilst not wanting to see naked hikers, the Swiss are also very against people covering themselves up completely. Soon they will be told that they can’t be naked under the burka either.
I suggest that the returning and humiliated England football team might well try wearing the burka for a bit though because I for one have already seen much too much of those gentlemen. I am only joking, of course, I would much rather we all stopped getting hung up over what other people look like.