Elsewhere on the website, I cover, if that be the right word, the story of the “CareBares 2007” Calendar. .
In a nutshell, the enterprising staff of Andover Nursing Home decided to raise funds for two national charities – Alzheimers Society and Breast Cancer Care. They took a leaf out of the Rylstone Women’s Institute book, trod in the bare footsteps of Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and produced a calendar. (The leaf has an important role to play in some of the photographs)
These photographs depict, in a tasteful series of poses, the staff as the Almighty made them. In one case, His handiwork has been embroidered by some tattoos; but modesty has been preserved throughout by a number of strategically shaped and located props.
You would have thought there might have been a shortage of volunteers for this cheeky publication, but in fact there were so many that the CareBares Calendar Year begins in January 2007 and ends in February 2008, offering unmatched value for money.
The local MP was invited to launch this initiative and I have to say that I paused a moment before accepting the offer of a photo-opportunity.
Politicians get into enough difficulty on this front without tempting fortune. Nudity and politics is a heady cocktail; but to hell with it. I am all in favour of initiative and enterprise – and raising funds for charity. If the staff could be photographed naked for the calendar and charity, the MP could be photographed fully clothed with them afterwards. So I arrived, closely followed by Hannah – the photographer from the Advertiser.
Normally, when I am invited to launch a product, I cut a ribbon. With this product no item of clothing would have been appropriate so I bought the first copy and posed with the staff.
I am personally looking forward to November next year, which contains, in my view, the best photograph. Readers can see it for themselves by popping into Andover Nursing Home and handing over £5. It depicts a wine waitress filling two strategically placed glasses of wine. The waitress will, I hope, vote for me at the next election if I tell readers that the wine glasses are large ones.
A chance encounter with the printer of the calendar revealed that some adjustment had to made to August, to avoid a potential misinterpretation of what was going on.
Having discharged this demanding constituency engagement, I looked in my diary to see what my staff had lined up for me next. It was National Blood Pressure week, so off to Whitchurch to have my blood pressure taken. The reading will remain a secret between myself and the pharmacist.