My village... LAID BARE!
Calendar girls – and guys – stripped off for Laura’s latest wheeze…
Slender, sprightly bodies plunged headfirst into the water. ‘I’m going to jump off the top diving board for charity!’ I said. It was 2016.
If Gemma Collins could do it for the ITV show Splash, then why couldn’t I?!
‘You’re too old to be getting up to things like that!’ teased my husband, Simon, 42.
He was used to all my crazy ideas, like teaching my horses how to dance or dressing up as a fairy for the Christmas lights switch-on in our village of Iwade in Kent.
Sadly, I’d injured my back, so the doctor said no to my taking the 10m plunge.
‘On to plan B,’ I said, knowing my next idea wouldn’t be far behind.
Then, one night in November, we were snuggled on the sofa watching Naked Attraction, a nude dating show with all sorts of dangly bits!
‘Maybe I should do a naked calendar for the whole village,’ I suggested.
Simon looked at me like
I’d lost the plot.
But, if we roped in tradespeople from around the area, it would be free publicity for local businesses.
I was a mobile beauty therapist, and Simon chaired the parish council.
Let’s cheer this village up,
I wrote on the local Facebook group, throwing my idea out there.
I hadn’t expected many willing nudies, but the village wasn’t as prudish as I thought!
Within minutes, I had hairdressers, mechanics, plasterers and gardeners all keen to strip off.
And a photographer had even volunteered to do the shoot.
I got stuck in, arranging dates and coming up with ideas for quirky snaps.
I wanted everyone to have their bits covered up by objects to do with their trade.
The following week, we started shooting.
‘It’s freezing!’ shrieked Gary, 38, at the car garage, protecting his modesty with a barrel.
Gardener Steve, 36, shielded himself with a chainsaw, while the local firemen were hidden by a, ahem, hose!
‘Why aren’t you doing it, Laura?’ people kept asking.
Luckily, I’d got away with it. With 24 models to manage, my rota was completely full!
Then, on our last day of shooting, a business pulled out.
It was too late to find another, so I was soon standing starkers in a field beside my pony, Dude.
A riding hat covered my bits, while a silk tie hid my boobs.
Two days later, our 2019 calendar was sent to the printers.
We set up a website for orders and put them in shops around the village.
And they all sold out!
We had to get another
So far, we’ve raised around £1,000, which will be shared between Demelza Hospice Care For Children and Swale Cats Protection.
We’re also donating some money to the local church to build toilets.
We’ll definitely be doing a calendar for 2020.
But we’ll shoot it in the summer, so people don’t freeze in the process!
Laura Cheeseman, 39, Iwade, Sittingbourne, Kent
It was a bit nippy for Paul Knight, Gary Marsh and Roger Clarke
Nice hose, Steve Jordan and Dave Neale!
I had to strip at the last minute
Gardener Steve Allart had a lethal bit of equipment