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Naked Legends of Somerset calendar critic: 'I wrote in haste but I'm no stranger to cancer tragedy'

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

Gerry Cottle of Wookey Hole Caves was among the men featuring in Jason Bryant's Legends of Somerset naked calendar

Gerry Cottle of Wookey Hole Caves was among the men featuring in Jason Bryant's Legends of Somerset naked calendar

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See Related Articles on bottom right for the original letter, response and calendar photos.

Re: My recent letter regarding the Macmillan Cancer Support nude calendar.

FIRST, let me say that having seen the photos in the Gazette, I immediately had the idea for the letter. And in my eagerness to put pen to paper, failed to read the accompanying article and so did not pick up on the fact that it was in aid of Macmillan until too late.

Under no circumstances would I have written in this vein had I realised, as the last thing on my mind was to upset anyone.

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However, I could not help feeling sad at the barbed responses of the three ladies from Wells, who clearly could not tell the difference between a letter intended to insult and demean, and one written in a spirit of levity, however misplaced.

To these ladies, and anyone else sympathetic to their views, I can only say that I lost my own beloved husband to renal cancer 14 years ago, and the pain of that loss still haunts me daily. As do the memories of accompanying him on increasingly exhausting and pointless trips to hospital, and eventually holding him as he was dying.

So yes, ladies, I have had all the experiences which you speak of.

Macmillan were wonderfully kind to us during our ordeal and I have the greatest respect for them and their vast army of supporters, of whom I am one. My own support, incidentally, includes the purchase of two of the calendars as Christmas gifts for friends.

If any of the gentlemen who posed for the calendar were offended by my weak attempt at humour, I offer them my sincere apology and assure them that it was entirely unintentional.

I have had many letters, on a variety of subjects, published in the Gazette and elsewhere. Some written in a spirit of fun; others making a serious point, in exasperation or downright anger.

But they have never, ever been deliberately malicious or cruel.

Cancer touches a raw nerve in so many people. I should have been more careful. Mea culpa.

Ariane MacLaren

Tor View Avenue


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