Troubador Nude Commute

Released: 28/09/2016

ISBN: 9781785893216

Format: Hardback

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Nude Commute


Nude Commute is the every day tale of Martin as he travels to and from work.The middle-aged Englishman is the menswear buyer for a chain of high street fashion stores and like those around him, he endures his daily sojourn with stoic resolve. But there is one subtle difference to Martin’s routine. No one seems to be wearing any clothes. Every one is naked. Is this real or is it a figment of his imagination? This quirky tale is the first in a series of Nude Pursuits where no wear appears to be the rule of the day. The cartoon drawings coupled with their rhyming words will take the reader on a familiar journey but one that strips bare the trappings and wrappings of normality. Underneath, we all nude commute! Nude Commute is the first in a series of books to feature Martin’s exploits and follows on from an hilarious strip cartoon featured in the glossy Fieldsports magazine where Martin has been conducting his country Nude Pursuits. Real or a trip of the imagination, that’s for the reader to decide as Nude Commute exposes some naked truths.

Simon Mayo and his three word Thursday feature mentioned "NUDE COMMUTE PUBLISHED" on 29th September which won the entry for the day!

Full page feature in Autumn edition of Highlights (the latest books from Matador).

Book signing at Hunting Raven Books (now part of Winston's books) in Cheap Street Frome as a part of the monthly Independent Market held in the town on Sunday 2nd October

BBC Radio Bristol interview by Steve Yabsley at lunchtime on Monday 3rd October between 12 and 2.

Launch party at the Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Bath on Friday October 7th with invited guests and gate crashers enjoying signing & dining experience from 6.30 pm onwards. Great nude themed menu including Cockfosters terrine and of course, meat and two veg.

Follow NUDE COMMUTE on Facebook.

"Once in a blue moon , a book comes along that everyone talks abut. Nude Commute is one such and it will become de rigueur for book sellers and readers to grasp a copy from where ever they can and top up on the phenomenon. Whether real or imaginary , the simple story of a commuter travelling to and from work in the nude will tickle those particular taste buds and without any offence, give opportunity for reflective thought. Nude Commute will become that required illustrated and rhyming tome found in all the bst downstairs loos"


"Quintessential, original, quirky, English humour."

by Kerena Bishop

Now enjoying the book, it's funny, clever, observant , and entertaining to read. Good Christmas present fodder. I recommend it to anyone.

Geoff Sharp

by Geoff Sharp

One definitely for the Christmas stocking - a very funny read from Charlie Berridge and Hannah Carding. Had a great book launch at The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay (Bath) on Friday... only just recovered!

Geoffrey Wheating

by Geoffrey Wheating

Fantastic book, great read, brilliant characters and is highly recommended!

Buy the book and you won't put it down!

by Chris Hocken

Christmas is coming and I cannot think of a more apposite gifty book for my man than Nude Commute. Hey! He spends half his life commuting and the other half naked ,well almost. I loved it and he will too! Full marks for originality.

by Sara Bickerstaff

I thought you might like some real reader feedback on the Nude Commute, from an avid bookworm aged 82 !

“The book is outrageously funny and highly original – a signed copy too! Sitting down on Boxing Day morning with a mug of strong coffee at hand, I read it non – stop and was laughing so loudly that I feared the neighbours would be complaining !!”

My Mother really appreciated it, so thank you for that.

by Mrs Hirons

Charlie Berridge & Hannah Carding

Charlie Berridge

(If you're really interested, here is his life far)

Berridge grew up, eventually, wanting to be a farmer or a soldier or a poet; or all three. From the age of eight he attended various boarding schools, some of which managed to keep him within their high razor-wired walls. He fagged for both Yentob (once the creative one at the BBC) and Brown (the Lord of oil fame) but neither experiences took him immediately into the creative or oil industries. He played the clown to Yentob’s Mephistopheles in a school production of Dr Faustus and while Yentob got a mention in the Times, Berridge’s brief performance was not even a footnote. However as head of the school combined cadet force for Monday afternoons, Berridge enjoyed commanding Yentob, Brown and all his seniors on the parade ground. He learned that to hold power for a few hours on a Monday afternoon didn’t equate to being a school prefect for the rest of the term. 

He left public school with a hand full of O levels and plunged headlong into farming. He was probably more interested in the swinging sixties than he was with spreading Nitram on the flat fens. One of his claims to fame during the Summer of Love was a chance encounter with Jimi Hendrix who was more interested in meeting Charlie’s leggy girlfriend than the young farmer accompanying her. Hendrix was on his way to play at the Spalding bulb sheds. He asked Charlie what the hell a bulb shed was. “ Not lights Jimi but flowers,” was Charlie’s matter-of-fact reply which may have had a profound effect on the great guitar player for a brief moment or two. The other claim was that Berridge was mistaken for John Lennon on several occasions; not down on the farm but more likely when he was crossing Abbey Road clad in the white suit.

With metaphorical flowers in his hair and several real ones painted on the side of his infamous mini pick-up and with a tobacco pipe stuck fairly permanently out of his mouth, Berridge cut a dash with some of the beautiful people. He briefly took up with the blonde Scholl sandal heiress before finding his first love in Sussex in the cramped and shared front cock-pit of a Tiger Moth. One Stumpy, who played the guitar and although with not quite so much gusto as Hendrix, she was a lot more companionable and fragrant.

Aged nineteen, Berridge emigrated to Western Australia and went to work on a vast tract of Marino sheep infested land near Esperance as a Jackeroo. He hitched across the Nullarbor desert to arrive in Sydney where he met up with the girl of his dreams. Heart wrenchingly and to the sound track of , "If you go to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair," he tore himself away from her and the Botanical Gardens where he worked for a pittance tending the Japanese garden. He hitch hiked up to Mount Isa to find work building a new road between the frontier mining town and Dajarra. He earned enough money in a few months to return to Sydney and elope with his eighteen year old new love. The young infatuated couple took off to Perth. They married at the Wayside Chapel in King’s Cross, Sydney on July 20th 1969. 

He and his bride returned to England to attend The Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester where most of the students were known as clotted cream because they were rich and thick. Neither that rich nor that thick, Berridge paid attention at enough lectures to gain him an MRAC but not enough to get him the degree that the course offered to those who put in the effort. Because actual farming was not an option on the family farm in Northamptonshire, Berridge was found a place by his influential father as a Marketing Assistant with the Golden Wonder Crisp company in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Here he discovered the glamorous world of consumer advertising, the elaborate JWT and Masius Wynne-Williams all expenses paid luncheons and other business binges that were a feature of successful business in the ‘70’s. He got on with the Chairman, himself a trader who’d come up through the ranks starting as a van sales man for bread. He fell out only once when as Assistant Brand Manager for snack brands, Berridge launched a chicken flavoured Wotsit onto an unsuspecting market with the slogan “it’s a clucking good flavour!” If that in itself wasn’t enough of an error over good taste, Berridge employed a half naked model to promote the new brand in the trade press and she was photographed draped across a pile of the new snack with nothing on but a tight t-shirt extolling the virtues of the “clucking good flavour!” The brief exchange between the Chairman and Berridge went along the lines of, “Our brands are meant for fucking eating and not for fucking fucking!”. 

Berridge left Golden Wonder and Imperial Foods with a colleague and helped set up his first business called Village Green Country Crafts. Based at Hallaton in Leicestershire, the handy-craft company made pictures out of pressed flowers. It did rather well and under Berridge’s persistence and aggression as the Sales Director, the company grew into a successful enterprise in the UK and overseas. Berridge made several trips to America always with interesting outcomes. With avaricious partners who had a different agenda to his own, Berridge quit and formed You Must Be Joking from his home at Lyveden Manor in Northamptonshire. The old pile (now a National Trust property) was the drafty Berridge home for fifteen happy years despite the constant battle to keep the Collyweston slates on the vast pitched roofs. 

You Must Be Joking was a purveyor of practical jokes to mostly upmarket retailers including Harrods , Heals and Lewis’s. Berridge had a joke bar in Harrods which frequently attracted column inches from the press. Whoopee cushions and invisible ink were steady sellers with more sophisticated talking fridges for those prone to over eating , squirting shoes and pound note snatchers all finding popularity. When , with extreme sadness , Sefton the horse and others suffered at the hands of the Hyde Park IRA bombing, the Irish aqua puncture set ( a six inch nail on a card with some amusing suggestions of what to do with it) was a joke too far and the then Chairman at Harrods, on one of his tours of inspection, swept the joke bar from off the top floor and out to oblivion. Missing his sales abilities, his old partners asked Berridge back and between them, they launched a range of fashion jewellery which again took off in spectacular fashion. Cheap colourful but quite stylish jewellery was all the rage and Step-Up/Retail Concepts invented a system for stock replenishment that suited retailers who wanted to stock a fast moving jewellery range. Lord Ashcroft bought the business and Berridge went to London to work for one of his companies. That was not a good move and after six months Berridge took up with two other entrepreneur friends he had met and got to know well over the years. 

In the early ‘80’s Berridge and his family (the girl he married in Australia now with two sons and a daughter) moved down to Bath in the West Country. From here he made his mark as a creative marketeer in the greetings card business and he was instrumental in setting up a brokerage service for Tesco which enabled the supermarket to get into greetings cards. Minds Eye started with a good idea and a Ford Escort and with a lot of hard graft and some nifty foot work, sound thinking and good people, the business was turning over £15 million pounds a year as a “posh” wholesaler and provider of stationery lines to Tesco and other major UK retailers. In 1999 Hallmark from America approached Tesco and effectively bought their way into the business leaving Minds Eye with its three hundred employees high and dry. 

In that year Berridge had a heart attack and took off to the High Pyrenees in France for R&R. In that year too, and through selfish carelessness and a drifting apart , he lost his wife of nearly thirty years and she returned to her native Australia. He found solace in his French peasant mountain retreat set up at a thousand meters with no electricity and water from the mountain stream. He recovered his fitness with skiing and log cutting and he pursued a new love affair with a creative Red Head. Beset by cabin fever he set off on a journey of discovery and drove around France on a three-wheeler 125cc Piaggio that was totally unsuitable for the task being demanded of it. As a result the voyage took a year with another twelve months of breakdowns (the machine; not him). Berridge was able to intermittently court the Red Head in France and at her home in England. 

Berridge’s father was dying and so in 2003 he returned to Norfolk to be with him. In 2004 he and the Red Head set up home in the West Country where she gave birth to a son. In 2005 Berridge worked like a beaver chewing a pencil for an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University to hone his memoirs of exploring France. He published “French Letters, a journey to at least three places” in 2007 via Authorhouse in the USA. For four years he became the Sales and Marketing Director for Gemma International, a greetings card publisher specialising in children’s licensed products. He left the confused family owned firm and became a consultant and writer, publishing “Building a billion, the story of John McCarthy” in 2011 through Harriman House. He has collaborated on several collections of short stories, including a compilation for the Red Cross in response to the earth quake in Haiti and an erotic collection published by Harper Collins under their Impulse imprint.

Mr B’s Art Company, was a gallery in Frome, Somerset, owned by Charlie, in to which Hannah Carding strolled one day late in 2014. She showed Charlie her portfolio and he latched onto her Nude Commute drawings and thought he’d like to concoct some words for her pictures. Between them Charlie and Hannah have created an hilarious and quirky series of situations for Martin and his nude exploits. These currently appear as a regular cartoon series in the glossy Fieldsports Magazine. Nude Commute is published by Troubador in September of 2016, as the start of another interesting chapter.

 Hannah Carding is a Dorset born artist illustrator and art teacher. Her degree in Visual Studies at Norwich School of Art and Design in 2004 lead to her Masters in Sequential Illustration in 2007 at the University of Brighton. During her Masters, she produced a collection of etchings illustrating different war stories that the Imperial War Museum promptly acquired. The museum also took her on as an artist educator and eventually she moved to live and work in the big city for the Wallace Collection, Dulwich Picture Gallery and several community arts charities where she taught art to all sorts of people. During her time in London, she was a commuter and an observer of those who commute. Her drawings for Nude Commute and her competence as a teacher in the art of life drawing reflect her observations. They also served as a creative way of coping with the bizarre experience of commuting though London. Hannah now lives in Frome and teaches in Bath at the Holburne Museum and for several community arts groups in Somerset, as well as keeping a finger in a few places in London. She exhibits her work regularly and has produced the illustrations for one children’s book. She has a website at www.hannahcarding.

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