Welcome to the Blog!

Scroll down for the latest posts!

sticky-2-readHowever, before you do:

This blog is for guys who admire other guys who put real effort into their physical development. It is NOT exclusively gay, but hopefully you will be gay-friendly.

tumblr_neimn2tEkV1qffcrao3_500The rules are simple:

  1. Make an effort to improve your own fitness this year (you’re NEVER too old);
  2. Enjoy the pictures (and comment please on what you see, and feel free to ‘FOLLOW’);
  3. Buy a book (preferably, all of them) to support the continuation of the blog!

The books (print and e-versions available) are about finding gay love, developing ourselves as acrobats, starting a family (yeah, I’m a gay dad and enormously proud of my teenage son!!), going on tour, meeting difficulties ‘head-on’ (they become a bit of a thriller as well). sticky-1-readLinks from all posts from September 2014 onwards will lead you to more information and potential purchase – they are in almost every post and either through clicking on images of the covers, or on the separate links when given!! And, as the image on the right clearly shows, you can follow all of these rules at one go…

The blog is essentially G-rated; the books get a little explicit from time to time about gay guys doing what gay guys do – you don’t have to be gay to enjoy them – just be gay-friendly. 

And now, as they used to say on the old TV game shows: “Come on Down!”⇓

*** Many pictures will enlarge if you click on them ***

 

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Hey – Jude!

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It may still be (what passes for) summer in the UK, but here in US it is ‘back to school’ day today for the semester which runs up to Christmas, with breaks for Thanksgiving and a few odd things. The day when the kids who are into sport get back into their assorted High School squads and start re-training. when particular enthusiasts, like the guy above, go into their sheds and basements with renewed vigour and work up a good sweat!

Of course, the weather is still pretty great in August, and some High Schools –  the enlightened ones – even move their weights outside:

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So it was back to school today – moving up from Middle School to High School actually, but the same place really – for Leo and his mates Chris (who’s been with us all summer on our assorted adventures) and Ryan (who hasn’t, but has kept up his rigorous training with Pete and Ivo while we’ve been away). They had Phys Ed today, where they tend to show off of course, to the despair of the coach. Rather to their surprise (and pleasure), a new guy, Jude could match all their conditioning exercises and they instantly struck up a friendship. And another new guy, a Dutch boy called Tjark, showed off great flexibility and tumbling skills.

I suppose that I should therefore not have been too surprised when three boys left here for school but five came back. Our teen girl Jaymee failed to come back at all – out with her acrobat cronies, straight off to the gym centre.

I was cutting grass in the yard. ‘Hey dad, OK if we show Jude and Tjark our cabin?’ All five had arrived back shirtless (inevitable). Jude – chunky, muscled, and from Canada; Tjark a much slighter person but a winning smile under black curly hair.  A bit like these two (I’m not about to start posting instant snaps of the real guys straight on a blog, so make do with these substitutes!).

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These kids are in the same position that Dave and I found ourselves in 15 years ago. Father taking up posts at the city’s National Laboratory on assignment from other countries, joining an American school for the first time and (thankfully) finding soul mates very quickly. The population of fit kids around Oak Ridge is steadily increasing, I think.

Well, of course, we’ve happy to see such kids joining in our modest little facility, which is becoming nowhere near large enough the way things are going! And they’re too young to get into Chad’s private gym so long as the current rules like allowing guys to exercise there naked apply. Of course, Leo’s lot exercise naked in our own cabin (as we do) but that’s kind of ‘family’.

I mentioned that they’d better be prepared if Pete or Ivo wandered in naked, and Tjark immediately responded ‘In my country, we do sports naked anyway – even the public pools in the evenings…’ OK, that’s The Netherlands for you, then! Sorted (?)! The chunkier one, Jude, just grinned at me and said ‘It’s OK, Sir, Leo told us all about you!’ Arrrgh – thanks, son! Not absolutely ALL, I hope.

So I think that the local teen-boy muscle and fitness crowd just gained two new members. I shall watch with interest how they match up, if they keep coming over. Jude, apparently, has his own weights coming by road from Canada. And he says that their new home has a suitable outbuilding of some kind… so we might see an alternative venue established! And anyway, in our climate, you don’t always need a building anyway…

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The first part...The second part...About a century ago (it seems) I posted ‘How It All Began’ – me and my childhood mate Colin first discovering that we quite liked to do open-air fitness things, and the lifestyle just grew on me. Dave, my lovely partner, was such a kid too, and how we found each other in our first days in an American school, and grew to be gay partners, father the above-mentioned kids and have lots of acrobatic fun and misadventures, can be found in these three books.

Cover 3 ThumbThe Chinese symbols you see there on the covers have a special significance in relation to our fitness addiction – Tuan Jie means ‘strength through brotherhood’ or words to that effect, and symbolises the mutual support and encouragement which training as a group brings – to the extent that there are eleven people in the world who have that symbol discretely but proudly displayed on their lower backs. Ten of us are still ‘together’ as members of a performing group but also it symbolises something much more personal, as revealed in the books. Ahem…

I think the five of them had a fun time in the cabin. I did peer in a little later to see Tjark, true to his countrymen’s predilection for nudity, wrestling with Ryan, while the other three were similarly  unclad doing bench presses and upright rowing exercises. Interesting to see how the enlarged group works, if it continues.

And now, the gallery! Let’s collect a few more exercising boys together:

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Good to see the younger boys taking exercise seriously too:

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Swimming is always good…

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…and, being British, one can always take the opportunity for a refreshing cup of tea in the pool…

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More combined efforts:

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(I’ve got a feeling that I’ve posted those guys before, but it’s worth a repeat)

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Recording the results:

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 ‘Get fit’ is good. ‘Stay fit’ – meaning keep up the training – is good. Within reason, you can start at any age. Why not follow Jude’s great example (for a ‘just-14yo’): healthy eating, sensible exercise… you can do it! And people like that then pay my salary as a fitness coach!! Gotta be good…

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And the Rest…

Back in Tennessee, we don’t have the upload problems that I experienced in Chicago O’Hare last evening! Here are the rest of the pictures that I planned to include in yesterday’s post.

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Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

And a few more, to make this post worthwhile:

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BROADSHOULDERS

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changing room

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And now… it’s coaching time!

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Ciao from Chicago

Feeling a bit aaargh after our flight back from the UK –

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– now stuck in the delights of Chicago O’Hare for two hours awaiting our connection to Tennessee.

So it’s over. The US summer school vacation, that is. For son Leo , Dave’s Jaymee and their friend Chris, it’s been a whirl. Four weeks as circus performers, which they did really well, one week home, the rest in the largely wet UK (especially the Welsh bit where rain is known as ‘Welsh sunshine’):

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At least the rain didn’t stop this:

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Kids and their grannies – that’s an interesting one. They don’t really have any American grannies (their respective mother’s side) – long story, but due to the said girls being gay they have little contact with their families. Grannies on Dave and my side think of their grandkids as British (and they are, 50%) – but did I detect just a tiny bit of pressure – “Wouldn’t you like to live over here all the time, dear?”

Actually, I know their answer would be ‘no’. Born, grown up in US, they find a lot of British stuff a bit alien, despite our best efforts, and their mums would never quit the States anyway. But they have dual nationality and will be able to come and go as they please. Friend Chris, of course, is 100% American – but it’s great that they are such good mates with my old friend Colin’s son Ollie and his friend Andy. They think of themselves as a team – never mind the 4000 miles! What’s 4000 miles when you have Skype? They may join up again Christmas or Easter – we’ll just have to wait and see.

As for me – it’s back to the gym coaching gymnasts…

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…about 1000 shifts to catch up while the others take some vacation! As much time as possible in the weights gym too, of course…

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…and, I suppose, back into some form of acrobatics although, with all my adult partners still down with the circus, it’s all a bit difficult!

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Look! Blue sky! What’s that….?

Still, the kids have bookings. Jaymee and Leo as a duo, and sometimes with Chris doing a bit of ‘strong-man stuff with them. He’s not so much an acrobat but he loves his nails, glass, and being the body the others perform on.

Me in spare time (if any)? Final re-write of Let the Future Find Me, I suppose. And then deciding what to do with it. Meantime, there are, of course, three existing published books…

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

… although they are gayer, more acrobatic and somewhat autobiographical whereas the new one is essentially fiction. Gay Native American guy whose life goes, effectively, pear shaped.

I’ve just shelled out on burgers from one of the airport concessions. hardly acrobat food, but you know what kids are. Tastes like weasel to me – or maybe skunk. Welcome back to the United States!

A few more pictures now, if I can: the WiFi here is a bit odd, but I’ll add what I can before the flight to Knoxville is called:

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This is NOT going well – trying to upload these pictures here in the airport is like pulling hen’s teeth. I’m gonna quit and resume normal service from Tennessee next time. Bye!

 

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“Expect to get Naked, Baby…”

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“Expect to get Naked, Baby!”

That’s Ellie talking – sporty wife of my old friend Roger, back here in Oxford UK where we are spending the final two days of our vacation in the wetlands (!). The next set of paying holidaymakers are now developing webbed feet in our place in Wales.

It’s a dinner invitation, really – along with Colin and his wife Natasha… but those two lovely couples spend a lot of time together, often ending up with both couples making out in the same room after some wrestling around as a foursome.

I know, sounds weird… but they were into that even before either pair got married, and drew Dave and I in a few times when we were in UK – I wrote about it in The Power of Love (the middle one of my ‘Living the Dream’ trilogy). Three ex-gymnasts and a hockey captain! Ellie (and indeed Natasha for that matter) can be a formidable wrestling opponent!! And Roger and Ellie seem to like taking their sex life to almost violent levels.

We are, of course, the greatest of friends. Natasha has been in Wales helping me with Leo and Chris, her two kids Ollie and his sister, and their friend Alex. It has been fun despite the rain, but I’m really missing my own partner Dave now who is still in the deep south with the circus tour. And all I have to look forward to is endless ours of coaching to relieve the colleagues who have been standing in extra shifts in our place – Dave isn’t coming back for a few weeks yet. I need to wait awhile for this, though (by the way, how Dave and I got together is here )…

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When we were together in the summer sun, being ‘lobstered in Louisiana’, it was so horribly humid that we wanted to keep away from one another – visions of dry sandy beaches and carefree fun on the sands in our heads though:

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Anyway, back now in my parents’ Oxford home, where Leo and Jaymee are now under the gaze of two sets of doting grandparents (Leo’s friend Chris has escaped and is camping out with his friend Alex), I shall probably have a more fun evening tonight than any of the others!

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I always feel a bit down when a “summer” break comes to an end. American kids return to school next week, despite it being only the beginning of August, so they’re down too. But here is much to look forward to for all of us – Leo and Jaymee have bookings for their acrobatic cabaret, for example. So maybe the glass really is half full rather than half empty.

GavinWorking out is always a pleasure, especially in the company of my fit colleagues and my son and his mates. It’s all about constantly maintaining and improving your body, which has to be good: it’s about your friends seeing your muscles at work and helping you to refine your technique to get the best effect. For these reasons – and more – we do tend to work out naked in private. In the ‘family and friends’ group, yes: in the wider adult group in the private gym – yes; mixing the young kids and the wider group – NO! We have principles. But this picture, more explicit than I would normally post here (so scroll down if likely to be offended), says it all for me. I have no idea where it was taken, nor who these guys are, but look at the faces. It’s about enjoyment – it’s about the sun on your back, it’s about the breeze on your face. It’s about sharing the joy of improving your health and strength. It is NOT about sex, gay or otherwise.

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“Expect to get Naked, Baby!”

OK. I’m told off from time to time for spending too much time here justifying what we do. Or trying to. ‘Just get on with and post the bl**dy pictures!’ moans one correspondent. ‘Yes, Sir!’. Another sunny outdoor gym:

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At the track:

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With the ‘baristas':

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At the pool:

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…all that lovely outdoor sunny stuff that the current British weather has prevented! Our Welsh ‘wild swimming’ has been in the rain – not that that really makes much difference! I love swimming in water on which the raindrops are pattering.

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I came across these – posted up on my Facebook version of this blog by someone who picked up on my ancestry:

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A ‘UK takeover’ of the State? Unlikely. And ‘Tennessee by the grace of God’? That implies that any Brit would prefer to be across the pond in the fringe of the Bible Belt, and I doubt that is really true. I’m torn. I have a son to an American girl (lesbian) who has dual nationality. But I sense that he is not ‘at home’ here in the UK, any more than I am ‘at home’ in Tennessee. 15 years is a long time to be in exile… who knows what the future will bring?

In the case of the adventures at the end of my ‘trilogy’, the answer is a few surprises! And for the future: who knows! Maybe it is no coincidence that I have decided to call my forthcoming book (fiction) Let The Future Find Me’. But you’ll need to wait a while for that, while I decide where to send it for possible publication. I may post a few extracts here shortly.

And in the meantime, back in the State of Tennessee, we’ll take advantage of whatever comes up, to enjoy ourselves!

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The Descent of Man

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Apart from yesterday afternoon, when we were able to sun ourselves here in Mid Wales whilst tidying up the yard and garden, the weather has been consistently dreadful – fog, drizzle, wind and then torrential rain, which is what it is doing now.

Neil called this morning to see if it was OK for his mates to come up and train in our barn – “work off their hangovers, if it’s OK while you’re there” – well, I would never stand between a guy and his weights programme, so they’re in the barn now and the boys have joined them. Colin and I had a workout together earlier, and Natasha and Jaymee will be next when they can actually get near the weights.

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Usually when we are over here in Wales in summer, whichever boys are with us bunk in the barn but, with it being so cold and dank, we’ve pushed them all into one of the bedrooms – four boys and two beds between them, but they’re happy. I was amused by overhearing their late-night conversation last evening, which tells me a lot about how they are all growing up and how they support each other.

‘Mine came down ages ago.’

‘I’ve only got a little lump – look…’

‘Do you think I should ask my Dad if its OK?’

‘Your voice has gone lower ever so quick…’

‘And his legs are going all hairy – look…’

Puberty! Four boys, two different nationalities, four different dads in four different families, all worrying about whether they are developing correctly into the strong fit and athletic men they deserve to be. The descent of testicles – no issues with Leo there, but since they so often work out together naked and both I and Chris’s dad see them that way all the time, I know that Chris is a little ‘behind’ in that department, his equipment being stubbornly slow to drop lower and enlarge…

‘Is it right that one’s larger than the other – see…’

Yes, Alex, that’s quite normal! It makes it easier when you squeeze your legs together!

‘Does yours go stiff sometimes?’

OK, let’s draw a veil over the rest of their investigations! Four lads with a common goal of being the fittest and best in their chosen sports of gymnastics and acrobatics, teaching each other about life, growing up, and the descent of those all-important male ‘bits’!

As a qualified coach, you need to be aware that boys will sometimes share personal worries with you which they are reluctant to share with their parents. This can be a very tricky area, and professional training in how to respond – and responding in a professional way – is very important. All in a good cause, though!

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An acrobatic group stretching out before training. Good stuff…

Some folks shudder at the thought of younger kids using weights – until their bodies get better fuelled up with testosterone and things which assists their muscle growth. We do have training in this stuff, and we have been exceedingly careful with all our kids – and those we coach – when it comes to using weights. With our lot and their friends, they know precisely what they should do and what they must not – seriously heavy weights are an absolute ‘no-no’ at least until the lowered voice and hairy legs stage kicks in. And absolutely nothing like supplements. No way. Or maybe I could say ‘No whey’ – but that would be a bit corny.

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So: if fit boys are the name of the game, as usual, let’s enjoy a few more:

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The first part...

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The second part...

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And, to finish as we began with the focus on fit kids, I think that this last image says it all:

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Yeah!

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Renewing the Pledges – A Slightly Sordid Tale on a Soggy Day

We’re all on the train this soggy Friday morning…

…The Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog to Carnarvon and return – and you’ll get this post as soon as I find a suitable WiFi signal, which is not easy on the slopes of Snowdon!

I’ve forced a ‘training-free day’ on everyone today, especially after yesterday – which is really what today’s tale is about.

The females all went off on a shopping trip to Wales’s second city (Swansea) after their routine early-morning workouts, leaving “us boys” (I still count myself as one!!) to our own devices at Cefn Derwen. The four teens took off for run up the valley and back to work off their breakfast – shirts off of course, to feel the refreshing light rain on their chests – and I busied myself around the house and yard.

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Well, to be fair, I didn’t need a spanner quite as big as his!

The boys returned to the barn to work on every muscle in their bodies, from top to toe, including their tongues. I could safely leave them to it – these are fitness freaks par excellence and know exactly what they are doing, suitable to their ages (12 – 14 with my Leo and his best mate Chris at 13).

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Eventually, I went down and found them, naked as usual, clustered around our mirrors, posing, touching, feeling, squeezing each other’s muscles and generally complimenting each other and themselves on their achievements. Two may live in UK and the other two in the US, but they think of themselves as a single team and constantly Skype about their training.

As this is a generally gay guys blog, let me just say again here that three of the teens here, including my son Leo, are as straight as they can get, and the fourth one who is quite new to the clique – well, I’m not exactly sure. But it makes no difference – these are mates, and it is all about their physical prowess – not sex! I also think that one definition of true friends is people who are comfortable around one another naked – and our various families have always a free attitude around the house to that ever since the kids were born – as well is in our home gyms. And by the way – as responsible parents, we absolutely keep our gay sides to ourselves when dealing with our kids (and any kids, since we coach gym) – just sayin’…

The boys were very sweaty, of course…

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…and Leo, having wiped his hand across Alex’s chest and then licked it off (as they do!) suddenly remarked that they should renew their ‘pledge’ to work for ever-better results, wherever on the planet they found themselves… Which they started off by duly licking drops of sweat off each other (“sharing the strength”, grins Ollie…)… 851
Now I’ve got to confess that I’m partly responsible for starting this stuff – but American sports organisations (along with Fraternity Houses) like their pledge initiations, usually involving nudity – and so that’s two influences at least on Leo and his friend Chris, being Americans, on having the teen gang do this last year in Wales and again in Oak Ridge last Easter. For my sins – well, you can read all about it here, especially in the first two books about our gay love and acrobatic lifestyle:

The first part...The second part...Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

It gets worse, of course. Stage 2 involves drinking a lot of water and then all of them using a communal bucket. Feet get dipped in and then wiped on the others’ faces. A plastic cup is then passed around… a solemn swearing ceremony to pledge to continue to work your butt off in the gym and to help all the others…

‘Dad – you’re one of the boys too. You should join in…’ Arrrgh. Very flattering for the older generation to be thought of as one of the next-generation lads, I suppose – but then we are all still pretty ‘physical’ with our acrobatic performing and coaching and we do work out daily with our kids and their friends – and yes, I suppose we have taught them everything they know about fitness and acrobatics… And so, dear reader, feeling rather flattered, I submitted. I told you this was a slightly sordid tale. It gets worse.

‘Tell them about the Russian women, Dad…’

Oh yes, the ancient Russian ‘babushkas’ who swear by using their own urine as a skin food. Chemically, and medically, it is true. You can buy extremely expensive skin treatment lotions containing high concentrations of the chemical urea, which is the principle constituent of urine. And urine, it turns out is slightly antiseptic… well, you can guess the rest. We all go around shirtless so much (and enjoy the Vitamin ‘D’)   but its good to protect against the nasties if you can, especially if you enjoy looking tanned – of course most acrobatics is performed shirtless. Chests and backs duly massaged all round. A period wondering what to do next, since you have to give it time to do its work. The boys spent theirs stretching each other to their limits, three boys each working on the fourth – more essential training if you want to be able to hold amazing positions in acrobatics…

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quite a back bend

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While they did that, I started my own weights routine, quickly joined by the local farm lad who keeps the place operating for us when we’re away. His farming duties had been rained off, so he had run the three miles up to ours, quickly noted the (un)dress code of the day, shed his rain-soaked tee-shirt and shorts, and joined in enthusiastically. Neil doesn’t wish to appear here naked either, so I need to use an older picture:

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The two of us older guys now seriously sweaty, and the young  ones remaining a little pungent too, we all needed one of these…

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Here in Wales, whilst we do have hot water and showers, we also have rain, no neighbours and an excellent swimming hole which makes the rain irrelevant so, like Billy here, we took to the river instead:

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After which, we raced back to the house, towelled off, and then, because this is Wales and it’s wet and cold, and because it really makes our little place feel cosy, I lit a wood fire. In July! I ask you. Six guys, toasting ourselves in front of a log fire in our underwear while eating lunch with rain beating against the windows. What an excellent way to spend a short vacation!

Then, I finally persuaded the boys to find something to do not involving stressful exercise and nudity, and set about preparing dinner for ten – ladies back from shopping and our amazing gay couple friends Tom and Iestyn up from Llanwrtyd. A good feed of local Welsh meat, wine for the bigger boys and girl… yeah! I enjoy cooking.

So, today, it’s eight of us on the train: Beyer-Garrett steam engines keeping the boys happy and what can be seen of scenery keeping the girls happy ‘ ‘The top of Snowdon’s up there, guys… through the fog…’

Cover 3 ThumbA nice look at Caernarvon Castle and a quick lunch, then the return trip and now, back in Porthmadog, an internet signal! I’m finishing this quickly in a corner of a cosy little teashop while everyone else is peering at sailing boats in the harbour and the little railway museum. Still raining though.

I need a few more fitness pictures to make up the usual quota, so here we go:

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Oh – just thought of something else. I set five crossword clues a couple of posts back. Just in case anyone cares, here are the answers:

Dope

Acrobat

Press Up

Grumpy

Despatch Riders

Any questions? (except the final one… I didn’t quite understand that clue either, except I remember from school chemistry that little balance weights are called ‘riders’. Oh well).

No-one else back yet, so a couple more pictures now: the Russians don’t do fitness by halves…

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Oh, here they come – time to upload this lot. OK, by the way, if anyone has great pictures out there which fit the theme and would like to share, just send ’em to gymacrobat@gmail.com. Cheers!

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Making it Happen

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I am glad to say that my kid falls into the last category! 13yo fitness freak and acrobat he may be, but he knows that success in sport and physical skills only comes with hard work, and he is willing to put in that hard work. He has surrounded himself with a ‘clique’ of like-minded friends back in USA and has a network in UK too – well, two of them – one of whom is the son of my oldest best mate. And we are in Wales, briefly, ‘enjoying’ the somewhat cool July weather which doesn’t stop them all (2 US plus 2UK plus Dave’s equally acrobatic daughter Jaymee and Ollie’s young sister) all working out in the barn and then diving into the river. Me and Ollie’s mum Natasha too, as it happens.

The locals here regard us, I think, with some concern, wondering if we are all quite right in the head…

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…a largely shirtless and barefoot crew, even in the ‘Welsh sunshine’, which is a local word for ‘drizzly rain’. But the local lads use our barn for weights and wrestling too…

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…it makes Dave and I a little money to help keep this place together! We have gathered up just about enough weights and mats to make it work, and a few inspirational signs like this…

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Actually the ethic we have always tried to instil in the next generation is ‘don’t try to be better than your mate – help him to get as good as you’ – and it seems to work.

We’re trying to cram as much into our remaining days in UK as possible – kids in the States go back to school the first week of August – so we’re not going to get to see several folks we hoped to who follow these meandering writings. Ideally we will just ‘chill’ here as much as possible because everyone needs a rest – but after the weekend we have to leave anyway because the next set of booked ‘summer’ holidaymakers will arrive. Money coming in, but less good for us!

Let’s enjoy a few more of those inspirational pictures now: what about this young gymnast? No photoshopping on him…

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…that’s just what countless hours on the rings and high bar does for you! Three other gymnasts now: Chris, Jay (UK) and Jake (US):

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Gymnastics: U.S. Championships

And then, away from gymnastics, but in the weights gym:

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Just showing off what you’ve got…

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(well, you need something to do while waiting for the elevator to arrive at your floor)

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Finally, a great body in the sun (which we’re not enjoying here right now!) under blue skies (not drizzle):

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That’s all for now from Wales, then, except for the commercials…

The first part...The second part...Cover 3 Thumb

…and the encouragement to keep your body in shape!

 

 

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A Right to Bare Arms

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One of the pleasures of being back in the UK for a short while is that I can have the paper copy of my favourite newspaper The Times – and actually fill in the crossword puzzle on paper, with a biro!

Partake in exercise? It’s a drug! (4) 

A wonderful little item was hidden  deep inside Saturday’s edition. University lecturers report that numerous students in a paper on the US constitution wrote  of “the right to bare arms”. The paper goes on to note ‘Well, it can be uncomfortable in hot weather… given America’s gun problem, it’s better than advocating the right to arm bears…’

As an (alleged) writer, I suppose that I should make some remark about spelling at this point – but since I live in a country where they spell ‘pavement‘ as ‘sidewalk‘, I should just shut up.

Talking of bearing arms, as gym trainers and acrobats…

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…we bare our arms quite a lot. Not just the arms, of course. Bare chests…

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…bare feet…

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…and, given that we usually train in private, bare the bare essentials quite frequently as well…

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(I leave you, at least for now, to imagine the bottom half of that picture)

Yes, we inhabit gyms where the House Rules actually forbid shirts (‘You want to see your muscles at work, and so do we…’)

Supper’s reviewed as a fitness move (7, two words)

…venues sought after by many lifters (straight as well as gay) but not accommodated by the usual chains…

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…although the internet is full of great pics of guys  (like Hagen, above) doing exactly that – shirtless workouts. But one chain, whose adverts show shirtless guys lifting, demand that shirts be worn! Insane. Let’s enjoy a few more:

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Doc’s colleague in gym exercising with Pru (6)

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If the shirts can’t come off in the gym, they sure do in the locker room, a great source of selfies in the mirrors…

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…or bathroom…

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…or just get a mate to take the picture!

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Couriers drop small weights round part of gym? (8, 6)

OK. There’s five crossword clues that I’ve been harvesting from published puzzles. Of course, you don’t have the benefit of random clues from letters in other words, but give them a go! Quite a few people enjoyed doing them last time. They all relate to fitness in some way or other. And no funny spellings either.

I notice that I used the phrase ‘alleged writer’ higher up this post, so let’s just get those books off my chest as well. A taste of gay love, acrobatics and fitness, and some adventures:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

Go check ’em out! Lots of words, but English spellings because they’re published there.

And now , a different form of fitness inspiration:

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Get stuck in, as my son Leo and his mates are, right now, in our converted barn here in Wales.

We all seek inspiration in various ways…

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But fitness won’t come to you… you have to go find it.  A little work, to get into the swing of things and sharpen your body up, and then a lot more work, and you’ll soon see the results…

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…and be proud of your ‘bear’ arms… and the rest!

 

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Cyfarchion o Gymru

816…greetings from Wales! Made it at last. Kids straight into the barn (gym) and now wrestling after being trapped in the cars for nearly three hours (Colin’s and my dad’s). Adults tidying up after the previous holidaymaking guests so  that the place looks more like home (which, for me and Dave, it kind of is, since it’s ours!). No Dave this visit, sadly, but Colin and Natasha are here and she will stay all week as it is now the first week of UK school hols.

And warm enough (just!) for shirts off as Colin attacks the neglected lawn and I will shortly follow once I’ve done this. Not exactly Caribbean temperatures and palm trees, but it will have to do:

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Just as the barn gym isn’t exactly this

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…but we’ll make do with what we have there, too. Maybe we can just have the boy…?

Actually, this is scheduled to be ‘boys run wild’ week whilst Jaymee and Ollie’s younger sister do more ladylike things (albeit with acrobatics training too, of course). For the boys, there’ll be plenty of this…

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(appropriately dressed, I see). Maybe we’ll do a trip to the beach…

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…but the river nearby looks inviting, although the water level is surprisingly low. And the weather forecast isn’t too awful… maybe we will be able to get some sun…

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Now then. What else can I show you to ‘beef up’ this post? Try these:

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Plenty of beef there. And here!

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Let’s put some of it to good use…

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(pity his tee-shirt is on, but we can admire the arm muscle)

So. A week of “fun” follows. I did wonder if I might find some time to start reviewing the text of book number 4 but, somehow, I doubt that I shall. Have to make do by re-reading the first three…

The first part...The second part...Cover 3 ThumbClicking on the covers will reveal a little more, and they’re on e-books too. Amazon can oblige.

OK, one final fitness picture then I’m on my shift with the lawnmower while Natasha prepares to feed us all. Happy holidays!

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Cling On, Klingon…

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…pun intended. Sorry.

As we gather ourselves together to head off into Wales on Saturday morning (us Oak Ridge lot plus three Oxford kids and one mum), I discover that the Welsh Assembly government appears to be taking leave of its senses! In response to a question in the Senedd about an unidentified flying object sighted in the neighbourhood of Cardiff airport, the responsible official is said to have replied ‘Jang vlDa je due luq, ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS’ … which is Klingon (they say) for ‘The Minister will reply in due course – however, this is not a devolved matter.’ Meaning also that there are obviously no Klingon words for ‘due’ and ‘devolve’ (which itself means that unidentified flying object strategy has not been left to the Welsh government to decide – it remains a United Kingdom matter and the responsibility of the Westminster UK government).

I’m not sure what to make of this. The kids think it is hilarious – we are going to spent next week at our place Cefn Derwen, in a country which the kids think has gone completely insane!

Cling On, Klingons! If only I could translate that into Welsh language…

Leo says that if the guy had asked that question in the USA, he would have been carted off immediately to Area 51.

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…Visual pun still intended, by the way. How many pictures can I quickly find of guys ‘klinging on’ to things?

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Nice spread of back muscle there. I see I’m reverting to a normal theme here. Better hold on to reality, or something…

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…perhaps I’ll just hold on to him. Or to the parallel bars…

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Or another pole…

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Here’s a guy who’s been strengthening his neck in order to ‘klingon’ to the trapeze bar:

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Two guys here ‘klingon’ to the ring – and to each other:

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Unsure where this Klingon madness is going, so let’s call a halt!

The first part...The second part...Cover 3 ThumbWhilst up in Cumbria with Jaymee, I have had the opportunity to catch up with a couple of people who featured, as their younger selves, in these books! In particular with one ex-gymnast who had (and made a very good job of recovering from) a serious accident in the gym. He now has two strapping sons – not doing gymnastics, as it happens, but martial arts (Taekwondo stars, apparently). And another guy, from Glasgow, who was a bodybuilder (and still is) and mathematician, has moved in computer coding – something to do with air-traffic control systems. Scary. All is revealed in the books – click on the covers for more information e-books available.

So many people to catch up with in a very short time in UK – it is never enough. And now, as I indicated, a week to ‘chill’ in our place in Wales. Can’t wait, raining or not!

Chilling is good…

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…sadly, my partner is in deepest Florida right now, with the circus tour. But I shall have four feral and fitness-mad boys to supervise, plus two girls, helped out once again by my oldest friend’s wife, with said oldest friend with us at the two weekends as well. Our own little gym in the barn, for starters…

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Can’t be bad! I think that we shall have a fair old time!

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