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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Physique and Philosophy

Mainly physique. Do I hear a sigh of relief?

And maybe a bit gay…

OK. I guess I’m just slightly confused by the reaction to my piece following the Barcelona attacks. I dared to question the existence of (any) God as being fundamentally extremely improbable and against the known Physics of the universe (I definitely recommend that book I mentioned about what we don’t know). Having suffered the nonsensical rantings of creationists when living in Tennessee, it is clear that I have troubled some religious folks out there who are ‘believers’ but probably more open-minded about how things came about than insisting on a magical ‘creation’. And to be fair, as that book clearly shows, we don’t have a clue about what started the big bang, what went before (if anything) and therefore about where we have come from. Score draw, I think.

Equally, some readers have come back to me saying ‘well said’ and very clearly supported the notion that religion is nonsense but that its protagonists have been extremely clever at persuading people to believe in something just because a previous generation of so-called ‘wise men’ tells them to. Do you always do precisely what you’re told, closing your mind to alternatives? If I did, would I be openly gay?

My dad (physicist, retired) doesn’t have much time for ‘God’ either. But he once told me a very interesting story about his grammar-school headmaster back around 1969. This man led an ‘act of worship’ every morning in assembly, but also led a weekly class for the sixth form (“Friday 5”) which was basically a discussion on current affairs, politics, or pretty much anything that came into his head. Everyone could speak frankly. He certainly did, favouring mythologies from the near and far east, India and so forth, above the basic Christian story. But, according to my dad, he taught him two profound things. The first was that, at some time in their lives, everyone wants to believe in something. The second was ‘always polish the backs of your shoes’.

This guy finally cracked, and gassed himself (car exhaust fumes) on the shore of Tal-Y-Llyn lake in Wales.

I’m not entirely sure what that proves… maybe he needed desperately to believe in something at that point, but couldn’t find any faith to take him out of his depression. Dad says he was a damn good headmaster. RIP, Mr. N.

And RIP little Julian Cadman, 7yo boy mown down in the name of religion in Barcelona. The only Brit hurt that day, so far as we know. His face is on all the newspapers – we get all the Brit ones on sale here – and on TV (we get all the Brit channels). If prayers mean anything, say one for his grieving parents.

We are, of course, left with the question, ‘Should you believe in something so profoundly that you want to go around killing anyone who doesn’t agree with you?’ Your particular version of God? Stupid old men in white beards and funny clothes? White supremacists? Even if you don’t know whether those you are killing might even be following your religion?

Write your answers on a postcard, but don’t send them to me.

And apologies to all who think that these observations are not the point of this blog. You’re right, of course. But Dave and I just feel really angry.

Just this moment seen on the BBC news that the Spanish police have killed the driver of the Las Ramblas van. They say that everyone in the ‘cell’ is now accounted for.

Back to the real point of this post.

What a news bulletin we’re actually watching tonight! In addition to all the stuff on the Spanish attack, we’ve just seen live pictures of “The Great American Eclipse” from Oregon as well as hearing the last sounding of Big Ben in London for four years. Renovations, apparently!

Back to business…

 

 

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Confidence Building

We manage our gym shifts (along with Alf and Seb) to give everyone as much flexibility as possible, especially as all of us are involved in shows four nights a week even if not actually performing in every one now. Both gyms are meant to be manned from 7am, when someone shows up to clean up the inevitable mess, put the weights back where they should be, disinfect the bench/seat/seatback surfaces (all those lovely sweaty bodies, not to mention the seated naked people) and then hoover everywhere indoors and mop the matted areas.

‘Manning’ is a bit of a loose term. You may be in the office sorting stuff on the computer and keeping a wether eye out for people behaving stupidly: you may be giving advice on how the equipment works or spotting for anyone who needs it – or you can be training yourself provided you wear the ‘STAFF’ shorts and make yourself available if needed. It’s called ‘mixing business with pleasure’…

…especially admiring the bodies and watching the biceps (and everything else) develop!

This morning, two new guys were already in the gym when I arrived at 6.45. Looking around rather anxiously and clearly anxious about how to use most of the equipment or what to do. New to the gym game, then and, to be honest, looking as though they need it. They were also seriously overdressed by the standards of this place (and the temperature) ‘windcheater’ tops over shirts, training pants over shorts, trainers and socks. Sensing that they needed advice and encouragement, Tone wades in. Shirtless and barefoot and noticing they are looking hard at what muscle I have and, surreptitiously, at two other guys working away on bench presses and clad similarly to me. No naturist in at that point.

One can excuse the trainers if handling heavy weights: to be honest, we’re supposed to encourage gym users to keep them on, although it is rather easy to ‘forget’.

I asked the guys if they had warmed up, and when they had not, sent the out to run around the track which surrounds this place just inside the ‘adult-side’ fence. They returned very sweaty and I suggested that they lose their tops, which made them very anxious. I insisted, as politely as I could. I could see why they were anxious – skinny hardly describes it.

Whatever I’m teaching, I make the point that instant success is not expected, but the desire and effort to improve  is all that is necessary. Casting a glance at the other two very well-built guys and trusting that they would mind their business, I told the skinny guys that they just needed to focus on their training, not to be embarrassed (‘we all started with no muscle development)’  and that I would be happy to work with them as part of my job (which it is – make the punters happy!). Slowly they relaxed their guard and the training pants came off as well.

To be fair to them, they really started to enjoy what they were doing. All light weights and lots of repetitions, to get their bodies ready for harder work in the future. Until more folk started to arrive, including a couple of very fit girls. Suddenly they decided they’d ‘had enough’. Which I could tell they hadn’t.

Will you be swimming later?’

‘If we can find somewhere where no-one can watch!’ They were, at least, honest about their embarrassment. I suggested that other pool users had better things to do than stare at them, but they settled instead for a bus ride to the beach where they could then walk out of range of anyone else (the beach goes for miles).

I wondered if they would be honest about something else. ‘You here as a couple or just friends?’ The look that passed between them answered that question. I had an idea. Something we never ordinarily do. I contacted Dave on the radio to get his agreement, and then invited them to come to our place after we came off duty at 3pm. ‘Just you guys and my partner Dave. Lift a few weights – totally private, not like here. Maybe even wrestle a bit?’

One of the guys admitted that they bought gay wrestling DVDs and wished they were stronger. OK. They to the beach, us to our general duties!

3pm came and went. Dave and I in our apartment. No sign. So Dave decided to shower and then the door buzzer went. As I needed to go down to the reception area to admit them, I kept my shorts on, and brought them up in the elevator to our top floor. Opening the door, there’s Dave stark naked in the bathroom door, towelling his hair.

‘OK guys – here’s the rules. All clothing stays on the doormat except your underwear – and you won’t need that either because our stuff is totally private. You want to take a shower first, wash the salt and sand off?’

They went in together – good sign.

Our roof terrace, as I have written before, is not overlooked, has our personal weights and stuff on it plus mats and, to their horror, beds of nails and glass for us to keep us in training for the performances. Not to mention the balance blocks. But it was weights first and, with Dave and I naked as we almost always are at home, it didn’t take them long to dump the wet towels from around their waists…

Enough. No pix of skinny guys here. But they really put some work in. After some drinks, Dave suggested a gentle wrestle, to see what they knew. One thing led to another… to oil… and to us having two really sweet new friends. I guess Dave and I showed off a bit with the fakir stuff and some balancing on our canes (useful warm-up for tonight’s show)…

And they say they’ll be in the gym tomorrow before 7am, and shirtless at least.

Invitations to our private quarters are rare, and will remain so. Our personal space, etc. etc. but just once in a while (and when our very special friends from US or UK come to stay with us) we’ll put out the welcome mat. Just as long as the clothes stay on it!

Off to set up the show now – I’ll finish this after and post before bedtime!

Picture theme for the rest…beefing up the guys. Obviously.


And, in contrast to those rather well-equipped gyms…

…a guy making the best of a bad job, who sure deserves better!

To end for today, a prizewinning street workout boy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Normal Service – Just Relax!

13 hot guys there, with their coach, ready to wrestle. A couple of posts ago I wrote about setting up a small ‘private’ wrestling knock-out session for 10 visiting guys plus Dave and I. Today was a free day for us, but with no special plans. The six Russian wrestle-club guys are still here (although the other four guys have gone) and, as the auditorium was free for a private session, we set one up for the eight of us this morning. This time – four pairs each going for 30 minutes to notch up as many submissions of our opponents as possible. I paired a guy called Egor. He won. Not a total surprise, that, although I did score a couple of submissions out of him: these guys wrestle five times a week back in Moscow!

He exacted a challenge after: simultaneous press-ups, but the peak of each one met with a strap across your back – a battle between wanting to match him on press-ups while wanting the assault to stop. I’m proud to say we both stayed the course and shared the honours. To spare Facebook (and WordPress) blushes, we’ll let this guy model for us with his shorts on and no lashing:

That was all before lunch, and we agreed to join them for a couple of hours on the beach this afternoon. Salt water and minor abrasions not really a good combination, but we all survived.

This evening, we’re just on standby unless something untoward happens and which, despite Barcelona and the rest, is highly improbable. As in Las Ramblas, people getting on with their normal lives. And being in a ‘walled enclosure’ here, as it were, adds an additional level of security. Not that Portugal has suffered, so far.

And being on standby doesn’t stop us enjoying some more of the rather excellent Portuguese red wine options (in moderation). Dão tonight, and Dave is in the kitchen with a rather succulent fish on the go – yes, we like red wine with pretty much everything. Cheers!

One reader has commented that I so very rarely show pictures of guys simply in relaxed mood. They’re all sweating in the gym or something, he says. Well, it’s true we are promoting fitness and hence exercise… and results (a lot of posing), but the criticism is not entirely true. On the other hand, looking at my collection of some 400 images awaiting posting, he may have a point.

One can, of course, relax in the gym…

For the rest of this post – let’s see:

Relax on the roof?

Some relaxing piano music, maybe?

I know that one will have at least one appreciative viewer.

The ultimate relaxer, maybe… caffeine?

Actually, if you really want to catch guys relaxing, go down to the beach at night…

Caption, anyone?

 

 

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God versus Common Sense: The Debate

This is going to get controversial. If that bothers you, look away now: there’ll be another post soon.

The killing gets closer to our little haven here in SE Portugal. Nowhere seems safe from these nutters who want to kill in support of their so-called ‘religion’.

On my left, Creationists. Supporters of assorted religions who think that some bloke who looks like us created the universe in six days about 4000-6000 years ago (and no-one explains where he came from). An alarming number of Americans believe this.

On my right, overwhelming scientific evidence that the universe is about 14 billion years old – admittedly there is no sensible explanation for what happened before that nor what lies outside the observable universe… see this fantastic humorous physics book called ‘We Have No Idea’, ISBN  978-1-473-66016-8 published by John Murray – authors Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson. My dad sent it to me – he’s a physicist… they admit what they don’t understand, while explaining with crystal clarity what they do understand.

The problem with religions – apart from the obvious nonsense of some of the doctrine in the light of 21st-century knowledge – is that you are expected to ‘believe in’ something you can’t prove and which sounds extremely improbable, simply because some older person tells you to after they were similarly indoctrinated.

In the olden days, this ‘fear’ of God’s wrath was employed by the establishment to keep the population ‘under control’ and to suppress dissent, whether it be dissent against Kings, Presidents, Dictators and particularly Priests. Folks who didn’t know better were truly ‘God fearing’ and, faced with the potential wrath of God who seemed to launch cataclysmic weather events at anyone who dissented, you can see how it was all stirred up.

The majority of wars have been stirred up by one religious faction against another – especially witness Northern Ireland in recent times: if only both sides, Catholic and Protestant, would step back from their bigotry and ask themselves ‘Why are we doing this? Let’s just stop and have FUN…’

All religions have their Holy Book (established, as I surmise, to maintain control over people), and the book for Islam (Koran) seems to be particularly nasty. ‘Death to unbelievers’. All that stuff.

And so here we are: 2017, technically and scientifically enlightened, and still fighting off nutters who think they are going to get sex with unlimited virgins through killing anyone who doesn’t share their nasty beliefs, their suppression of entertainments like music in some cases, and the subjugation of women.

WAKE UP AND HAVE FUN… PLEASE!

And… don’t get me started on what these religious types think about us gay types…

I’ve been living in the bible belt for seventeen years. Say no more…

…I don’t think I need to post any more of that (rather long) cartoon strip!

So today, here at our fun factory in the sun, we had a staff meeting. ‘Be vigilant. Study your guests and report any unusual behaviour.’

No unusual behaviour. Just plenty of this [right] plus sun, pool and beach:

So I stop ranting now. I do recommend that ‘We Have No Idea’ book – the cartoons are huge fun and the facts are quite revealing. And it is rare to have a physicist who admits how little about our universe we do actually understand.

And then, if you want to relax with a good (gay-ish) read on the beach and try and blot the horrors out of your mind, try these.

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

Let The Future Find Me: ISBN 978-1-784653-23-1 (in press: no link yet)

LOVE. That’s a good idea.

Back to normal next post.

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Let the Dance Begin!

Well, maybe that’s more of a pose than a dance. But anyway…

This vacation place we’re at really does seem to be working as a team effort. One of the cooks (yes!) on a day off on the beach near her home (some distance from here actually) came across an African guy playing drums to an amplified recording from his I-pad while his partner danced. Street or beach entertainment. She thought they were pretty good. Suggested ‘management’ check them out. Result – we now have a resident DJ (or I-padJ, if such a thing exists) who will provide family discos on non-show nights and adult ones after shows, as well as ‘daytime ‘kiddy discos’, and will also take part in the shows – we’re integrating them already  to leap around while we’re doing our ‘fakir’ stuff and provide live drumming for other parts of the act (balance and whatnot) as well as doing their own ‘spot’ in the shows… they’re over the moon, and their first appearances have gone down a treat. And if you were living out of the back of a rusting old camper van and suddenly get offered a free apartment…

Quite! Long may this last! And the lady seems to be more than willing to go ‘tribal’ at appropriate times, by which I mean dancing topless. This has to be a hit… especially when she leads the disco crowd.

I don’t seem to have any more dance pictures right now, so these three guys larking about in the woods will have to do instead:

Fun for all. There’s a kind of feeling about the place like we’re all growing up together as the place finds its own ‘feel’. Getting the balance right. Loving it.

Cue some ‘balance’ pictures!

Don’t try this one at home – or at least, not on the subway steps:

A steady planche:

A relatively easy one-arm:

You’d need to be quite flexible to do this:

A nice shot from under the parallel bars:

…and from the side:

…and a nice wide handstand in the rings:

Rising to handstand on the pommel horse:

A superb Russian lever:

And to finish for now, the boys from Chelyabinsk doing handstand endurance training:

…and their handstand push-ups – nothing like it for strengthening the upper body!

PS: please do support the blog by buying the gay/acrobatic/circus/adventure 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

 

 

 

 

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‘Doing Their Thing’

‘No, honestly – I’m just giving him a massage…’

Boys ‘doing their thing’. That’s what this blog is all about – so long as the ‘thing’ is fitness-related and frequently ‘gay’. That’s what my first three books are all about, too (especially finding gay love, putting circus acts together and getting into mischief (and trouble)). Click on the interleaved cover images in this post for more information (or go on Amazon ‘cos the e-versions are there too).

People ‘doing their thing’ is what this vacation complex in Portugal where Dave and I are now working and living is all about. ‘Families to the right, adult gay/straight couples/groups to the left’. A clever design with similar but separated facilities for the two different halves. Naturism allowed, some areas specially allocated for that on the family side. ‘All in it together’ on the adult side.

Yes, a significant proportion of gay guys on the ‘adult’ side – it’s a perfect place to ‘relax’ with your loved one(s). Most of the visitors are also investors in the project, or guests of such investors, and it was ‘sold’ as a fitness centre, so the leisure facilities are a high priority to get right. We designed the gyms, and the first mistake was not to include punchbags for the young Russians (and others, to be fair). So we got them punchbags.

Then it was considered that there were not enough outdoor bars… for the ‘street-workout enthusiasts. So we’ve just had additional bars installed.

Yesterday, our radios came to life and asked to go up to the management office. ‘You don’t need to change – just come as you are, we know what you’re like!’ Meaning that they hardly expected us to be wearing shirts in this fitness environment – just the shorts or trunks which identify us as ‘staff’. Fair enough!

Six strong lads in the room, asking whether they could have a private session in the gym. For wrestling. Gay wrestling. And what often follows… hence ‘private’. Except that they’d like to advertise for a few more guys to join them – apparently they are all in a gay wrestling club which exists ‘underground’ somewhere in western Russia near Latvia.

This is not the first such request – for a ‘private’ space. The house rules do forbid any form of sexual encounter in a ‘public’ area, expecting people to retire to their apartments for such liaisons. Fair enough. But the issue for us would be ‘closing’ the gym, which for sure has matted areas for wrestling but which is open 24/7 to all visitors. Of course, there is plenty of grass on which folks can wrestle if they please…

…but these lads obviously want to go ‘the whole way’ at the end of their bouts.

Option 1 was offer them a couple of hours between 1am and 5am, which is the only time that the gym isn’t often in use – however the entry card system and the CCTV do reveal occasional use by insomniacs.

Management comes up with an ingenious short-term idea – use the stage of the auditorium on days when there is no rehearsal going on in the daytime or an evening when there is no show. The stage floor is matted and there is room for four bouts to go on simultaneously. Access to the auditorium is only available to guests when shows are on (four evenings a week). However, they  think that there should be a payment, at least for the inconvenience and for any clearing up that needs to be done after, especially if oil gets used. To our surprise the lads agree, saying they’ll try to find six more guys up for it and would €200 cover it for three hours? These Russians are not short of a few Euros…

And then the managers look at Dave and I and say ‘can you supervise?’ Absolutely, yes we can! In fact, we exchange a look which says ‘…and we’ll take part, too!’ Just like the old days in the private gym in Tennessee. Especially if the hours count as working hours!!

And separately, one of the management team suggests – ‘How about we get a small marquee and put a fitness floor inside it: there’s space, and anyone can ‘hire’ time in it?’ Everyone agrees. ‘Get on the case, lads!’ And so we are!

There’s our model – an army-style pop-up gym. Sourcing it in the Algarve may be a challenge, but we can get something sent from pretty much anywhere in Europe. And the ‘ring’ which some boxers have asked for could go in there too, if funding allows…

We love this place – it seems too good to be true. And we owe our placement to my old mate Roger who has been involved somehow in moving money around to make it happen. I don’t want to know how that’s done – better not to ask.

So there we are. ‘Happy vacationers’, most (but not all) of them fitness enthusiasts, generally they like our facilities for training…

…not to mention the pools…

… the food, the bars and, of course, relatively easy access to the beach in what this seems this summer so far to be perpetual sun!

There was no problem getting four more gay lads to join the wrestle group, which we insisted was limited to twelve including ourselves. We chipped in for the fee of course – been missing this stuff. We operated the session at 7am this morning, organised just like we used to back in Oak Ridge – seven minute sessions with everyone wrestling everyone else in turn. Two points for a win, one for a draw… eventually you have a clear winner on points and a clear loser. Dave and I had made it clear that we were not going to go the full monty in terms of ‘gay engagement’, whatever anyone else chose to do. We have rules about that – even if the guys with whom we do share are presently 4000 miles away.

We didn’t do awfully well against these guys. Definitely out of wrestle practice. Indeed (red face) I came last, and Dave just three places higher. Dave is always a better wrestler than me anyway. Top guy got well ‘serviced’ by his friends, and as for me… Bukkake Boy. Oh well! Another session is planned for later in the week.

I can see that we’ll be formally asked to take on organising “gay  entertainment” next. That wasn’t on the original job description, but… … … we’re here to look after the ‘hot and naked’ clientele…

… as well as more obvious jobs relating to personal training and encouraging the younger set to learn some acrobatics…

Before we get into the usual tailpiece of random fitness pictures, one more remark on the ‘Doing Their Thing’ theme. Dave walked into the ‘adult’ gym at 7am yesterday morning to find two topless ladies ‘hard at work’ on one of the benches – not lifting weights, but rather strongly ‘into’ each other, massaging each others breasts, intensely kissing and oblivious to anyone else. He had to (politely) remind them that some affairs were not really meant to take place in the public areas, and got a mouthful of invective in response in a language he could not identify. He’s ‘saved’ the CCTV image, just in case they decide to complain about him. You see, its not just us gay guys that get lost ‘in the moment’…

…or like doing stuff ‘with our kit off’…

A couple of sauna pictures next – another great facility they have here:

…what is he doing with those apples??

And for the final four today – just ‘hot people’…

Stop Press: final typesetting proof of ‘Let The Future Find Me’ has just arrived!!

 

 

 

 

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Fighting Talk

Well, the boxers wanted punch bags, and a ring…

 

… the punch bags have arrived and have been fixed by the maintenance guys, one in each ‘half’ of this complex we’re at. As for a ring, with actual ropes, well, the wrestlers within the gay adults who come here would definitely go for that as well, it would appear, and the management ‘ears’ appear to be receptive, although it is not clear where it would go.

On the ‘adult’ side we have only one pool and therefore more outside space… we’ll have to see. But it does seem that money is no object to satisfy our clients here, although the initial investment by those ‘clients’ does appear to have been pretty substantial.

To be honest, Dave and I are astounded by the number of people (either sex) spending time here in Portugal working out and doing fitness sports of one kind or another, when the lure of hot sun, pools, beach, and great wine and food is on offer as an alternative to physical activity! For us, it’s fine, since our role here is to facilitate all that training stuff, but the take-up greatly exceeds our expectations ad we’re spending more time tidying up gyms, spotting for people and offering advice than either we or the ‘management’ expected. Still, it shows we’re useful and worth the money… not to mention the evening entertainments we’re here to manage as well. And that’s not just acrobatics (which is what we do) of course, but the whole range of ‘variety’.

We’ve had to take the locals advice, for example, on whether a Fado singer is good or not (how would we know!!?). They tell us the magician is ‘tolerable’ (but he’s local so they love him), the bands are good (we’re rotating three of them now), our sword swallower and contortionist are doing great, and we have jugglers and clowns due to arrive next week. Meanwhile over in darkest Tennessee, some of our acrobatic friends are planning their ‘spots’ as soon as we give them a contract!

Talking of fighting, the local lads ‘fight club’ which they hold in the dunes a couple of evenings a week to entertain their girlfriends (and themselves) continues. Alf and Seb invited us to  take part when we first arrived, but being something over ten years older than most of the said lads does make us feel a bit out of place. The usual response when we say we’ll sit out and watch is that they put two of them on to each of us… Oh well! Here’s couple of martial artists to entertain us all (the style of the fight club is pretty random, by MMA comes closest!).

And he’s a bit sweaty, which shows he’s been putting in the work!

So that’s pretty much our ‘fun in the sun’ story for today. Something unexpected needs to happen to justify posting at the current rate, so let’s see. In the meantime, I’ll make up the numbers with some suitable pix. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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“Once More On To The Beach, Dear Friends…”

Apologies for that horrible mis-quotation. But, although tonight is ‘show’ night, we don’t have to be in it ourselves. For once, we have managed to get a reasonable line-up without having to repeat the performances we did on Monday/Tuesday. Seb and two of the pool boys are stage-managing, and we’re off to the beach! It’s called ‘delegation’.

As we prepare to hit the sand for what’s left of the day, we leave both of the on-site gyms quite well patronised and we can leave the guys and girls there to sweat on their own… like all of the guys in the picture post which follows.

No other news: no book trailers… just the gym bunnies. Enjoy.

Today’s finale – a guy dressed for the beach but yet to finish his slightly sweaty press-ups before jumping in the car. He’d be welcome to join us…

 

 

 

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Rain Dance

Obviously we’re enjoying the wall-to-wall sunshine and high temperatures in our new Portugal location. But nevertheless, a little rain wouldn’t come amiss! Not so we can heft our dumbbells in the rain (as much as we enjoy being shirtless in the rain, especially for a run)…

…but because we are in danger of running out of water. The unprecedented heat wave covering much of eastern and southern Europe isn’t quite so fierce here, possibly due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. But the wild fires in Portugal started weeks ago (thankfully not near here – not really a forested area). Currently the concern of the local community is the potential loss of water supplies.

Of course, building this large vacation complex, filling its pools, and bringing in around 200 additional people has not helped, especially as there was no plan to supplement the water supply. We understand that it was discussed at the planning stage… now, some local people are pointing the finger and saying ‘if it wasn’t for them coming here, we’d be all right’. And, for sure, they may well be right.

Swimming off the beach is all very well…

…but our clients come back here sweaty, sticky and plastered in sand, and then the showers start to flow!

The guests are, obviously, discouraged from jumping straight into one of the freshwater pools in that condition and, even if they did, the next thing would be shower to wash of the pool chlorine. Same goes for the sweaty gym bunnies…

And, indeed the staff. Us! It is very difficult to be working in a temperature peaking 36C without getting sweaty ourselves, and luxuriating under the shower! We’re constantly thinking – ‘we want to be in some water… somewhere!’

Of course, from the perspective of a family or a couple just here for a week, what they’ve paid for is SUN, SUN, SUN! Any talk of needing rain would not go down at all well. Today, the management received an estimate from the local authorities for doubling up on the pipeline which leads from wherever the large water mains run – a solution which will work only if the reservoir(s) retain adequate resources, of course. Apparently, it’s not cheap. And it was not something the ‘powers that be’ here expected to have to fund! So a little rain would delay the problem while the debate continues. I think, in the longer term, that our management will decide to assist the local authorities, in the interests of good relations. But I’m sure they’ll be pointing out all the spending power of the visitors which is boosting the local economy. Not least, restaurants! Good though the food is here, most visitors are sampling the local offerings as well. Us too, even though food is free under our contract if we ‘eat in’.

Meanwhile, at our Welsh cottage (aka pension fund investment!), guests are dodging the sowers under cloudy skies. They don’t call rain ‘Welsh sunshine’ for nothing.

OK, whatever the weather is where you are, enjoy. Or go on vacation to somewhere different!

But do keep up the fitness and, if you are a gay guy, enjoy the remaining fit-lad images which follow:

Coming soon:

Up on our roof terrace, in the dark at dead of night tonight and out of sight of any holidaymakers, we might try the rain dance ritual. Problem is, we’re not sure how it goes. Maybe in the morning, the region will be covered in frogs. Perhaps this is the first move: let’s see!

 

 

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Jungle Telegraph

Out here, in the southern European desert, we’re really cooking! And the temperature here is about 10C lower than some other parts of the Med coast, for example. This heat-wave is said to be unprecedented… even Dave and I are starting to think that you can have too much of a good thing.

Also, the humidity has risen somewhat – we could be back in Tennessee, from the feel. But, basically, we still feel that we’re on to a good thing in our new location.

Beach, pools, gym, a few shows to perform… and they call it ‘work’!

So, we’re getting sweatier than we expected even when we’re not working out I the gym! Kewl, you could say.

Better than snow, anytime!

…although, right now, we wouldn’t mind a snowball fight!

Anyway, to business. The jungle telegraph around here is starting to liven up. Some of Alf and Seb’s friends have taken holiday jobs sorting parking and beach umbrellas at places down the coast. And they have picked up, filmed on their phones, and taken the contact details for a number of street/beach performers who are camping around in the district and could be amenable to appearing twice a week here, at least during the season. Dave and I are going out ‘on safari’ tomorrow to find some of them, after speaking on the phone. Check out their performances. And, in addition (I think I might have said this already) we’ve found a local fado singer (for those who like that sort of thing: some of the visitors seem to expect it). Slowly but surely we’re getting into the business of being empresarios!! Important, so we can do a bit less ourselves in the evenings. We’re due a bit of ‘down time’…

Actually, to be fair, we’re getting quite a bit of quality time. And, as it happens, getting some ‘private’ work training acrobatics and stuff, even though the ‘clients’ are rather transient (as in, here only for a week or two weeks).

This morning, for example, already in our ‘staff’ shorts (we tend to ditch the Speedo option because pockets are useful) but not yet on duty, taking breakfast on the ‘family’ side of the enterprise. Two lads – look like twins aged about 16, with the parents, taking breakfast at the next table. One of the lads, seeing us shirtless (as ever!), pointedly pulls his vest off over his head. It is already about 25C and cloudless. His brother follows suit. I notice some debate within the family, and then one of the boys comes over.

‘Was that you in the show last night?’

‘Yes…’

‘Is that stuff with the glass real, or do you fake it like in an illusion?’ (This refers to glass walking and to Dave and the boys ‘burying’ me in the ‘glass coffin’ thingy. I’m paraphrasing a bit because their English wasn’t too good).

‘No, it’s real. Anybody can do it, with a bit of practice and a bit of care’.

‘Could we?’

‘Guess so.’

‘Any chance of a lesson?’

Well, yes, of course there was. So, going over to the parents, we arranged to meet them as we came off shift at 4pm this afternoon. We let them back into the auditorium through the staff door and introduced them, in front of their admiring parents, to the simple physics which allows one to lie on a bed of nails and walk on broken glass. Afterwards, pocketing our handsome tip, we arranged for them to join the ‘basic acrobatics’ class put on for kids tomorrow morning – they will probably be the oldest, but also the best able to attempt some of the stuff. They have quite good handstands already.

Stoi! This kind of thing is so much fun, and we love to pass on the ‘arts’.

That done, we’ll hit the road and go suss out some potential performers for our future shows.

A correspondent from back in the US (see comment on previous post) asked if our ‘acts’ are all fitness related. Gosh, no – for your average audience that would be tedious in the extreme! That’s one thing we’re quickly learning – audience tastes vary wildly and, what can be appreciated one week can be considered boring by the audience the following week. Need to keep on our toes. So we’re researching local music groups as well (but resisting the local am-dram for the moment!). Anyone know a xylophone player?

OK – what entertainment can I offer you right now? You guessed – some books, pictured here (click on covers) and some more pictures of great guys for our largely gay readership. Hope these ‘hit the spot’.

(That’s British gymnast Nile Wilson)

 

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