The Oxford Wives Conspiracy

Well, we’ve made it to Oxford UK (thanks British Airways!). Son Leo’s best friend Chris slightly unhappy about being 4000 miles away from his parents for the first time ever, and I’m proud to say that before my mum could intervene, Leo took him to one side, arm around his shoulders, and organised to use ‘grandad’s’ computer for a Skype call home. All fine now and well done, son!

Fantastic weather and no humidity! Round to old friend Roger and Ellie’s home for a barbecue last evening, along with my oldest friend Colin and his wife Natasha. Plus seven kids splashing around in their little garden pool whilst Rog and Colin, shirtless and barefoot, supervised the barbecue. Our two aged eleven inevitably ‘took charge’ along with Chris: the other three girls and one boy ranbge from six to nine.

After the youngest were put to bed, reminiscing time! My friends and their wives are also very sporty – three gymnasts and one hockey captain when at school, and Colin even did some modelling with us one time…

1944…which also involved diving into a freezing Loch Lomond in Scotland (see Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7 ). Just after Dave and I had first met and we came back to UK the first time together, Ellie and Natasha (then just girlfriends) challenged ‘their’ boys to wrestle us (naked!) – and then decided to get oily and join in themselves (see The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6 ). Now, as they’re all coming to Wales to stay a while with us during the UK school vacation, they decided to issue the challenge again. Heigh ho – good job our training barn is private and there are no neighbours… and, if the present good weather in UK continues, they’ve vowed to go ‘skinny dipping in our little local mountain river, as well… (we certainly will be, whatever the weather, with Leo and Jaymee leading the charge…)



nike-gridiron-football-wallpaperAbsolutely no excuses for not conforming to these girl’s demands, actually! I think they’ve been planning their ‘sporty’ vacation ever since they knew we had equipped our barn with mats, weights, oil and the rest! And Colin and Roger encouraging them, too. Well, we go back a long way, and we all know the boundaries!

Being a converted sheep shed, our gym is, I suppose, a bit basic. Local lad Neil (marathon runner) looks after it for us and lets the locals use it to make us a bit of money to pay for more stuff. Not, however, as basic as this…

untidy gym

We do give a little thought to ‘elf and safety’ – perhaps because we are professional coaches – but that dude looks good as a result of his efforts even if his weights are rusty and he’s probably tripped over the carpet a few times. Indeed, in a lot of ways, I would prefer that ‘homely’ kind of setup to this…

Moscow gym

…no shortage of equipment there, but very cramped up and I notice that every guy in there has his shirt on, which we don’t approve of. If you wanna build muscles, let’s see them growing – but perhaps we say that because we’re gay guys…


More rusty weights, but good results…

gym success (5)

Our barn is very like this, and the guys using it generally speaking don’t seem to injure themselves:

injured lifter

Anyway, back to the barbecue and to the ‘Oxford Wives’. They weren’t done with us and demanded a ‘knockout hand balancing competition’ into which the kids joined (or tried to, with the younger ones)…

(excuse for some balance pix!)



image (2)

…and that’s not so easy with a stomach full of sausage and after several beers…

So. The battle lines for Wales have been drawn! We’re gonna have to keep in training ourselves, I can see that. Leo, Chris and Jaymee obviously keen to do that anyway.



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About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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