Boys Behaving Badly

Yesterday, Ellie took all the girls off for a day exploring the Gower coves and beaches, leaving us boys (Dave and I, Leo, Chris and young Ollie) to ourselves at the cottage. Tomorrow we reverse the plan, using Ellie’s car, and we shall go off to the sea also, somewhere around Aberystwyth, and taking in a ride on one of these…


That’s the nearby Vale of Rheidol Railway – definitely seen as ‘boys stuff’ by the girls.

But yesterday, another hot and humid day, with the ‘boys’ sleeping in the barn, we woke up to find the girls already ‘on the road’. In fact, Dave and I woke to found the three young boys missing also, but excited shrieks quickly led us to the house where we found young Mr Ollie Brookman (Colin’s 9yo son) in just his underpants flat on his back on the flagstones of the kitchen floor with Chris carefully speading marmalade on to his stomach. ‘We’re initiating him’, observed my son Leo brightly, as if one always did this shortly after getting out of bed, and he and Chris then proceeded to lick it off. I suppose we only have ourselves to blame, being the willing participants in assorted rituals associated with Chad’s gym over the years!

Tuan Jie‘We’re all going to do everything together, for ever!’ observed Chris – rather impossible given that Ollie lives in Oxford and he lives in Tennessee. Then I noticed that they had used marker pen to give each other “tatoos’ on their lower backs very similar to the ‘Tuan Jie’ marks which Dave and I and nine other guys proudly wear.

‘And it’s no shirts all day, right, Dad?’ says Leo, looking anxiously to me to endorse his plan. Fine by Dave and I – and we’ll certainly swim naked in the river at some point during the day.


But first they have other ideas. Ollie is the son of gymnasts and, for his nine years, shows a remarkable skill and the body development that goes with hours of practice on rings and high bar. ‘We’ll do some tumbling and acro first, Dad, OK?’ Well, yes, son! Don’t we always! Some floor exercise, then, and a bit of showing off…


We’ve rigged up some straps in our modest barn gym here, too, so we can tie ourselves up in knots…


At this point we don’t have any shiny poles but it would be fun to get those too, either here in Wales or back in our training cabin in Oak Ridge TN…


In all of our 13 performing years, we’ve never done poles!

But today, it’s trees, mud, yelling and shrieking, ‘fighting’, chucking water about, football… what more could three young boys desire? When many kids of their age spend their vacations on i-pads and phones, gaming and watching rubbish on TV, ‘real boys’ (that’s Leo’s description of this little trio!) get outside and have fun. Chris told me after breakfast that he never wants to go home – not sure what his dad Steve might make of that!

And, of course, given Ollie’s development, Dave and I have supervised him on some light weights alongside  the other two. Boys like these want to be proud of their bodies – not only to impress the girls (not Dave’s and my thing, obviously!) but because we all want to be fit, strong and able to do clever stuff…


…but it is so important not to lose flexibility, as gymansts, and Chris’s bodybuilding brother Billy is an example of exactly that – his flexibility is awful now because he has put so much muscle in his way. So we do monitor Leo (and his partner Jaymee) very carefully in terms of weight training. Leo knows well enough he wants to be a balance star, and Ollie combines that with his apparatus work, like this guy (also in his underpants I notice!):


But yesterday’s ‘Boys Behaving Badly’ day included other delights…


IMAG1248…after all, with scenery like this, three happy young ‘uns and the two of us, what else could you possible need?

Well, possibly, a good book to lose yourself in…

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

…but, then, I would say that, wouldn’t I? (Gay love, acrobatics, unexpeced menace and a happy ending…) – deleriously happy as far as Dave and I are concerned…

pull my string

So, let’s celebrate our ‘Man Power’ (strangely the name of Chad’s private gym back in TN)…



That is what a dedicated ‘gym boy’ should look like after a good training session – sweaty, hair dripping, a brilliant body nicely pumped up to show the hard work he’s put in, and happy. Job well done!!


Long may we (all of Tuan Jie) keep our own shape and fitness, and continue to encourage the next generation! And, above all, let them enjoy the great outdoors as well as the gym. Even the great artists have picked up on that:


And, finally, we ‘boys’ will all get our beach day tomorrow (after the train ride) – whatever the weather! After all, the sea is always wet anyway…


Must make sure that Chris doesn’t sneak the marmalade into his pack…

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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1 Response to Boys Behaving Badly

  1. Pingback: ‘Foot in Mouth’ Moments | Tony Cavanagh

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