Like Fathers, LIke Sons…

Howling gale, lashing rain… welcome home to the UK! Three cars waiting for us at Heathrow – my dad, my old mates Colin (with son Ollie) and Roger also. Brilliant. Made us feel like film stars (well, there are seven of us…).

For about ten years before Dave appeared on my scene, Colin and I were best mates. We schooled together, played together, discovered bike rides and skinny dipping, toasting ourselves in the sun (yeah, naked sometimes) in those long summer hols, discovered gymnastics through experimenting on the river bank with acrobatics and stuff… nothing could come between us. And now, he’s happily married, I’m gay and – yeah, he says he knew that years before I knew it myself. He used to defend me to the rest of our class in school when I was out of earshot. Brilliant.

And now my son (a whisker off 12) and his (soon to be 10) are re-enacting our friendship despite a distance most of the time of 4000 miles. Leo’s mate Chris (not with us) is in the ‘clan’ too which they formed in the summer: they constantly Skype, comparing their gymnastic and weights achievements, all three are dedicated to sport and Ollie is set to spend as much time with us on this visit as he can. And, like their parents (even Colin) none of them want to wear tops unless they have to do, and barefoot is normal…

In fact there’ll be a constant succession of visitors to Wales once we get there, but Ollie is more or less going to be ‘in residence’ until Leo and Jaymee leave with their mums to return to school.

All of which makes me very happy. Colin and his wife too. The boys won’t be separated now. And Jaymee gets on very well with the younger sister – although the Dave/Karen/Jaymee/Dave’s dad part of the group will be in Cumbria for a while after Boxing Day, visiting with Dave’s mum (now rather less than estranged) and his dad thinking about his future, maybe house-hunting…

Wales on Monday then, with my parents joining for Christmas itself, Clare and my mum in charge of food… only one major storm forecast so far between now and then!!

The books ‘cut in’ where Dave and I first meet in the States back in 2000. Not too late to acquire some Xmas reading, especially given that they are all available in e-book format

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 now, some thematic pictures to cheer up a foul evening of weather here in Oxford UK!


The only one of our group (in Tennessee) that really does martial arts is Gary, but we all love a good fight and generally wear a little less! we don’t miss u[p on a chance to practice our pull-ups…


That young man’s upper arms seem to need a bit of work, and he realises that! There are other (sometimes seasonal) ways to improve core strength:


Group work is good:


Lots of interesting variations there! However, just the simple pike hold is a great strengthener, especially for the stomach:


It is however Christmas, so you are allowed just the occasional rest from training (I’ve been doing too much of this recently, thanks to the creeping bacteria):

011003 (3)jpg

Now a few pictures which just show off great results, and should inspire:

dumbells and veins


fit Koreanjpg


Well, those guys got it right. We’re hoping to do some stuff outdoors, weather permitting, once we get down to Wales…


…you know, kids trying to outdo each other on toughness, and maybe their parents too… the sea is a possibility, even in December, but few locals would do that…


welsh mistBut, even if we are confined by weather to the house (and barn, offering weights, wrestling and gymnastic space!!) well, there is still plenty we can ‘get up to’!

Next post, all being well, from Wales on Monday.

Right now, we have a bit of sleep to catch up on, having effectively missed a night out:


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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