My old friend Colin and his wife brought their two kids, my son and his friend Chris down to the cottage in Wales yesterday. There aren’t many opportunities for kids to run totally wild these days, but here at Cefn Derwen, perhaps this is one of them. No-one else for miles, trees to climb, a swimming hole in the river, warm weather plus the occasional warm downpour to liven things up…
These are fit kids, as this blog regularly tells, so as soon as they arrived it was no shirts or shoes and off into the wild, returning to the house only for food and drink. The first time they came back they were down to underpants; after that nothing. Chests smeared in mud, wrestling, happy…
They decided to bivouac for the night, so Dave, Colin and I helped to construct something reasonably waterproof. I sneaked out early this morning to check they were OK, and peered in. Three naked boys, a jumble of arms and legs, the blankets we had issued long-since kicked off, but warm and sleeping peacefully. ‘The bestest friends in the whole world’, as Colin’s nearly 11yo Ollie puts it.
Did we join in any of this stuff? You bet. Colin and his wife Natasha are ex-gymnasts and seriously fit too. And, of course, we have our little gym here, and everyone makes good use of that. ‘Tash and Ollie’s little sister are a little less extrovert than the rest of us, and volunteered to make dinner whilst the rest of us pretended we were carefree 12yo’s again.
Colin’s not gay, of course, although he knew I was when we were aged about 12, long before I did: but Dave and I have had plenty of gay fun too with our local friends Tom and Iestyn. They are keen squash players and runners, and use our weights here, so are very fit: very keen to wrestle with us and get up close and nakedly comfortable (we draw the line at full (ahem) insertion, as both couples have codes to follow), but pretty much anything else can be shared!
Let’s just make one thing clear, for people who worry about such things. My life as a gay dad with a loving partner Dave and our friends is totally separated from my life as a loving father of a seriously straight boy and his straight friends, and the issues are never mixed. Son Leo fully understands our situation and has grown up with his lesbian mum in her relationship and me in mine. He feels blessed to effectively have two mums and two dads (as does Dave’s daughter, who has remained in Tennessee this vacation) and these books describe how I found gay love, became a gay dad, enjoyed our sports and circus life and got into a bit of trouble with my friends along the way.
I feel obligated to make this statement (especially in a post with this title) since last week the British authorities made plain that they have evidence against ten thousand (yes, 10,000!!) alleged paedophiles and have arrested 660 of them… we are NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT, into that, and the assorted kids can run around this place half naked without any risk from us. Dave and I coach gymnastics at all ages, and both of us have child-protection qualifications and criminal-record checks in place. Just saying…
…especially as, like most gay guys, we enjoying looking at pictures of fit young men. And, as Colin has just pointed out after peering over my shoulder at what I am writing here, that his wife Natasha likes looking at fit young men as well!!!
So, ‘Boy Heaven’ – that post title, simply refers to how the kids view this place. Actually, it’s ‘heaven’ for boys of all ages, including ourselves. And probably also for any girls that get to come here, it’s ‘Girl Heaven’ too.
Read the tattoo:
OK, sermon over. Actually I never intended to say all that when I started – it’s just kind of come out.
Even ‘Ryan’s homophobe dad (Ryan is the fourth member of the transatlantic Leo/Chris/Ollie “fit boys” partnership, back in TN!) was finally convinced he could trust us with his son’s training after initially forbidding him even to have contact with Leo outside school (where he couldn’t prevent it).
Respect for our kids (and for ALL kids), respect for individual’s lifestyles, and respect for guys who have clearly put in the effort to build great physiques!
So there we are, a fair old selection. Colin and ‘Tash have invited us all for a pub lunch, so time to stop. Guess the kids will have to put an actual shirt on for that!! Better go and yell for them to come in, and clean them up!
Remember, gay or straight, it’s OK to have fun with your same-sex friends, especially in public: