“Otiose Twaddlers” – 100 Years On

1795643_288759691299756_1235601088658042245_nI’m going to shoot myself in the foot at the end of this post – you’ll see.

That’s not MY foot, by the way – it’s a readers foot. He posted a picture of his foot – long story, let him tell it if he wants in a comment!

Meanwhile, where was I? Oh yes. I subscribe to the London newspaper The Times (electronic edition, for obvious reasons like being 4000 miles from London). They are currently running a daily piece from their editions exactly 100 years ago, and last Thursday’s contained that wonderful headline phrase OTIOSE TWADDLERS. Yeah, I had to look up ‘otiose’ too.

Pause for a nice pic of a football player (US) doing his training…


“Useless / slothful people talking pointless rubbish” – apparently what the citizens of Brussels used to do in front of their north railway station 100 years ago – until the Germans marched in having taken them rather by surprise. I assume that British people reading that phrase in August 1914 would have had no trouble in understanding it… but then, the readers of The Times have always been “the intelligentsia” (smirk)…

Pause for another member of the same team, on the touchline…


Not a bad weight for a shoulder press…

OK. Fast forward to a shopping mall in Oak Ridge Tennessee, August 2014. I have Dave’s daughter Jaymee with me – she needed some stuff for her room, and Dave and her mum were both busy. Sitting outside a diner in the mall were a family we know slightly – mum, dad, three teenagers. Burgers going cold in front of them. All five intent on I-phone screens… tap, tap, slide, little grin, tap, tap

I tell, you, Jaymee and I did two entire circuits of their table hoping to catch their attention and just say “Hi”. However, no-one looked up – no-one took another bite of their congealing burger… tap, tap, slide…

Jaymee and I took a look at each other, sighed, and we tiptoed away. Hate to disturb them…

Here’s half the team doing push-ups: I like the technique…


OK, that’s enough. I hate American football…

That, gentlemen (and any ladies present), is the new Otiose Twaddling. “Useless / slothful people talking reading/tapping out pointless rubbish” – I don’t know whether they were Facebooking, Tweeting, Gaming or whatever but, for f*ck’s sake, can’t people put the damn things away for five minutes? At least whilst they eat? Maybe exchange a few words with their family family members?

Yes, our home with its numerous inhabitants has lots of electronic devices, but their use is limited to necessity, except when no other things need to be done. I am proud to say that Jaymee, my son Leo, and their closest friends, have grown up to enjoy sport, exercise, fresh air and so on… even the TV is rarely watched (though in US, with all the crap advertising, that’s not hard to do)… they are up at 6am not to Instagram their mates but to get across to the training cabin (with said mates) and get fit and improve their skills!

Full Body Shirtless63


No OTIOSE TWADDLING for them, nor for these guys I hope:


mean weight collection


Aha, a young gymnast wanting to improve his arm strength. Good for him. That’s what Dave and I (and a few of our acrobatic mates) now spend most of our time doing – encouraging the next generation.


Hard physical work pays off:


Now here’s a GOOD use for a smartphone – recording the progress of your weights programme:


Nice taps, dude (faucet to the US guys)… I should have cropped that… more usefully, good shoulder/pec development… is that a small CAT sitting under his mirror (hey, Dave…)…

Here’s how I preferred to record OUR development (finding and loving Dave, enjoying developing acrobatic performance, going on tour, getting shot at… yeah, shit happens)…

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

Books are better than screens – but you can read ’em on screen if you want because I was persuaded to have them published as e-books as well…

Now where’s all this going? Let’s have another fine body while I try to figure this out…


…or two…


…well, the one on the right, anyway…

OK. The ‘denoument’. What am I doing right now, composing this epic post? Tap, tap, click, click… WELL, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? SEMAPHORE? SHOUT?

Destroyed my own argument, more like. As I predicted, shot myself in the foot, as they say. Hell, I need a drink…


Indeed. (Thanks, Ian). Not that, then.

OK, only one choice left, and I should have thought of it straight off. Off with my beautiful Dave into the sunset, for some OTIOSE TWADDLING, 1914 style. Bye!


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...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.