There’s no shortage of time to sit and think on a 1600-mile road trip from northern California to Oak Ridge Tennessee – although we didn’t have the benefit of the wide-screen TV being ignored by that guy! However, he’s dressed for it, as we were: the sight of five shirtless and barefoot guys in their underwear pouring off the bus at 5am to use the truck-stop ablutions didn’t appear to phase anyone. So I’ve seen, briefly and sometimes for the first time, Reno (where some circus friends of mine are performing with Phoenix Firedancers), Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas, St. Louis and parts of western KY to drop off our second driver, whose wife met him in a truck stop, again in the early hours. Between them, he and our roadie Chet (who is never seen shirtless or barefoot!) did a great job.
Of course, we didn’t just sit and think – five gay guys ‘licensed’ to share… come on!
OK. We made it. Ethan and Jack straight off to Knoxville airport to fly to Toronto for Christmas with both sets of parents – that’s Jack’s home. Me, after being greeted ‘appropriately’ by Dave (!!), off to view the talent show featuring our offspring Leo and Jaymee and their acrobatic show last evening. They won (rather spectacularly) against the more predictable rock groups, singers and what not. It wasn’t at their school, as I previously reported – term is over – but at a city hall.
And, the TV company which is taping their full performance including the ‘fakir’ stuff has been filming with us this very day – first in our training cabin, with Leo doing his strength training alongside his best mates Chris and Ryan under supervision of Chris’s big bodybuilder brother Billy and our Pete; in the yard, with Jaymee preparing her fire and ‘bodyburning’ act with the mums (Karen and Clare) also showing off a bit, and finally off to Chad’s ‘open’ gym hall Man.Power.2 to see Jaymee and Leo training in the ‘flying’ rig. So I ended up in the first bit too – obviously shirtless like everyone else (but not naked as is usual in what Leo likes to call our ‘Sweat Room’) and trying not to look too sleepy whilst throwing the odd handstand in the background…
…cue for an ‘odd’ handstand (from Dmitry Brodyagin)…
…and a less ‘odd’ one on the parallel bars:
But this is Jaymee and Leo’s finest hour and we are seriously proud of them. Their determination to re-join the circus tour next June now seems certain – and our future visits to Wales therefore less so.
Next job is to go over to Knoxville airport with a fleet of cars to meet our Christmas guests. My parents, Dave’s too (they seem to be slowly getting back together, which would be great after all the upset which I wrote about in my BOOKS), plus my oldest friend Colin and his family, including the fourth member of Leo’s fitness-freak gang, Ollie. Youngest, and the only one living in UK rather than US – all I can say is that they make great use of Skype!
Leo doesn’t know that Ollie is coming (nor indeed, that entire family), so we’re taking him to the airport with us, along with Jaymee (who loves to be with their young daughter) just to watch their faces when four extra people get off the plane – the whole lot of them are on the same flight from Chicago after arriving on different flights from the UK!
…BOOKS… did I say BOOKS? If you are relatively new to this blog they’ll explain a great deal: gay love, love of sport and especially acrobatics, misadventures… even an element of thriller (a fortunate collaboration between the Scottish police and the FBI). Click on the covers for more information: e-books available too.
Right. Adverts over. Some more images appropriate to our theme(s) follow!
Check out this shoulder power:
More couples (or at least pairs):
(looks like fun, especially if the ‘flyer’ doesn’t lift his other leg up a bit higher)
Check me out, dude:
‘…Did you mean…? ‘
To accommodate all of our visitors, Dave and I (along with Ivo and Pete) will be sleeping in ‘The Sweat Room’ for a while. I have a strong feeling, from all the looks Dave keeps throwing at me, that there’ll be some action before we get some sleep… and we’ll need to be careful not to wake the younger boys who will be in the loft space over the top!
Very late this evening (after the weary travellers have taken to their (our!) beds, we must also slip out and visit Chad’s private gym: there is inevitably a ‘welcome home’ ceremony following long absences, which is going to be rather painful… Ethan and Jack have escaped it this time by flying away again, but otherwise there is a ‘three-line whip’ – literally. Pretty sure it will involve a game like ‘British Bulldog’, played naked, in which the ‘catchers’ are armed with leather straps with the intention of delivering a good beating rather than ‘catching’. We really should grow up at our age.
Just a couple more pictures, then I must get the relay to the airport organised.
Guys celebrating their training successes together:
OK. Enough. So much to fit in today before we finally hit the sack… on the floor mats of the training cabin…