“Expect to get Naked, Baby!”
That’s Ellie talking – sporty wife of my old friend Roger, back here in Oxford UK where we are spending the final two days of our vacation in the wetlands (!). The next set of paying holidaymakers are now developing webbed feet in our place in Wales.
It’s a dinner invitation, really – along with Colin and his wife Natasha… but those two lovely couples spend a lot of time together, often ending up with both couples making out in the same room after some wrestling around as a foursome.
I know, sounds weird… but they were into that even before either pair got married, and drew Dave and I in a few times when we were in UK – I wrote about it in The Power of Love (the middle one of my ‘Living the Dream’ trilogy). Three ex-gymnasts and a hockey captain! Ellie (and indeed Natasha for that matter) can be a formidable wrestling opponent!! And Roger and Ellie seem to like taking their sex life to almost violent levels.
We are, of course, the greatest of friends. Natasha has been in Wales helping me with Leo and Chris, her two kids Ollie and his sister, and their friend Alex. It has been fun despite the rain, but I’m really missing my own partner Dave now who is still in the deep south with the circus tour. And all I have to look forward to is endless ours of coaching to relieve the colleagues who have been standing in extra shifts in our place – Dave isn’t coming back for a few weeks yet. I need to wait awhile for this, though (by the way, how Dave and I got together is here )…
When we were together in the summer sun, being ‘lobstered in Louisiana’, it was so horribly humid that we wanted to keep away from one another – visions of dry sandy beaches and carefree fun on the sands in our heads though:
Anyway, back now in my parents’ Oxford home, where Leo and Jaymee are now under the gaze of two sets of doting grandparents (Leo’s friend Chris has escaped and is camping out with his friend Alex), I shall probably have a more fun evening tonight than any of the others!
I always feel a bit down when a “summer” break comes to an end. American kids return to school next week, despite it being only the beginning of August, so they’re down too. But here is much to look forward to for all of us – Leo and Jaymee have bookings for their acrobatic cabaret, for example. So maybe the glass really is half full rather than half empty.
Working out is always a pleasure, especially in the company of my fit colleagues and my son and his mates. It’s all about constantly maintaining and improving your body, which has to be good: it’s about your friends seeing your muscles at work and helping you to refine your technique to get the best effect. For these reasons – and more – we do tend to work out naked in private. In the ‘family and friends’ group, yes: in the wider adult group in the private gym – yes; mixing the young kids and the wider group – NO! We have principles. But this picture, more explicit than I would normally post here (so scroll down if likely to be offended), says it all for me. I have no idea where it was taken, nor who these guys are, but look at the faces. It’s about enjoyment – it’s about the sun on your back, it’s about the breeze on your face. It’s about sharing the joy of improving your health and strength. It is NOT about sex, gay or otherwise.
“Expect to get Naked, Baby!”
OK. I’m told off from time to time for spending too much time here justifying what we do. Or trying to. ‘Just get on with and post the bl**dy pictures!’ moans one correspondent. ‘Yes, Sir!’. Another sunny outdoor gym:
At the track:
With the ‘baristas’:
At the pool:
…all that lovely outdoor sunny stuff that the current British weather has prevented! Our Welsh ‘wild swimming’ has been in the rain – not that that really makes much difference! I love swimming in water on which the raindrops are pattering.
I came across these – posted up on my Facebook version of this blog by someone who picked up on my ancestry:
A ‘UK takeover’ of the State? Unlikely. And ‘Tennessee by the grace of God’? That implies that any Brit would prefer to be across the pond in the fringe of the Bible Belt, and I doubt that is really true. I’m torn. I have a son to an American girl (lesbian) who has dual nationality. But I sense that he is not ‘at home’ here in the UK, any more than I am ‘at home’ in Tennessee. 15 years is a long time to be in exile… who knows what the future will bring?
In the case of the adventures at the end of my ‘trilogy’, the answer is a few surprises! And for the future: who knows! Maybe it is no coincidence that I have decided to call my forthcoming book (fiction) ‘Let The Future Find Me’. But you’ll need to wait a while for that, while I decide where to send it for possible publication. I may post a few extracts here shortly.
And in the meantime, back in the State of Tennessee, we’ll take advantage of whatever comes up, to enjoy ourselves!