If it’s Sunday, it must be Wales. I am, briefly, with my parents in my own house, Cefn Derwen. Yng fy nghartref, as they say here. That’s after four days on the southern fringe of Europe learning about our new possible job opportunity, a day in Oxford discussing it with my old friend Roger who caused it to happen through his business contacts (and downing a few beers with him and my oldest friend Colin and his family). Dave is on his way down from Cumbria after discussing with his parents and is hopefully about to arrive at our local train station Llanwrtyd Wells, ready for collection! And on Tuesday we shall be flying back to the States.


The first part of last week was like this…

Blue skies, temperature in the mid-twenties C (upper 70s F). Meanwhile, back in our current home of Tennessee it was freezing at night: here in Wales this afternoon it is bright, occasionally drizzly and a cold wind is setting in. I feel as though I am getting a world tour of weather as well. We went swimming in the ocean at the start of our trip and, happily, there was not a snowflake in sight!!…

…our days of looking enthusiastically for ice to swim under are probably over!

More serious decisions loom. We are being pressured by the German, Russian and Norwegian investor/directors in this new holiday complex project to ‘sign on the dotted line before Theresa May triggers Brexit’. Probably it is too soon to worry but, on the other hand, Brits already signed up to a job in the EU may be in a stronger position that Brits seeking to work in the EU after the countdown starts. Who knows?

We have questioned some small print about the degree of flexibility potentially expected of our duties at this holiday complex if other staff are absent but, other than that, it really does seem to be a remarkably generous package and our alleged talents do seem to fit the bill – although we’ve never actually designed a gym, let alone one which is going to be in the open air for much of the year.

Need to think about odd things like the effect of the sun on rubber covered weights, and what sort of safety flooring can tolerate being rained on from time to time. The machines would always be under cover, but weight racks would be rolled into the uncovered area along with benches and so forth…

We’re well aware that imitation leather benches, especially dark coloured, will heat up in direct sun and burn the trainers’ backs, as well as cracking up. Needs careful thought! On the ‘adult’ side of the complex, mats will also be available for wrestling or martial arts practice. On the ‘family’ side, we’ll need kids gym stuff which also comes in plastic covering which cannot tolerate hot sun… lots to think about!

I’m sure we can do better than this for outdoor equipment!…

Anyways, we have this evening to correlate all the advice we have gathered in, bounce it all off my parents (and off Dave’s by phone), talk to the rest of our family in the US (our kids and their mothers) and maybe one or two ‘fitness friends’ there too, and reach a decision.

Our instinct is to go for it for a one-year period, with a break clause available to either side at that point with no recriminations, provided we could return to our previous existence in the madhouse which passes for our home in the US (and if The Donald would still let us in, though I think we can keep our work visas going on the basis that we are “taking time out” – which all Americans seem to like doing). That’s one final check to be made tomorrow morning.

We shall miss the kids of course – but they’re 15 now and growing into lives of their own – and I have little doubt that they’ll be over to stay with us at every opportunity. They already talk of coming to live with us after the summer vacation period – but that would either mean transferring to school in an uncommon foreign language (absolutely not popular) – or some form of ‘home schooling’, for which we would have little time anyway. Son Leo says he would love the sun and the beach and could be persuaded to a (little) bit of work as well!!

In other words, a lot of that as well as this

…as much sun as possible, and not much else! To be fair, he was absolutely great with young kids at the summer camps last year, and we’re all signed up for six weeks of that again in the summer vacation. The remaining two weeks of his break, at the end of July before US school re-starts in August, he’s intending to spend coming back with us to the new place, “even if I have to pay for the ticket myself!”

There’s lots more to tell, but no time today. That includes Colin’s son Ollie and his gymnast buddy Alex, doing terrific work building their skills – and their bodies – they’re in almost daily Skype contact with Leo and his friend Chris and there are plans for a re-union… Colin may find some money to send Ollie down to join up with us (the US school vacations and the English one only overlap two weeks and by then Dave and I, at least, will be moving in on the new job, so it can’t be USA for him this year.

I think we’ll be moving in on the new job.

Final decision tomorrow.

I feel red wine coming on, to steady our nerves. This would be a huge change of direction.

Meanwhile, some more general fitness pics for you to keep things moving along.

Coming soon: “Let The Future Find Me” (by little old me again!), publisher Vanguard Press, Cambridge UK! An (almost entirely) fictional story of a gay Native American outcast who never gets to fulfil his romantic dream… watch this space for more details.

And, finally for today, a strange illustration of ‘fun in the sun with a mate’ and acrobatics. Context unclear! Paint job. Enjoy!

About tony

Born Northampton UK
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