Utopia… Limited!

It is probably no surprise that my son Leo and Dave’s daughter Jaymee have fallen in love with our new abode in Portugal at first sight. Endless days of cloudless sun are predicted, and clear skies at night. A beach nearby – they are there now at a beach party with the local teens, instantly bonded with our ’employee’ teenagers Alfredo and Seb and introduced to their friends – maybe even learning a few Portuguese words…

…gyms to hand (part open air), with equipment specified by the dads so ‘just right’…

… the opportunity to go shirtless and barefoot all day (Leo) and pretty much the same for Jaymee, save for the occasional bikini top – although naturism is enjoyed here as part of the visitors’ “deal” anyway.

Add our exclusive rooftop – weights, fakir stuff for training, mattress for sleeping under the stars – wow! Last we sat together watching the final flights into Faro airport turning to the west over us for their final approach as the stars made their appearance. And the best thing of all: low humidity. Right now it is 30C too in oak Ridge – but 91% humidity according to the weather app. Sooooo different here, with a gentle breeze off the sea…

…pools on site too…

So, not surprising then that I have received a number of requests along the lines of ‘how do we book?’!!

The answer, for the moment, maybe surprisingly, is that you can’t. All along, the investors and financiers envisioned a sort of private club where people could relax and do their own thing. Enjoy naturisms with their families or groups. Gay couples welcome. And so on. Equally, the local planning system (which I know virtually nothing about) didn’t favour that idea much, but desperately wanted the investment and employment opportunities, along with the financial input to the local economy from the visitors. So a compromise was reached: it had to be a private club… not advertising itself like this next one clearly does…

It also had to ensure that families with kids – especially naked kids – did not get involved with adult couples who might be “relaxing” and doing their thing beside the pool or whatever. So two concepts evolved: firstly the ‘butterfly’ design of a game of two halves (“families to the right, gays to left” type of thing ) which meant duplicating a lot of the facilities originally planned, and secondly making it essentially a private club.

In the end, it was decided to sell shares (quite expensive shares) to investors in return for rights to be here for ‘x’ number of days/weeks in the year. Not a timeshare exactly, because no-one is ever guaranteed a specific apartment, but a right to either be here for a proportion of the time or to offer some of your time to like-minded friends and colleagues (probably sell some of your time, if truth be told. Investments were offered in a discreet and exclusive way – like to the gay community in selected countries, ditto to naturist organisations [especially in colder climes – Russia, Scandinavia – and to the enthusiast countries like Germany]… you get the idea. How it gets sorted if everyone wants to be the same week in July is beyond me at the moment, but there must be a system of advance reservations or something. Not our department! We’re ‘fitness and entertainment’.

As we live here now, we have a permanent and totally private apartment and can invite friends and family whenever so long as they share this apartment. With two bedrooms and a generous private roof terrace, we’ll no doubt be seeing friends over here quite often! Not least those from Tennessee whenever they can afford the fare and the time.

Some will come as visiting artistes – Jack and Ethan are already booked, for example, because Dave and I have no intention of sustaining the four nights a week planned show schedule on our own!! There are additional apartments reserved for peripatetic performers. And we’re not forgetting the local talent, when we can discover what it is. In fact, we’re auditioning a couple of local bands tomorrow…

So here we are in a discrete ‘encampment’ – now 50% open [family side] – guests starting to arrive – which doesn’t advertise itself at all to the outside world although with a shuttle bus running back and forth to the beaches, it is hardly a secret! But the planners and local traders are satisfied – not everyone will want to eat the on-site food every evening, however good it gets – so we shall watch with interest how things develop as the number of customers continues to increase. So many languages already in evidence, and most of them unintelligible to us! But the language of the gym is universal, and the four of us (Dave and I with English and a scattering of European words; Alf and Seb with Portuguese, reasonable[ish] English and a bit of Spanish) will get by! Probably better than the pool staff who have all been recruited locally and seem only to speak in Portuguese.

OK. enough chat for today. Three links to my books and then some more male fitness pictures to make the post look bigger!

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

Actually, the post will have to end here. Got a call to pick the kids up from their beach party. Bigger/better pots will follow soon!


About tony

Born Northampton UK
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2 Responses to Utopia… Limited!

  1. Platinumboy says:

    It sounds like for now, it is impossible for people to merely visit if they would like. Naturally, the safety of the kids is important. Maybe European thinking is different to an American mind. However, not being able to let people know how to take advantage of your facility (and give you profits) seems contrary to normal business practices. This may turn into an interesting lesson in European business practices. Who knew we could learn so much from your daily life?

    • tonycavanagh says:

      it does seem a bit silly, I agree, and to be honest we don’t really understand the setup ourselves just yet. The ‘investors’ have put in huge money and can effectively ‘manage’ their investment – their right to be here or send guests – as the system is mainly Russian and Scandinavian, bent to accommodate Portuguese conditions, its all a bit confusing! But essentially, it is ‘private members only’ just now – except that there is nothing to stop a Swedish (say) member nominating a friend in New York to come here, as far as I can understand it. Our friend Roger works in finance in the city of London and there is a link there which I don’t really understand either – but he got us the job, so we’re not complaining. When I’ve figured it all out I’ll write some more!

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