First of all, where is ‘home’? For the guy in the picture, the answer is Vienna. He’s standing on a bridge over the Donau canal. If our real ‘home’ is UK (either where we were actually born, or in Wales where we have a hideaway), then what the folks there are complaining about is our continuing wonderful Portuguese weather, which has been almost continuous sun since the start of the summer. They complain because it is cold, windy and wet – and the remnants of hurricane Maria are approaching. Fortunately for them, that means just rather windy – not ‘category 4’! Well, “good news”, guys: it is RAINING here. We have almost forgotten what it is like. At the moment, very cloudy and drizzly and 19C (66F) but will rise back to the high 20s C (mid 80s F) later in the week. Back to this, then…
If ‘home’ is where the family is, then that’s Tennessee, where we spent nearly 18 years. That’s ‘family’ as in offspring and their mums. They’re currently enjoying better weather than we are – wall to wall sun for a few days with temperatures rising to 31C (high 80s F). We’re missing our kids, of course: they are torn between wanting to be here and wanting to be with their assorted friends, training partners, etc. They seem to be doing perfectly well without us, although plans are now being hatched for the Christmas period when there is two weeks off school. That could be UK, to keep our own parents happy. Christmas seems to be a time when you have to do things just to please other people, whose vision of ‘the Christmas spirit’ may well be very different from our own ‘Bah, humbug’ attitude. We’ll have to see. But the training – kids, ourselves – will certainly have to go on!
One reason for that – in the case of Dave and myself – is that we are wondering whether we are reaching the point where we are getting ‘past it’! Doing two or more shows per week (acrobatics and fakir stuff) as well as doing the ‘day job’ of gym management, personal training and so forth, seems ever so slightly to be taking its toll on us mid-thirties dudes! Whilst our kids and their friends are always out of bed by 6am and into their weights and stuff, Dave and I are finding it increasingly hard to get ourselves out of bed these days – perhaps because we are no more challenged by the enthusiastic presence of these youngsters back home’.
I have readers here who are in their 80s and still doing weight training to keep fit. Truly excellent! A few – a very few – acrobatic performers are going on past 50, but generally find it increasingly difficult to perform with the dexterity and power they had in their youth. Better, as they say, to ‘quit while you’re ahead’ and let the next generation – our ‘folks back home’ – take on the mantle. We’ll have to see.
Meanwhile, for those that, like us, need the encouragement, some appropriate pictures!
Of course, supposing that my soon-to-be-released fourth book is a runaway success (unlike the first three!) then I could retire to an attic and produce best sellers instead! Somehow, I doubt that I shall do that (retire to an attic, I mean, producing best sellers)… but selling a few more would give me some encouragement! Click on the covers of the first three for more information (they’re available as e-books, although paper copies are nicer to handle): watch or pre-order the fourth (ISBN 978-1-784653-23-1, Vanguard Press)!