Two muscular dudes right there, getting their balance just perfect I think. While enjoying their free time.
Since Dave and I took up our work in Portugal in the early summer, we’ve been pretty much flat out. Setting up and managing two large gym areas and our excellent ‘staff’, organising entertainment for the vacationers including performing ourselves (where our ‘work’ is, by and large, ‘balance’, just to confuse things!). Now that winter is here, guest numbers are down and the pressure is off (few seem to want to sit in the open air to watch us balance and do fakir tricks, nor anyone else for that matter, when the temperature falls below 10C at night!). So we’ve had time to reflect on whether it is really working for us, or not.
We’re separated from our kids (3500 miles) but much nearer to parents and the rest of our families than we were when living in the States. We have a comfortable apartment at no cost to us including services, and as much free food from the site as we care to consume – although we know a lot of great restaurants in the district now because local food is fabulous. We love the beach and have somehow fitted in with the rather younger local beach/fitness crowd – probably because fitness is our business. We’ve made a few friends of older locals and a few ex-pat Brits. And the money’s not too bad either! So far, so good.
And the climate – up to now – has been fantastic. We don’t generally appear naked in public but our duties here are definitely shirt-free almost 100%: indeed, the proportion of naturist visitors on site has declined a bit now that temperatures have fallen! And clouds finally appeared at the weekend and seem to be a fixture right now. Still – at 6pm – it is still 17C (63F) which is cooler than Tennessee right now, but not much. And definitely warmer than our native UK where it is close to freezing and we’re told that there is snow on the hills surrounding our place in Wales.
The reason for all this ‘reflection’? In two weeks we have an option to quit, or to sign up for a further full year. We’ve already been offered slightly shorter hours for the same money, devolving a little more responsibility to local staff, and been freed up for the Christmas period even though the place will stay open (and be quite busy, we believe). Currently one of our greatest (gay) friends, Zach, is here as a masseur, but he’ll return to the States when we make our Christmas visit. We’ve had Zach’s partner here too for a couple of weeks but we miss the other six of our close (and ‘closed’ circle)… but we shall catch up with them all during the winter break and also we expect to have Ethan and Jack here as acrobatic performers for a while in the spring. Soooooo… what decision do we make?
Our parents have never really understood our preference for acrobatics and fitness over science, let alone being gay with it… so, although we’ve asked them what they think we should do, the answers have not been very helpful. And it is a steady job, with a guarantee of a steady income, even though the money seems to be mainly Russian. There is no evidence of any money-laundering or similar activities (but would I write it here if there was?), the local authorities are happy with how the site is run, so our reputations (whatever they are) seem likely to remain intact. So, we’re thinking, the decision is probably obvious. But we’re not rushing to a final decision straight away – everything remains ‘in the balance’…
Whatever we decide, we are clearly going to have more free time than we’re accustomed to in the next couple of months – a chance to get on with book 5! Another boy (straight) and another quest… bet you can’t wait, especially if you have bought book 4 about the lonely and troubled gay boy and his quest… you haven’t? Oh well, in that case, let me tempt you now:
Promo vid at: https://youtu.be/AumR1rQJLWQ and the ISBN is 978-1-784653-23-1 (Vanguard Press) € 9.99, £ 8.99, dollars – not sure but you can go figure!! All proceeds support me and therefore this blog. Put it on your Christmas wish list for Santa.
Or, indeed, the earlier ones:
These books do have ‘form’ – my first was long-listed for the Polari Prize (first novel by a gay writer) but didn’t make the final cut. Dammit, I had my speech ready…
And now for some more balance!
There are four more pictures from the Chelyabinsk gym mixed in here – I’m sure you can spot them. let’s end with a really difficult feat of balance – push-ups in the rings. Bye for now!