So – the kids (and Colin’s family) caught their flight in Faro despite the heightened passport checks which have been introduced for everyone leaving the Schengen area – quite a queue, so we got them there early on Friday afternoon. Kids now back in Tennessee according to messages received overnight here!
For the moment, then, it’s down to Dave and I to get properly stuck in to managing and assisting visitors in two gyms, offering ‘fun’ gym/acrobatic sessions for kids and adults too and, most challengingly, the evening entertainments. That last is proving a bit of a headache for management too, because the model they proposed and asked us to implement doesn’t really work.
First thing is that visitors here don’t want to see the same show twice during their stay. For planning purposes, a ‘stay’ is a week (although some stay longer). With two different ‘sides’ to this place (‘family’ side and ‘adult’ side) now in operation, we were asked to put on two shows a week for each ‘side – four in total, and it is working out at present that Dave and I along with our very willing young assistants Alfredo and Seb are having to appear in all of them. Logically, we should do one show each side per week and offer a different ‘playbill’ for the second shows. Which offers any visiting performers work for two consecutive nights, then nothing for five days, and it is not economic to pay people for seven days when you need them only for two. And, as there is nowhere else locally they can go to perform on other evenings, except for performing no the streets and putting the hat out (which is impossible for some kinds of performer anyway), we have a problem.
Yes, there are other things performers can do to pass the time…
…but even with sun and sand and pools available and meals/accommodation found, they really do need to earn more money! It’s OK for us – on generous salaries and with plenty of other duties to fill our time – but we need to find an economic way of moving peripatetic performers around – either across to venues in south-west Spain (literally a few miles away) or across to the western Algarve where there are similar resort facilities offering evening entertainment. So we’re working on that right now. Someone even suggested bringing in an English language am-dram club from Faro, but that might be stooping a bit low – although it is interesting to speculate on how an Agatha Christie mystery once a week each ‘side’ might go down with visitors whose first language is Russian or something Nordic or Slavic.
Meanwhile, we’re doing our best with our acrobatics and fakir stuff plus the contortionist and sword swallower who seem happy to stay on for a bit (and to enjoy the beach every day), our local magician and a couple of local bands with quite decent singers… but we’ve got to find better ways of ‘ringing the changes’, and fast! Looks like some of our US mates are willing to come over and add variety to the acrobatics etc… working on that, especially with Jack and Ethan who would be over like a shot were it not for family illness issues with Jack – working the beaches by day and our shows by might!
As for our day job – gym supervision, personal training (we can charge extra for that direct to the ‘customer’), access to the pools 24/7 and regular visits to the beach, it’s not all bad! Challenging, yes.
Upside: being surrounded by fit young men here for activity breaks, showing off their bodies in gym and pool – what’s not to like for two gay guys?
Of course, the best gym-toned body in the world is the one that shares my bed! On Saturday we were off-shift at four and pondering how to spend our evening, given the extensive options which include superb inexpensive food in nearby restaurants as well as the very reasonable fare on offer to us for free here on the site. First, we just ‘crashed’ on our private roof space – literally, side by side on our old gym ‘crash mat’ – uniform Speedos discarded and enjoying the early evening sun on our backs. Of course, my hand strays across to Dave’s back after a while, massaging his shoulder muscle. He reciprocates.
An airbed on the pool is also an option, of course, but rather more ‘public’ (although the adult side is seriously gay-friendly) – but we want to be on our own just for once!
There are other options. Dave looks across at a shaded area where we have mats laid out. ‘I think… oil?’ It’s question that doesn’t need an answer. We both want each other’s bodies next to our own, muscle against muscle… not a fight, as such, just the sensation which oiling up for the mats brings. And, unlike this next guy, we absolutely don’t need the jeans…
Gay wrestlers generally use baby oil rather than the olive oil employed in Turkish wrestling. Most of the enjoyment (for both parties) comes from oiling up your partner before the wrestling! of course, Dave does like to ‘win’ any form of wrestle, so eventually he tries to apply a few holds, which the oil allows easy escape from. Neither of us is really trying to immobilise the other, and eventually we just come to a halt, Dave on top of me – I could have said ‘grind to a halt’, but you’re probably ahead of me.
Eventually, most of the oil gets wiped using a couple of towels which will find their way into the site laundry system before we get into our shower. And then, oil-free, Dave suggest one of the site saunas. Hard to resist getting a good sweat going alongside your partner…
…although this time there were a few other guys and girls sweating it out, so trunks on again…
…but it’s a great way to feel really clean and refreshed, especially as the pool awaits right outside the door. And then another shower to remove the chlorine. No-one could ever suggest that we’re not keeping clean!
Two beers to replace our liquid (we do have to pay for those!) and suddenly, we’re really hungry. I suggest that special place Seb showed us where there is no advertising – you just knock on the door and hope they have room for you. It’s for locals but, thanks to Seb and Alfredo’s explanations, we’re welcome there anytime. And the fish…oh, the fish…!
More time to talk, of course, of how best to fix the show schedule. But, most of all, time for each other which, despite living together in the US for 17 years, we never really seemed to find.
So, upon reflection, despite ‘losing’ our kids for a while, we decide we’ve made the right choice.
Us, together. Doing what we love to do. OK, we miss teaching younger kids acrobatics, gymnastics and fitness, but we’re still in that business ‘passing it on’ to a few youngsters even if they’re only here for a few days.
And, as I have written, we’ve had half a lifetime of opportunity, as these books relate! And, no doubt, plenty more to come, although I won’t be writing it down in quite such detail – especially as my latest literary effort (currently about to be printed) is pretty much 100% fiction…
(coming soon from Vanguard Press). Indeed, Dave and I have pretty much decided we’ll let our future find us. You can spend too much time planning and hoping and then things just don’t work out the way you thought they would – as the hero in my fourth book rapidly finds out… I’ll give a bit more way as the publication date approaches.
For now, you just get four more pieces of fitness inspiration, and I’m done for today.