Review and Reflect

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…

…no, indeed…

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow’

Forget the basketball. Otherwise, that’s how a well-fit young man should look after a great training session. Bathed in sweat, to the extent that it is soaking into his pants. Lean and mean. OK, we’d appreciate a bit more muscle, maybe. But there’s a guy who is dedicated to his sport.

Two sweating friends, who have probably just come up from their basement after a workout…

My son Leo, 15½, is such a boy. Dedicated to his fitness, an able acrobat, muscly enough to show off as a ‘fakir’ without discomfort, and surrounded by like-minded friends back home in TN. Dave’s daughter Jaymee is also driven by acrobatics, and by her mother (partner of Leo’s mother) into fakir performance, especially with fire effects.

Today, we shall wave them ‘Goodbye’ at Faro airport until at least Christmas. Dave and I will be working (if one can call such an enjoyable ‘posting’ work (read recent posts if you’re new here)) here in Portugal, they’ll be back in school in Tennessee. And we’ve all been pondering the future.

Or, rather, their future. One more year of High School beckons. Beyond that, as a reader who happens to be a teacher in TN himself points out, they could leave and pursue other interests. College (after more school) is an option, but neither is really ‘academic’ – even Leo’s grandfather (physicist) has given up on him following his  own scientific bent (despite there being a US National research laboratory in the town)… the happy accident which brought me to TN in the first place, where I met Dave, and…. but wait, you can read all of this for yourselves here – just click on covers for more info and search Amazon!


OK – ‘if you want to know, ask’. So we asked them. It’s complicated. Leo would love to do what we are doing and be here in a fitness vacation centre a couple of miles from a sandy beach in a great climate. But there’s all those fitness-freak friends back home in US – oh, and yes, the small matter of his (current) girlfriend Karla who also happens to be an acrobatic gymnast – along with Jaymee’s boyfriend Chris, who just happens to be Leo’s best friend… they’ve worked out performance routines for the four of them as well as joining in with their mothers and our other acrobatic friends in occasional entertainments, so can earn a little money there as well as feeling rather tied to TN.

One can arguably do acrobatics anywhere – on the wall of the River Thames in London for example…

…but, realistically, to remain employable you’ve got to move around constantly, like in a circus, and you don’t earn much (unless you happen to hit the right buttons on America’s/Britain’s/Anywhere-else’s Got Talent)! To earn megastar dollars/pounds/euros, you’ve probably got to be a singer these days, not do handstands and whatnot…

So we’re sending Leo and Jaymee away a bit thoughtful, because in the end, something’s gotta give! Choices need to be made. Highly unlikely the girlfriend and boyfriend could be released to come and work here in Europe with them as gym attendants!! I’m sure Chris’s dad has other ideas about his son’s future. for a start: Karla is less clear since her parents have split and she’s kind of becoming more of a free agent. But current boy/girlfriends may change, anyway. Meanwhile, Leo and Jaymee have younger kids to train, like the four near-11yo boys twins Stevie and Josh and their friends Alvin and Bryce who have developed amazingly under our watchful eye… Dave’s brother and his partner will be keeping an adult eye on what the kids are encouraged to do by ours, of course. Nothing too stressful during their growth spurts!

OK. Other changes are afoot, since we no longer live at the house in Oak Ridge. ‘Our’ room is now rented out to Korben, the 21yo bodybuilder who has fallen for nearly-18yo Canadian bodybuilder Jude. They want to move in together and do what gay guys do (and we should surely know), but Jude is still legally a minor, still in High School and lives with parents live a few streets away. They met on the net, but Korben seems to be the genuine article (rare, I know, but I don’t think we’ve been in any way ‘groomed’ to think that) and rather than drive twice a day from Knoxville to train and spend time with Jude, it was more logical for him to make the return trip just once to go to his work in a car showroom.

They’re both part of the dawn weight-training ‘coven’, of course.

After our offspring, we’re going to most miss that training cabin at the top of the yard, along with the very private and gay-friendly gym we’ve been part of for 17 years. But we’ve equipped our personal roof terrace here for weights, wrestling and general chilling alongside eating (and drinking!!) under the stars, and we run two separate gyms here on the complex. And, just as they attract Leo and Jaymee to consider moving away from their land-locked Tennessee birthplace, those sun-baked golden sands are just a short walk or car ride away for us.

Not to mention that parts of the gyms are open-air and one can train in the sun (or, indeed, in the shade when the sun is really fierce) and that our ‘clients’ are a succession of adult gay groups who are into fitness (eye-candy!) as well as families – and some of them are into naturism, which parts of the site are open to. We assist people unfamiliar the equipment, give personal training, help youngsters with basic gym and acrobatic ‘fun’ sessions, and manage (and take part in) evening entertainments. What’s not to like? You can see why Leo even thinks of ‘dumping’ Karla to come here to ‘play’ in the sun…

Thanks also to the several other contributors, either through comments or (more often, to be private/personal) via my e-mail at gymacrobat@gmail.com who take the trouble to offer their thoughts and advice regarding our kids, weight routines and pretty much anything! Thanks, and feel free to add your own thoughts! I do try to respond personally – eventually.

So it’s off to the airport after lunch, also with my oldest friend Colin and his family, which includes their kids who are super friends with ours. Gymnasts, obviously, and in constant Skype with ours about their fitness progress. Long may such friendships last – it’s rare they get together but, when they do, it’s just like they’ve never been apart.

OK – time to add a few more general fitness pix, and I’m done with this post. Hope they hit your spot…

 

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Back to Back(s)

I mentioned yesterday that I had another bunch of ‘back’ pictures to share… so, in two ‘back-to-back’ posts, here is another selection. Starting with gymnast boys from the Chelyabinsk gym who are trained by Andrey Telitsyn.

OK, we’ll leave Russia for the time being, with the thought that Telitsyn is one of my heroes both for the results he achieves and the respect the boys have for him. And I just love his ‘group’ results – like those handstands. But back to the weights gym and the street workout guys now.

And now, the posers…

The ones who just ‘happen’ to be glancing in a mirror…

The acrobats and balancers…

OK, one naked in the snow. Why not, if that’s your thing? Just clear a space…

Stretchy people…

And finally, for the essential ‘gay’ link… just admiring ‘his’ back!

Coming next, we’ll go back to ‘front(s)’ (if you see what I mean) for the pictures. And, prompted by a recent mega-message from a follower in western Tennessee (thanks, “Tom”), we’ll debate what my son should plan to do with his life! Right now he’s into his third hour in the gym with his English mate Ollie, following a successful show performance as balancer and fakir last night (in which Ollie got a part as well) before hitting the pool and then the beach. It’s a good life, but there’s the small matter of finishing school and earning a living! Oh, and the girl friend back in TN…

Also next time, back to plugging these books I guess (one of my ways of trying to earn a living, so please support)…

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

 

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Planners and Politics: Watching our Backs…

The post title sets both the picture theme – looking over ones shoulder and watching backs – and is also in answer to several e-mail questions about visiting this rather strange vacation centre we’ve fetched up in.

A few miles south west of us, in the extensive coastal ‘Parque Natural da Ria Formosa’, lies an island called Ilha da Armora, where a number of wealthy people have built holiday homes. Like up to one million Euro holiday homes. It’s a superb location and a short ferry ride away from the village of Olhão, close to the airport town of Faro. The local planning authority (similar to the one which controlled the development of our present centre) granted the permissions.

Pause for a picture – a slightly bizarre ‘take’ on acro pyramid building!

A gay couple – British theatricals, one of whom is the chief executive of the National Youth Theatre and presumably knows a bit about financial deals and working with ‘authorities’ – bought two rather derelict properties to build into one  in 2014 and have now spent a total of €600,000. Suddenly, the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forestry, supported by the Environment Agency, have told them that they had no right to ‘build’ and that their home will shortly be bulldozed. They have apparently exhausted all rights of appeal after some lengthy court proceedings (which must be tough for non-Portuguese native speakers).

Edward Upcott shows off his shoulder flexibility and balance:

“Illegally built” – but with planning permission from the local authority. Whilst the pair are claiming that they are being discriminated against because they are gay – and that other homes on the island are safe – local gossip has it that about 60 homes overall in the Olhão region are now also deemed illegal and their owners have received demolition notices.

Putting a kiddy slide to good use:

Portugal is allegedly gay friendly (and supports gay marriage). It is also – up to a point – naturist friendly and tolerates a small number of designated beaches, one being conveniently close to here. But we have been told that permission to build and operate this site was hard to win, and the management (Russian led, involving Scandinavia and a touch of the City of London which my mate Roger has something to do with) have been continuously ‘edgy’ about falling foul of local authorities they don’t fully understand.

A strength move on rings:

It was part of the ‘deal’ that the place would not operate as an ‘open’ facility that anyone could turn up to. In fact, there is no sign outside actually saying what it is at all, although obviously there is plenty of local knowledge since dozens of local people work here or deliver supplies. It is strictly ‘members only’ – which has been interpreted as ‘investors only’ and their invited guests. Every visiting family, group or individual has either paid a significant sum for some sort of ‘bond’, or has been invited to stay here by someone who has. And they must still pay quite a sizable fee up front to pay for their visits, investors of not.

Judging by the numbers building up, significant numbers of people have done exactly that – paid up I mean. It is not like a timeshare, where you have a specific week in a specific apartment allocated to you – more like a gentleman’s club atmosphere where you can ‘book’ a slot if you are a member and if space is available either for yourself or for your guests. And, all the time, management is nervously looking over its shoulder. Why? Because the family ‘half’ is explicitly naturist friendly, and the adult-only half (just opening), describes itself both as naturist friendly and also LGTBQ+ (or whatever I’m supposed to write these days to be politically correct) friendly. And it is clear that the Russian/Scandinavian/Eastern-Europe fraternity do, indeed, appreciate a place where they can ‘let it all hang out’. About 50% of them are going naked about half of the time, we would guess – whether fit and muscular or whether grossly obese! Mind you, the temperature is consistently reaching the 90s (F) this week despite being a little bit cloudy from time to time, and the nights are exceedingly warm when trying to sleep.

Don’t despair!

Of course, there are rules. Separate pools available on the ‘family’ side for those that do want to wear cozzies and those that don’t – ditto sunbathing areas – specified times when the gym can go naked (and we’ve put in two short ‘ladies only’ and ‘men only’ slots at less popular times: we’re learning as we go along). And so forth. And, all the time, the management is trying hard to please all of the Portuguese authorities all of the time. And (fingers crossed), so far, succeeding. But given the unpredictability of some official bodies (and the evidence that they do not talk to one another), there remains some nervousness, as you might imagine.

Appropriate behaviour is expected at all times in all public areas, especially on the family side where kids are present.

Probably we can allow the ‘odd’ kiss…

So, in a sense’ this place is operating ‘under the radar’ while very much on the official radar which we sense is keeping a strict eye. Two large apartment blocks and the central services buildings including our own four-story residence block, in a park area surrounded by walls themselves surrounded by pine trees can hardly go unnoticed: nor can our regular shuttle bus to the nearest beach ferry point. If some official body like the nature conservation people suddenly decided to go ‘rogue’ on us, heaven alone knows how the organisation would handle it. We’re not in the conservation area (Rio Formosa) which is only the coastal strip (islands, sandbanks, inlets and immediately adjacent coastline), so that probably helps. In fact, an original site proposal right on the coast was apparently turned down instantly by the planners.

Rowing exercise is great for backs!

I doubt that the fact that the British pair faced with a demolition order were gay had much to do with their predicament – although they have suggested in the press that it has – but we ’employees’ are all required to ‘keep a low profile’! And hence, my reluctance to identify precisely where we are, although it’s between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio and a bit inland! Google Earth seems to be blissfully unaware at the moment! And, much as we would love to share the place with all you obviously like-minded readers of this blog, for the moment, that’s not going to happen. To the several that have already asked for more details like ‘where do I book?’, all I can really say for the moment is ‘patience please, and thanks for your understanding’. I think that the way to get casual visitors in here will eventually emerge (after all, it will help to pay dividends to the investors!), especially if there are quiet periods where it isn’t really paying its way. Let’s see!

This next guy’s vest doesn’t stop us from admiring his shoulder development…

So, at the moment, if you want to get closer and share our lifestyle, the best bet is to get the books! That’s the first three, as shown at intervals in the rest of this post. Click on a cover for more information, and you will find us on Amazon and with e-books too. A fourth book (on its way) is total fiction: the first three are based on fact but well edited to give a better reading experience and a strong storyline.

And, with that, on with the picture show!

A small gay celebration, here (and a couple of Portuguese-grade suntans):

A chance to compare the back with the front…

A ‘headless’ body?

A ‘Chinese’ (wide) handstand:

And finally for today, British Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson shows off his powerful back as well as his box splits (and his Olympic rings)!

Plenty more ‘backs’ archived waiting to be posted – and hundreds of other fitness-inspiring pictures. Keep watching!

 

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Surprise, Surprise!… Planned and Unplanned…

Surprise #1 (unplanned!): had a visit (in the gym here) on Friday morning from the father of the Slovenian boy who my son tried to fry in oil when wrestling under the full mid-day sun! Thought that he had come for a moan, which would have been entirely justified. Instead, no! First, his son (only a bit red now) wanted a return match before they had to leave the next day, so ‘where was Leo’? Secondly, the father, obviously quite fit, put enough English together to explain that he’d like a go too – with me! – and that it would be fun if both fights went on side-by-side so his wife could make a video!

And, as Friday evening was free, I took them over to the gym in the currently closed half, along with a small audience of friends…

We are now good friends with a Slovenian family and have an invitation to visit. Who knows… we might even do it.

Which brings me to planned surprise #2.

On Friday afternoon I drove across to Faro airport to collect my oldest friend Colin and his family, here for a week. My other old friend Roger, who got us this job and has strings he can pull, got them in (for free) in the VIP apartment next to ours 🙂

We managed to keep this from Leo and from Colin’s gymnast son Ollie despite them being regular Skype fitness freaks. Ollie knew he was going on holiday but thought it was Spain. Not only will they be here for the rest of Leo (and Jaymee’s stay) but, unknown to Leo and Jaymee until now, they will all fly back to Bristol on the same plane on Friday and then be conveyed back to Oxford, where my parents take over to get our kids to Heathrow the next morning for their trip back to Tennessee.

Ollie and Leo just freaked out on sight! It’s all about comparing muscle, and skills with them – both addicts of course to both weights and gymnastic skills.

The are sharing our spare bedroom while Jaymee moves across ‘next door’ to share with Ollie’s younger sister. And they’ll probably lift weights and wrestle on the roof terrace all night.

And, on learning  that Leo and Jaymee have three more shows to do with us here before leaving, Ollie immediately demands to be in them. And – surprise #3 – he can be. His balance is excellent and his floor tumbling skills have really developed (but then he has two ex-gymnasts for parents!).

(He’s practising the Diamadov turn, by the way. Body shape needs attention. In case the information is of interest…) 

So that’s sorted. Just a bit of rehearsal this afternoon with the rest of the cast. Right now, with the temperature headed for 95F  (35C) under yet another cloudless sky (grin!), Dave and I are on duty so the rest of them are all down on the beach. Nudity on beaches in Portugal is restricted to certain zones, but Colin has taken our car together with a map, and crammed everyone in…

(Cautionary note. In Portugal it is ILLEGAL to piss in the sea. Anywhere. Just so as you know…)

It is not however illegal to do handstands in the sea.

As far as we know!

OK. No more surprises for today: just some rather excellent guys to pep everyone up.

Coming soon from Vanguard Press…

And a final surprise… a park seemingly dedicated to men – some of whom enjoy handstands!

Nah, there’s one female in shot. She must feel overwhelmed… or spoiled for choice!

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Speedo Time

Today’s picture theme is ‘Speedos’ (and we’ll allow ‘briefs’ in there too since underwear is growing as the ‘in’ form of swimwear and gymwear in some parts!).

The management here is quite generous to Dave and I in their expectations: since we are managing (and currently appearing in) three evening shows a week, shortly to be four, we get time off during the day during which our ‘staff’ Alfredo and Seb cover the gyms for us, with other staff such as pool attendants also rotating around various jobs to cover for one another. Industrial relations (as it were) are good.

So today, after working the morning and doing an hour’s rehearsal for tonight’s show with the new performers, we got three hours beach time in with our kids. Which was cool.

I’m preparing this before tonight’s show and will post it immediately after. We’ve integrated the first appearance of the sword swallower with part of our ‘fakir’ act, where Dave is standing on me while I’m on the sword bed: the new guy will replace Dave, swallow his first sword in that position and then, once I’m lifted out of the way, will continue with that part of his act. We just hope we can all remember the sequence of everything since every show so far has been different, and of course will change again when further new ‘acts’ replace our kids. We already have the contortionist girl as well, and she’s the knife-throwing target, so that fills in a whole heap of time we previously had to ‘busk’ through. Add the local magician guy, who is hardly the world’s best (especially when seen from backstage!), but as a retiree he’s happy to do shows pretty much for ever without costing anyone more than his appearance fee. And in this part of the world, apart from musicians and crazy fakir-acrobats, talent is a bit hard to find!

We have a folky-jazz singer with the band as from tonight, too. The traditional Portuguese thing is Fado, a style of mournful singing which we find awful, but very ‘hot’ with tourists in the Lisbon area and northwards. Down here, not much Fado to be found, and we’re much closer to Spain so investigating Spanish dancers (you know, the style with a lot of foot tapping and stamping) which we also hate but, as they say, it goes with the territory! We ‘entertainment managers’ (sic!) must cater for all tastes – not everyone is content with a bit of arm balancing and a bed of nails, nor even a quick spot of spear bending.

One of my most regular blog followers (by e-mail rather than commenting) is a musician: I think I already sent him this next picture privately but it sure fits our muddled theme of underwear and entertainment…

For ‘musician’ read also ‘composer’ – I am rather amazed to have a few of his piano compositions dedicated to me (pieces on an acrobatic theme, believe it or not) and except for the total absence of a piano on this site I might even get a chance to practice them – probably not however while lying on top of the piano in my underwear and definitely not while doing handstands. But, as a performer of such trivia, there are some varieties of such gear that I wouldn’t be seen dead in…

Not sure what that occasion is there – probably a pole dancer. Our performing gear (currently) is silver, which you may feel is worse – but it takes up whatever colour the lighting is!

Some rather better examples of undergarments looking good in photographs:

OK, yoga mats out…

(Ideally, all young gymnasts should be able to touch the top of their head with their feet)

If you’re going to work up a sweat in the gym, then the briefest of briefs are the best briefs…

…and perfect for posing – even in the shower (don’t we like wet boys!)…

…or just posing…

…or just for being with your partner… kids are having a post-show dip with some new friends right now, so, er, Dave… come over here…

Book-ad-free zone this post. Enjoy!

 

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Fighting, Frying… and Complaining

‘Bedding in.’ That’s what the system here is doing, I think! Our gym setup in the ‘open’ half of the vacation complex here seems to meet with general approval – the emphasis on this side of the complex is ‘family’ and so we have free weights, machines and running/rowing stuff, part open air. A few of the Russians here are saying ‘where is the punchbag and the ring?’ Oh dear!

We had thought that the second half (adult-only, gay friendly) of the complex, opening in ten days, might attract such interest, rather than the ‘family’ side, but obviously we made a misjudgement! We had a punchbag on order for there – now, today, we have two on order! As for a boxing ring, in a holiday complex that seems a bit OTT to us, but management are thinking about it (money seems to be no object, but space might be).

Boxing, and indeed ‘boxercise’, is a great of working up a sweat and maintaining ones fitness, of course, and we are marketed to the investors as a ‘fitness’ vacation centre…

…although lounging around in the sun by the pool is, of course, highly popular too! Or, indeed, the beach…

Near 30C here again today!! So fairly easy to raise a sweat on the stepper, for example…

The adult, gay-friendly half of this place is better equipped for the likely interests of gay couples and groups: more muscle-specific machines, mat space (they, like us, like wrestling) – although young boys like it too…

…we are holding ‘fun wrestle’ classes for the kids here and they are well taken up! Older young guys, though, like to combine their wrestling with fitness tests – sometimes of the type we would not allow young kids to indulge in…

…whereas others are content to keep to a proper style (and sometimes, too even keeping their jeans on – at least for Round 1!)…

So we have ample mat space already ‘built in’ to our fitness arrangements for the ‘adult’ side. This can include oil wrestling, popular with Turks, of course, if we get any, and their olive oil, and also with gays and their ‘baby’ oil, as we well know ourselves!

Indeed, oiling up ones opponent can be as much fun as the actual wrestling, and it’s a great feeling to be oiled up by another fit lad as well. Then comes the close body contact…

But ‘straight’ lads can like oil wrestling too, as evidence by our Turkish friends (a national sport even), and my son Leo is no exception. Today he persuaded his new Slovenian friend to have a bout, and came to me for a supply of oil. We sent them to the as-yet unopened ‘adult’ half mainly because we don’t really want oil on the limited mat space in the ‘family’ half which is mainly used by people doing floor exercises for fitness. Checking on them later, I found them in the fierce sun with the rather pale-skinned Slovenian boy going seriously red – very occasionally, my son can be brain dead, and overlooks the obvious. Like covering yourself in what amounts to ‘cooking oil’ and then going out on the midday sun makes you like bacon in a skillet (to use the Tennessee word!) – fried up and cooked through. ‘Oh yeah, maybe we better move under the awning, then!’ Indeed. ‘Stupid boy’, as Captain Mainwaring would say of Private Pike in ‘Dad’s Army’ (if you don’t understand that bit, forget it!).

Since no-one wants their best Speedos drenched in oil, they were naked, of course, as permitted here. But not as permitted on the Facebook ‘mirror’ of these posts, so I’ll keep this image small and hope for the best (you can enlarge…).

Our ‘addiction’ to these aspects of and attitudes to sport is well documented in the first two of these volumes, which also covers the acrobatic stuff, touring, getting into mischief and trouble, and lots more including our finding our gay love. You might like to click on these images as well for more info from the publisher’s website (and we’re on Amazon too, with both print and e-books).

While on the ‘naked training’ train of thought (something we’ve written about here in more detail, e.g. here), which we tend to do for our acrobatics as well, we were greatly amused by this obviously ‘staged’ line-up of six acrobats… (this one enlarges upon clicking too!). Obviously a circus rehearsal space, but still…

To support all of these sporting interests – boxing, wrestling, gymnastics/acrobatics etc, the basis is the fitness gym, and both sides of our new holiday complex are well equipped for that. The lads (and ladies) for all ages seem well pleased with our efforts in that respect, at least!

…and the obvious enjoyment of a session lifting weights ahead of a relaxing dip in the pool or down on the nearby beach is there to see…

Those just getting into weights might care to note that he doesn’t bend his back (so not cheating on his bicep muscles – all the work done by the arms) lifts slowly without jerking, and lowers slowly too, which is important since the muscle is working under tension then and that helps the development. Sorry if that detail is boring! But it’s our job here to make sure people do things right and don’t damage themselves.

Jaymee too is having a great time and has disappeared off to the beach this morning with a Lithuanian family who have two girls. All good for their ‘internationalisation’! And last night’s show went well too, especially with two additional performers.

OK, enough. Some more lifters to finish with. Beginning with a fine fair-skinned specimen not unlike Leo’s Slovenian friend:

…and a sweating cyclist to finish! Here’s obviously near the pool and I guess will be in there pretty soon!

 

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A Summer Night

Day out today, so here’s a post I prepared earlier and timed to appear in the evening while we’re still having time across the water in Spain with the kids (short train ride to Vila Real, ferry and bingo, early lunch of al fresco tapas!).

Today’s story, though, if there is one, is last night’s story. Show went well, but we are desperate to get other artists involved: that should be happening this week, because it is difficult to sustain an acrobatic/fakir performance with only six of us – which includes the kids who will shortly go back to USA, plus Alfredo and Seb our local lads who are doing really well – and a band! Tuesday’s show should include at least a magician doing two spots, and a sword-swallower cum knife thrower is on his way with his contortionist partner from the company’s other place in Romania. So the pressure will be off us a bit, since we’re managing the shows as well as appearing in them!

We really miss Zach, who has always been our ‘front man’ on the mike, getting the audience involved and representatives on stage to check out our nails and glass are for real and to add a bit of extra weight. Seb is doing his best but keeps forgetting English words, English being the most useful language for our multi-national audience (thank goodness).

Jaymee and Leo are doing very well with their symmetrical balance routine on the pedestals, following by working as a pair but, after a seriously hectic social day beforehand, collapsed into bed straight after the show ended, leaving Dave and I up on the roof terrace with a glass of red wine, gazing at the stars as darkness fell in a cloudless sky and a warm breeze.

And gazing at each other. I love him so much it hurts still, even after 17 years. His body, for starters, muscular and flexible, tanned and strong… and all mine! I like to think mine matches his. So we lay side by side on our waterproof outdoor mattress – not that it has dared to rain for many days – kind of inching closer. Arms around one another, feeling each other…

…and then, with a delicious inevitability, Dave rolls me on to my tummy and lies on my back, his ‘apparatus’ priming… and, when sated, we exchanged positions for another performance… after which we lay in each other’s arms, kissing, enjoying each other’s tongues, breath, taste, scent…

…and we fell asleep together. About 3am (I think) a slight breeze woke me and I pulled a cover over us, but it stays quite warm here over night in mid summer (never fell below 22C/72F last night) and, although both of us awoke when the light reappeared, we drifted off again…

… until Leo appeared, with Jaymee, at around 5.30am, wide awake and ready to stretch… and Leo, with Jaymee supported on his upstretched arms in a handstand, he stepped neatly on to our chests, one foot on each, and then on to our faces (he loves to do that) to give us a special ‘good morning’ welcome! Aren’t there times when you just hate your kids?!! But no, we love ’em to bits, especially as once school in Tennessee re-starts we won’t be seeing them for a while. They dragged us off to the pool before official opening time (as ‘staff’, we can more or less do what we wish)…

…and had the place to ourselves. The costume-free pool, naturally. Breakfast is available from 6.30am (or we can do our own in the apartment, of course, but the fresh fruit on offer is really something) and then it was all ‘What time is our train, Dad?’! Keen, because trains aren’t a thing you can do in Oak Ridge TN!

So a memorable night. For tales of previously memorable nights you can investigate these links:

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

And now, to top up the post with pictures of fit guys, as per usual!

Hmmm – that pool is a little overlooked for nude dipping…!

This next guy will appear twice, but why not? He deserves it…

And for the finale, all lads together!

 

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Fitness: The International Language

More from sunny Eastern Algarve! First shows went off alright here, but we have to get additional performers organised quickly to sustain the length of performance the management have in mind. Problem is giving them enough performances per week – or somewhere else to display their talents in addition to here – to make their ‘residence’ worthwhile financially. More on this to come.

Today I want to focus on how our 15yo kids Leo and Jaymee – fitness and performing aces, but very obviously ‘American’, have integrated here at the vacation centre with assorted new nationalities. They are basically here on two weeks holiday, while Dave and I get stuck in to our new duties – they have some shows to do, but otherwise, about from training/rehearsal, it’s so-called “free time”.

That involves beach time, obviously – Tennessee is far from the ocean and so access to a beach a couple of miles away is a dream! But, otherwise – “free time” means – ‘training and rehearsal’! Oh, and a bit of poolside relaxation I guess:

But, if you want to find them, the gym area (indoors or outdoors) is the most likely spot. Checking up on Seb, our ‘staffie’, to make sure he was OK and happy, I found Leo working away on the resistance machines with a Slovenian boy of about 16 and his younger brother (12?) – no common language, but all happy as could be with Leo spotting bench presses for the Slovenian, who was in conformity with the gym clothing rules for the time of day (no naked training until 9pm) but, shall we say, a ‘minimalist’, like this next guy (to be fair, our own performance kit is a bit skimpy too – but we have to be seen to ‘expose ourselves’ to the nails and glass):

His younger brother also! And both lifting surprising poundages. Leo nearly kippered himself on the first day by forgetting that, over here, weights are in kilos and not pounds! But ‘poundages’ will do.

Two Russian boys wandered in, watched for a bit and were also welcomed into the group. Another language – but they had a bit more English. They were keen on their street bar workout scene as well as the gym equipment…

…and offered to trade some tips on their skills in turn for some acro advice – they had seen Leo (with Jaymee) performing the previous evening.

After weights, Leo and his new friends were out in the sun wrestling – and they moved into the ‘naturist’ zone for some of that. After lunch they were all (including Jaymee and a couple of girls) climbing on to the shuttle bus to the beach, with invitations from Alfredo and Seb to join the local guys and girls later for a beach party. OK for some!

I can sense that two American (and quasi-British) teens will be climbing on to that plane back to Tennessee (and to school re-start at the beginning of August) with great reluctance…

Bringing like-minded people together here is certainly what the management here seem to be achieving, with numbers increasing every day. We just need to get on top of the entertainment issues, and we’ll be fine. Anyway, tomorrow (Monday) is a full day off for Dave and I, and we’ll be taking the kids of in the car to see some more of this quite excellent country.

Fit guys, anyone?

Coming soon: proofs corrected!

 

 

 

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Utopia Limited…. Continued!

So where were we when I had to break off last night? Oh yes – just starting work at the vacation centre for real (a job our friends think is a job made in heaven!), and entertaining our offspring for a couple of weeks while they also contribute their considerable acrobatic and fakir skills to our first few ‘shows’. Everyone is on a learning curve, but we’ll get there!

The climate here – currently unending sun and clear skies at night – makes it a great place to just ‘hang out’…

Given that we need to stay in training – not only to look right when supervising the gyms here but also to participate in the shows (four nights a week at least when we’re fully up and running, although it is not going to be ‘us’ so often once we get the wider programme sorted), we were up at six in the morning sun exercising on the roof terrace. Jaymee, Leo, Dave and I warming up and stretching, practicing our balances as you must continue to do as a performer… and who needs clothes? From the terrace (our private zone!) we can look down and see the various groups and families emerging for breakfast – about a third of them obviously committed naturists – we’ll get used I suppose to naked people lining up to collect their breakfasts and then sitting en famille totally naked to eat them, enjoying the morning sun before it gets high enough in the sky and starts to burn. Even we are covering up in the mid-day sun, or at least keeping in the shade!

And just now, with a little unease it has to be admitted (and since we were not yet ‘on duty’) – we four also went down to collect our breakfast au naturel… we may be used to doing this at home and with close friends, but in front of strangers there is a feeling you want to curl up and hide at first…

Of course, we can make use of the pools when not actually working on something, which allows cooling dips in between heating up in the sun…

We also have kids gym and acrobatic classes to run, and we have to be careful not to fry them! Jaymee is going to help me with that this morning, while Dave and Leo work on the final arrangements of the staging for our first show, which is tomorrow (we’re still auditioning local talent this afternoon as well, which is a bit ‘last minute’ I suppose, but we’ll get there!).  Which leaves our staff, Alf and Seb, manning the weights gym area and keeping everyone there safe and making sure the equipment is used correctly.

Having actual holidaymakers here on site is still taking some getting used to. For the first six weeks here (before we disappeared back to Tennessee for summer-camp duties) it was just us and the workmen, getting everything ready. Now the only workmen left are just finishing off the second half – the adult-only centre – which will also be receiving its first clients in about ten days. Then things will really be hotting up!

My mum comments that she can’t believe ‘I’ve taken a job in a nudist colony’! I said ‘Look at the pay check!’ – but then my mum never has understood why I didn’t want to be a scientist like my dad, but decided to earn a living ‘Standing on your head and other silly things.’

OK Mum, so I’m a disappointment! I think being gay was the final straw really…

… the point at which she figured out she never would understand me and left it at that! Thankfully, we’re still close, despite everything… ‘everything’ which I have written about in these books and which you can share, by the way, just by clicking on the links or searching on Amazon. and thereby supporting this blog…

In terms of ‘other silly things’ (!!) we’re trying this move at the moment…

…this is not an easy one: when I’m the ‘top’ I keep falling off and when I’m the bottom I am really struggling to start the lift. Dave likewise, but he falls off at a different point in the cycle! Maybe we’ll get there, but that one’s not in the show repertoire for the time being!

Onwards and upwards then, with a random selection of fitness pictures to inspire you lads! A guy in the shower for starters – we’re taking a lot of showers these days to cool off when we’re not in the pool or sea in our free time!

Time for a ‘big finish’ – like-minded lads getting together to build their skills – and their bodies! Off now with Jaymee to see to the kids and their handstands!

 

 

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