In Denial

Well, it is strange to be back in the country which has been our home for the past 17 years. ‘Back home’ after sampling life in southern Europe, and rather liking it. Liking it so much, in fact, that after another six weeks we’ll be going back there, and possibly for good. Well, for a good while, at any rate! Back to the land of low humidity when the sun is shining, unlike here! Here one constantly feels the urge to jump in some cool water (well, in the summer, for sure!). There – well, we’ll do it anyway!

My body wants to sleep, but my brain is wide awake. That’s what a six-hour time shift does for you. So while Dave tries for some additional sleep in bed, I’m slumped under a tree, thinking. Just like the boy who opens my forthcoming new novel, actually – keep an eye open for news of ‘Let the Future Find Me’, currently in production!

Thinking of something cool!

This evening, a very warm welcome from our mates (gay) at the private gym awaits us. For now, I’ve just been thinking about this place. We’ve arrived back on the day after Trump withdrew the country from the Paris Climate Change Agreement – joining Syria and Nicaragua. He’s promoting re-opening coal mines in Pennsylvania and firing up old polluting blast furnaces – America First, and sod the rest of humanity. He’s not the only one in denial. Half of Tennessee – the ‘rednecks’ who so strongly support him – are in denial too. They think his stand against the evil machinations of ‘the rest of the world’ is great for the country… all we can say is ‘thank goodness we’re going back to Portugal’, and let’s hope that we can get our kids and the rest of our extended group of family and friends out before the apocalypse!!

Everything seems to be turning upside down, and ever more pear-shaped.

Even some of our close friends are Trump supporters! They do seem to have a brain, but…

Fortunately, when we share with them what we love to do, politics is definitely off the agenda…

…not forgetting quite a bit of this as well…

…all of which you may check out for yourselves by clicking on one of these links and following the trail!

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

Meanwhile, Dave and I are still slightly in denial ourselves – in denial that we’ve taken the big decision to bail out of the USA and leave our 15yo kids behind. 15yo kids who are 50% American (their mums) and 50% British (us), born here in TN and following in our acrobatic and fitness footsteps. Still in school, they can only visit us briefly (two weeks in July after the summer camp commitments end, for a start – they’ll fly over with us and team up with some friends from UK)… a wrench for all of us, but in a couple of years they’ll want to fly the nest anyway and who knows where they’ll go? Still, it’s hard…

Cheer ourselves up with some more fitness images, I think. Training together always cheers you up!

…even if your gym is a bit tumbledown…

We don’t box, or even wrestle in a ring very often, but this place looks kewl…

And, of course, where we’re going to be, we do have a beach! Less than 3 miles away instead of hundreds, as here…

Every which way, sharing the fun and having reliable and honest companions is the key…

…and, at the end of the day, after the sweat from training and the refreshing shower after…

…sharing with that special someone…

I think that we can live with the overt racism of the southern USA, the negative attitude towards gays, and even with Trump, for just six more weeks. Family time with the kids and their fit mates at the summer camp. School’s out Tuesday until 31st July. We travel Wednesday and camp starts Thursday. Can’t wait! And to occupy the time, we’re still in daily communication with our new employers, as our ‘staff’ Alfredo and Seb continue putting the finishing touches to our new facilities.

Leo and Jamie will be back from school shortly – we’ve not seen them (except through Skype) for six weeks. I sense some challenges ahead…

Both they, and us, will need to prove we’ve not been slacking… and that we’re ready for performances together in just a few days!

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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

…well, gone tonight, actually, if British Airways don’t have another computer crash!

We’re in Oxford en route back to Tennessee for six weeks.

Summer camps! Time in the woods, time in the lakes, time helping them with fitness and acrobatics.

Time with our own kids and their friends too. Tim to relax. Time to top up the tan.

Time to get muddy!

Time to just chill.

Time for an open-air workout.

Preceded, of course, and before we set out from Oak Ridge, with some quality gym time with our friends!

Time, maybe, to read some good books (click covers for more info and, yes, they’re on Amazon!).

But time (right now) to ‘get off that computer and spend some quality time with your mum!’ says my Dad here in Oxford, and he’s right of course. I don’t get to see them that often…

Just one more pic then, and we’re done for now…

Catch you later. In the woods, maybe…

 

 

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Unravelling

Thank goodness some things in life are constant – like me and Dave! Just now, things seem to be unravelling all around us. First of all, we’re back in Portugal after ‘inspecting’ another resort complex owned by the company in Romania. We’ve learned to expect a few things in our new job – unpredictable customer volumes in the gym, with some weeks being overcrowded and other weeks no-one really wanting to use it (although the pool seems always popular!)…

…a high rate of damage to fitness equipment (which we thought was almost impregnable), rude ‘customers’, inappropriate behaviour – yes, its a partly naturist place, but really… in the gym??? With other customers wandering in?

Seriously, it was a useful lesson, and we’ve made good contacts in terms of ‘exchanging’ artistes for the entertainment side (maybe even ourselves, once in a while!). Bosses seem happy…

Activity here is winding down – no paying guests until six weeks time, when we return from the States for good. Alf and Seb are also taking time off but will keep things ticking over most of the time while we’re away – then it will be all hands to the pumps.

So, we leave on Wednesday – via UK (parents!), where everything is falling apart. Faro to London, then (next evening) London to Chicago (all British Airways) and finally American to Knoxville. And BA systems fell totally apart over the weekend – all flights cancelled because the computers wouldn’t function. Hope our reservations are safe…

And then there was Manchester. Enough said by others about that, I think. But some of the stories are heart-wrenching.

Politically, the Tory landslide predicted has turned into the possibility that the country will have a Marxist (or is it Leninist?) prime minister waiting to spend non-existent money on feather-bedding idle “workers” and nationalising everything after June 8th. Heaven forbid. Sadly, we don’t qualify for a vote. And, no, we didn’t vote for Trump either.

Done a lot of preparation ready for the summer camps in Tennessee, and we hear the kids and our colleagues have been doing likewise. Lots of shirtless fun to be had there, we hope…

No time to get our performances and presentations all ‘together’ properly, so fingers crossed that all that doesn’t ‘unravel’ either!

(That is a seriously odd move, I have to say… and it’s not us!)

Some aspects of what we do don’t really need rehearsal, of course: once you’ve ‘got it’, job done! Guess we’ll get by: at the summer camps, our job is to keep the American youth happy in the great outdoors…

…some are easily satisfied (like, ‘just get them wet!’), others seem to present a bigger challenge to get them to ‘come off the fence’…

…perhaps not the best group to suggest ‘a good book’ to!

Anyway, that’s enough ‘ravelling’ (if there is such a word. let me entertain you a little more with some fitness inspiration instead…

Finally, a gentleman suitably dressed (or even a little overdressed!) for our gym!

 

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Nomads and Shape Shifters…

I intended to post this last Friday, but actually forgot to complete the process! By now, we’re back in Portugal… next post will give an update. Two days late, then, here it is…

Today’s Gallery Theme… ‘Treasure Chests’

I take a lot of pleasure in winding people up – you may have noticed! Since the internet offers scope for anonymity, it’s inevitable that the question ‘Are you real?’ comes up from time to time. I’m fond of saying ‘Ah, you’ve seen through my cunning ploy – I am in fact a 7o-year-old obese Bulgarian tram driver…’

Well – full circle. I’m within a few hundred metres of the Bulgarian border at a place called Vama Veche, so I’ve just got to learn to drive the tram now. Been on one in Bucharest this week – looks easy enough… So now to put on some weight (easy with the food here), and job done!

Actually, we are on Romania’s rather short piece of coastline on the Black Sea, at one of our employer’s other resort complexes. Not so much flesh on display today compared with expectations (“naturist-friendly”) as it is raining on and off. But, like ‘ours’ back in Portugal, it has pools, a gym, an arena for entertainments, apartments, restaurants, and other leisure areas. We’re here to make comparisons with what is being constructed back in the Algarve, and to meet the gym and entertainments teams to compare experience and (hopefully) to identify the good points and where improvements can be made.

The ‘entertainments’ people here are strictly managers and don’t perform themselves, but have huge numbers of contracts in nearby Bulgaria, Ukraine and in Russia – and not just acrobats, for which these places are well known. The thinking is that artistes might be more willing to sign up if there are two or more venues on offer, especially if, between us, we could involve and include some venues like night clubs in between us (across central Europe) – quite an interesting challenge!

It’s been going well. We go ‘home’ tomorrow via Bucharest Otopeni and Malaga airports with our Russian boss, who seems to have more confidence in our organisational abilities than we do! After all, we were hired to run two gyms and do a bit of acrobatics… but we’re giving it a go, and it’s fun. And the rest of our own sideshow ‘equipment’ has apparently arrived from our base in Wales whilst we’ve been away…

Meanwhile, our ‘Nomadism’ continues, as we shall head back to Tennessee on Wednesday ahead of six weeks of summer-camp entertainment duties with family and friends, before returning to Portugal “permanently”… or not… we’ll have to see.

So. The theme(s) of these books still occupy a lot of our lives. I haven’t mentioned the ‘gay love’ bit recently, but since it is always ‘Dave and I’ rather than ‘some girl and I’ in this blog, you probably got that figured. I’ll post ‘gay couple’ pix another time – for today, back to the single built guys…:

 

 

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Out of the Blue…

…we’re in Bucharest! This new job certainly throws up some surprises!

On Sunday evening we got a message from one of the Russian owners of this complex… would we like to accompany him to see another of their complexes on the Romanian Black Sea coast, compare how that is working with what we are planning, and discuss some of their planned entertainments with a view to exchanging some of the acts once we are fully functional back in Portugal? And ‘Maybe you guys could do a session there in the future?‘ Well, not without moving a whole load of our kit back and forth cross Europe, or making up yet another set… but who knows…

(In that vintage circus pic, the top guy is holding their combined weight with his teeth… we only manage one person!)

And so, it was over the border to Spain (20 minutes) and then on to Malaga airport, where a Romanian airline called Blue Air took us direct to Bucharest, where we’ve had a day sightseeing – Ceausescu’s famous palace, now the Romanian parliament and the second biggest building in the world after the Pentagon – while the Russian transacted some ‘shady’ business in the city.

Tomorrow we take the train east to the coast. This new job is certainly one for springing surprises! Alf and Seb are still fixing up the second gym back in the Algarve, but there won’t be any paying clients and therefore no-one to train or entertain there until the day after we return from our six-week ‘finale’ in Tennessee in the middle of July.

Romanian people are very friendly, especially when they see two Brit guys with faint American accents staring at a tourist map which bears little resemblance to what is on the ground, and struggling to buy bus rides using a strange plastic card which has to be presented to a reader in a special way when the instructions are only available in Romanian! Fun! I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile – on with our ‘usual’ show – fitness inspiration (and book adverts)!

And, finally, now you’re past the book adverts, something to try…

 

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More Decisions

This well-developed Russian gymnast boy from Chelyabinsk reminds us of the life we’ve left behind in the USA – a life of wall-to-wall gymnastics coaching, ditched in favour of setting up and running fitness gyms and “sideshows” of acrobatics and fakir stuff in southern Europe. Do we miss it? Yes, we do. Is the new stuff and the location good, though? Absolutely!!

Let’s make boys/mens gymnastics today’s picture theme. We haven’t had a formal ‘picture theme’ on this blog for quite a while now…

At the end of this month, Dave and I will return to Tennessee for six weeks to fulfil (with our kids and their friends) commitments at summer camps, teaching acrobatics and getting the rest of American youth a bit fitter while weaned off their MacDonald’s burgers and other take-away crap. Then our kids will join us back in Portugal for two weeks to find out what we’re up to before they have to return to the States at the beginning of August when High School re-starts.

Question is… how much of the rest of our ‘stuff’ to transfer over here. Do we feel we can commit to this 100% and ship everything over? Should we keep a ‘presence’ in TN since we shall want to keep flying over to see the kids and our friends? Do the girls want our room in the house back? Should we move some of the stuff to our little ‘investment’ cottage in Wales instead of bringing it here to a relatively small apartment? Decisions, decisions…!

Another question: do we want to be any part of Trump’s America, given his increasingly scary style of “governance”? Our kid’s mothers are American and, I’m sure would never leave, but having started to get used to the relaxed, quiet and peaceful style of life in Portugal – and the “proper” food! – it would be hard for us to resolve to quit and return, although if we keep our work visas up to date and continue to file US tax returns, we could. Apart from our friends, with whom we are really close and intend to see as often as possible, we’re actually less concerned about our own kids since they are clearly going to be wanderers and unlikely to stay put in any part of the world for very long. Leo, for example, has often talked about all the places he wants to visit once he can actually afford to travel. He has rarely talked of a ‘job’ other than being a touring showman, but he’ll probably think better of that one day.

So: is our ‘eventual’ destiny, on the assumption that we shall not stay in Portugal forever, be back to our native UK and our bolt hole in Wales? That bolt hole is a ‘nice little earner’ at present, being fully booked for the whole summer/autumn season when family are not using it, and we’ve more or less had the barn gym dismantled as more salubrious places for the local youth to train have sprung up in the nearest towns, since we’re hardly ever there. It could even be used for farming again by the neighbours who, one time, described it to us as having the best sheep-handling equipment in the district… and that is all still in place.

OK. Enough. Let’s see what time will bring…

…maybe more time to write a book that is actually a best seller! In the meantime, try these:

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

There’s a lot of our early days together in there, discovering our gay love, training as acrobats, having fun and sometimes not having fun…

…but now, on with the gymnasts and the gymnastics!

Two members of the UK Olympic boys from Rio there.

So, we’ve celebrated gymnastics. A great sport, and a great discipline for developing the body.

A finale: this is all about power in the shoulders, and flexibility. And endurance. Enjoy:

 

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Expectations

The weather here in the Algarve has now reverted to expectations! Wall-to-wall sunshine up to the 80s (28C) during the day, and nights clear and starry with minimum temperature 17C (62F) – last night we slept under the stars on our roof terrace, albeit with a light duvet over us in the end! The great delight here, compared with Tennessee where similar temperatures are normal, is the lack of humidity and a wonderful light sea breeze on your skin. I think that we’ve made a good choice!

Blue skies then, for some…

…but perhaps not ‘blue skies’ for others. one of Alf and Seb’s local mates got fired from the site today. He was working in the catering department and was fired for basically ‘not working’. Skiving off, really. Absolutely not living up to the ‘expectations’ of the management. We’re just hoping that this doesn’t turn off Alf and Seb’s enthusiasm, for they are working their socks off, both with us in preparation for gym maintenance and supervision, and also with us in the ‘entertainments’ division, equipping the amphitheatre and learning some of the tricks of the ‘acrobatic fakir’ trade. We’ve introduced them to working on broken glass fairly successfully, after Dave and I ran through the repertoire of walking, lying, rolling, and walking on hands on the glass and having them smash a concrete block on us while lying in the glass. The bosses seem very enthusiastic about the sort of shows we can offer in our own right (as well as bringing in other professionals on contract in the future) and, on the basis of what they have seen, agreed to cover the cost of freighting out our cache of equipment from our place in Wales, which is now on its way. A Perspex ‘tank’ for being covered in glass and trampled on (my son Leo’s favourite ‘show-off’), a sword bed, and a ‘thinned-out’ bed of nails  in which one’s weight is supported on far fewer points than on our standard bed. we’re going to revise a trick where I balance on my hands on Dave’s feet while he lies on it, and then I jump across to his hands… needs a bit of rehearsal after a long lay-off!

So we’re expecting that stuff on Monday.

Meanwhile fitting out gym 2 continues, with all four of us working enthusiastically.

In ‘other expectations’, my publisher is expecting a re-write of the end of book 4 because getting rights to quote a lyric from ‘West Side Story’ in the finale is proving troublesome if the book is going to be distributed world-wide. Sorry Mr. Sondheim, that’s your beer money gone out the window…

We also ‘expect’ agreement early next week on a two-pronged solution to the local youth wanting access to the gyms. A lot of them will be employed here – servicing apartments, catering, etc… and they will enjoy rights outside of  peak hours as of right. In response to a suggestion from one of my readers, the possibility of the company sponsoring some ‘street furniture’ gym equipment nearby if a site can be found seems a real possibility, so we may well be seeing a bit of this before too long:

After all, mot of the money is coming out of Russia, the home of street workouts!

..whilst, for us, we also have the opportunity for beach workouts just a couple of miles away! Not to mention the on-site pools…

So much for our expectations, and those of our workmates here. Let’s move on to your expectations – a few more excellent male bodies illustrating the fitness regime we try to promote!

Now that’s ripped!!!

 

 

 

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Enthusiasm

Never miss a training opportunity – even if you are waiting for a plane! That’s enthusiasm.

As we prepare for the opening of the new vacation complex here in the eastern Algarve, our local ‘staffers’ Alfredo and Seb have set us a problem. Engaged because of their obvious love of fitness, creating a good impression at interview, and demonstrated to us by their regular combat sessions in the dunes, they have now asked whether their friends can get to use the gyms here. As these facilities are intended only for the paying guests, we referred them to ‘management’.

It creates a problem because both gyms will be available 24/7 to guests and we will not want the gym so crowded that the guests cannot get to the equipment they wish to use. Predictably, ‘management’ aren’t happy, regarding the leisure facilities here – and indeed the whole place – as exclusive to guests. Equally, neither they, nor we, want Alf and Seb upset, most certainly not with Dave and I, if we have to work together. We’ve already agreed to have the boys work with us on shows, and to learn some of the ‘fakir’ stuff themselves – and they’re over the moon about that – and they can use the gyms themselves as ‘staff’ whenever they are off duty and there is space. It is just their mates (and their girls) that are the problem.

As there is no public gym facility in the district, this could be the first of several requests when local sports groups get to hear of us, as they surely will. Dave and I clearly have to support ‘management’, who are asking for our input. I think that we shall be suggesting that we could offer such people some kind of ‘special membership’, with access to the ‘family’-side gym maybe twice a week at times which are inconvenient for resident families – either during obvious mealtimes, or late at night. Alternatively, as Dave has just considered, maybe the site could sponsor a small set-up somewhere nearby that these friends – or indeed anyone – could use. Not resolved as yet, but ‘management’ have been encouraged [by us] to think of the extra income…

Bit of thinking to do for everyone involved…

Meanwhile, we shall continue to indulge in our own enthusiasms…

And one ‘enthusiasm’ I nearly forgot…

Quite!

 

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Snippets

A bit of this and that today. Starting with Egor Malyshev and his friend, gymnasts from Chelyabinsk, improving themselves in the weight room.

Our second weight room, on the ‘adult only’ side of the vacation complex here, is due to be ‘handed over’ formally from the builders tomorrow. This means that we shall be able to attack a second set of packing cases and start assembling resistance machines and unwrapping dumbbells all over again. With the experience of doing this already on the ‘family’ side, I think that we can be quite a bit more efficient.

Although we have to approach through what is still a rather muddy building site to get there (it does rain on the Algarve from time to time!)…

(That’s not here… somewhere in Russia I think. Same rain though…)

… it is good we can get on with this because, when we come from our final six weeks in the States (beginning at the end of the month) we shall be seeing the first paying guests on the ‘family’ side, managing their gym entertainment and putting on our first shows, which will be largely “us and the boys” to begin with. Oh, and rather conveniently, my son and Dave’s daughter as well, who are getting a surprise trip to Europe and can show off their skills as well. We shall also have some friends from UK here, thanks to Roger’s mysterious connections with the owners. So, much to look forward to.

Before the end of this month, we also have to complete (or at least supervise the completion!) of the rigging for the amphitheatre, including a lot of experiments with lighting and stage ‘fog’ in the evening, so that we are confident it will be available for full use as soon as we return. There are still some issues about who wil operate the technical side – more local recruitment is suggested – but Alf and Seb say they will do it to start with, for a little additional money. Good for them, but we actually could do with them backstage – and on-stage initially – to stage manage us! Roll on the other professionals we have started to book… but there will be two ‘acro/fakir’ shows a week, one for each ‘half’ of the site, basically down to us and any competent mates we can rope in. 70 minutes is quite hard to sustain with just two of us…

OK. Enough whinging. In ‘other news’…

We’ve been invited to the local lads (and lassies) ‘fighting’ again, last evening. It turns out that the beach they use, Praia da Manta Rota, is officially designated a gay beach at its western end in the dunes. Don’t think they realised that, although they tend to go to the other end. Got Dave and I thinking about what a ‘gay beach’ actually is, since any form of sexual expression in public is serious not on in Portugal, so the only difference can be two guys lying side by side with arms around one another, which can perfectly well happen on a ‘;straight’ beach if they are good friends… ahem. Well, it is still quite deserted at this time of year, so maybe we’ll find it out later. Not that Dave nor I actually want a ‘gay’ beach venue in any case, not least because our love is sworn to be entirely between ourselves (oh yes, and eight other guys back in Tennessee!). Unless a bit of this goes on on a gay beach, I suppose…

But in fact, we’re rather happy just with our own company, thank you very much!

Back in regard to the fighting, the girls get really excited when ‘their’ boy is getting the upper hand in what looks like a crazy mash-up of wrestling, boxing and MMA… and just like Roger’s wife Ellie in Colin’s wife Natasha (old school friends in Oxford), as related in my second book, it doesn’t seem to take much before a couple of the girls will be stripping off and ‘having a go’ at each other! Maybe we should encourage them to find a place away from the sand, and introduce the baby oil… there’s something about an oiled body…

…especially when he’s a wrestler and up close to you… and gently oiling you up before the contest… Stop. I’m getting all excited here. Back to ‘ordinary’ beach playtime, and no naughty thoughts (just mind where you clasp your hands!)…

Preparations for the publication of my fourth book, a simple novel about a sad gay boy, are in hand, but it looks like I  must lose the lyrics I quoted from West Side Story at the end. Seems I can get the rights for next to nothing but only if the publication is limited to UK – and that’s not sensible given that it is set in USA and will be distributed world wide via Amazon and the rest. So I’m a bit irritated about that, and need to re-write the ending. Oh well. It’s something you might eventually look forward to reading, I suppose…

Well, I hear you say… “At least he’s not promoting the first three like he does in almost every other post” Actually, I think I just did, kind of subliminally. C’mon, we need the money, guys. A ittle payback for the blog pix?

Some more, then.

And, to finish off today, all guys together. Training their bodies and sharing the fun. Well, apart from that damaged wrist. Just as it should be…

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Local Lore (Law?)

So – apart from a six-week decamp back to the US in June/July, Dave and I have moved our ‘fitness base’ to a new leisure complex in south-eastern Portugal. It caters for family naturists (on the one side) and adult-only couples and groups on the other, especially welcoming LGTB folks. The theme is fitness – gyms, pools, saunas and, apparently as an afterthought, tennis – they’re clearing what was to be a piece of shrubbery for a couple of courts. Golfers (clothed!) can do their own swingy thing on nearby courses, which abound down here. And, of course, the beach is not far away.

The place is being marketed in certain countries only, and as a private club. People or families will invest in membership, although their friends and relatives can use their ‘allocation’ – its a bit like timeshare, but seemingly more complex. We had thought this was because of the welcome to naturism and gay stuff being kept ‘discrete’ as some sort of planning condition, but apparently not so. It seems that there is a very relaxed attitude to public nudity in Portugal. I quote:

“There is a Portuguese expression, nao faz mal, which roughly translates as ‘it doesn’t matter.’ It perfectly sums up the country’s laid-back attitude towards many things, including nakedness in public, and is the reason why many beaches, whilst not necessarily officially recognised as naturist, are naturist by default or common consent.

“Public nudity is not actually against the law in Portugal, and an offence is only committed if somebody feels morally offended and files a complaint – an unlikely occurrence. So you can, in theory, go naked anywhere you want.

“However, as always, common sense should prevail. You wouldn’t take all your clothes off and parade down the main tourist drag in Albufeira for instance – even if it is called The Strip. And whilst topless sunbathing is as common in Portugal as most places in southern Europe, you might cause offence going au naturel on many of the popular and busy beaches in the main towns and resorts – especially in August, when the whole of Portugal seems to decamp to the coast to cool off, often in large family groups complete with the pre-requisite black-shawled granny.”

Well, we don’t expect many “black-shawled grannies” to show up in our new facility – especially on the ‘gay-friendly’ side! The quote, by the way, is from http://www.inspirationalalgarve.com

Our closest ‘locals’, Alfredo and Sebastien at 19yo, do not exhibit this apparent lack of inhibition, although they have trained in the gym with us naked a couple of times now. They certainly don’t strip off with their girlfriends on the beach… but we shall see! Two beaches  in the area of Tavira, a town west of us, are listed as gay-friendly on one of the local gay-guide sites http://algarvegay2.webnode.com/praias/ but the closer beaches do not feature there – not that this really matters, in our situation!

The place feels very ‘European’ – EU flags everywhere reflecting a lot of invested money from other member states’ contributions!, Euro currency, lots of international tourists, and TV channels on cable from all over Europe including  ‘our’ BBC – and it is sometimes hard to remember that it was a dictatorship until 1975 when a fascist dictatorship was overthrown. Gay marriage became legal a few year ago, and the ruling Socialist Party which came to power  18 months ago has already brought in a new law allowing same-sex couples to adopt, and would bring in a euthanasia movement although there is considerable opposition – this is still a strongly Catholic society (hard to believe with some of those recent changes and relaxed attitudes) – and the Pope is actually here right now intending to canonise the shepherd children who witnessed the vision of Fatima 100 years ago and is expected to speak against euthanasia and abortion… a complex country indeed!

Overall, I think we can fit in rather well here! Especially if we find time to learn a little of the language. We’ll see.

Meantime, the picture gallery continues with relevance to the things we are here to do:

(OK, neither of us could support that weight…!!).

Maybe – just maybe, we might try this: don’t look too closely [but remember that most pics will enlarge if you click on them…]. Meanwhile, away from the ‘clothing-optional’ gym…

Elastic strands in action…

And, tonight’s finale – a ‘kewl’ gym!

 

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