Saturday, August 14, 2004


in America, while here in Belfast, we have sticky southerly winds and the risk of thunder on Monday.

Elsewhere: in Greece the Olympics have started. As I walked past the living–room last night, the TV showed the new stadium awash with camera–flashes and fireworks. I chose not to sit down, but passed through and went upstairs to my bedroom wondering where I could get hold of any decent photos of Ian Thorpe, Australia’s star swimmer.

Ian Thorpe: photo from BBC

This beautifully curved arm, well–padded with 21–year–old muscle, (*Pete drools*) is Thorpe’s. Not that I'm just after Thorpe: there are plenty of swimmers and gymnasts and rowers to watch. Well, maybe not the rowers.

But seriously, before everyone reading this starts thinking I'm nothing but a perv, I actually think watching gymnasts at almost any standard, and particularly at an Olympic standard — and the same goes for swimmers — is actually compelling and impressive. It's the mixture of grace a power: a very difficult mixture to execute correctly. Whereas the body both seeks to decrease its resistance to water in swimming, and fights it at the same time, in gymnastics the body must look as if it is no longer subject to the natural forces of gravity and average human strength. That’s why watching the events on TV is really the thing to do. Photos never give a good impression of the athletes’ efforts - or their physical presence.

But if anyone does turn up some good photos, let me know! *grin*

And going back to America again, I have learned that people from Utah are called Utahns (which seems a bit of a messy word) by reading this story about the declaration of gay marriages as null and void after California ruled that the Governor was acting illegally in issuing them. You can get legally married in Massachusetts, and in Vermont there are recognised civil unions. I guess Vermont’s welcoming stance would induce a bit of mental relaxation for a lot of gay people, in a way, and it may be all the more reason for me to live in Vermont someday, and do this. Although it’s not really the real reason. I just want to, anyway.

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