23 October 2017

No Turriff class tonight

There's no class tonight. Term restarts 6:30pm Monday 30th October.

22 October 2017

The T'ai Chi Centre 13th annual weeklong workshop

In 2018 the workshop will be at the same venue as this year, and the dates are below. The original Petersham scout-hut-in-an-enchanted-field venue still have not rebuilt or refurbished their hut, so it is still a bit small and dark for times when it is raining, and we'd need to be indoors. I am mindful that we had two wonderful years there under the trees, with barely a drop of rain. However, bar winning the lottery and donating half of it to build a new hut, (which I would happily do by the way!), I think we can be happy at Kingston Leander Sea Scouts place again. I will put it on the link soon, but I am still knee deep in T'ai Chi and art admin for the next week or two, as to be honest, I may have neglected this for a month or more...

Workshop dates 2018: 2-9.30pm daily, 21st-27th July, optional session 20th, 7-10pm.

London classes resume this week

See you at class on Tuesday 24th. Thursday 26th will also run. Classes will continue until Winter break, dates TBC.
Here's a lovely picture of Johan doing T'ai Chi on holiday in Spain...
Thanks Johan, see you in December in Gothenburg.

Beginners T'ai Chi in Shetland next weekend

I will be teaching introductory workshops in Shetland on Friday 27th October 7-8pm and Saturday 28th October 3-4pm at The Weaving Shed Gallery, Hillswick, next door to the wildlife sanctuary.
All are welcome, just wear loose comfortable clothes and soft shoes or trainers. Cost £10 per session concessions available. No experience necessary. There will be tea and a chance to chat and ask questions after each session. if there is demand, we may set up regular workshops and a practice group.

19 October 2017

Mark's London classes resume next week

Thanks to Mark for a great workshop in Aberdeenshire. There were bees' knees and cats' whiskers as well as the only T'ai Chi dog I know. I will try and get some pictures up here tonight when I get home from work. London classes in Tooting and Streatham resume next week. See you there!

Plaistow class tomorrow

I am teaching at Plaistow 7-9pm tomorrow, all students who have finished Short Form are welcome. Get in touch for address details.

18 October 2017

Aberdeenshire workshops 2018 - revised dates

Here are the confirmed dates for next years workshops in Aberdeenshire with Caroline:

12-14 January
9-11 February
9-11 March
13-15 April
11-13 May Cancelled
8-10 June  now 1-3 June
6-8 July
14-16 September
9-11 November
7-9 December

The October workshop with Mark at Fetternear will be 13-15 October with a weapons session on Friday 12th.

16 October 2017

No Turriff class tonight

There's no class tonight. Term restarts 6:30pm Monday 30th October.

15 October 2017

No Turriff class 16th & 23rd October

There will be no Turriff classes during the school holidays i.e. 16th and 23rd October. The term will restart on Monday 30th October 6:30pm at the Gateway Centre.  It's still possible for new students / total beginners to join the class then.

12 October 2017

beyond words

Been almost impossible to write this week since returning from the beautiful country Romania. But I can manage a few lines and pictures before I head north to delve into T'ai Chi with you all at Mark's annual Aberdeenshire workshop.

ah home now.
Captions when language returns if it ever does.

I did 4 hours T'ai Chi with a spruce tree. I also did the warm ups to warm up, see final picture and you'll know why.

07 October 2017

Aberdeenshire Autumn Intensive 14-16 October

It's almost time for this year's Autumn Intensive in Aberdeenshire with Master Mark Raudva. 

Sessions are 2-5pm and 6:30-9:30pm Saturday 14th to Monday 16th October at Fetternear Hall.
Come from the Saturday afternoon and stay for as many sessions as you can. The price is £44 per day or £22 per half day session, concession prices are £24 / £12 for those who feel they cannot afford this. We all bring a little food to share in the break.

We'll be warming up the hall with a Weapons session 7-10pm on Friday 13th.  Please bring any spare weapons as we may also have the opportunity to practise in the breaks over the weekend.
Great River and T'ai Centre students will be very welcome - a wonderful opportunity to share great teaching in the company of fellow students in a beautiful rural location. 
For visitors there may still be accomodation available with local students from £5 per night and there are also good B&Bs and hotels in the area. Please get in touch with me if you need more information, somewhere to stay or any other help with travel, things to do & see in the area, ...

29 September 2017

The Secret Books

I am heading out to a bookshop today to buy my classmate Marcel Theroux's new book 'The Secret Books'. Here's a great short interview with him about it, available for the next 6 days.

His last two books 'Strange Bodies' and the superb 'Far North' are two of my favourite novels of the millennium so far. Christmas gifts sorted: buy all three and get them signed at class...

Marcel's most recent 'Unreported World' aired this week on Channel 4 and is available on catch up.

121s with Mark in Aberdeenshire

There are 2 121 slots available between 17-19 October in Aberdeenshire, when Mark is up there on his annual teaching trip. Please get in touch if you would like one.

28 September 2017

Late night on National Poetry Day

Just back from a long day working, wondering which poems to put here. There are so many possible choices since I put aside my childish aversion to poetry ( I always favoured prose, or lyrics serving music). Now, some of my best friends are poets :) I arrived late to the poetry party, and Rumi, (in translated versions by Coleman Barks) was a gateway drug. So here's a couple of favourites,

We don't need wine to get drunk,
or instruments and singing to feel ecstatic.
No poets, no leaders, no songs,
yet we jump around totally wild.

No better love than love with no object,
no more satisfying work than work with no purpose.
If you could give up tricks and cleverness,
that would be the cleverest trick!

Roger McGough's 'First Day At School' was probably the first poem I ever memorised, and 'The Lesson' by Michael Rosen probably the second, when I was about 8 years old. We learned many psalms at Sunday School, (and goodness knows how many hundreds of Victorian hymn lyrics still clutter my skull, along with descant parts for most carols.) More recently, I have come across much excellent poetry in the Dark Mountain books, and have discovered some wonderful writers, but I am still a novice. So if you have a particular favourite, please share it with me.

She's got gall

Yeah I have, actually,
Last week I found these on a young oak tree near here, two kinds of oak gall, perfect for making oak gall ink. I will go back and harvest more this weekend, as once the larvae have hatched no animal is hurt to gather them, and it doesn't damage the tree either. If you see any on your travels, please do pick them for me. 

Next week I'll be in  the wilds of Romania teaching some ancient art techniques and an introduction to the alchemical colours of black, white and red, here. That means I won't be at class to help with weapons next week, so please help out if need be, and bear with Mark if the register suffers... I also have to work the following week, 10th October, when new term fees are due, so feel free to wait until we are all back on 24th October. Thanks for your understanding. Wish me luck with the wolves and the bears.

No London classes during Aberdeenshire workshop week

There will be no Tuesday or Thursday class in London on 17th and 19th October. Classes will resume as normal the following week.