16 August 2017

The most fragrant rose I ever smelled - yesterday in the rose garden at Hampton Court Palace. 

I will not be receiving emails, calls or texts  over the next week. I'll be spending skme quality time with nature. Hope you get to have a break too!

11 August 2017

Thursdays at Monymusk

We'll be restarting our weekly sessions at Monymusk next Thursday 17th August. 7-9pm in the small room then 9-10pm in the main hall as usual. £35 for a 10 week block or £5/week. Anyone who has been to an intensive or is studying Long Form will be welcome.

05 August 2017


Some more for the fantasy T'ai Chi T-shirt catalogue.

Don't be so full of yourself.
Traditional Scottish saying.

T'ai Chi: give as good as you get.

Damsons: help with the yield

This year, for the third year running, my local damson trees are groaning with delicious fruit. My tiny freezer is full to bursting with bags of the little purple gems, yet still I feel compelled to gather, wash and freeze what falls each day. Every day I can get a basket or two like the one pictured, as only one other person cooks with them. Here's my request: I am around for the next week. If you would like to pop by for a cuppa, a short form, and a bag of damsons (or gather them yourself), please get in touch. I will also bring a large bag to Aberdeenshire in September. They make great compote, jam, chutney, liqueurs, wine, juice or desserts. They have large pips which I remove, a lengthy but delightfully meditative job. 

02 August 2017

If you liked this then you may also...

These days it seems obligatory to provide online recommendations for further reading, listening or purchases of any kind. Personally I prefer word-of-mouth to software algorithms ;-)

So if you enjoyed the summer Intensive, or couldn't make it to Kingston last month, then you may be interested in coming to the Aberdeenshire Intensive from Saturday 14th to Monday 16th October. There will also be a Weapons workshop 7-10pm on Friday 13th.

The venue is Fetternear Hall (map available here). Note the hall is in a quiet rural location 2 miles from the nearest town / bus-stop (Kemnay), 6 miles from the closest train station (lnverurie) and about 13 miles from Aberdeen Airport.

More details will be posted here in due course. In the meantime if any visiting students need any help with travel or accommodation, including transport to/from the venue please get in touch with me. There will be some rooms available with local students and I can provide info on local B&Bs and hotels. It may be possible to stay at the venue but please note there are limited facilities (i.e. no showers).

If any of the Aberdeenshire students have spaces still available, please let me know so I can help match you with the visitors.

Aberdeenshire Thursdays

Thursday sessions will restart at Monymusk Hall on 17th August. In the meantime if anyone fancies some practice to revise / share what we studied at the intensive you'd be welcome to come round to Balvack on Thursday evenings or Sunday afternoons.

31 July 2017

Have a great Summer break. 

30 July 2017

Shetland workshops

We have just confirmed the next introductory workshops in Hillswick, Shetland for Saturday 28th October, and another session either the day before or after that. More details in about a week. If any students want to come up and assist, they are welcome to but need to get there under their own steam. There is room outside the venue for camper vans (all but one of the 7 folks so far interested in coming along have vans!) It may also be possible to stay at the venue. I will post more soon. I am flying from home via Edinburgh but in the future may be able to tag Shetland on after teaching in Aberdeenshire.

29 July 2017

121s this summer

I am available for 121s at home this summer on various days, which I will list here as they become available. So far confirmed free dates are 5-13 August. Get in touch if you'd like to come over.

Day Seven

What a fantastic week. Well done to all the Short Form folks who did the whole week, and to everyone who travelled far to come - thankyou! Rest well, keep a bit of T'ai Chi going every day to keep the post- workshop blues at bay. I'd also like to say thanks for all the help with food, cleaning and tidying that happened; it makes my job so much easier. I am heading off to hand over keys and pick up last bits shortly, a bit late due to oversleeping. Love and best wishes to all. Have a great summer.

Guest teacher Pax: specialising in perfect comic timing and sensitivity to energy. 

Study groups yesterday: sword, wabu, dragon walk, short form, salutations. 

A room full of folks doing connecting hands. 

28 July 2017

Final day of workshop

It's the last day today and we'll be looking at whatever T'ai Chi questions and requests folks have.

Please help us tonight by taking any rubbish or recycling home if you are travelling by car. Also we will all pack some food to take home so there's not too much left to sort tomorrow. 

Clean up is 10.30am-12 noon on Saturday. It won't be hard but any help is always appreciated. The Scouts will be back from camp with wet tents at 1pm, I hear. 

Thanks to all for delicious food and all your help with cleaning and provisions. See you later!

Day Six

We may have been tired, we may have been achey, but we all really went for it!
What a great atmosphere, the most folks we ever had come along on say six. 
My Mum's cake helped. 

Sword form.


27 July 2017

Day Five

Virally spirally. 

Amazing sunset.

26 July 2017

Day Four

Lots of uprooting and joining with slipping ward-offs. Another full day with great work by all. 
The last two mornings I have been working on tiny illustrations on parchment for the next Dark Mountain book. I highly recommend a good sleep followed by 3 hours drawing then 6 hours T'ai Chi, as a great way off life. Just need to work out how to get 20 delicious dishes delivered free every day...

Next Plaistow class

Will be 22nd September. Let me know if you'd like to come along.

Cold Mountain by Han-shan

Do you have the poems of Han-shan in your house?
They're better for you than sutra-reading!
Write them out and paste them on a screen
Where you can glance them over from time to time. 

Poem 100 in the Cape Edition translated by Burton Watson.