17 January 2019

Monymusk session tonight cancelled

Tonight at Monymusk has been cancelled due to the road conditions. See you next week.

Mark's classes have resumed

Tuesday class took place in Tooting this week, Thursday Class in Hampton Court takes place tonight. Classes continue as normal until Easter, holiday dates TBC.

Sabre class, Tuesday


We had a great weekend in Aberdeenshire, and worked on Spirit, as well as the usual topics, so that we could lift ourselves from the wintry torpor that sometimes descends. More on this later. Best wishes to those who could not come for health reasons, see you in February.
sword applications

08 January 2019

Next Gothenburg workshops

I'll be there 23rd and 24th February, after a little trip to see friends elsewhere in Sweden too. I am looking forward to seeing everyone.

07 January 2019

121s in Aberdeenshire

121s are available Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. Let me know if you would like one.

Tooting Bec class resumes this week

All are welcome to the new Tooting class at Tooting Bec Lido Pavilion. Wednesday 9-10am, £5 members SLSC £8 otherwise. Come and have a relaxing start to the day, learn warm ups, form and Chi Kung.

06 January 2019

Thursday sessions

Thursday sessions at Monymusk restart this week a little earlier as agreed i.e. 630-8:45 in the small hall and then 8:45-9:30 in the main hall except where listed. The price for 10 weeks is £30 or £5 if paying weekly.
10-Jan Janet 6:30-9:30pm Main Hall 
17-Jan Marie
24-Jan Paolo
31-Jan Scott
07-Feb Anneke
14-Feb Davina
21-Feb Janet
28-Feb Marie
07-Mar Paolo
14-Mar Sandy 8-10pm only Small Hall 

 If you can't make the session that you're due to lead then please contact someone on the list to arrange a swap.

January workshops with Caroline

Aberdeenshire workshops with Caroline are next weekend, 11-13th January.
The Weapons session is at Fetternear Hall, all other workshops are at Balvack. Great River students of any level are particularly welcome to the Saturday sessions.

Friday 6:30-9:30pm: Weapons
Saturday 1-4pm: Short Form, and related study
Saturday 5:30-8:30pm: Partnerwork
Sunday 1-4pm: Long Form
Sunday 5.30-8.30pm: Advanced Studies and Dance

The price is £18 (concessions £12) per 3 hr session. Please bring food to share on Saturday and Sunday. Get in touch with your instructor if you need travel directions or feel free to contact me with any other questions

05 January 2019

Turriff class restarts 7th January

The new term at Turriff will start on Monday 7th January at the Baden Powell Community Hall.

The Short Form class is 6:45-8:15pm and is open to total beginners. So if you'd like to try something new and relaxing for 2019 why not come along and see if T'ai Chi is for you? The standard price is £50 for 6 weeks. Concession or weekly prices are available on request.

The Long Form class continues until 8:45pm for a small additional cost. If you have previous Long Form experience and would like to join the class, please get in touch to discuss.

The term will run until 1st July with a short break during the Easter holidays.

02 January 2019

New Year

New Year's resolutions are not my thing, but over the less-busy period between terms I often have time to re-affirm certain habits or practices that are nourishing. This year, like last year, that involves sitting meditation, but crafting and reading for pleasure have made a return. Extinction Rebellion have a good set of daily focuses this week, and the themes change each day, giving food for thought, action, creativity or quiet reflection. Have a look here.

Dorset rainbow September 2018

31 December 2018

Happy New year to the T'ai Chi family

The bones of winter trees

A two cormorant day, always a good sign.

Happy New Year to all The T'ai Chi Centre and Great River students and friends. I hope 2019 is peaceful and creative for you. I look forward to being totally fit and well again, and seeing folks old an new at classes and workshops in 2019, we have lots of good things planned...

Here's a few more great books to recommend, not new to some of you, but all kept me amused, intrigued or afloat in 2018.
Women Who Run With The Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony - Roberto Calasso
What It Is - Lynda Barry
Picture This - Lynda Barry
The Power - Naomi Alderman
Collected Poems - Jack Gilbert
The New Menopausal Years - Susun Weed (buy this for all your female friends and relatives over the age of 35, it should be issued automatically)
A Branch From The Lighting Tree - Martin Shaw
China's Green Religion - James Miller
Dark Mountain 13

Music: having returned to music in October 2017, I have been listening to great things, old and new, here's a few to check out if you don't know them. in no particular order, these have been tickling my ears all year...
Portico Quartet, First Aid Kit, Lisa Germano, Bill Callahan (Smog), Wild Oldham (in all his many guises), Arve Henriksen, The Album Leaf, Atoms For Peace, Bon Iver, Sufijan Stevens, Gavin Bryars, Dead Can Dance, Ida, Iron And Wine, James Yorkston, The Unthanks, Sigur Ros.

Films... none of note, and I haven't been to the cinema all year, strangely. 

TV: much good SF - Altered Carbon, The OA, Star Trek Discovery (yes, I know, but it's good!), The ABC Murders, Homecoming.

Good things: Guppyfriend bag now means my washing doesn't shed micro plastics into the marine environment. Get one...
Swans, more swans, cygnets, mandarin ducks....

Landy goes for a dangerous walk. I had to herd him back to the river, stopping the traffic.

But the main highlights of my year have been days spent in nature, time teaching wild materials, drawing and painting more than ever before, doing T'ai Chi outdoors with all you guys, and quiet peaceful time at home on my own or with friends or family. For all this, I am very grateful. More from me in the new Year. Time to drink coffee now...

23 December 2018

More good things

Bristol Cloth are crowdfunding to make the first natural dyed wool cloth, totally made in the UK for many years. Have a look here, I just supported them on Crowdfunder, there's only a day left.

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything just gets better. It's the only podcast I always enjoy.

More things to follow leading up to New Year, as I remember them!

Calendars have arrived early

The calendars turned up today so I am posting the Scottish ones to Davina, and one to Sweden tomorrow, unless there are huge queues at the Post Office. They look great!
There are 3 remaining large (£9) and one desk sized (£5) calendars available, so let me know if you'd like one. I can pop them in the post or bring to class first week of term.

I probably won't post much here over the holidays as I am doing my best to recover from a long cold / infection. However I may finally get round to writing that haptic essay... and collating the T'ai Chi  / medical benefits links, long delayed...

Have a great mid winter, whatever you are celebrating.
Greetings from the great river.

17 December 2018

Calendars on their way

We have ordered the calendars and they will arrive before New Year, I will get in touch when they do. They have come out at the same price as last year £5 / £9, although re-orders sometimes cost more...

16 December 2018


Heart Work with Mark runs today at the HC studio 2-5pm. All welcome.

I am still ill with colds and flu, and have not been able to come to classes, as well as having to cancel some teaching. I have missed seeing everyone as well as missing the T'ai Chi. Hope to be back to class Tuesday evening. I won't be at class today as I am still coughing a great deal. So I will stay in and mend things.

My friend Navjyoat Chhina writes a great blog about home-schooling her kids, and the latest post is about haptic perception. I still haven't written my post on that for here yet. We were both inspired, or rather depressed, by the news last month that surgeons are finding new students don't have the requisite hand-eye coordination needed to study surgery. The cause appears to be that they didn't have hand craft hobbies as kids, but spent time looking at screens. Too many frictionless surfaces are making us de-evolve!

Marks' classes continue next week on Tuesday and Thursday, and resume on 15th and 17th January.

Best wishes to you all, hoping you don't have this bug.