27 June 2016

Summer workshop

It's less than a month away. Please get in touch if there is any further information you need or help I can offer so that you can attend.

26 June 2016

Annie Dillard - The Weasel

I have just discovered Annie Dillard, whose strong clear writing has been a tonic to me these last few weeks. I urge you to read her new anthology 'The Abundance', and as a taster follow the link to the wonderful 'The Weasel'.

..."We can live any way we want. People take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience--even of silence--by choice. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding, not fighting. A weasel doesn't "attack" anything; a weasel lives as he's meant to, yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.
I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you're going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles."

24 June 2016

Talu class

Thanks to Mark for an excellent class last night. Floods in London kept a few folks away but don't worry, you can catch up or join in any time his term. Picture below features a room full of knockers - people doing the ward-off exercise known as knocking...
I just woke up to news that UK is leaving EU. As you know I keep this blog largely free of politics. But if this means a second Scotland / UK referendum, and Scotland leaves, I will still come north with my passport and T'ai Chi, so long as cakes aren't comfiscated at the border. Also Hamid has just texted he's coming to live in Scotland and changing his name to Hamish. Large Persians in Monymusk have so far only been of the feline variety. 

Keep to Central Earth during the storm of opinion that will now engulf us all. Or throw away the telly and go walk in the green hills which were there before us all and will be there after we are merely dust and echoes. I send my love and best wishes to all past and present Great River and T'ai Chi Centre students where ever they are in UK and all over the world. 

23 June 2016


...to all the Aberdeenshire students who came along last weekend. Sorry my swollen glands and cold meant I couldn't do the final Dance session. I am on the mend. Here are some photos from the weekend.

At Finzean for our traditional solstice session. Bumblebees got sleepy when the temperature dropped. If you look closely you will see them on many of these flowers. 

21 June 2016

Thursday venue 23rd June

As  Monymusk Hall is being used as a polling station, we'll have this week's Thursday session at Balvack from 7pm.

13 June 2016

June Aberdeenshire Workshops

This month's workshops with Caroline are this weekend, 17-19 June. As is now traditional, the Saturday workshops will be at Finzean and we'll play outside, weather permitting. Sunday will be at Balvack.
Great River students of any level are particularly welcome to the Saturday sessions.

Friday 7-10pm: Weapons at Fetternear Hall including Sabre for beginners 7-8pm.
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 (more info available here).

The price is £15 (concs available) per 3 hr session. Sabre for  beginners is £5.

Please bring food to share on Saturday and Sunday. Get in touch with your instructor if you need travel directions to any of the venues or feel free to contact me with any other questions.

The revised dates for 2016 workshops in Aberdeenshire and London are available here

Bloke in the park

I trained with Christian of  Bloke on the Path on Saturday, which was great, and the first time we have managed to do T'ai Chi together, due to busy-ness. His blog is always worth reading, and he posts lots of good things, whereas I am still on 'screen-avoidance' mode, blogging little until the Autumn, I expect, as I am spending every hour I can outdoors with the plants and birds. It was great to train with someone who appreciates softness and yielding, and we had a good couple of hours in Hyde Park before the deluge and crowds. Thanks again Christian, and see you soon!

Long Form

Congratulations to the Thursday evening class students who finished learning the Yang Style Long Form this month, 3 of whom were present for the photo with Mark above. Well done!

Talu starts this week

...Thursday class 6.30-8.30pm, at the Streatham venue, see Mark's website for details. All students of The T'ai Chi Centre and Great River are welcome. Classes cost the same as usual, and only £5 if you already attend on Tuesdays.

11 June 2016

Sword tomorrow

Sunday 12th 2-5pm St Mary Magdalene Church Hall. £22.

No Inverurie or Turriff class this week

There are no classes at Inverurie or Turriff this week, 13th June. Classes will be at the normal time and place on 20th June and the last week of term is Monday 11th July.

06 June 2016

Staff session

Thanks to Mark for a great session on a  hot sunny day by The Thames. Well done new Staff folks who stormed the whole form. Next date TBC.

02 June 2016

Staff workshop this Sunday 5th July

All students of The T'ai Chi Centre and Great River are welcome 2-5pm outdoors near Hampton Court at usual riverside venue, contact for details if you haven't been before. Cost £22, tea provided, spare staffs available. We will look at Form and Partnerwork, all great fun. Students of other chools who would like to study staff with is, please get in contact for eligibility.