19 November 2017

Session at The V&A

Many thanks to Davina for assisting me at the beginners' workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum this Saturday, which was held in the great hall full of incredible Raphael cartoons. We had a great session, and studied sticking, warm ups and Five Element Chi Kung. There may be some more sessions in the future. here's a few pictures.


two hand sticking, not stepping

Short Form

Warm ups

Things of beauty

my apple, yesterday

misty morning at home

green light through stained glass

cherry tree gum, enough for a year's paints

Aberdeenshire workshops

Thanks to all who came for a great set of workshops, with the wonderful combination of the deepest work and most fun mixed with the usual great food!
Long Form applications, the split within Step Forward to the Seven Stars

Sword on Friday, Lark Over the Waterfall.


the Shetland workshops last month were lovely, and only now have I had a chance to sort the photos, here are a couple of us doing 5 Element Chi Kung.

The wind swirling across the bay - next day calm with sea otters!

14 November 2017

Plaistow class this week

All who have finished Short Form are welcome, 7-9pm, get in touch for the address.

09 November 2017

Shorter session this evening at Monymusk

This week we have the small hall 8-10pm only as the bowlers are in the main hall, so no weapons or tea-break...

this weekend

I am looking forward to travelling up to teach tomorrow and spend time with the students in Aberdeenshire. It's ben a very busy week of T'ai Chi and other work, so I haven't blogged the Shetland pics yet, but will. Autumnal greetings to all from the chilly river.

07 November 2017

November Aberdeenshire workshops with Caroline

This months workshops with Caroline are this weekend 10-12th November.

The Weapons session is at Fetternear Hall at 6:30pm, 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, including Sabre for beginners 6:30-7:30  (£5).
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 £16 (concs available) 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.

The confirmed dates for all the 2018 workshops are available here.

06 November 2017

Wild Twins

I will be teaching a new course for artists and writers with Paul Kingsnorth next May called Wild Twins. It will take place on the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland at Sherkin Island, North Shore. There are places for 8 writers and 8 artists, and people of any level of practice are welcome to attend. We will be spending much time in wild nature as well as making all the materials we need to draw or write from scratch from natural materials. Get in touch if you are interested, as it will probably sell out quickly.

Turriff class

The Turriff class will continue until 18th December. For those paying in advance, this will be a 7-week rather than 6-week block.

02 November 2017

T'ai Chi at the V&A museum

I will be teaching an introduction to T'ai Chi in the incredible Raphael galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Saturday 18th November at 9am. Details here. It is suitable for complete beginners and includes a special tour of the collections as well as a hot drink after the class. Come and join me for a great way to start the weekend. If it goes well, this may become more regular, feel free to tell non-T'ai Chi friends, maybe they'll become T'ai Chi folks...

Aberdeenshire workshop pics at last

Wow, that was a mammoth Photoshop session cropping pictures... Here are some of my faves, thanks to all who came along.
demonstrating wabu - very good fun

slap - what happens when I don't move my feet 

uprooting a push using 'the bees' knees'

staff 4 jabs and sword practice

final day group pic, Anneke missing

4 waist turn single pushing hands


Weapons study in London next week

Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th. See you there. Regular beginners class continues as usual during session.

Aberdeenshire Thursdays

Here's the rota for the final block of Thursday sessions for this year. As usual we'll be in the Small Hall 7-9pm and Large Hall 9-10pm at Monymusk except where stated. The price is £28 for 8 weeks or £5/week.

26-Oct     Sandy   
02-Nov    Janet   
09-Nov    Davina    8-10 only, Small Hall
16-Nov    Marie   
23-Nov    Paolo     Bar area 7-9pm, Main Hall 9-10pm
30-Nov    Scott   
07-Dec    Sandy      8-10 only, Small Hall
14-Dec    Davina     8-10 only, Small Hall

The suggested date to restart after the winter break is 11th January. Let me know if you'd prefer to start on the 4th.

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

30 October 2017

tiny paintings

I have spent the evening sorting pictures for this blog from the workshops of the last week or so both in Aberdeenshire and in Shetland. But it's very late, and some still need cropping so I will continue in the morning. This afternoon a parcel arrived and I was delighted to receive my copies of Dark Mountain 12 'Sanctum', a wonderful book which I have had the honour of illustrating, along with several others. I have made 10 tiny paintings using only natural materials, on deerskin parchment made by Thomas Keyes from creatures accidentally killed on the roads. More about the book, and the Sanctum project as a whole here.

The books are available here.

The incredible cover by Thomas Keyes

Persephone, one of the 10 windows I painted for the texts.

28 October 2017

H is for Hawk

Thanks to Mary for recommending this beautiful programme about a woman training a goshawk. (Although "training" implies something very different from the process that unfolds: practising stillness and gradually developing a connection & communication with a non-human being).
It's available here on iplayer for another few weeks. The original book about training her previous hawk whilst living through a period of grief is well worth a read.

very gingerly

'The way I keep in touch with the world is very gingerly, because the world touches too hard.'

Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) in Anton Corbijn's superb short film about him 'Some Yoyo Stuff'.  What an amazing man, artist, musician, human being he was.

I am here in Shetland. A nice small group came for T'ai Chi last night here at The Weaving Shed Gallery, and we will have another session today, storms permitting. But mainly it has been my great pleasure to spend time relaxing in such a wild beautiful place, hanging out with Geoff Jukes, who is a fantastic person, and talk about the Dharma, the Tao and swap stories from life. Also we just watched the great short documentary I have quoted from above. I am slowly getting back to blogging and doing admin, but the phrase resonated with me so, as it is also how I feel about the world. Workshop pics soo I hope... Where ever you are reading this, I hope you are well.

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.