14 November 2018

Calendars for 2019

Now we have all the dates set, I can order calendars. Do get in touch if you'd like one. I don't have the exact prices yet but it is likely to be £5 for te desk size and £9 for the wall size.

12 November 2018

2019 dates for GRTC and TCC

Confirmed dates for Mark's Summer and Autumn workshops are:

Summer Intensive in Kingston: 20-26 July (19th evening optional stepping partnerwork)

Autumn 3 Day Workshop in Scotland: 12-14 October (11th evening optional weapons)

Caro's Aberdeenshire weekend workshops as follows:
January 11-13
March 15-17
April 12-14
May 17-19
June 21-23
September 6-8
November 8-10
December 6-8

Thanks to everyone who got back to me re those dates. I won't be able to fit a July trip in this year, as the best dates would fall too near to the Summer Workshop. I will make the calendars now...

11 November 2018

A peace as fierce as war

I feel that I understand some of the many reasons why we fight.

The visceral thrill of getting your way, somehow forging your will 'direct trough the bones of the living'.

Midlife and 21 years T'ai Chi make me ask myself; can I make a peace as fierce as war? Hand-make a peace as transformational and dynamic as a fight.

The energy in fighting is not 'wrong', you may as well say a tiger is 'wrong'.

Here's some lines that came to heart in me today, which is Remembrance Day, from John Kells, from the last paragraphs of his writing: 'The fighting eye of life is death'.

'For want of a better word, this powerful beginning of the natural process is called yielding - the start of enheartening: filling the deprived heart of the fearful one with connexion driving away self, sorrow & thoughts.
Finding a method here is useful because then with this method you can give others your insight into freedom from fear & into connexion.
So the essence of the warrior is to never forget the technique that brought him through death & the overweening useless fear of it, & into life.
One who has not made this journey will inevitably talk of suffering.
But the fighting eye of life is death, & one experience to the warrior is no more or less important than any other, & therefore will not be indulged.
Thus the rush of love has its own character, the rush of reaction in a self-defence situation has another, the rush of pain due to injury or disease is yet another.
But all are equal so there is no point in talking about suffering.
The warrior’s fighting eye blesses what it delights on because it neither detracts nor adds anything.
What is brought into your being through your senses is what is there.
The rest of nature understands this & harmony is bound to exist with it.
Mankind generally does not understand this so harmony is lessened.
Connecting through the heart, ever forwards, open, hooking, embracing, along the connecting natural process, is all you can do.
Nothing can escape, so it is important that each warrior does his best to sharpen his fighting eye & reach as far & as deep as he can for all our sakes.'
John Kells - Blakeney - 29th May 2004


Mary Oliver
The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation
of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t
sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage
shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,
black, curved blade
from hooking forward—
of course
loss is the great lesson.
But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,
when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
Inside the bright fields,
touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight—
and what are you going to do—
what can you do
about it—
deep, blue night?

08 November 2018

Aberdeenshire this weekend

I am back from Gothenburg but won't get a chance to post pics until tomorrow on the train to Aberdeen, as frankly I don't have one minute not accounted for, this month... However, it was a wonderful trip, great T'ai Chi with the students, friends seen, and much to come share and try out in Scotland. I have one 121 space left for Sunday morning, if anyone wants it. Hi to those in warmer climes who won't be with us this time... See you Friday night.

Shorter session this week

This Thursday's session at Monymusk is from 8-10pm only in the small hall.

05 November 2018

November Aberdeenshire workshops

Aberdeenshire workshops with Caroline are this weekend, 9-11th November.
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.

31 October 2018

Heartwork this Sunday

With Mark at the HC Studio, 2-5pm, £20. All welcome.

I'll be teaching in Gothenburg, we will also do Heartwork at the same time. That will be fun, only the North Sea and a bit of land to reach across, no problem.

Mountain dragonwalk

Seen yesterday on the edge of the Cairngorms ...
The sky got even more beautiful as the sun set with geese and raptors overhead

30 October 2018


Greetings from the day of thin veils. I have been teaching veterans T'ai chi this morning, and they are coming along really well, thanks to Kevin's regular teaching. On the way home I picked up some food. The shops are full of orange and black tat. Still, at least Britain has moved on from burning witches.

Today while getting my paints out, I kept remembering the character Johnny from 'The Fast Show' who was a hobby watercolourist, and kept saying, 'It's black! Black! You throw me in the pit and feed me scraps...'  So here's something black for you.

All my old black T'ai Chi clothes, plus a few old blue tops, as the night sky down to a sunset glow on the horizon. Yellow fabric as the stars of the Plough. It's my 'Step Forward to the Seven Stars' rug. And yes, pedantically, it does point to the North Star correctly, when placed in front of my stove. The black is forgiving of the dropped ashes, too...

28 October 2018

Instagram ahoy

I finally got my act together, and my art, craft and classes can now be found on Instagram. There are very many Caroline Rosses in the world... And most of my materials are found and then ground, so @foundandground it is.

Cernunnus 6.3 cm square, natural pigments and malachite on deerskin parchment, 2017. 
Made for Dark Mountain 12 Sanctum.

27 October 2018

New Tooting T'ai Chi class

Here's our flyer for the new class at Tooting Bec Lido Pavilion. Please share it if you can. 
I will print some out to bring to class.

Human learning

We are not machines, despite the archaic music joke: 'What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?' (Answer: 'You only have to punch the rhythm into the drum machine once.')

When I first had a go at knapping flints I spent a day mainly making artisanal gravel. After a good night's sleep in my cosy tent, I woke up strangely able to make decent knives split off the flint core.
Human learning: practice / sleep / refine / repeat.
Then perhaps one day you will indeed have a subtle knife, and be able to wield it.

My first spoons, knives and an unfinished hand axe, an antler tool,
 (plus 3 very nice pressure-flaked arrow heads made by a friend.)

A little help from my friends

If you have time over the next few days, please have a look at my art website, which I am in the process of updating, revamping and generally trying to make it lovely, before I approach the 'joy' of also doing Instagram for my visual art work and teaching. Any feedback would be useful.

I also need to make flyers for the new T'ai Chi class. This means a lot of screen time for me this weekend, which is a shame, but both these online things lead to great activities in the real world of nature and people, and so I shall just go and make a coffee, and get on with it.

Much as I would rather sit and stare at the river, and feed the huge cygnet and her dad.

26 October 2018

New morning beginners T'ai Chi class at Tooting Bec Lido

For the first time in over 7 years I am starting a class suitable for total beginners. It will run on Wednesdays 9-10am from 21st November at the wonderful purpose-built pavilion of Tooting Bec Lido, the huge listed Art Deco era outdoor swimming pool on Tooting Common. Great pictures and info here. I am so looking forward to it and will write more later. I need to make flyers and ask for your help in getting them around the area, if you live locally, and telling your friends too in person or online, if you feel moved to do so. I used to live in Tooting and some of my family live nearby, so it's especially nice to be back amongst the big trees and wide open skies of the lido.

The lido.

The class will be warm ups, form, chi kung and maybe sticking, eventually. For partner work or advanced study, folks will be welcome to Join Mark's Tuesday class in Tooting in the new Year, or my Monday class in Hampton Court, if they catch the T'ai Chi bug. The lido class will be an hour long and cost £8 for the general public and £5 for SLSC members (that's those amazing folks who swim in the freezing cold all winter!) This keeps the price in line with the yoga and Pilates that goes on at the venue.
The entrance, 50m back from Tooting Bec Road. There is plenty of parking.

The venue has a sedum green roof and covered outdoor space.

All are welcome, get in touch for more details or look here in a few days when I have made posters and flyers. Any of Mark's students who would like to come along and assist me are welcome to do so for free, just let me know when you would like to come. After class there will be 15 minutes where we can have a cup of tea in the social area by the studio. In warm weather we can work outside by the pool, or have the glass wall open to the sky, trees and water. It is a superb venue, and underused. More soon...

View from the studio which is used for classes, events and meetings.