Non Phoenix

In direct opposition to the previous post (Phoenix) I experienced today the situation of non-Phoenix. By this I mean a claustrophobic sense of oppression brought on by a meander through the centre of Cambridge on a bank holiday Saturday. It’s not just the sheer mass of people, it’s something associated with the tourist state of… Continue reading Non Phoenix


Finally I found a Phoenix! In all the time we’ve been in England I have been practicing qigong in fairly small spaces. Parks have been available but not convenient for one reason or another. Now that we are in Cambridge we have access to a little park with a very nice Phoenix. What do I… Continue reading Phoenix

On the move

Since last missive we’ve been on the move, back to Shropshire like Kunta Kinte up the Zambezi to find his ancestors. Stayed with old friends (friends we knew nearly 40 years ago who, like us also happen to be old) in Whitchurch. Walked up Alkington Road to the house where we raised our children. The… Continue reading On the move


Last Tuesday I visited Quarry Bank Mill which is a national trust property south of Manchester. The mill opened in 1794 and manufactured cotton until the early 1900s. Factories in those days were actually called ‘manufactories’. As you wander through the mill, people in period costumes demonstrate the development of cotton production from hand weaving… Continue reading Manufactories

Yin Yang again

As the earth turns we experience a daily transition from day to night and night to day. Day, with its light and heat is yang, night with its darkness and cold is yin. Sunrise and sunset are the transition points between yin and yang, and these can be tricky. Sunrise is yin becoming yang, whilst… Continue reading Yin Yang again

All sorts of qi

Walked from Romiley to Marple today, on a tow path beside a beautiful canal. Cyclists, walkers, narrow boat captains and numerous Canada geese accompanied us on our journey. In order to accommodate the gradual fall of the land Victorian engineers created 16 locks to maintain a gentle flow of water in the canal. This is… Continue reading All sorts of qi

An observation 

When we were in the Lake District I had many talks with my friends about qigong and Chinese philosophy in general. They hadn’t heard the term qigong, or thought about the concept of qi, but intuitively they had designed their house and grounds on excellent feng shui principles. Feng shui means “wind and water” which… Continue reading An observation 

Backyard gong

Arrived in Romiley, a small village near Manchester, yesterday. This morning the sun was shining and I was for the first time since we’ve been on our travels, able to practice outside. I was feeling a bit stiff from all the hill climbing in the Lake District, including a scramble up Easedale Tarn the morning… Continue reading Backyard gong

Green-head Gill

In the Lake District, visiting friends who live near Grasmere, the village of Wordsworth. After thirty-six hours of non-stop rain the sky cleared enough to permit us a ramble up the fell behind their house alongside a tumbling stream called Green-head Gill. We’ve been doing quite a lot of walking this holiday, much of it… Continue reading Green-head Gill