Saturday, August 6, 2011

Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, England

Well, I have just checked into my room here at the agricultural college in rural Shropshire.  Beautiful green countryside.  My taxi driver who drove me from Stafford (about 16 miles) was very pleasant.  We discussed the problems of national health insurance, the worldwide economy, and racism.  Lovely man.

So far I have met many friendly members of the world-wide Tse Qigong Centre.  Apparently one of the "games" Michael Tse (our leader) likes to play is to have students try to name everyone there.  I am notorious for my inability to learn names.  So I have concentrated on the first few people I met.  Maybe those will stick.  If I try to remember them all, I will forget them all.

For some reason, the temperature seems warmer here.  16 degrees C today, but it seems quite warm to me.  Perhaps it is the humidity as it is cloudy and threatening rain.  If it was threatening rain at this temperature in Salinas, I would be cold, but not here.

We will meet soon for dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Tin-Tin's.  I am told that we will go there several times over the next week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

From Stafford England

Today is my first whole day in England.  I am here for 10 days.  Most of them will be full of learning and testing at an instructors course for Qigong.  But I came early for a couple of days of gentle exploration and recovery from jet lag.

It was a long trip from California.  Getting up at 4am to catch a 6am shuttle to the San Jose Airport, followed by a short hop to Portland, OR.  From Portland we travelled a northern route, passing over northern Canada from west to east, then over Greenland and on to Amsterdam.  The trip took about 9 hours, but it is hard to determine how long it is because the time change from California to Holland is + 9 hours.  So when we arrived in Amsterdam, it was the next morning!

I paid for an upgrade to what they called an Economy Comfort seat, which did have some advantages.  There was more legroom, there were only two seats together.  The seats were advertized as reclining more than the regular seats.  Perhaps they did, but the difference was small.

Pluses included a very pleasant seat mate, a gentleman who was a teacher of music, especially piano.  He was about my age (actually a bit older) and what with a shared experience as college teachers in the arts, we had lots to talk about.

Minuses included parents and two small children in the seats in front of us.  I was irritable because of lack of sleep and the discomfort of sitting for so long, but the children were much more upset, understandably.  Their upset did not allow for much sleep.

However I am feeling much better today and will go out exploring the little town of Stafford.  I will take my camera so that I can share a bit of it with you when I get back to home and can download the photos.  Meanwhile, my entries will be words only - sorry!

I will go to the back garden and do my Qigong practice now, followed by a nice walk.