Day 89

Level 2 Chi Kung. Microcosmic orbit.

Another gorgeous day in beautiful Blackheath. Today was the first day of the collaborative art workshop run by the rather fabulously-named Felly Mistweave, the same person who ran the printmaking workshop I attended in June. Today’s session was mostly introductions and set up. The idea of the project (to bring a group of strangers together to create art collaboratively) is interesting and some interesting people showed up, including a couple of young au pairs, from Finland and Romania respectively, and an Italian translator who is into origami. However I’m not feeling optimistic as, part way through the session, Felly warned us that next week Karen, the resthome-worker who suddenly showed up in the middle of a print-making session with a very distressed dementia patient last time around, will be bringing five similar patients next week. This is problematic on a number of levels. Firstly, the seminar room is simply not big enough for ten people to comfortably and safely use paints, inks, sharp cutting tools and hot irons. Secondly, Karen is the epitome of everything you wouldn’t want in someone caring for vulnerable elderly people: rude, patronising, bad-tempered, inconsiderate. And finally, it is typical that, having decided to bring people to this course, the dates of which have been organised for months, she has nevertheless decided to skip the first day, meaning that most of the second day will now be spent repeating the introductions and admin stuff for the five newcomers. My normal behaviour in this type of situation would be to stick with it, come what may, (a kind of ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish’ mentality), becoming increasingly frustrated on the way. My promise to myself this time is that, if next week looks like becoming the total shambles I am now half-expecting, I will make my excuses and depart at the first tea break – time is too precious to waste.

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