Where would we be without our tea especially up here in Lancashire where a nice cup of tea is the answer to all life’s problems – if only it were that simple.  Would you like a brew, a cuppa, a win on the lottery, a cure for HIV? I’ll put the kettle on.

Well, although it won’t cure HIV my tea making has taken on a whole new dimension since I was bought a singing kettle for Xmas. Its bright pillar box red, squats fatly on the gas hob and it looks very jolly, but when it bursts into song it makes me jump out of my skin and nearly frightens me to death. It sounds more like someone is strangling the cat than singing – or rather like me when I suddenly burst into song, not that I’ve had much cause to sing of late. It’s been a bit of a gloomy month, the infamously dark depressing suicidal January.

In order to cheer myself up I embarked on one of my new year’s resolutions, which was to go back to Tai Chi – it’s been a while since I stood around impersonating a ninja turtle! Tai Chi is noted for raising the immune system so it’s brilliant for people with HIV.

I decided to try a new ‘master’ who taught a different method. I do like my Tai Chi to feel a bit mystical, and try to imagine myself on a Chinese mountaintop or that I’m a performing in cirque soleil. But that was hard to do in a dingy room over a fireplace shop with steamed up mirrors and an industrial gas fire blazing dragon tongues of flame.

On top of that the teacher was an old Lancashire geezer with a stinking cold and a broad Lancashire accent, whose pronunciation of the different moves made them even harder to interpret.  Grasp Sparrow’s tail was comprehensible as was White Crane spreads its Wings and Pushing Hands – as long as I pushed them in the right direction. But Embrace tut Tiger then Return tut Mountain and Step Back and Repulse tut Monkey had me all over the place – as did Jade Lady Works at Shuttles. Pie Lady Works at Gregs might have been more applicable.

As for Golden Cock Stands on One Leg – well, say no more! No, that particular form of Tai Chi was not for me.  And as for my singing kettle unless it cheers up and changes its tune, it will have to go.

Tai Chi Ibiza style featuring Mrs T singing ‘A Nice Cup of Tea’  


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