The Summer of Love.. and Music and Dancing.

I do love to forget this blog for years on end, but it hasn’t entirely escaped my psyche. I just read the previous posts and it’s interesting to see which way the wind was blowing my thoughts at random times. I think it also runs as a commentary on the things I became unable to do because of health problems by omission.

I stopped dancing, I stopped playing music of any kind over the last few years, didn’t really go out much at all for anything. I fell out of love with the things I have always loved. It’s been a lonely and soul destroying journey, and for the most part, I have come to realise self-imposed. What you think is what you get, which leads me to telling you about the thing which has changed my life… are you sitting comfortably?!

A year ago I went to a summer workshop and began my journey learning the Alexander Technique. It opened my eyes so wide I was almost blinded by the possibilities and went on to start training to be a teacher the following month. The school I go to is called the Interactive Teaching Method, because it is exactly that. It is a little different to some of the other ways the technique is taught, but I believe it serves the people engaged in it so much better as it is applied to everything in life, all movement and the way you think about it. I am simplifying gratuitously here, but it some ways it is very simple; a philosophy of movement in a way.

Other than the changes in pain levels I have noticed, it has become a way of life for me. Yes, I’m still suffering from the same debilitating joint problems, but now I know how to stop adding in things which make it worse, particularly extraneous muscular tension. This is no small thing, and being able to embrace ideas anew is really making a difference to the way I live. It still hurts when I play guitar or piano etc, so there’s no going back to the musician I used to be, but what makes us think we need to get back to anything when we are always changing fundamentally?

Every split second there are thousands of cells being replaced in my body – the whole lot over seven years in fact – so I am never the same as I have been at any time. My needs are different, my emotional state and my beliefs; everything is about forward momentum and incremental changes. My understanding of the ITM work is obviously in it’s infancy, so these observations will probably change in time, like everything else. Stay tuned if you want to know about that!

So I have played a little bit, danced (like no-one is watching of course) and really enjoyed singing amongst and for my friends. I do these things with joy, and more importantly without any agenda or expectations attached. I don’t even care that much when all this fun activity leaves me crippled for days or weeks afterwards – that’s part of the deal. This summer has been a liberating time in may ways, certainly not without some huge challenges, but quite wonderful none the less.

I’m adding the link to the ITM on my blog roll… anyone who thinks they have already reached their full potential in life need not apply.


It snowed like the seventies

If you are old enough (like me) to remember the seventies in any detail, this recent cold spell may remind you of your younger days when it did this almost every year.

Disco, flairs, decimalisation and real snow. Great big drifts up against the back door in the morning, which fell in if you tried to open them. Opportunities to really sledge down big hills on borrowed tea trays. Snow you could actually build great big snow things out of. Mine are traditionally seals as they amuse me and you can sit on them.
I think this is the first real winter I have experienced in this country since my childhood in London, and despite it having been inconvenient in a few ways, I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I actually learned to drive in conditions like this, so it doesn’t freak me out like it seems to most people. I have witnessed some glorious dumbarsery on the roads, with people putting their right foots down hard, like this will somehow make the ice under their wheels part like the Red Sea.. mm hmm.

Even though half the population are behaving like aliens have landed, I personally think it’s something beautifully unique about Britain; we have weather. It changes dramatically when it’s working properly and I think I’d miss it if I lived elsewhere.

This is me trying to be positive in the chilly face of adversity by the way… don’t knock it just yet.

So here’s to seasons, and changes, and our seeming inability to cope with either.

I did it again…. I forgot about this blog!

I just dropped in because I forgot the name of the Shoebill bird and reread some of my posts – it occurred to me that some of them are rather funny even if I do say so myself!

Now it’s nearly xmas 2009 and I’m looking at a small, horribly abused tree which has it’s shortcomings hidden by many twinkly lights and shiny goodness… it’s like an arboreal facelift for the poor little fucker.

Speaking of shiny goodness, I have been a member of several shiny related forums for a while now, most notably which is a great place to make like minded friends, obsessed with Swiss army knives, Leathermans and everything related. Not everyone’s cup of tea of course, but a place that I cherish even more as I have had the pleasure of meeting up with several members and they are jolly nice chaps. I think the reason I’m talking about it is because I have been moved by the generous spirit there and how most members genuinely give a shit about each other which is more than I can say for the average interaction I have with people these days.

The other significant things in my recent life have been getting two rescued dogs and sadly losing one of them with 18 months. That’s been a rough journey but now we are left with the most lovely creature called Ruby (pickle pants to me) who is even lovely enough for our cat to tolerate. She’s my new best friend and I love her 🙂

I haven’t got anything else I want to say right now, so off you go now to wonder why you were here in the first place. Have a rocking xmas and be careful out there.

Happy Easteregg everyone

I know, it’s been a bloody long time since I bothered to blog here. Isn’t it bizarre how having ablog can make you feel guilty and under pressure to perform?! Hmm..

This morning, the letter box had two notable pieces of junk mail in it – a lovely message about Jesus and the local lib-dem propaganda from Martin Mullaney. The irony didn’t escape me – the messiah promising to be our saviour during these hard times (and whatever the one about Jesus said).

Anyhoo… back to my self imposed exile now. Happy holiday all :0)

Dawnii gets her gun…

Hey, wanna see a lovely tattooist at work?

GO HERE to watch a short video of Dawnii (who is a star) putting my Grandmas name on the back of my neck a couple of weeks ago. Regarding my previous post about Jessie, my mum got the days mixed up and it was actually June 19th, not 21st that she died… still a long time ago.

Dawnii tattooing Chrissy

For those of you who don’t wish to watch the work in progress, here’s a pic of the finished product – albeit very fresh and a tad angry!

My Jessie tattoo

Spanky plays guitar

I’m not sure words are enough to express what this is all about but I would love it very much if you would all send it to your friends and get them watching it (I need some Youtube traffic)!

This is Spanky the Spaniel, he is one of my alteregos and I didn’t know he could even play the guitar to be honest.

The link for this masterpiece is here: SPANKY

Derby State of the Art Tattoo Convention

There are worse ways to spend a weekend than helping out friends at a tattoo convention – that is what I learned this weekend. I helped my friends from Modern Body Art while they furiously inked away for hours on end and I generally got to ogle the half-dressed congregation of this happy event.

I also had the pleasure of meeting several top tattooists and checking out what they were up to. Many of them let me take some video footage which is now mostly up on my Youtube page for your viewing pleasure. This includes a collaborative piece being done by Jo Harrison and Jason Butcher at the same time, work from Nick Horn, Aaron Hewitt, Jeff Ortega and several others too. If you know your artists you’ll probably be heading over to check out the footage…. just hang on a mo’, I’m not quite done.

I also decided to get tattooed again (oooh big surprise) but there wasn’t time so I had to contain the urge until I got back to Birmingham and the lovely Dawnii did a wonderful job putting my Grandmothers’ name on the back of my neck. It’s a wee bit sore right now but well worth the effort. I’ll get a picture of it up on my Myspace pics soon.

Other highlights for me were seeing a wonderful Polynesian artist at work with the whacking bamboo stick method of tattooing and this tattoo below which gave me the biggest smile of the weekend!

Darth Vadar Lego tattoo

Use the force inklings… only seems right when Anakin did start off on Tatooine, eh?

I think I might have just had an Ubergeek moment :0)


I wanna talk cleats and SPD pedals with someone please… there must be some bike geeks out there who raised a small smile at least with that comment?!

Got some Shimano MT40 shoes and am now looking at pedals such as the M545 which I’m told can be used with regular shoes too as the mechanism is pop-up.

HELP, I’m a cleat virgin…. any tips?

I can haz cheezburger?

Yes, everyone should have one. This is why I have joined in the spirit of the rather amusing ICHC website and made my own contribution: Here
Wordpress members can apparently vote to get it on the site if they like it but I don’t understand how and haven’t got time to figure it out today!

I did genuinely take the picture myself and I think lemurs should rule the world.

Big Bird comments

I wasn’t expecting to be able to do such immediate research on the subject but as luck would have it, I met with Big Bird at the weekend and asked for his comments on the possible fight between him and the Shoebill.

Chrissy van Dyke and Big Bird

The “Bird” isn’t known publicly for his fighting prowess but does tower over the Shoebill by at least 2 feet. He has also reached second Dan in origami and a black belt in Ikebana. Taking this new information in to account, I am not sure the Shoebill would come out on top of this theoretical bought. The Bird also said off the record, “I’d flatten the blue freak in three rounds”.

Nuff said.

PS: Yes, that is a feather in my mouth and no, I’m not at liberty to discuss how it got there.

PPS: Thank you to K for pointing out that I had listed the Shoebill as being 5 inches tall, obviously not so impressive as 5 feet.

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