Friday, 31 August 2007

We're Back!

Hello All

We have arrived Safe and sound in the (rather cold) UK! We Landed on Tuesday after a 10+ hour flight, and are nearly over jet lag etc. More details o the trip and a write up of the last few days to come over the weekend.

Big Thanks to Robie for posting for us while we were behind the great firewall of China.

Some more (but still not all) of the picture of the trip can now be found here:


more will be going up over the weekend and they will be annotated and put in the right order as well.

See you all soon
Dave and Kate

Thursday, 23 August 2007

China Post 5: Sweaty Circles & Great Walls

Yet another and possibly final update from the Kung Fu Chaos Couple!
From the sound of it the great wall is...well actually great !! and Kung Fu is sweaty work if you walking around in circles as you practice it... Anyway here is what K8 has to say on the subject...

"Hey people,
The Great wall is BIG! I mean REALLY BIG, you may think its a long way down the road to the Chemist but thats just peanuts to...well you get this idea. A good bit of it (some 900miles) is still intact and simply climbs over the ridiculous pitcure postcard mountains without the slightest nod to altering the landscape to fit the structure.
This does mean that at some points the crenalations are sideways to the vertical! Very funny. Even on the wall there are people hawking stuff to tourists the funniest are the certificates showing your picture and to day that you've climbed the wall! There is a Chinese saying that you are not a real man or woman until you have climbed the wall.

This is one of the famous Mister Who quotations, he is our tour guide and whilst he speaks English is the worlds; funnist chap! I highly recommend him to anyone who is going anywhere!

"The female Guardian Lion is always on the right, you know why?? Because the women are ALWAYS right!" (exit Mr Who Stage left).

"So the Emperor before the ceremony must not eat meat and thus suffer as vegetarians do!"

"If you are lost (in the forbidden city sand is actually pretty much anywhere we have been) just keep walking Keep walking!" Presumably if you hit Mongolia get a cab back!

For the last week we have been training again so have elected to sleep at lunchtimes instead of post! Training has been going well, the heat has rocketed in the last 2 weeks, reckon this is the heat wave they have planned and the reason they moved us up into the mountains, it is ridiculously hot and sunny every day. Quite missing the 1 or 2 bits of rain we had in the first week!

We are still doing Bagua but now have slightly more complex changes to the circles and also have moved up to walking 10 circles both clockwise and anti clockwise for each palm. This means we are walking round in 160 circles four times each afternoon in an average temperature of 30 degrees centigrade!
It's rather warm and we are sweating like bastards, very attractive! You think we would be losing weight but they keep feeding us mega amounts of grub! If you are sitting on a table with a chinese person then they will start ladelling stuff onto your plate even if you are full to bursting, they don't really understand the words "Not hanks I'm full" or indeed the conept! :)

More pictures of Training and our Trip to another Buddist temple can be found here "

Saturday, 18 August 2007

China Post 4: More Tourism

Hello everyone.. yes its time for another exciting update..but this time from our Kung Fu enabled Boy Scout Dave and for those that are wondering, yes it does similarity of this posting to a School / Scout event report is in my view unavoidable. Once your trained to write-up your adventure in that style its impossible to break...especially in one so young :)
Anyhow onto the report...

"Our Sightseeing continued on the 2nd day with am earlier start, K8 and I continued to skip the six am Chi Gung practice during the sightseeing as sleeping seemed just as important.

We again boarded our Bus and headed to Tianamen Square. After about an hour we arrived and trekked towards the forbidden city, constantly besieged by Chines Kite and postcard Hawkers, all crying "HELLO, You want Book?" and similar.

We made it into the Forbidden city, which was BIG (robbie: Check it out here) it is surrounded by a 52m wide moat and 12m Tall walls. We were led relentlessly through enormous courtyards and interesting rooms by our guide Mr Wu who has been a tour guide for years and knows loads about imperial concubines and other fascinating topics. Just as at the summer palace he set a break neck pace periodically stopping so we could take photos.

In the Gift Shop near the north Gate we found a woman painstakingly Reverse painting on the inside of Glass spheres. After that we headed through the imperial gardens to a Tea House where we got to see a Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony and tasted 5 different Teas including a special Slimming Tea.
(robbie: Please bring back lots of this magic tea)

Having enjoyed our stop at the Tea house we carried on to The Alter of Heaven and its surrounding Park. This we discovered is Where Xu Laoshu our incredible 65 year old Tai Chi and Ba gua Teacher normally Trains, we had however missed him by a scant ten minutes.

That evening we dined at a very pleasant restaurant in the Olympic village. The Village and its nearly finished "Birds nest Stadium" Will have an example of every different type of Chinese Architecture and looks very Eclectic even half finished.

Still to come THE GREAT WALL and Back to Training..."

Monday, 13 August 2007

China Post 3: The Tourists

Hello Everybody, I'm here once again with another exciting update from our wondering Kung Fu enabled westerners. today they are telling tails of stone boats, tea parties and some particularly large wall they stumbled across.... so without further ado read on...

“The Story so far... Our intrepid heroes have actually had 3 days sight seeing! This, we foolishly thought, would be a well deserved break from training 12 hours a day, we were wrong! Out of interest everything in China seems to take ”about an hour“ to get to, whether it is dinner, the Summer palace or the shopping market, distance is irrelevant. Certain Exalted types will find this entertaining :)

The Summer Palace

Saturday 11th August 2007
On Saturday we went to see the Summer Palace, which was truly splendid and HOT and SUNNY. There are massive 1000 year old trees, a HUGE man made lake with boats for messing abut on and a bloody great big marble boat described so eloquently by one of our American cousins as ”Retarded“ (Yes that is you American Dave). The boat is actually quite beautiful and BIG (this is also a theme in China) and nearly bankrupt the country during the Opium wars. The Palace itself has long corridors and winding paths and is very pretty without being imposing. There are a LOT of stpes (also a Chinese feature) and everything is VERY high up which of course Dave loves! We made it up to the top to see the thousand armed budha and then made our own version where several of us crowded behind Dieter (who Xu Laoshi reckons looks like Budha) and contributed more arms to his celestial enlightenment. We had a bit of an adventure to get back to the bus with Dave ”I'm a Scout “Thompson actually getting us back in record time! We then went to the Laotze Tea House for dinner and Chinese opera and entertainment.

The Tea House

The food was OK but not as good as the restaurant that mister Zhang had taken us to on the Friday night. We then all piled into the theatre room for tea and weird small things to eat. All of the food was very beautiful, there was a dish of air freshener, some annoying seeds, a soft version of sesame cracknel biscuits and something which looked like it should have been sweet but turned out to be savoury. There was a small dose of Chinese Opera, which is a Lot like pantomime with incredibly expensive costumes. There was a magic silk scarf act, some alleged kungfu whihc wsas pretty much dance and acrobatics whilst shouting and a Wicked face changing performance, where with slight of hand or maybe head the performer changed masks without seeming to move! The tea house had some expensive rooms downstairs with indoor grass (more successful than the stuff at the last one of our mob who had it) and some raised contained living rooms with splendid wooden design. The feeling was of a courtyard of small rooms, very cool! The following are teasers as we've been on this for over an hour and need to get a life :) Look on the face book links below for the latest pictures, you can look even if you are not on Facebook, which Dave is and I am not! Apologies for appalling spelling
(Robbie: I've corrected most of it) but we've just had a 10 minute fight with the machine to get it back into English characters, this is of course the fault and not my appalling typos and random hot key shots when I am excited :) :) ”

Day 2 :
Tinamen Square, Forbidden City, Tea House, Alter of Heaven, Peal Market and the Olympic Village.

Day 3:
The Great Wall

Photo's are here

I'm going to have to interrupt you there.. imagine if you will an angry Chinese teenager trying to logon to Warcraft standing beside K8 and Dave... I'm sure they will send as more in the goodness of time.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2007

From China - Post 2

Another update today, it all sounds like a huge amount of pain and effort to me for a holiday but whatever floats your boat I guess... anyhow onto the update..

"The Story so far:

We are shattered but its ACE! We are learning Tai CHi int eh mornings for 3 hours this is after getting up at 5.30am and doing standing, breathing ChiGung
by the central lake in the quadrangle. very chilled out "most tranquil"

I do a 42 step Tai Chi which is crazy precise and a competition form. Dave does 24 step Chen style Tai Chi which is the short form. We have different teachers. I also learn Tai Chi fan which looks very pretty and also has applications.

Lunch is from 11ish until 2pm, but this time is spent being fed WAY too much by our hosts (each meal a banquet, SERIOUSLY) and then passed out in our room, or trying to get on the only machine in the hotel to send info to you guys (assuming the youngster abd ze Germans are not on it!).\

The afternoon Dave and I are back together from 2pm until 5pm learning Bagua, which is taught to us by a blinding teacher called Xu ("Zoo") ShiXi ('she zee"). He is wicked and looks lie a Chinese Elvis has massive glasses and knows HUGE amounts of information which he attempts to haemorrhage at us each day! :) :)

He is , apparently, 65 but is tremendously flexible and fit and clearly has the body of a MUCH younger man. Bagua is on first regard about walking in circles! But it has some tremendous applications and all of the circle walking are for body conditioning and health aspects. Xu has never been to hospital or been seriously ill and hopes never to be for at least another 20 years!

Look at some pictures here: China Facebook Photo's

We can't post to the blog as we think it comes under government fire wall regulations, but facebook works.

We have been to a Jet-hai (not Jedi although it was pretty close) temple which was just wicked! Pagodas and ancient 1000year old trees and weird bugs! There is no bird song here it is all insect noise of one form or another.

We do 3 treasures sword int eh evening from 5-6pm then dinner at 7pm, and classes at 8.30pm,. Tonight we have a Tuina massage session with Master Sun. we are all really looking forward to that one as almost everything hurts all the time...its brilliant! :)

See you all soon

K8 and Dave "

Thursday, 2 August 2007

From China - Post 1

The first update from China arrived in the early hours this morning.. so turn on your best internal excited K8 voice and read the following .....

"We are in CHINA!! Its Ace! The hotel looks like a Kungfu movie temple, there are painted murals and coi carp and water everywhere. IT IS HOT!! The saort of hot where you think it will piss it down but it doesnt seem to do that here.

Training is WICKED! We do Tai Chi for 3 hours in teh morning and then 4 hours of Bagua in the afternoon. this is the second day of full on trianing and we are shattered everyone is really tired and achy but its just brilliant. Food is great, really amazing, utterly NO IDEA what we are eating!! Its best not to ask really.

Right will post again when we can!"

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Hello Everybody !

So hello everyone, for those that don't know me I'm Robbie, K8's techie friend and I've been given the task of bypassing the "Great Firewall Of China" and allowing everyone to find out what K8 and Dave are getting upto in the land of the rising sun!

For those that are wondering why they cannot Blogg this themselves here is why:'s_Republic_of_China

So I've had a few updates from them already...guess I'd better go on and post them...