Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tai chi or chai tea?

3 October 2014, 8 am

I am at CIPA Congress.  The programme says that if I am up early enough I can go for tai chi in the park.  This sounds like fun so I do.  It is a glorious autumn morning, mist above the Serpentine, fallen leaves under the feet, backlit Subway® wrappers strewn across the paths.  There are very few patent attorneys around and all is right with the world.

My first disappointment is finding out that I had confused tai chi with chai tea.  We are not going to sit around with hot drinks and croissants after all.  Instead we are going to stand in the sopping wet grass doing funny things with our arms and being aware of ourselves.  Oh, I am aware of myself alright.  So are a lot of passers-by.

I have never done chai tea before and I discover that I am not really cut out for it.  It is not for the impatient.  I could draft half a patent spec in the time it takes us to transfer our weight from one foot to the other. 

The instructor tells me I should relax my shoulders.  I do not think so.  My shoulders are tense for a reason.  It is because they are responsible for keeping my head off my chest, and this is a challenge at a two-day conference.  I transfer my weight sulkily back to the other foot, and moon-walk back through the sopping wet grass.  The squirrels regard me with contempt.  I have not found spiritual fulfilment, or indeed croissants, and now I am late for the first coffee session of the day.

At least I didn’t fall for the “get up early and swim in the Serpentine” scam on day one.

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