By Richard Dickenson
I fell to wondering if I just might be missing out on all these latest health and life gimmicks that one tends to eschew as a matter of routine. I’d heard that there was this Chinese system of exercise that was actually designed for we older folk as it was not too demanding of the flabby musculature of the senescent. The system was named Feng-shui. Prior to all this my idea of exercise was restricted to buttering the toast and winding my old-fashioned watch.
Everything went well for two weeks though I found the exercises themselves to be a shade strange. They principally involved moving my bed to face different directions and propping open internal doors of the house. This, I was assured, was able to ‘channel energy’ in propitious directions. Having a fairly sound scientific education I am familiar with various kinds of energy – potential, kinetic and so on. But the exact energy thuswise channeled was not named.
The entire project fell through when I re-read the introductory material and found that Feng shui was nothing to do with exercise. It is all about adjusting energy flow in one’s immediate environment. The exercise stuff I thought I was into was actually Tai Chi.
Tai Chi involves making very slow rhythmic movements of limbs and torso. This was much more in my line than doing the heavy moving of furniture every time the wind changed direction.
Then Tai Chi also fell down when I was into breathing exercises. Breathing in slowly and then out again equally slowly was OK. But doing both at the same time completely foxed me.
Not to be discouraged I have since branched out into all kinds of other ‘alternative and new-age’ concepts. I have tried to embody them in a simple – and I hope instructive series of verses.
Here we go:-
I used to find things quite a rush with church and Sunday lunch
But now I go with New Age friends to a Meditation Brunch.
As we contemplate our navels we eat Veggie Kedgeree
I pine for Bloody Marys but get Herbal Bloody Tea.
But we’re learning Pan-eurythmics, we go dancing every dawn
In Barbour jackets and wellies on bits of soggy sacred lawn.
Next week we’re starting classes all ‘to heal the self within,’
Where we’ll learn that feeling guilty’s just a kind of New Age sin.
I can energise my Shakras and see an Aura flicker
Which is certainly more thrilling than a sermon from the vicar.
We clank with Celtic Crosses, draped in bangles, beads and Serapes
We’re blessed with many ailments and we’re loving all the therapies.
Reflexology’s as easy as falling off a ladder,
You press the soles of someone’s feet to activate their bladder.
I’m mastering Crystal Healing and I find that Acupressure
Has done wonders for my sex-life and my wife feels that much fresher.
Aromatherapy’s the in-thing, it’s done by all the smart
But when Auntie Emmy tried it all it did was make her fart.
So she swallowed lots of herbs and things to stimulate her id
Till Uncle Jack got tired out and hid her pyramid.
We use recycled everything and wear recycled gear
With Bio-electric Shields around we’ve little enough to fear
I’ve a Multi-wave Detecting Disc, had my mercury fillings out
My energy fields glow in the dark and my neighbour’s getting fallout.
Hypnosis on cross-channel has banished our sea-sickness
It’s given the crew much longer dongs and you just should see the thickness.
Radionics is marvelous, can be done by just a nipper
It cured the first mate of his warts and it circumcised the Skipper.
I subscribe to lots of healing mags and gobble up each issue.
I never leave the house without a newly Zen-charged tissue.
I go on every shrine-crawl and I’m hooked on Holy Water
And when I’ve mastered Astral Travel my commuting will be shorter.
But during Metamorphic Massage as my karma tried to float
I suddenly got smitten by a streptococcal throat.
I need some penicillin though it means committing perjury,
I’ll tell them I’m at Yoga Class and I’ll sneak off to the surgery.
I’ll try a Zen-form gargle that’s frankly cabalistic
But if my iridology don’t work my Mum will go ballistic.
She doesn’t like my diet of beans and hedgerow weeds
Mixed up with twigs and tree-bark and a load of sprouting seeds.
What with Colour Therapy glasses and Geodetic Focus
I’m just about right full pee’d off with all this Hocus Pocus
In Zodiacs and Cosmic Paths my Star Sign’s frankly heinous
So if Jupiter can’t take it I’ll just stuff it in Uranus.
Confidence in my new state of health – soon to appear – suggests my next step is to offer my services to the UK Olympics Team.
I rather favour concentrating on the men’s open free-style downhill walk.