Topics has been reliably informed that tai chi instructor Amanda Heidke was “rushing around” preparing for a class of the ancient martial art in Civic Park in Newcastle on Wednesday.
Surely not. Tai chi instructors don’t rush around. They are the calmest souls in the universe.
Amanda assured Topics she was “rushing around slowly”. Ahh, we see. That’s OK, then.
It was the first of 10 free tai chi sessions, sponsored by Newcastle Now, to be held in the park at 1pm every Wednesday until May 25.
The idea is for workers to extract themselves from the office during their lunch break, breathe some fresh air and feel the grass on their feet.
“People think tai chi is old ladies waving their arms about in the park, or rows and rows of regimented Chinese,” Amanda joked.
She insisted this was not the case. She did concede that the session went so well, the workers were reluctant to return to their workplaces.
Topics didn’t actually have time to attend the class, as we ate lunch at our desk.
This, Amanda says, is part of the problem.
“We spend so much of our life these days in the office, sitting at desks and staring at screens,” she said.
“A lot of people eat in front of their computer, trying to get through their workloads.
“They’re not even taking lunchtime to do something for themselves.”
Not only that, many people don’t sit correctly.
“While you’re sitting in that position in a chair all day, it’s not good for your spine.”
Tai chi helped realign posture.
“From a western perspective, we’re realigning your body into a more natural position,” she said.
“We go through our life not really thinking about what we’re doing with our bodies.”
Tai chi helped get some oil back in the joints.
“From an eastern perspective, we’re cultivating energy in our body,” she said.
“It’s about being connected to the universe, at one with nature and cultivating your breathing and feeling.”
Tai chi was a journey without a destination. Topics should add this doesn’t mean it’s a road to nowhere.
Shane Warne has been made an offer he surely cannot refuse – a slot on Cessnock radio.
The Armchair Sports Show lads, Morgan Campbell and Matthew Peterson, heard that Warnie was looking for a gig on radio.
“See you're looking for a start in radio mate, let's talk,” they tweeted to Warnie on Wednesday.
“We'd be very interested in your services.”
The cricketing legend was apparently paid about $2 million for his recent stint on the TV show I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!
For this, Warnie had to live rough in the South African jungle and eat some nasty dishes.
The Armchair Sports Show, which airs on 2CHR at 96.5FM on Saturday mornings, offered Warnie “two pies and a can of coke” per appearance.
“We're offering less than I'm a Celebrity, but we won't make you eat rats and can almost guarantee no snakes in the studio,” they tweeted.
Topics might suggest this be extended to spiders. As those who watched the TV show can attest, Warnie has a shocking case of arachnophobia.
Singing from the Same Hymn Sheet
An ancient song festival will be held at Kurri Kurri on Good Friday.
Going by the strange name of “Gymanfa Ganu”, the Welsh hymn-singing festival originates from the 12th century. It’s also been staged for some time in the Hunter.
A news report in The Cessnock Eagle in April 1926 said the festival was held at the Kurri Congregational Church with “vigorous singing to which the Welsh people are prone”.
Alwyn Williams, 86, has been going to the festival since he was a young boy. Funnily enough, it’s still being held at Kurri Congregational Church, which Alwyn expected to be packed to the rafters.
“It’s as strong as ever – we get upwards of 200 people,” he said.