Hello My Friends,
Wiston is one of my favorite ‘Home away from Home’ venues that I LOVE to visit. This is the 9th year in a row that we have held our UK Playshop here.
This old Nobel Hunting Lodge Manor is situated in the Clyde Valley, right smack-dab in the middle of wooded rolling hills of Scotland. We are equal distance between Glasgow and Edinburgh. This is where the Clyde River starts and meanders it’s way around the countryside looking for the ocean. It finally snakes its way through the city of Glasgow, to empty itself out into the sea.
Our UK DCF Community invited Christine Stevens to Wiston this summer to share her wonderful knowledge and spirit, so I can assume that this place has also become a favorite home away from home for her as well.
We are in full fall here at the lodge. Jack Frost has been flying over the countryside, painting all the trees with his multi-colored paintbrush of many shades of yellows, oranges and reds. Beautiful fall landscapes abound around us.
Lucky for us, the sun has graced us a few times a day with its warming brilliance.
If it keeps shining tomorrow, we may do some of our exercises outside in the meadows that surrounds our beautiful Hunting Lodge Manor.
Back In Fall Again
This was the first night of the Wiston Scotland Playshop. Our Drum Call was a four way love affair. Ray Waters was up first and did about 1/2 of the drum call with his usual flair. He was followed by Paul Dear and Dr. Jane who co-facilitated the rest of Drum Call as if they were one entity in two bodies. Then I wrapped up Drum Call and did the welcoming and the thank you’s.
My thanks goes to Ray Watters who took over the head logistics organizer position from Paul, as Paul has become part of our three musketeer training team. My loving Thanks to Allison Surridge for covering Dr. Jane’s old organizer position for the same reason.
A big Thank You goes to Steve Hill who has been our detail man and UK Playshop Administrator for all of our Wiston Playshops, and is continuing to do so.
It was nice to receive a visit on our opening night by Gary Mann, the director of sales for REMO Europe.
It gave me a chance to thank him personally for the many ways that he, and REMO, have been supporting Village Music Circles’s rhythmical evangelist mission in Europe for more than twenty five years.
He has been around long enough to watch these new Rhythmaculture seeds being planted, the flowers grow up and mature and then drop their seeds to make the field larger, fuller and more colorful.
John Fitzgerald is also here for the Training the Training program to be held at Wiston later on in the week. But as most of you know, he is also the REMO man in charge of “Connecting The Recreational Drumming Dots” all around the world. John and REMO are two of the reasons that we are now enjoying such a healthy international recreational drumming community.
A good example of his tireless work is the fact that we have people coming from 16 countries across the world to a hunting lodge in Scotland to drum, network, and learn together. Thank you John!
Dr. Jane Bentley opened up our evening with an inspiring presentation on the VMC Facilitators Protocol, the Map and our upcoming Playshop experience. When she was done with her presentation, she handed it over to me to do any color and cover needed. Jane did such an excellent colorful presentation and demonstration, that when she handed it over to me to do the wrap up, there was nothing left needed to color, cover or wrap up. Since there was nothing left needed to say, I said nothing. That left many veteran challenge graduate people a-gasp and speechless themselves!!
You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Then Paul Dear ran the “Looking Thing” Relationship exercise. He emphasized that relationship and connection with the people that we are facilitating, is a “Platform” that is foundational for everything that we are doing as rhythm event facilitators.
At the end of the Relationship exercise, Dr. Jane, Paul and I did some future pacing for the rest of the program and then we closed the evening together.
We opened up the space for anyone who wanted to do a “Late Night.” But we made this late night an “Option” without putting any emphasis on attending it. That way some of our 65 participants who spent 2 or 3 days traveling from one of the 16 countries represented in our training could get some well needed rest (especially the ones from Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Australia).
That’s OK, as we have two other Late Nights scheduled for this Playshop.
The “Die Hards” who really came to the Playshop for the famous Wiston Late Nights, stayed and played Hot and Heavy “Ya Ya” rhythms into the evening.
Ahh! A little free-form drumming, then a dram (or two, or three) of good single malt Scotch whisky with old and loving friends and finally Good Night.
Life is a Dance... In my whisky dreams... Uncle Arthur