Li Xinqiang instructing Ali
There are many things it would seem a pity not to take advantage of studying in China - calligraphy is one of them. We have a few resident experts in the College and have had an open invitation to join in their Saturday morning calligraphy sessions for over two years. This morning we finally made it. As the only calligraphers we had Mr Li all to ourselves. Just as well really because we needed a lot of guidance to get started. I remember trying it once in Xi'an, when we first arrived in China in 2005, and it seemed impossibly hard. Over four years on, with a little more knowledge of Chinese characters, strokes and writing, it was a little bit easier. Having said that, in the two hours we were there I only produced about two or three strokes that passed the inspection. Freda and Edie had already moved onto their names before I'd even passed the dian (dot) stage. It's one of the many things in life that looks MUCH easier, when done by an expert, than it is. Nevertheless, we aren't going to give up and have already invested in our own brushes, ink and mats. I'm determined to shock Mr Li with my rapid progress when we see him next week.

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