Category Archives: Macaw

MACAW 2015 – Parakeet Marquee Schedule

Read about some of our tutors here, and make your bookings here.  Places are limited.

Sunday 2nd August

14:00 – 16:00 – Silver earring workshop with Adele West.  £30 inclusive of all materials.  More details

16:10 – 18:10 – Pottery workshop with Jane Masterman.  £19 inclusive of all materials.  More details

Monday 3rd August

10:00 – 12:00 – Hawker’s Hut Watercolour workshop with Lynne Holehouse. £19 inclusive of all materials. More details

14:00 – 16:00 – Throw a pot with Jane Masterman. £19 inclusive of all materials. More details

Tuesday 4th August

09:00 – 10:00 – Beading workshop with Adele West.  £12 inclusive of all materials. More details

Wednesday 5th August

10:00 – 12:00 – Summerleaze acrylics workshop with Lynne Holehouse.  £19 inclusive of all materials.  More details

19:00 – 21:30 – Singing workshop with Hermione Swinford.  £19 – bring your own voice.  More details

We are all born with an innate capacity to project our voices and communicate every nuance of  emotion . Music is at the core of our culture and as human beings we are in possession of a unique and expressive instrument.  All birds can sing and human beings are no different. Singing is wonderful therapy and it can also be one of the most moving and important art forms as well as holding an important role in many spiritual practices around the world and throughout history.  Occasionally we lose touch with this intrinsic ability and feel for various reasons we cannot sing as well as we’d like. There can be a real yearning to re-discover our voice, and to do so can be a great joy. It may take time and patience, but along the way there will be many glimpses of the great gift that is one’s own unique vocal instrument.

It’s extremely rare to be ‘tone deaf’ . We all learn to speak through mimicry and can communicate with subtle nuances of pitch-but often through formative experiences we can become nervous of singing with the degree of physical commitment needed for correct tuning.  ‘Singing in’ a song is an extremely important first step for all professional singers, where the simple process of repetition creates a muscular memory of the tune within the body, in the same way that dancers learn choreography.

Thursday 6th August

10:00 – 12:00 – Our family – family tree session with Lynne Holehouse. £19 per family.  Inclusive of all materials.  More details

Macaw marquee

Macaw 2015, Bude

Martial arts summer camp is dead….long live MACAW!

Ok, so camp isn’t dead, but its name is changing to be more in line with our broader vision – a martial and creative arts workshop, MACAW.

At a Glance

  • When? Saturday August 1st – August 8th.  Formal training starts Monday 3rd August.
  • Where? Upper Lynstone Camping park, Bude. See here.  Camping and static caravans, though may stay wherever you like.  You must book this yourself.
  • What? Martial arts, various styles, creative arts such as painting, pottery, live music
  • How much?  You must pay for your own accommodation.  Most students stay at the campsite.  Martial arts training is paid for by student donation using a red envelope system (see below).  Creative arts such as painting and pottery are paid for in advance through an online booking system here.
  • How do I book? Book your accommodation directly with the campsite or wherever you choose to stay.  Book your creative art lessons in advance through the site.  Martial arts training does not require advanced booking, but as a courtesy, please do let us know if you are planning to attend MACAW (contact form at bottom of page).

This year sees a return of our tireless director of martial arts, Mr Liam Grange, bringing his melange of skills to the martially inclined.  We’ve listened to feedback and observed the last five years activities, and this year we are moving towards a more formal programme of events.  We are joined by a new friend Mr David Thomas, who will be teaching a beginner’s course of Feng Shou kung-fu in the early afternoon, Monday to Friday.  Having trained with David, I can tell that you if you’ve only eight years of martial arts under your belt, then there is still plenty to learn from David. This will be followed by a beginner’s taekwondo session taught by Mr Jason King.  By formalising a schedule and catering to beginners, we hope to open the camp to complete beginners and anyone else who may be a bit shy, or wanting a time-table to work from.

Liam giving it to an impertinent balloon

Liam giving it to an impertinent balloon. Photograph courtesy of Simon Tatler, SCVT Photography

Other guest instructors are yet to be announced and confirmed, but we are anticipating the return of Mr Alex Grange, who ran such an excellent taekkyon course last year, and all our old friends will be made welcome as usual.

Creative Arts at the Parakeet Marquee

This year we have another marquee available (thanks Chris!) that will be dedicated to the creative arts – we see the return of fabulous Lynne Holehouse from the local Seventh Wave Gallery with three new art lessons – Hawker’s Hut in water-colour, Summerleaze Bay in acrylics and sand, and your family tree in your finger-prints.  Last year, Lynne’s Chinese water-colour workshop was oversubscribed and produced some beautiful work (here).   If you wish to attend any of these lessons, you must book in advance as places are limited.  Each session is £19, but there is a discount if you book all three.  Book here for these activities and all other prepaid events.

Also returning this year is the lovely Jane Masterman, not only as a student but as a teacher too.  Jane will be booking raku pottery sessions, final details to be confirmed shortly.

Hannah Power

BEFORE – Singer song-writer Hannah Power.

Hannah drinking from a saucepan.

AFTER – Hannah Power performing vocal warm-up exercises with a saucepan of enhanced cider, at a previous martial arts summer camp

This year we are opening the Parakeet Marquee for acoustic sessions to visiting and local musicians.  All students are encouraged to come and show their musical or dance talents.

This year Dragon Taekwondo’s Hannah Power will be singing for us.  Hannah has a wonderful voice, not to be missed.

Local band Austin Powys will be on-hand for at least one performance, accompanied by camp long-timer Alex King, and The MACAW team is busy negotiating another local band to play, so watch the Facebook page for updates.

This year we are lucky to have Mrs Lisa Southard, founder of BlackBeltBooks and local ITF Taekwondo instructor performing an evening reading from a selection of her two published books – Tales From the Tenets, and The Time Travelling TKD Tour Bus and Other Stories, both of which are available on Amazon.

Curry will be devoured again this year.  Book yours now here.  If you don’t book it, Sajla won’t make enough of it for you.  Do be a hungry fool!

Sajla's Taaza Curry.  Simply superb.

Sajla’s Taaza Curry. Simply superb.

Changes to Charging

As most of our customers know, Martial Arts Summer Camp is now in its sixth year.  The first four years training was provided absolutely free of charge, with year five seeing the introduction of a small fee for training, and ad-hoc charges for additional creative-arts, first aid training, curry event and lantern making.  This year we want to offer an improved service, and ideally, try and turn the business away from being a loss-maker for the organisers and teachers alike.

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

Here are some facts and figures to consider:

  • Marquee insurance –  £600 per annum
  • Instructor accommodation for the week – £80 each
  • 5 days of work at British minimum hourly rate for over 21s = £6.50 x 40 hours = £260

I don’t think anyone would disagree that our excellent teaching staff deserve more than the minimum wage.  Food for thought.

At MACAW we understand that a lot of students are primarily attending for the martial arts, and that traditionally, martial arts clubs scrape a living by charging cheap for medium – large numbers.  We also acknowledge that there is disparity in payments between martial arts instructors and creative arts instructors, for no appreciable reason.

To help close the gap, this year we are introducing the red envelope system for paying for martial arts instruction and for making contributions to the cost of the marquee insurance .  The night before you leave, please endeavour to pay a sensible and fair fee to the instructors of your classes by placing your payments in a red envelope with the instructor’s name on.  Red envelopes and receptacles for the same will be provided, and allow for anonymous donations.  At the end of the week, MACAW staff will decide if the system is sustainable, or whether we will need to swap to a fixed rate system, which will inevitably exclude some students.  Please help keep MACAW running by supporting its staff.

…and finally…with timetables!

Two marquees mean that we can train whatever the weather.  How good is that?  Furthermore, if you fancy an alternative to training, try some art.  Let’s have another massively successful camp.  This year we want to encourage the general public in the campsite to join in a bit more and to spread the word.  We have a great success story – last year saw Chris Chant (below, with Marcie) attend his first camp, and on the strength of his experience – that you helped give – joined a local karate-jutsu club and is about to take his 8th kyu exam.  Congratulations Chris, that’s the embodiment of MACAW.

Karateka Chris and daughter Marcie.  Chris now trains at Doryoku Rye Karate Jutsu in Plymouth.

Karateka Chris and daughter Marcie. Chris now trains at Doryoku Ryu Karate Jutsu in Plymouth.

Godzilla versus Mothra

Godzilla versus Mothra

Its very likely that this year will see the start of MACAW hitting the festival circuit.  That being the case, you can fully expect more of this sort of mayhem.  MACAW will also be offering a range of branded clothing featuring our beautiful macaw logo embroidered on hoodies, teeshirts, polo shirts, rugby shirts etc.

Many thanks to Simon Tatler of SCVT Photography for kind reproduction of Godzilla versus Mothra, Karateka Chris, Liam in orange, Nothing to see here, Sajla’s Taaza Curry and the Macaw Marquee

Parakeet Marquee 2015 Timetable

Parakeet Marquee 2015 Timetable

MacawMarquee 2015 Timetable

MacawMarquee 2015 Timetable

Ancestor Shrine

Martial Arts Summer Camp 2014

This year’s camp was a great success.  I have written up the events complete with some photos on my Macaw.Events webpage – look for the “Previous Events” menu item, Somehow writing about it here seems a bit redundant.  I am currently busy looking for new work and investing time in some business ventures, so once again my writing has been rather sparse of late.

Macaw image courtesy of

what is macaw?

macaw is a dream, a new lifestyle and venture for us.  macaw may even be a charity.  a place where you could stay in a yurt, an army tent, your own tent, or even a hut made from recycled pallets.  double beds and wood-burning stoves.  fresh food, harvested from the gardens.  chickens roaming amongst the solar panels.   a wind turbine beheading bats, like a mechanical Ozzy Osbourne.  macaw will nestle in a field, in Cornwall, near the coast, near a town…

…macaw is the martial and creative arts workshop.

grow younger through learning

having worked as a software developer since 1997, I have grown old, fat, grey and slow, sitting at my desk, telling myself that the work I do is valuable, worthwhile.  i’ve been kidding myself, mainly.  the incidentals are the worthwhile part, the work itself has been of dubious moral value, ranging from the project management of oil rig maintenance to insurance sales.

so what are these worthwhile incidentals?  learning, teaching, invention and creation, delivery, the lovely people I have met, friendships.

its time for a change, to engage with fresh passion, like I did at the start of my software development career.  I don’t need to grow rich, I own everything that I want right now, I want to be happy, healthy and fit, and to indulge myself in the things I love: learning, teaching, eating, growing, martial arts, music, being outdoors.  for the last couple of years, my earlier passion has made the final death-knell transition to becoming work.  i want to die at play, not at work.  as a midlife crisis goes, macaw definitely beats a shiny red sports car.

wot’s uh, the deal?

  • dedicated martial arts camps, for individuals, groups, corporate – single discipline, multi-discipline, guest instructors
  • dojang facilities for local clubs – there are at least 4 in Bude
  • dojang and camp facilities for other organisations, for rent, host your own!
  • a peaceful place for individuals to train
  • fitness bootcamps
  • music lessons – guitar, drums, bass
  • guided student jam-along.  there are many young music students in Bude, but often they are isolated and have never played with other musicians
  • rehearsal facilities
  • demo quality recording and production
  • home studio and production course
  • painting
  • precious metal clay
  • beading
  • earrings, necklaces, bracelets
  • pyrography
  • driftwood crafts
  • artist retreat
  • first aid training
  • website studio
  • software development training

All of the above could be offered to individuals, private groups, corporate groups, and other teachers requiring a venue.  macaw will be a beautiful retreat offering a range of activities.  we have given ourselves a target of May 2016 to implement this fledgling business, and change our lives completely.  in the next article, I will list the expertise and help we require to get ourselves off the ground. please help us by offering suggestions, advice and help – be a teacher, be an instructor, be a customer, be a friend.  Join in.

Jase & Adele
November 2013