Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Shiten Supporter & Sometime Shiten Student Seymour’s Sickness Scare

I don't know who maintains his "weave" but it ain't him!
It seems that Bonsai is fast being seen as a “dangerous sport” with a spate of quite serious illnesses of late, along with the very sad passing of the wonderful Ray Ward and the inspiring Paul Goff recently, news hit the desk of the Shiten Massive that one of our students (I do use this term very loosely!) had been admitted to hospital very, very unwell. Marc, Maidstone Bonsai Society’s Secretary, (complete with comedy breasts and revealing miniskirt) and sometime Shiten warrior has an affliction to wiring and upon being told by John Armitage at the Capel Manor Show that his Juniper needed wiring went a funny colour. Palming the job off, as usual, seemed the order of the day but due to more serious commitments of his designated wirier (mainly watching paint dry etc) his tree remained in need of attention. In an attempt to get out of his chores, and no doubt leaving it to his long standing lovely wife as usual, he took it upon himself to be hospitalised with pneumonia! Following a visit from Shiten’s roving reporter and NHS 111 Guru* Les it was confirmed that he “was not very well”.

Unfortunately (for his trees at least!), we can report the Malingering Marc is now back at home and recovering well – i.e. slacking! It would be expected at this point for the SBS to wish Marc well for a speedy recovery but that’s not the Shiten Way! Now, due to this incident, Shiten is going to have to examine its health policy and might well now have to introduce the disclosure of full medical records, and a possible medical, for any student looking to partake in future Shiten events. It is always the case that the minority spoils it for the majority and this selfish act of hospitalisation again proves that our vetting process may well need an overhaul – thanks a lot bud!

Shiten does in fact have a message for our sickly student “get off your fat arse, back down the Club and wire your own bloody trees!” Love, Peace & Bananas buddy.

*It cannot, at this time, be confirmed whether Nurse Les went “in uniform”, complete with suspenders and peep-hole bra, but investigations are continuing.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Shiten’s Super Second Showing Surprises Some Sceptics – Stonemonkey Shuns, Spanglish Sam & Seymour’s Substitute.

It was a great privilege for Shiten to get a second invitation to the Heathrow Bonsai Show which is fast becoming seen as the UK’s “season closing show” – not a bad accolade to have.  Due to its increased popularity the Show changed venues this year allowing more Clubs, individuals and traders to be include – the result? FANTASTIC!  Although Shiten has “Ten” in it it does seem to have the correct prefix as Stone Monkey was again absent from this event seeming to concentrate all his efforts on some tin pot Japanese Show next year.  Never mind, negotiations are at an advanced stage to bring another Shiten supplier on board – watch this space!

Much praise has been given to Mark, Ming and there willing group of organisers, and rightly so, and full 2sensible reports can be found elsewhere on t’internet so we won’t go over old ground.  All we will say is one of their trader choices was a bit “suspect” we must say although he didn’t come in fancy dress which was a bonus.  A WARNING to all Show organisers – BE CAREFUL this man is a menace!

 Photo courtesy of WPC S.Mckee
Die Haddon!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news as Triple S (Storey’s Shiten Security – Southern Division) had to be on full alert after unwarranted death threats towards Shiten Senior Simon from Shiten’s Shropshire Stalker.  A seemingly pleasant young lady on first impressions, although unfortunately being afflicted with humour induced incontinence, it seems that the darker side of being a Stalker of the Stars is beginning to be seen - the Bonsai Authorities have been put on standby just in case!  It also seems that Crimewatch might also need notification as well as BOBO vagabond Will Baddeley was caught on surveillance robbing the food vending stall with a “cheeky chappy” grin for the camera.  I didn’t go much on his disguise however for such an undercover operation being resplendent in his bright red “uniform” – very fetching young fella m’lad! 
 (not that I can say much based on my dress sense!)

They say to finish on a positive, much, much better than one of Les’s songs(!), so congratulations to EVERYONE involved and associated with the Show (and that does include you Haddon!) as it was relaxed and totally enjoyable.  Well done again.  Next year’s event can’t come quick enough for the SBS as it will be interesting to see how many UK Bonsaists start to follow the Shiten Way!


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Sadness as Shiten Standards Slip - StoneMonkey & Sam's Slippery Slope to Seclusion

Houston we have a problem, it seems that despite the best efforts of the founders of Shiten (a contradiction in terms we know) the new comers continue to disregard our principles of bonsai not being taken seriously.

Despite my misgivings as Chair of Shiten we did open membership to two others, Stonemonkey and Spanglish Speaking Sam.  They have been in membership for only a couple of months and already they are damaging out reputation.

First of all Sam gets selected to represent the UK at the EBA new comers competition in Vilnius next September, I ask you how can someone who hardly speaks proper English like wot I do represent the UK, maybe he should be flying the Gibraltar flag as a compromise!!

Now we are informed that our Shiten pot maker has been accepted to compete at the prestigious Gafu-Ten* in Japan, he has been accepted to enter some of his Shiten pots in the glazed and unglazed sections of the exhibition. 
As a consequence of these actions the senior members of Shiten must consider if they are excluded from membership this wonderful Club.  It seems that these 2 “lost souls” do not realise what privileged company they are in as we are getting daily requests to be “converted to Shiten”.  Maybe we should return to our roots as the two original members.

We will see how things progress but keep a watching brief on their future behaviour as we have Shiten Standards to maintain.

(*When I first heard about this I thought it was “Gaff-Ten” – the Bonsai equivalent of the Razzies)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Shiten Senior Storey Shows Scousers Some Style, Shiten's Shropshire Stalker Swoons!

As part of Shiten’s outreach teaching programme, Leader Les selflessly (or so he says) brought his wisdom, and the Shiten Way, to an unexpected audience! 
While he was on a family trip oop norf, Shiten's Chairman deigned* to visit the Wirral Bonsai Society's workshop at the Gordale Garden Centre where he was able to preach his Shiten teaching to unconverted or uninitiated in the ways of Les-o-Storey.  Unlike the radicalized clerics in the news, Sensai Storey preaches our love and passion for the trees, not trouble.  Egoless (a bit like Legolas but not quite as pretty) and cast free from his political chains he helped restore the “Inner Bonsai Karma” that many hobbyists lack these days.  Shiten from the Gob-shite, powerful voodoo indeed!
For those of you who thought that Beatle-mania was a thing of the past the Screaming Sixties were once again with us as one of Shiten's groupies from Shropshire was delighted to meet her Scouse God texting “I’ve met Shiten’s Les Storey!”  Once this poor lady’s pulse had steadied our Shiten Sensai gave her his opinion and design thoughts on a Scouse Olive that she had brought along to get advice/work on. Once the headiness of meeting her idol had worn off (about 25 seconds so I heard) it was hard at work and below is a few shots her hard at it!

*For those of you, like me, who had no idea what this word meant:-
    verb   do something that one considers to be beneath one's dignity.

All photos “kindly” robbed from Jim the Lad, WBS official photographer.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sceptics Surprise at Successful Shiten Securing Second Season

Look who’s 1 today! Although it was an uncomfortable pregnancy and a painful birth we made sure that by hook or by crook we arrived on time so as not to let Mark & Ming down at their wonderful Heathrow Bonsai Show in 2013. Although let down by Emperor Baldytine (possibly suffering from post-pregnancy blues), Simon and “Shiten Sam” (on loan from the MBS at the time) flew the flag that marked the start of the Shiten Revolution!

The arrival of the SBS wasn’t all plane sailing and although a slight departure from the norm it has proved a runway success. We seem to have “struck a chord” within the Bonsai Community in general and of late the gates have opened with many International and Domestic arrivals checking in on our Facebook page. Although there have been delays and cancelations along the way we have stayed on course and true to our flight plan which in these turbulent times for the hobby is a real achievement. Starting with what could have been an aborted take-off, cruising to success on far away shores and keeping our passengers amused with their in-flight entertainment Captain Cranium and Stewardess Simone have piloted the SBS to new horizons in Bonsai. Who needs complimentary nuts when you have them two?

Fear not, we will not be flying high on the wings of our successes but trying harder than ever to produce trees and ceramics to our exacting and high standards whilst remaining faithful to the Shiten Way.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Sensei Simon Shows Shiten’s Senior's at Shiten Summer Skule, & Spanglish Shef Sam Serves Spanish Specialty!

It has become very apparent of late that SOME members of the SBS have been taking the hobby a wee bit too seriously than is healthy for them but, for a sense of balance, the more senior members thought that they’d put together a workshop to see what all the fuss is about. 

Three of Shiten’s “Bonsaists” were in attendance (one of the Potters couldn’t even be bothered to make an appearance!) along with members from the Folk-e-stone Bonsai Massive and a few from Maidstone Bonsai Society. As we know Shiten’s interests within Bonsai are vast and the event was more than just trees with 2 days of fine dining* included which caused a few to want a siesta after lunch – not a bit of it though! 

Our teacher for the weekend was one of the “free spirits” of UK Bonsai, Mr Simon Temblett, and his approach to teaching was very much to the SBS mantra “laid back and with a twist of humour” and his drawings for the students were absolutely fantastic and a great reference for some of us with many, many years development of their trees to come. Plenty of banter and character assassinations took place (mainly concerning the non-attendees & Bonsai pantomime villains!) and as can be seen below we were a busy and happy little bunch. 

Once again our guest chef kept us fed and entertained but had to spoil it by producing the best tree of the weekend and rumours were circulating on the Sunday that this could well be his last outing in Shiten colours. As with many walks of life it’s the minority that spoil it for the majority and it seems that Sam is hell bent in trying to force us to his way of thinking. This is being viewed as undemocratic and borderline bullying by some members within the Club. Some are even calling for tough action, including expulsion, but this is a subject for another day.

The verdict:- It does seem that taking a slightly more “serious” approach to our hobby does have it benefits but this has to be tempered with our overall enjoyment and appropriate amount of abuse. We are not openly opposed to change but the students studying under Shiten’s Study Group need to respect the traditions of our esteemed Society. That said the SBS have invited the Suffolk Inquisitor “Blacksmith Baddeley” to our workshop next year so as they say “never say never”! 

*Special thanks must be extended to the “serious” Storey family members (as well as guests) keeping the students fed and water over the weekend – thank you ladies!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Secret Shiten Spy Snaps Surprise SUTEKI Shots

It seems that the wise words of Sensei Storey seem to have inspired/frightened serial slacker Simon into action. As can be seen above he is once again attempting to plumb even lower Shiten depths of achievement and this should be applauded by the Club. It is understood that these “containers” should break cover later next month and we are very hopeful that his latest collection will take Shiten Bonsai to the next level!

Unfortunately, it seems that some members of our esteemed Club are joining Simon in not following the “Shiten Way” and it seems that Balddylocks could have a busy few weeks ahead of him converting some of our later recruits, who should feel honoured to be in such company, back to “The Daft Side” as confused of the Bonsai they seem!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Spanglish Speaking Styling Superstar "Sam's" Societies Selection/Sponsorship Stuns Shiten's Seniors (Simon, Stonemonkey & Storey)

The recent invitation from the Federation of British Bonsai Societies has shocked and saddened the senior members of Shiten Bonsai. On one hand we are proud that our Sam(Jose) has been invited to represent British Bonsai as the new talent at the EBA event in Lithuania in September 2015. On the other hand it brings into disrepute Shiten's standing in the bonsai community, we as a society have strived to maintain low standards. And now we have a member who has the potential to be a star styler of bonsai. This of course could result in us rescinding his membership of Shiten.

The benefits of his early selection provide an opportunity for the Shiten members to influence his styling approach and also give us 12 months to try enrol him on elocution lessons so that he can try to speak English properly like wot the rest of us do!!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Shoddy Second-rate Southern Slacker SUTEKI’s Surprisingly Satisfactory Showing!

It has been noticed in some circles (especially amongst the Committee) that a certain probationary member is spending more time on “his own projects” (like his potato, sorry, patio) and not embracing the Shiten ethos of sharing our fantastic hobby, and trees, with the great unwashed. If he does not learn the “Shiten Way” then we could be sending for the Blacksmith! 

A long time ago (well, it seems it) in a Hall far, far away Shiten’s second string substitute Simon was on a mission to uphold the honour of SUTEKI by displaying a formal composition at the internationally recognised Magical Bonsai Accent Show. The Committee were delighted (OK, totally gob-smacked) that he even was allowed entry into the event let alone display his somewhat dodgy pots and plantings. His plan was to have a mixed display of plants as well as pots to help disguise his lack of ability. Ever the crafty little so and so he displayed pots from all over the world which left little room (thankfully) for his attempts at making clay containers*. Below are some pictures of his display and you can all play “Where’s (the) Wally’s (pots!)” 

Despite our student’s best efforts the Show, once again, was fantastic with an interesting mixture of pots, plants and imaginative displays. The standard gets better year on year (a bit difficult as it’s held every other year but you get the point) with the “bar” being raised even higher which is great for the hobby. I’m sure that the next event will be even better although a better vetting process of applicants might help sort the wheat from the chaff (that’s “chaff” Baddeley, not “chafe”). 

Even though poor Simon tried really, really hard to disguise his shoddy workmanship with rampant foliage, “proper” pots and pretty flowers the SBS’s verdict has to be a “must try harder” even though it does seem that his work (thankfully) didn’t detract from the wonderful event. 

(*We have been on to the Oxford English Dictionary to see if his work can “legally” be described as a “pot” and are awaiting a clarification)

Friday, 1 August 2014

Shiten's Stonemonkey Shows Southend Society Some Sexy Shapes!

Southend Bonsai Society (in their wisdom!) invited Shiten's Mr Stonemonkey to demonstrate his pot making skills at their annual show at the Bushukan Bonsai nursery. During the day he displayed his world renowned talents and threw a few shapes* on the wheel as well as Shohin, sorry showing, how to construct a slab pot.

As this was the first time since he joined Shiten that he had been invited to present on his own the elder of the group went along to make sure the low standards of Shiten were not breached. I am happy to report that Mr Stonemonkey maintained the low level that we have come to expect from our elite membership.

(* he's really down with the kids you know!)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Surprise Shiten Selection Shocks & Stuns Spanglish Superstar Sam!

Not a statement that you would normally associate with us but Shiten is fast becoming a truly International Society and it is with the greatest of pleasure that I announce our very first “Overseas” Member Jose aka “Sam” out of Spain via Paris and latterly Lundon. Many people may know him as one of the finalists of last year’s UK New Talent Contest (as well as Chairman of Maidstone Bonsai Society) although this fact didn’t go entirely against him!

His selection was secured on a probationary period at his interview on Saturday night that Andy decided to hi-jack as his “Six Stags Salute Shiten's Stonemonkeys Single Status, Swigging Shots, Sparkling Shandy, Scoffing Seafood, Salad, Steak & Spaghetti” Stag Party. Heated debate about his credentials ensued (plus his use of the English language) and it was agreed, well that’s that last thing I remember, that as long as he upheld the ethos of the SBS and didn’t try and convert the members to actually “giving a toss” about Bonsai then he would be considered. His position within the Society will be monitored closely by the Committee (if they ever sober up!)

Welcome to the fold young Padawan but please note Sam, the Membership fees payable to Grandpa Les are still outstanding although the rest of the Committee are still suffering with the effects of your “payment”!