Alan isn't dead, or (to my knowledge) a Christian. But he is gentle and mighty and today caused something of a miracle.
Alan is my Tai Chi instructor. I'm not talking group-in-the-park, willowly-and weightless Tai Chi. I'm talking old Yang style Tai Chi, where each movement has five outcomes ranging from deflection of your opponent to their death, and where the day after class you're properly aching and probably sporting the odd bruise - current badges of honour along my right elbow and forearm.
It'll be interesting to see how long it takes Alan to find out that I'm writing about him in my blog. And to see whether he throws me out of class as a result. I don't think he would, but then, to look at his kindly face, you wouldn't think he could throw you across a room either. Still, I wouldn't have thought that canonisation counted as a crime punishable by dismissal.
I haven't been in Alan's class all that long - less than a year. I did study Tai Chi for several years down in London (one of the many places I've lived), under a teacher called Simon who was also very inspirational. But then I moved back to Manchester and it took a while before I found the right class. As it happened the right class was right under my nose (did I mention that I'm a no-such-thing-as-coincidence person?). Alan's instruction couldn't be a more perfect fit.
Back to the canonisation.
Today I was cleaning the shower glass that graces the tiny bathroom in mine and the Elegant Hound's tiny house. It's not a particularly amazing shower glass (I do look forward to the day, like many other people I'm sure, when I can blog about the joys of disruption caused by the fitting of a new bathroom) but it does the job of containing my shower water which is nice and piping hot.
So there was I, wiping away at the glass panel (boring-chore-boring-sigh), when I found myself practising one of Alan's warm-up exercises without even realising it. It was an absolutely real-life Mr Miyagi moment.*
And that, my friends, is the miracle right there. I was cleaning the shower glass - and actually enjoying it. Hence from this point on, in the blog of Ravi at least, instructor Alan shall be Saint Alan, and my bruises shall bask with pride in the glow of his deadly halo.
* That remark I may just get thrown out of class for.