It’s only a week since the first ever Relax and Write Retreat finished up in a flurry of collage and fortune telling and one last swim (it was cold!).
Helena and I couldn’t have been happier with how it all went. We feel super lucky that we had a such an incredible, talented, warm and lovely group of women there with us, willing to be our retreat guinea pigs. And we are thrilled that they all had such a wonderful time and came away feeling nurtured and inspired, ready to forge ahead with their writing.
Our retreaters had a wide range of writing experience – from complete newbies to Sue who had three completed manuscripts under her belt and a number of development awards to boot. The same with yoga – three yoga teachers and some complete beginners. Luckily Helena and I both have experience with students with a variety of needs so we embraced the differences and everyone benefitted from each other’s experiences as well as our input.
We learnt a few things ourselves – heaps actually! Mainly that we wildly over-catered. You don’t need to cook three whole bags of pasta for 12 women! Johnny provided us with excellent meals and we even had a few massages.
What was most important was the women themselves who all leapt in with both feet and gave everything a go. We felt like an awesome unstoppable team – all 12 of us.
We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone at our next retreat in March 2018, and meeting the new women who come to join our happy band of mermaids and scribes.
Nina Woodrow, one of our talented participants wrote this beautiful poem about the retreat.
thought that they were teachers and bikers and writers
and comics and social workers
generally over competent humans
and of course they were all these things too
but really they were mermaids
and you could tell
by the way they started to glisten
when they got close to the sea
by the way they shed their sensible shoes
and by the way their hair lifted at the roots
and communed wilfully with the sea breezes
but most of all you could tell
by the way they collectively knew
without anything being said
that different rules applied at mermaid base camp
how time for instance
could suddenly collapse in on itself
crumble like a sand dune at high tide and that long forgotten
drowned troubles and truths
could be exposed this way
so the mermaids formed a chain
they made a silent pact
they weaved their arms around each other’s waists
and dived in
By Nina WOODROW
Thanks so much to all our retreaters for making our inaugural retreat such a success!
with lots of love, Edwina and Helena xx