It feels like a great accomplishment to have been away on my first retreat. It is probably going to take me a while to assimilate all the information that my brain has been processing. On a practical level, it has taught me a few things about what is important to me:
1. I like having my own bathroom.
2. The little extras in life, like a comfy cushion on my chair make a difference to how welcome I feel.
3. I love silence, it is great to have an excuse not to have to give an impression of my self or feeling that I need to show an interest in others when I really don't want to.
4. I can go to sleep without the TV on, though I suspect that this might also be to do with the fact that I was away from the distractions that cause my brain to overload and require the TV to be on in the first place!
5. Colour is poetry to me, I love to experiment with it in patterns and doodles!
I'm sure there is probably more, but that will do for now.
Hilfield Friary is a funny little place, the Franciscan monks there are a variety of ages, they are a very eco positive bunch of folks, which suits me fine, but the whole place did feels just a bit to blokey for me. I may go back some time, they do have some self-catering houses on the complex that are suitable for groups - I think this is probably the biggest draw to get me back along with the beautiful countryside. Below are a few pictures to show the seclusion of the place, sadly it rained all day Thursday so I only got out in the evening, however that did mean, I read and painted and cross stitched all day!