Thursday, September 11, 2014

Retreats for You, a writer's place.

The Lounge and the huge fire place. Wine not shown.

Not long ago, I am sitting at my lap top and looking out the window at the inhabitants of Sheepwash in Devon, England, as they walk by my window. Not to give the wrong idea, Sheepwash is so tiny a village that a Sheepwashian appears in about intervals of an hour, usually walking a dog. A couple of times during the morning, a car goes by.

I am trying to fix up a manuscript using a list of suggested changes and I am finding this less simple than I first thought. Make one change and that triggers others down the line, in house-of-cards fashion. This is not writing, it is slugging. The calming view from the window helps a lot.

Writing spot with handy water bottle and kettle, a selection of teas. 

I love writers’ retreats. I have stayed at Dairy Hollow Writers’ Colony in Arkansas, a cottage at Holly Beach in North Carolina and a bed and breakfast in the Rockies at Ouray, Colorado. This is a first for the U.K. and one of the best.

Deborah Dooley and husband Bob Cooper have taken a 500-year-old house and turned it into the most welcoming and pleasant place imaginable.  It is a quiet, quaint and writable space.  Add delicious meals, wine, a lovely fire every evening, a mix of interesting people, great conversation all set in a pretty village surrounded by luscious rural English countryside.

The Retreat. Note the thatched roof. 

As at most retreats, I write in the morning and walk in the afternoon and drink wine and talk to the other guests in the evening.  The late August weather was dampish, English, coolish both inside and out. I had my Stanfields, which I always take to England no matter what the season, and Deborah slips a hot water bottle into one’s bed every evening.  How spoiled can you get.

Deborah writes on her web site: “Every writer needs space. A place away from work, chores, family and other distractions.
Deep in the heart of the beautiful North Devon countryside, that space is waiting for you.”

My clothes closet was set in an old (disused) fire place.

You can check out Retreats for You at  Note: Deborah is selling her cookbook, Eats for You, on LuLu. I ordered one post haste.  I ate her great food and now I want to cook it.

Take the footpath.

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