We are hosting our fourth group since last writing (the blog has rather fallen by the wayside in all the busyness!). We had a lovely weekend again with Judge Choudhry and Michelle Falcone of Heart2Heart Events returning to Poulstone at the beginning of the month. They were followed the next day by the Gordon Moody Association (http://www.gordonmoody.org.uk/) with the second of their residential programmes here for women with gambling problems, following on from the success of the first and the securing of further funding. Ruth and her team work very hard but said they managed to make more time to enjoy the space too this time around. We were delighted as always when many of the participants expressed their surprise at how scrumptious vegetarian food can be – and bought the recipe book!
The day following GMA’s departure we welcomed for the first time Rajesh Rai with his students of Malvern Bhavan (http://www.malvernbhavan.com/). Rajesh was introduced into the many different faiths of India including Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Sufism and Buddhism from a very early age. These faiths formed a large part of his upbringing. His formal training started in 1997, when he was taught a systematic practice of Meditation by the Himalayan Institute. In 2001 he was initiated into the tradition of the Himalayan Masters on the banks of the Ganges at the Maha Kumbh Mela and has been a student of the Tradition since this time. We were interested to learn that Rajesh is also a barrister by profession specialising in Human Rights Law from Chambers in the Temple, London. He is also a humanitarian and environmentalist and has worked with and founded organisations around the world whose objectives are the rejuvenation of land and communities. He also helped found the first Indian vegetarian restaurant in Worcestershire with his family! It was a great pleasure to meet Rajesh and his family and the group of students who came to learn from him. We are very pleased that they intend to come again later in the year and in 2016.
We are now hosting the Worcester branch of Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork (http://bristolmassage.co.uk/contact/bcmb-worcester/) who arrived yesterday. It’s lovely to see Sarah, Tara and Colette who are teaching this year’s students on their professional massage training course. It’s Anatomy and Physiology today and judging by the laughter and hilarity coming from the group room, it’s now taught in a more lively fashion than when we learnt it in the 1990s!
Out in the garden we could use a little more rain for the lawns but generally the garden is looking good - lots of poppies and roses out and the long borders looking great – and a few more sweet peas appearing for the house. We are also cropping lovely fresh salad greens and chard and spinach from the garden as well as radishes and herbs. The white roses on the side of the house look fantastic! It was a big decision when we decided to take down the old roses from the side of Poulstone and plant new ones. The old yellow roses were lovely but had a short flowering season and the pink rose was very prone to mould. Finally, finally, our patience has been rewarded and the new white roses have been flowering for weeks and weeks now in the best show so far since we put them in. And if previous years are anything to go by, we will be enjoying them till winter. The ramblers are getting nice and tall and the bush varieties are providing lovely scent through the group room windows when they are open.
It’s Hilary’s birthday today so Steve is cooking so she can enjoy her birthday at home with the family. He’s cooking up a yummy Asian-style ratatouille with marinated tofu – and we’ll sign off as it’s nearly serving time!
Lots of love
Mel & Steve
Poulstone Court Retreat Centre