Work Retreat 2012

Well, we’ve just had a wonderful week with the work retreaters!  What a band of lovely human beings!  There’s been so much laughter and fun through the week and we also got loads of work done in the garden and some overdue tidying up of paintwork in the house.  A delivery of manure has been mixed with leaf mould, soil has been replaced in the old greenhouse ready for the new one to go up, the whole garden has pretty much been weeded, garden compost has been put on the cut- flower bed and the first bed of the long border by the tennis lawn has been stripped out ready for planting.  In the house, much of the gloss work has had its chips and dents touched up with paint where luggage and vacuum cleaners have taken their toll!

We’ve also picked the remaining loganberries and blackcurrants, potted on the brassicas and cleared masses of garden waste from the compost area to a skip.  We managed to maximise the skip by dancing on the debris in it at regular intervals to compact it – either individually or in groups(!) – and this became quite a source of entertainment as the week went on!  Just like a green trampoline!

What always feels so magical about these weeks is how they unfold organically.  There’s the work in the morning which is a great way to spend time together, but then there’s also the connections made over cups of tea, taking walks together, giving and receiving sessions and generally hanging out at Poulstone.  We had a film evening one night, a few of us sat around the fire another evening and we had a field trip out to the local arts cinema at the end of the week.  Then on the last night we had a real treat; Austin Keenan, the partner of Hilary who cooks for us, came and told us folk and fairy tales by candlelight.  It was spell-binding and we managed not to embarrass ourselves by falling asleep en masse after a week of fresh air and physical activity!

The Friends’ Day on the Saturday was also really lovely.  Four people dropped in for lunch and then we were joined by a few others later in the afternoon for tea and cake.  People drank tea  on the front step in the time-honoured tradition, caught up with old friends, went for walks or enjoyed the gardens and had a look at what had been going on during the week.  It felt perfect in a very low-key kind of way and people said they enjoyed the opportunity to just be at Poulstone and hang out here for a while.  Thank you so much to those of you who came – it was kind of you to travel so far for a chat and a piece of chocolate cake!  A few people stayed on for supper and the story-telling.  A great day!

On Sunday we worked until tea-break and then went for a relaxing walk together along the river at Brockhampton before heading back to a delicious Sunday lunch cooked by Hilary, followed by a passion fruit cheesecake!  Thank you to everyone who came and made it such a great week.  If you’d like to see the full Rogues’ Gallery, follow this link to a slideshow on Flickr:

Lots of love

Mel & Steve x

Poulstone Court Retreat Centre

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Rajesh sees Poulstone as a refuge in a fast-moving world and is inspired by guests leaving Poulstone renewed and re-centred. He regards the energy of Poulstone to be perfect for retreats and manages Poulstone to maintain and sustain this energy. Rajesh has been attending retreats for a very long time and occasionally runs meditation retreats. He was introduced into the many different faiths of India including Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Sufism and Buddhism from a very early age. These faiths have formed a large part of his upbringing. He is a barrister by profession specialising in human rights from Chambers in London. He is also a humanitarian and environmentalist and has worked with and founded organisations around the world whose objectives include the rejuvenation of land, communities and promoting human rights. He also founded the first Indian vegetarian restaurant in Worcestershire with his family. His joys include cooking, gardening, playing the sitar, reading Eastern philosophy and loves being with his family and friends.

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