We’ve put the ark on hold…

Just when we thought it might be prudent to start building an ark, the waters have receded from Poulstone meadow and we’ve been blessed with several lovely sunny, blue-skied days!  The crocuses, daffs and snowdrops are out in profusion. Also, the swans have suddenly become very active and we noticed as we walked down to work this morning that lots of birds are being tempted out into the sunshine.  There was a very loud squabble of sparrows in the holly hedge as we came by! 

Steve has been able to get out into the garden today with Dave and do some weeding and general tidying up after the storms.  We’ve had a week and a half between groups which has given us an opportunity to do some of the jobs that don’t generally get done when groups are coming through on a rolling basis.  Gail has been mending one of the sofas in the living room which was showing signs of wear and tear and we’ve finally got some beautiful prints framed which were donated by artist Lydia Kiernan (http://www.lydiakiernan.co.uk/).  This one, called “Windswept”, is now gracing the front hallway and we love it!

Windswept (2007)

Following Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork, we have had Poulstone regulars Jan Adamson and Desiree Emery in with their advanced shamanic students.  And we were delighted that our hunch about Jessie’s felted animals proved true – several got snapped up enthusiastically and Jessie now has a list of animals to make which they would be interested in buying.  Yayy!

We were very impressed by the group’s stoical and intrepid approach to the stormy weather they arrived in on the Friday night – hardly a murmer from anyone – impressive; it was a really wild night!

In a couple of days we will be welcoming Burgs (http://theartofmeditation.org/) for a seven day silent meditation retreat which we love having here in the house.  Let’s hope the weather keeps nice and sunny for their stay.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

More soon!

Mel & Steve

Poulstone Court Retreat Centre

A busy January

Well, January has been unusually busy this year.  We enjoyed meeting Dutch trainers Thomas and Alet de Neve (http://www.parabole.nl) who gave their first weekend training here at the beginning of January.  They brought a lively group of English and Dutch students, some of whom we already knew from Christian Pankhurst’s groups here in previous years.

Then we had a week off before Richard and Marigold Farmer (http://www.soulmoves.co.uk) brought their Giant Leap groups in on two consecutive long weekends.  These guys all know the house like the back of their hands and it’s always lovely seeing them and catching up with old friends.  Some of them were on the very first course we both did at Poulstone in 1993 so we go back a long way!   A couple of Richard and Marigold’s students, Helene & Catriona, stayed on afterwards for a few days and volunteered a bit of work in the house and garden which was very welcome.

This weekend we are joined by Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork (http://bristolmassage.co.uk) who’ve brought a lovely group of trainee masseurs and masseuses for the residential part of their one-year massage training.  There’s lots of laughter around the house and despite the very stormy weather here this weekend, they’re really enjoying their time together.

As we write, the wind is pelting rain against the windows and the river has once again flooded the surrounding fields.  Gail even looked out earlier and saw that the flooded fields had waves moving across them!  There’s not much gardening going on as everything is saturated, although Steve did manage to do an afternoon’s weeding yesterday in a few hour’s bright sunshine between storms…

We also welcome new member of staff, Jessie, to the team.  Jessie has just moved from London and is enjoying her new life in the countryside.  She’s also a very talented maker of felt creations which we will soon be featuring in the shop.  We thought her work might particularly appeal to some of the shamanic groups who come to Poulstone.  If you want to look at her fabulous felted animal totems or buy directly from her, her work is at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CloverFourteen.  Here are a few delightful examples:

Sitting Brown Bear Totem, Needle FeltedCustom-made Elk, Needle Felted We hope Jessie does well in setting up her new business with them.

Well, that’s about it for now.  It’s the delicious Mushroom, Stilton and Pumpkin Pie this evening, perfect for such a chilly, blustery night, so we will be sloping off to the kitchen shortly to see if we can score some tasty leftovers!  We now have recipe cards for this and many of our new supper dishes available in the shop, with wonderful illustrations from our friend, Kevin Kimber (http://www.kevinkimber.co.uk/):


More soon!  Hope you’re staying dry!

Mel & Steve xx

Poulstone Court Retreat Centre