I’m a terrible procrastinator. There’s always some notable distraction that takes me away from writing and I start to feel frustrated. I should by now have a routine where I leave the mundane chores for another time and let the dust settle, the laundry pile up and the dinner cook itself…like that’s ever going to happen. So, with that in mind, I decided to take myself off to Devon on a writers’ retreat for the final re-drafts of my three chosen assignments and reflective commentary.
Stickwick Manor sits majestically in the heart of the Devonshire countryside, where one is surrounded by lush green hills and rolling landscapes. I’m writing this blog from the dining room where, during the retreat its known as the writing room. I am sitting at a large Victorian mahogany table looking at an incredible view of green pastures, sheep, a lamb gamboling and a hazy sky. I can hear cock-a-doodle-doo and a braying donkey…oh my!
This is my second retreat with Urban Writers and I can’t recommend it enough. I arrived on Monday night (for a three night stay) to a welcome dinner of slow roasted pork with the most crispiest of crackling, stuffed butternut squash and green vegetables followed by white chocolate mousse (with a hint of basil) and of course, wine. Charlie, who runs Urban Writers is the most amazing cook and the produce on offer is fresh, seasonal and home cooked. Every meal is delicious…I can smell lunch as I write this and my mouth is watering…need I say more.
Having no distractions, well apart from braying donkey whom I’ve grown very fond of, I was able to write from 7.45am until 8pm with a break for breakfast and lunch, and a twenty minute walk in between. In all, I got so much writing done. It is a very relaxed atmosphere and on this retreat were six writers: one is a published author who is working towards a deadline for her second novel, two of us are doing a creative writing degree, there’s a playwright, an interpreter on his second novel, and an ad exec. Some of us wrote around the mahogany table, others wrote in their cosy bedrooms; it’s an interesting group.
The accommodation is more than comfortable, mealtimes are spent together and there’s a cake break (homemade) at 4pm or thereabouts.
In all, this has been a very welcome retreat. I’ve spent my time writing and achieved what I set out to do. And so, I leave this lovely place and head back to reality but not before booking my return.