Last week I was on my 4th annual retreat with NWCQ in the Lake District, the 3rd at Rydal Hall. Perfect timing a week after leaving Kew for some reflective time painting and stitching with friends in a tranquil, uplifting environment. As in previous years, I'm basing Journal Quilts on my sketches (beginnings of first above) and I was lucky enough to have a room this year looking out to the front with a glimpse of Windermere in the distance and remains of snow on the surrounding hills, so I didn't have to venture too far for inspiration!
Several of us had brought 'Gelli' plates with us and I had a go comparing it with my usual acetate sheet (and got a bit carried away as usual with monoprinting - I even used up all the colour catchers I'd brought with me)
Apart from crossing the courtyard each lunchtime for delicious homemade soups at the tea shop, I made only a couple of walking/sketching expeditions.
On my first on Tuesday I was fortunate enough to be doing my annual sketch of Rydal Falls from inside the 'Grot' when there was a sudden hail/sleet storm. 5 minutes later the sun was shining again.!
Rydal Water this time but I enjoyed absorbing the view before heading back for hot chocolate.
On Friday afternoon after a visit to the Quaker tapestry in Kendal and collecting sourdough bread from 'Lovingly Artisan' , I was early for my train which was just as well because all trains to and from London were cancelled because of an earlier broken down freight train at Lockerbie ! After a few minutes panic, advised to take the train to Manchester airport, and change at Preston where I caught up with the train I was booked on so all was well. Arriving back at a packed Euston station ( usual Friday night plus extra mayhem with train cancellations) was a bit of a shock after the tranquillity of Rydal.
We've already made a booking for next year It's such a supportive, fun group ( and lovely location), we feel so comfortable with each other, it just goes from strength to strength.