Last week on retreat at Rydal Hall was spent in excellent company with gentle strolls, sketching and stitching fuelled by coffee, 'tray bakes', wine and laughter. Woke up on the first morning with snow falling overnight (although it didn't last long). After tearing myself away from the view out my bedroom window, went for a walk in the very green woods with lots of piles of wood. Tried a bit of retail therapy in Grasmere but many shops were shut and the tins from the gingerbread shop washed away in the floods. There was a lot of flood damage evident from huge craters in roads, footbridges out of use as too dangerous ( entailing longer detours) and piles of stones where there shouldn't be , washed up by the flood waters. The main road between Grasmere and Keswick is still out of use.
Another day I walked to Rydal Water and drew until my fingers were too cold to hold a pencil - it was a bit more sheltered in the 'Grot' drawing Rydal Falls. I did some watercolours but have got more into drawing as a result of all the courses I've been doing.
Most of the time though I was stitching and making small collaged compositions inspired by my strolls and sketches, returning home refreshed in body and spirit.