view from our room at West Dean College
This morning at about 5am local time, Christine and I landed in London's Heathrow airport. We then traveled down the 70 miles to lovely West Sussex where we found ourselves going through a large iron gate into beautiful grounds that were just coming into view as the sun came up.
And then? We stumbled into our room, dropped our bags and fell face down onto our beds.
Oddly enough, we both woke up exactly in time for lunch-- funny how that works. And can I just take a moment to say the English sure know how to make a sticky toffee with toffee sauce for dessert-- oh man, why did I not pack my running shoes?
Since I am speaking of packing, what to bring -- what not to bring-- how much is too much-- what will the weather be like-- what will I miss if I don't bring it-- what will I wish I hadn't packed and then lugged for no reason for seven days-- how do YOU pack?** I am thinking it is a skill like any other that if you travel frequently, you become better and better at it. Naturally, if you are anything like me and don't travel often -- packing can be one of the hardest parts of the journey.
** Anyone out there with great packing tips/advice-- I am all ears **
view from our room
Not surprisingly, as we arrived and settled in, all I could wonder is how it is for people as they travel the (sometimes very long) distances to squam. What prompts us to upend our lives for a long weekend or a short week?
For Christine and me, we're here in search of new experience. Neither of us have been to England before-- so just getting to be in the countryside with our cameras in hand, walk about the gardens, down to the village, check out the open studios (West Dean has a range of art classes going on all the time)-- is a big draw. And, we are taking a class with one of my artisan heroes, Julie Arkell-- which for me, after a very long year filled to the brim with change and personal challenges, is one long squeal of joy that I am going to go in to a studio for play, whimsy-- and well, play.
view from our room
Then, when the workshop is over, we will jump a train (or two) and get back to London where we will spend a few days exploring the shops and connecting with some of the wonderful friends we have met thanks to their intrepid souls that brought them to squam in years past.
We hope to share what it's like to be on this side of a workshop retreat with you all-- so stay tuned this week. Let us know if there are any photos you need in particular for us to post if you have a hankering for some English countryside or Londontown.
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