What better place to begin than with a photo of the plush armchair in which I spent my writing retreat, and my laptop. You’ll notice that I’m not one for a spartan attic. My radio is visible (for The Archers, of course) and just out of sight, I have coffee, tea, large quantities of cheese, wine and so on.
Seekers is a non-denominational, non-sectarian centre, which offers prayer and healing, but it also offers quiet, comfortable guest accommodation (see the above photo), where people can stay for whatever reason they wish. Each visitor has one of the terraced cottages that surround a green.
I was not alone on the retreat- I went to Seekers with friends Rosie Dean and Cara Cooper, both of whom have been before. For me, it was my first visit. In the second photo, you’ll see Rosie’s room on the left, and mine on the right. Cara’s cottage was next to ours.
Half the fun of a writing retreat is to talk with friends over dinner in the evening about what we’ve been doing in the day, and to attempt to sort out each other’s plot problems. It’s amazing how easily someone other than you will see something that you can’t see for yourself. And there’s no nicer place for this discussion than in a restaurant.
A healthy mind and a healthy body are desirable attributes, and the area around the Seekers is perfect for walking, especially when the woods abound with snowdrops. When one of us was in the mood for a short break, she’d ask if the others were so inclined.
In the photo on the left, you’ll see the woods. To the right is the view looking towards the golf course. Alas, my photos don’t do justice to how attractive the area around the Seekers is.
It was also possible to have a slightly less healthy sort of break during the day. Seekers has a little café which sells coffee, tea and homemade cake on certain days of the week. There are worse things to do while waiting for inspiration!
At the end of our time there, we all felt we’d achieved a great deal: we’d had some great conversation; eaten one of the best chilli spaghetti and prawns ever in a lovely restaurant in the very attractive nearby West Malling; Cara had bought a fabulous pair of boots, and we’d all achieved an impressive daily word count. It was a win/win situation and I would happily go there again.
All good things have to come to an end, and Cara’s came to an end the evening before Rosie and I left. So from the remaining two of us, CHEERS!