The weather was ideal, not too hot, not too wet. And the participants were lovely people who really gave it everything, allowing the magic that’s in the very walls of The Hurst to do its work.
Tom and I invented ‘walking workshops’, using local places for inspiration – so we walked Sowden woods. We picnicked deliciously on the ramparts of medieval Clun Castle and read aloud from Piers Ploughman – in the middle english – we did our best and it was fun! We explored Clun’s extraordinary little museum. We wrote in a holloway, and made our individual paths around the dovecot. We walked the Hurst Rough at night, read night poems to the pipistrelle bats and the tawny owls. We climbed an iron age hillfort and from the ramparts declaimed King of the perennial holly-groves, the riven sandstone: overlord of the M5 (thank you Geoffrey Hill).
Our midweek guest reader was the amazing Amanda Thomson, author of A Scots Dictionary of Nature. Amanda was fascinating, discussing her practice, her sense of place and her new book, Belonging, due out in August.
On the final night, Tom and I listened to a wonderfully varied and entirely excellent series of readings from our participants. Fair to say we all bonded and that the food was magnificent all week. Thank you Arvon, for the opportunity.