Here we are, on this August full moon.
A slow shift is beginning, moving back towards life as we used to know it. I hope you are all well and managing the changes as best you can.
The summer is in full swing; some are braving trips away, lots are staying at home. We are currently in the middle of two weeks of annual leave for my husband, which has involved camping and doing projects in the garden. There is something fabulous about a last cup of tea whilst looking at the moon in the clear sky, and then waking up, with a bit of an aching back, to another cuppa in the garden. The dog likes to come in the tent but I think she is quite puzzled as to why we want to be outside when we have perfectly good beds indoors. She tends to want to go back to her comfy space inside at about 4am!
On the theme of staying at home, this lovely book landed on my doorstep a few weeks ago. It was the great idea of Alice Sage (@wide_open_sea) who asked for submissions describing all the different ways people had been creative at home during the first weeks of lockdown. The submissions are incredibly varied, from a home made potters wheel which makes tiny cups, to a reconstruction of stonehenge from Bourbon biscuits. I was fortunate to be included with some examples of the wool blankets I have been making. All proceeds go to Crisis UK, to help the homeless. More info at https://wideopensea.co.uk/athome/
I could go on for hours, but I have been having LOADS of fun with processing raw fleece to spin. Skirting, sorting, picking, washing, teasing, carding are all words with new meaning to me and although it is not the most cost effective process and use of one’s time, the slowness of of the process and the meditative aspect of each stage makes for a thoroughly addictive past-time (if you like the smell of wool, that is 😉
IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT FUTURE RETREATS
I have been busy behind the scenes finding ways through this current Coronavirus minefield. In person residential gatherings are really suffering due to Covid, as gatherings of people involving multiple households and overnight stays add complexity and risk.
The situation has even changed in the few days between writing the first draft of this newsletter and today. Initially there was the possibility of ‘conferences’ (which is as close as I can get in terms of guidance) going ahead from October subject to ‘pilots’ being successful. These pilot events are not now taking place which illustrates the fluidity of the situation and the difficulty around planning.
It is therefore with regret (but not entirely unexpected) that the Autumn 2020 ANOGM retreat is cancelled.
The good news is that we have a date for 2021!
The next ANOGM retreat will be Friday 25th-Sunday 27th June 2021!!!! (Keeping everything crossed, of course.)
I have lots of ideas on how we can run safely as the venue has lots of outdoor space and I am planning on capping numbers to ensure everyone can have their own bedroom, unless you come with and are happy to share a room with someone in your ‘bubble’. Obviously this is still tinged with uncertainty as we have no idea how this pandemic will end but I think planning for next June gives us the best chance of things going ahead.
So , if you are interested, and not planning on going to Glastonbury Festival 😉 set the date in your diary. The venue is Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury, a woodland retreat centre. There will be much more information in future newsletters, but for now, imagine off grid eco buildings, long evenings with campfires, crafting together, stretching together, lovely food and the tranquility of being together in the wood.
I will be in touch shortly with those who carried their bookings over to October 2020, to offer a full refund of monies paid. There is the option to carry the booking over again of course, but I am aware that the timescale is long for holding your money.
BUT HOORAY FOR JUNE 2021!!!
Those of you who have been on an ANOGM retreat will have met my dear friend and yogi Kate, and I really appreciate her contributing to this newsletter:
A note from Kate’s mat:
Yesterday I taught a 71 year old student of mine how to practice Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping). She is someone who joined my beginners yoga course about a year ago having never stepped onto a yoga mat in her life. Over the last year she has overcome physical challenges and obstacles that she never thought she could, and now, with the renewed strength she feels in her body, she is ready to tackle some of the deeper emotional obstacles that have been constraining her. Its an extraordinary privilege to partner someone who is more than 20 years older than me on this journey – I feel humbled by her trust and faith in me, but I believe that people come into our lives for a reason and that we are both students and both teachers – I have as much, if not more to learn from her as I hope she can from me.
What I admire most is her willingness to be a beginner at her age. I often see her on my screen (via zoom), taking far longer than some of the younger, more agile students to walk her feet towards her hands when moving from downward dog to a standing position. She is always the first in to the class because she is terrified that the technology will somehow not work – but she never, ever gives up.
I truly believe she has been sent to me, an angel, if you like, to help me to develop my compassion and to appreciate all that I have.
So, my message to you, this August full moon is to invite you to reflect on the angels in your life who have been sent to you as the gift you perhaps never even realised you needed.
Namaste beautiful souls
Namaste beautiful ANOGM’s
If you are interested in joining me for an online class, just email me at email@example.com, or call 07415 985403. You can also access my free, bite-size tutorials on Instagram @gingertonicyoga, where you can find my current timetable. And if you do want to join in, the first class is free!
Lastly, an excerpt from a poem by Stanley Kunitz, from his book ‘The Wild Braid’
Light splashed this morning
on the shell-pink anemones
swaying on their tall stems;
down blue-spiked veronica
light flowed in rivulets
over the humps of the honeybees;
this morning I saw light kiss
the silk of the roses
in their second flowering.
my late bloomers
flushed with their brandy.
A curious gladness shook me.
So that is all for this month, thank you so much for taking the time to read this newsletter. Please feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow along my creative journey on Instagram @anestofgentlemakers. Please stay well and happy until next time.