The Roadmap to Retreats!
I hope this finds you feeling well. Today in the New Forest it is a beautiful day; bright, sunny, not too cold. Bulbs are poking their heads out of the ground. Today Pippa and I heard several woodpeckers hammering away in the trees. There is a tentative feeling of optimism in the air. And that has, of course, been helped by the unveiling this week of the ‘roadmap’ for the UK to come out of lockdown.
And so, I can finally start to get a sense of whether the ANOGM retreats are going to be possible this year. It seems that if all goes to plan, the Summer 2021 ANOGM retreat at Hazel Hill Wood may well be the most perfectly timed retreat. But of course, many a slip and all that, so I am well aware that we still may not be able to have an in-person retreat, despite months and months of planning.
SO! This email is mainly going to be focussed on my current plans for the June 2021 retreat, details of how booking will be opened up, a little glimpse of the classes we have lined up for you, and the contingency plans for what will happen if the country does not open up in time. Oh yes, and some news of retreats in October 2021.
ANOGM Retreat Summer 2021
Friday 25- Sunday 27th June 2021
Assuming that all proceeds as planned with the UK lockdown roadmap, I am delighted to tell you that we are planning to run an in-person small retreat at Hazel Hill Wood near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK. This will take place from 4pm on Friday 25th to 2pm on Sunday 27th June 2021. This is the week of the Summer Solstice and also the Strawberry Full Moon. If the weather holds and we are all allowed out to play, it will be glorious!
Think off grid eco buildings in a 70 acre private wood, creative classes including knitting and mending, yoga, walks, campfires and connection. This will be an intimate retreat of 13-15 attendees. Each attendee will have their own room to ensure Covid-19 social distancing. It will be possible to attend as a pair within your social bubble and share a room. The cost per person for the weekend will be £390 which includes accommodation, teaching, food and drinks.
Next week I will be writing to the folk who have registered a provisional interest in the retreat, or have carried a booking over from the cancelled retreats in 2020. Once I know who is definitely going to come and deposits are paid, I will open up booking to everyone else. Watch this email space!
We will only be running the retreat in person if the road map has gone as planned and the country moves into Step 4 on the 21st of June. As the timings are quite tight, if there is any slippage at any other points between now and then (up to one week before, according to GOV.UK), we will not be able to run the retreat.
If we have to cancel the in-person retreat we will be offering a VIRTUAL RETREAT on the same weekend, which will cost £75. We have therefore reduced our usual deposit to £75.
In the event of the in-person retreat being cancelled, we will offer you a full refund, or the opportunity to take part in the virtual event, and so we will keep the deposit after agreeing this with you. We will also open the virtual weekend up to a wider audience. The virtual event will include opening and closing circles via Zoom, yoga classes with our resident Yogi Kate via Zoom, films of walking meditations in Hazel Hill Wood and virtual knitting and darning classes via Zoom.
And so to some very exciting news!!
I am BEYOND delighted to announce our guest teacher for the Summer 2021 retreat. Jeanette Sloan is a hugely talented knitwear designer with years and years of experience. She is a designer, maker, writer, tutor and creator of BIPOC in fiber. We have featured BIPOC in fiber here at ANOGM previously because it is a powerful resource aiming to highlight the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour working in the fibre community regardless of global location or craft discipline.
I first reached out to Jeanette about 18 months ago, before the world changed, and after a series of emails and phone calls I was so delighted when she agreed to be a guest teacher at the Autumn 2020 ANOGM retreat. Of course we did not know what would would happen next, but actually the delays have meant that I have got to know Jeanette much better and we even managed to snatch a delicious lunch together when the UK briefly opened up last late summer. Needless to say, she is a wonderful, talented, warmhearted human being: exactly the kind of person I would love to spend the weekend knitting with.
Of the class she will be offering, Jeanette says:
“For this workshop we thought it would be fun to explore one of my most popular designs; the Dionne shawl. It has a simple triangular construction, worked from the bottom up with two different lace patterns falling in columns down the length of the shawl. What makes this shawl so fun to knit is that once the lace edges are set and the first repeat of each pattern has been placed you can settle into enjoying the knitting. But for this retreat Charlotte and I thought it might be nice to throw in something a little extra. First we’ve updated Dionne to a sport weight yarn which means you’ll see much faster progress than if you were knitting the original 4ply version. Next we thought it would be helpful if I guide you on how the shawl is shaped and the sometimes tricky ‘3 sts from 1’ increase in the teardrop motif. And last but not least I’m going to offer you a couple of alternative ways to edge your version of Dionne.”
So this is going to be an amazing opportunity to learn from on of the UK’s leading knitwear designers. We will guide you through the process- recommending yarn and where to get the pattern prior to the weekend and then together we can think about and get started on this beautiful shawl. There will be plenty of time to knit during the weekend and then hopefully we can all carry on at home. As I know from my lockdown shawl knitting, the support of some fellow knitting buddies can be invaluable in getting the shawl made.
Aside from Jeanette’s workshops, I will also be running a ‘Beginners guide to darning workshop’. As you know, I love mending, both sewn and darned. I will be running a class that will take you through the basics of darning, where we will discuss what to use, how to use the stitches and work on a small sample of darning a woollen fabric. You will be mending socks in no time!!!
As ever we will have glorious yoga sessions with our resident yogi Kate. Those who have been on retreat with Kate or have attended her classes at other times will know she is a highly skilled teacher and deeply compassionate human being. We will have a more active class in the morning both Saturday and Sunday (although nothing too strenuous!) and a restorative class later in the day on Saturday.
So all in all, if all goes to plan, this will be a wonderful in-person, intimate retreat. If things don’t go to plan, it will be a wonderful, virtual retreat!
I would be very interested to know how many people would be interested in taking part in a virtual retreat, if we don’t manage to gather in person? Please could you hit the reply button on this email and let me know? Absolutely no obligation but I would be very interested to be able to gauge interest. Although meeting virtually is less than ideal, I think you will agree that good connections (of the non wifi related type!) are possible and there are ways to fully immerse yourself such as keeping a candle lit all weekend, or maybe camping in your garden (!). We will also ensure there are gaps between sessions so you can nourish yourself as necessary and take part in life away from ANOGM.
Later in the year, we have been given an amazing opportunity to host retreats at the Boconnoc estate in Cornwall. I am delighted!! You can find out much more on our website on the ‘Future Retreats page’ https://anestofgentlemakers.co.uk/future-retreats/ and the first opportunity to sign up for those retreats will be announced via our newsletter.
So hopefully all that information is not too overwhelming and maybe has inspired you to come on retreat with us in 2021. Fingers crossed! In the meantime, I love hearing from you all. Please do get in touch and tell me how things are going or if you have made anything recently. I have some lovely things stored up because I wanted to just concentrate on the retreats this month but I have some lovely things to show and tell from friends of ANOGM in future emails!
With much love and thanks,
P.S: I have just taken Kate’s monthly Friday late afternoon Restorative Yoga with Yoga Nidra (deep active rest) session. 5-6.15 pm via Zoom. It was wonderful. Even dear little Pippa enjoyed it and achieved her own deep relaxation right next to me for each pose…………I would highly recommend the session. They will be taking part on the last Friday of each month and cost £10 for a session. These are recorded classes so if you sign up you can take part in the class and then use it in your own time. Contact Kate directly @gingertonicyoga to book. Maybe I will see you there…..