A very warm welcome!

Thanks for visiting this, my second blog! You can visit Heart and Soil to see what I get up to on our 40 odd acres of land in Exmoor, basketry, crafts and general things and stuff.

I thought I would start this blog off by doing a day by day diary of my 2008 solitary retreat. You can find my posts on the preparation for this retreat over at Heart and Soil on this link:

Many people have said to me that they wish they could do a solitary retreat, because 'they really need one'. That's why I decided to share one of my retreat experiences, to hopefully make going on retreat alone, a bit less mysterious and a bit more 'doable'.

Offered with much love for your continued happiness!

Solitary Retreat Diary

Please remember that in order for the diary section of this blog to make sense you should start from Day 1 and work your way through. At the moment the best way to do this is by using the labels list on the right.

I will compile a links list to make this easier when I have posted the last day... and when I have a minute!


Thursday, 25 September 2008

Day 1 - Arriving

Settling in ok. It's a lovely cottage with a large wooden conservatory attached and good views of the valley and surrounding hillsides. Very quiet.

This is the cottage...

The journey here was long, but totally uneventful and when I pulled into the last bit of track to take me up the hill to the cottage I was relieved not to feel stressed out from driving. Well, that was until my car broke down half way up a very steep stony bit of the track. The little computer on my dashboard told me that it was the alternator and that I should take it to a workshop. EEEEEK! I couldn't have that, so I let the car sit for a bit to calm down and tried again, it started and skidded and cut out again. I rolled backwards down the hill and round the corner to a flat bit and sat, shaking, racking my brains for what to do next. After 15mins of cursing and pacing. I jumped in the car, it started and I just drove up the hill! The car managed to get up even steeper bits of tracks and finally I was at the bottom of the slope that leads to the cottage. Blimey. Could have done without that!

The cottage is somewhere round the back of that mound...

It's taken me about 6 trips up a very steep slope to get to the cottage from the car with all the stuff I've brought (ironic). I'm exhausted, but happy that I've got everything out of the car and up here, as there are storms forecast for tomorrow.

First nights in new places are difficult for me, I'm sure I'm not alone in that. So I've checked out every nook and cranny of the cottage and surrounding gardens! I've organised all of my stuff, and now know where everything is. This, somehow, makes me feel better and I can settle down with a cup of Rooibos and gaze at the view out of the conservatory.

I've just done breathing meditation followed by the Sevenfold puja and then a Just sitting meitation. All in all about an hour or so.

I'm settled in to my bed and feel lovely, apprehensive, happy and confused. Not really sure why I'm here or what I'm hoping to achieve, but I'm glad to be here anyway! Just hope I can get some sleep.

This is the living room inside the cottage...


Andy said...

It looks so lovely, Hen! Poor you and the car! I think I would have reacted just like you at that moment. I can't wait for further instalments!

Anonymous said...

Hi, how are you? I am sending you this comment, because I am serching for blogger friends, and your site is interesting to me. I have an art blog here in San Diego, and I am curious if you would become my freind? Are you up to it?
I hope to see you soon on my art blog, and take care,

Kim said...

This is lovely Hen, I'm looking forward to the next installment. Especially what you gained from your experience.

Kim x

hen said...

It was a bit of a worry Andy!

Thanks for the invite Jesse, I had a nosey on your blog and found it interesting too. Some great artwork!

Kim, the second reason I started this blog was because of what I've gained out of it. It was just impossible to squeeze it into one post!


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