Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Wiltshire Autumn

On the way back from Devon, I stopped off in Wiltshire and explored the River Avon as it runs through the Woodford Valley.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Devon Autumn

So I spent the other week cloistered away on a writing retreat in West Devon, but on the journey back I got to see, and photograph, some other aspects of the gloriously autumnal county of Devon. Here's a taste starting with views around Totleigh Barton and Sheepwash

The River Torridge

 North Tawton

The River Exe at Bickleigh

Friday, 26 October 2018

Totleigh Barton in Autumn - A Sort of Diary

Last week I undertook a week's tutored writing retreat at the Arvon Foundation's Totleigh Barton Centre in West Devon. I met some lovely people. I wrote poetry. I wrote a diary. I took buckets of photographs. Now the question is, what should I do with them?

I've whittled down the photos by roughly two thirds (I said I'd taken a lot) and I am compiling them here with some written words, as a form of scrap book or diary or, shock horror, an actual web log of the week in question. There are, I hope, some good photographs in the set, there are also some less good photographs, but some good memories.

I was allocated a room in the farmhouse, The Monk's Room, so-called, I presume, because it is small and cell like (and bracingly cool).

 It has a fine view over the neighbouring field and the car park).

 On a misty wet day, I walk the boundaries, explore the estate and take photographs
 This is the modern pod where half our tutorials take place.

 The herb garden

The Monk's room - external elevation

The farmhouse is cupped within a river bearing valley, surrounded by hills, cows and some rather wonderful views.

 I take a walk out of Totleigh Barton, through the farm and along the road towards the village of Sheepwash

The River Torridge flows alongside the road

 A sunny day view from The Monk's Room

There are fourteen of us in total and two tutors. Some of us take a walk. The poet Liz Berry, one of our wonderful tutors, joins us.

 Photographers, like poets, are always present but rarely visible. The photo on the right shows us gathering for the walk. It was taken by Ysella Sims and is proof that this poet and photographer was present.

 After dinner, the Barn is our evening gathering spot

 Spare toilets, boot rack and back door.
 Our final night and our week culminates in readings from all fourteen of us. Liz Berry and our other brilliant tutor, Ian Duhig, prepare the space for us.

Group photo (sans your humble photographer)