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First Pollevie retreat @Wickfarm

First Pollevie Retreat at ‘Wick Farm’

Almost a year ago I was in Brighton to give a workshop at C&H.I would be there for two weekends in a row. Penny had signed up for both workshops together with Sian. She cheerfully came in with the announcement that she could not crochet, but that she was  my biggest fan and that she would probably learn in the two workshops she signed up for.

People like this always make me happy , with the motto: “I’ve never done it so I think I can do it.”

After the start of the workshop I had some time to chat with Penny and she told me about her creative farm that also serves as an Air bnb where I had to come  to give a workshop. It was in Somerset and it was beautiful. Those were her inciting words.

I get these kind of offers from all over the world more often, and I would love to visit them all. But well…. I am also a single mother of 3 children who are all still in primary school, have a job 2 days in the week as a teacher at the local primary school and have little time. So I told Penny that I realy wanted to, but I didn’t have the time. But Penny wouldn’t be Penny if she didn’t leave it at that.

Once home she sent me pictures of her amazing farm . I fell in love instantly. What a beautiful location !!! I could have lived there myself. All rooms had a different color and nice big beds made up with floral bedspreads and lots of pillows. In addition, each room was lovingly decorated with cupboards, mirrors, nice lights, paintings. Really beautiful. I decided I was going …. I started Looking for a vacation in wich I could go there by car.

It would be the autumn vacation, still many months away.And it would also be the very first Pollevie retreat, a mini holliday in wich partisicpants stay for 2 nights and have a workshop spread over 2 days. Someone might actually get a project finished . Soon the subscriptions started to come in. Even two ladies from America flew over to attend this first Retreat.

After many months of waiting and longing with plenty of other activities in between, it was time to pack my bags and leave for Wick Farm. Two of my 3 children would come along on this adventure and with a trailer (full of yarn and shawls) behind the car we took off. We took the ferry from the ‘Hoek of holland’  to England on Wednesday evening, because I would first give two workshops at Loop in London. On Tuesday the journey really started. With the navigation and the English radio on, we prepared for a 4-hour drive to beautiful Somerset. We were looking forward to the lovely green landscape with stone walls that England is so famous for. We were en route to a small town called “Wick” near Langport, near Stone Henge. After a few hours we arrived and drove into the yard of Penny’s beautiful estate. We were greeted by her as she emerged cheerfully waving from her “craft shed.” The children had been sitting still and sleeping long enough so they disappeared right away into the huge garden.

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Penny had not exaggerated. The farm is located in a rolling landscape and consists of two large buildings and a number of sheds. Around it a beautiful garden that is well maintained. Consisting of different parts such as an orchard, herb garden, flower orchard, labyrinth, meditation garden and so on. After a warm hug Penny showed us around “Wick Farm”. The air bnb section is located in the original old English farmhouse with very thick walls and small windows. There is a huge fireplace in the living room with nice big couches around it. Through low old original wooden doors you come into a cozy kitchen where all original parts are still present and also modern conveniences such as a toaster, kettle and fridge. The creaking wooden  stairs take you to the first floor. Here are 3 bedrooms, each with a beautiful view, nice spacious beds and each room has its own color. I really enjoy the details such as wooden beams, small passageways and funny tiny windows. Going up another staircase brings you to the attic where there is also a bathroom. Another staircase brings you in my favorite room the turquoise room with two smaller beds but decorated with flower bedspreads and a couch. Amazing! Nice lights and fresh flowers everywhere. It feels very welcoming and like coming home. I can only look at Penny delighted and keep repeating how happy I am that I am here.

Once outside, we cross a gravel path and flagstones where in between  small pieces of mirror and broken plates have lovingly found a place. Through another door we enter Penny’s house; the old milk barn. What a beautiful space! Immediately the large round wooden table in the middle stands out and the kitchen around it. The velvet red couch full of inviting colorful cushions. I recognize a lot from my own house. It’s clear why Penny is a fan of me, and why we get along so well.You enter the sleeping area through a large opening church door. Two bedrooms on either side of the stairs and at the top of the stairs is Penny’s bedroom. This week the kids and I can sleep in one of the bedrooms. The children immediately start emptying the car and feel right at home there. Like me.

 

I have 2 days to prepare the workshop and explore the area. With Penny and neighbor Base we visit a Crystal Shop in Glastonbury, a village known for a huge music festival that takes place in the summer. We see one crystal store after another, but also lots of shops selling incense and essential oils. Alternative stores, organic supermarkets. We do some shopping and go home.When all the goodybags for the participants are ready, and I wrote everyone  a personal card , and slept another night, the time has come. The ladies for the retreat trickle in and get to see their room. Everyone is just as enthusiastic as I am. What a beautiful place!Bags of wool are carried inside and everyone is in a good mood. The kick-off is at 11:00. I explain how the retreat will go , what we will crochet and other household announcements.Everyone  soon finds a nice place and we get to work. Part of the group is in the cozy craftshed Penny so wants us to use where the stove is burning nice and warm. Another part of the group is in the cozy living room of the house. I alternate between the groups and help everyone on their way. Teach them the lotus flower and other techniques. When it’s time for lunch, it’s hard for everyone to pull away from their project. From time to time the yarnshop in my trailer is open where you can buy yarn by Phildar, because this is not available in England. The children manage this yarn-pop-up-shop.Between crocheting, there is also the possibility to have a crystal healing by neighbor Base. He is super good and the ladies who went all loved it, including me.After dinner, a part of the group goes out to dinner, another part decides to stay home, it’s done for that day, and I retreat to Penny’s house to give the children some attention.

The next morning at 10:00 we continue again. Some have crocheted all through the night and are well on their way. Today we also learn different techniques and some would like to crochet the lotus flower again. There is plenty of time for that at the reatreat. It is so different from the usual 5 hour workshops I normally give. This day also ends, I think it is a great shame that the retreat is almost coming to an end. The group is so nice and everyone can get along well. Saying goodbye the next day is hard for me. I don’t want to go home at all. Neither do the children. Fortunately, the next retreat is already planned and I know that I have a new friend. Penny you’ve changed my life! You came just at the right moment.

Would you also like to come to a reatreat on this great farm? The next one is at the end of Feb. You can find more info on my website: www.bypollevie.comAnd more will be planned in the future. It is a real experience!.

 

-x-

Ellen

 

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