I've just got back from a magical week at Swanwick Writers' Summer School in Derbyshire. http://www.swanwickwritersschool.org.uk
It's only half an hour for me, which means I can usually get there with the help of a friend. My nerve damage (result of a car crash 20 odd years ago) limits how long I can cope with the vibration of a car, train, plane, horse, elephant, go-cart.
This year I was especially blessed as my pain levels remained bearable and I managed to stay the whole week.
Here I am by the lake, enjoying an impromptu music session with the wonderful Della Galton. www.dellagalton.co.uk
I was posing, not actually playing, as my shoulders aren't really up to it.
Swanwick is a truly magical place; a place out of normal time. Each time I arrive, I feel I've never been away and each time I return home, I feel bereft.
Swanwick is where, for one week in the year, I get to live in a writers' community and learn and play and muck about and maybe even write a few words. It's my holiday. Then I come back to my normal life. Ouch.
My mission this year is to move back into the city for a bit. I'll have lots of people to visit when I feel lonesome. And one day I'll achieve my dream of living in an intentional community. That's my true quest.
Until then, I need to let the joy of Swanwick, and the friends I have there, live in my heart, alongside all my friends nearby and further afield - then I won't feel so much like a Dickensian character shut up in her flea infested garret, scratching away with her quill.
PS No sign of the little buggers, I may be in the clear. Woohoo. Now to book a professional deep clean.