Last weekend (well it was when I started writing this!) I was lucky enough to attend the 'Call of the Wild Soul' art retreat in Oxford led by Wild Souls, Erin Faith Allen, Tamara Laporte (AKA Willowing), and Claire Russell. The retreat took place in the beautiful Magdalen College which is one of the most beautiful places on earth to spent a weekend.
The college is unique in that it has its own deer park, home to Red & Roe Deer, a tower where the chapel choir sings at 6am on May Morning to welcome in the spring and a most spectacular set of cloisters which seem to be the heart of the college and my favourite place there.
I thought the planting of green Hydrangeas interspersed with what I think was a dark Berberis was inspired, and I don't think I have ever seen quite so many gargoyles and statues in one place!
A particular treat was to hear members of the Genesis Sixteen practising for evensong in the chapel . The acoustics must be truly wonderful as from outside of the chapel the sound seemed as if it came from the choir of 100, on investigating however, I found there were only 5 people responsible for making this glorious noise!
Everywhere you looked there were ancient artefacts and items of everyday use that had been crafted with love and care
Then there were the gardens - an oasis of calm and colour especially the stunning herbaceous borders - always a favourite with me,
enjoyed by college members and visitors alike
Even with a fair sprinkling of tourists around the sense of calm and peace prevailed, and this, together with the hours dedicated to making art and connecting with kindred spirits, made for a very special weekend