I arrived to Moniack Mhor at night, being picked up at the airport and driven by the wonderfully enigmatic Gordon in the twists and turns of country roads. Stories of owning wolves and love and loss in the front seat of a mini bus began my magical time.
He took me by torch light alongside the main house and into the tutors cottage, where I was met by my co tutor ( whom I’d never met before) Roddy Woomble and a roaring fire.
The next day, I opened my my curtains to the most breathtaking view right to the distant mountains. The sky was moving fast and there was a rainbow as bright as crayons perched so beautifully next to the hobbit hut that it felt like a show put on especially for us.
Meeting the group is always daunting from my previous Arvon retreats as you want them to feel at ease and ready to creating.
The group were by and large the loveliest, broad ranging, funny , talented lot and I have a massive amount of love for them and the journey we all went on.
Every day our tasks were helped by the staff being there but never getting in the way. The food took us through intense working days, from fresh eggs from Heather’s hens to the buffet lunches and lovely tried and tested recipes, cooking with a member of staff and some of the group from the week.
Many other writer friends have told me of the magic of Moniack Mhor. But waking up with a changing view from darkening skies to a whole canvas of bright blue, to a blizzard that took out the mountains, to the aftermath of fresh deep snow like the blank pages we were to fill.
I always hope that in a retreat we can create a family, a week that fills us all like a redeemer and can carry us through the other parts of our lives.
Moniack mhor is that and more.
Thank you to the generous and friendly staff, the location, the ideology and well… that thing you cannot really describe because …. well it’s magical