Flickering flames, frosted fronds and watery winter light. With midwinter almost upon us, it feels the perfect time for me to share with you the magical weekend that I spent at fforest for the Sisterhood Winter Retreat. read more
Weekends are always precious, but as the days grow ever darker and colder, and the hours of daylight dwindle, the time available for adventuring shrinks to just a few hours. My Granny used to call them ‘ten-til-two’ days, these Saturdays and Sundays at the close of the year. I didn’t just inherit my curls and my love of baking from Gran, I picked up her love of a good day trip, too!
Last Sunday, we set off to spend the day at one of our family’s favourite haunts, grabbing a flask of tea, a camera (of course!), and as many wooly layers as we could find. When it comes to clothes, Autumn and Winter are definitely my favourite seasons. I’m fond of summer dresses and sandals, but it’s the comfort of thick tights, shearling-lined boots and gorgeous knitwear that really brings me joy.
From the moment that we glimpsed them from the Skybus window, a scattering of green and gold islands in the middle of a jewel-bright sea, I knew that the Isles of Scilly were going to be magical. An unexpectedly exotic archipelago just a few miles West of the Cornish coast, the Isles of Scilly are like nowhere else that I have ever been.
Arriving on the islands is like stepping into a long-forgotten childhood dream. Endless sparkling golden beaches, deserted but for the seals and sea gulls; ruined castles; wrecks and tales of historical adventure. Moors to explore; long coastal hills to freewheel down on bicycles; boats to sail and treasure to dig for. Gardens like jungles; deserted cottages; turquoise waters in which to bathe. The spellbinding charms of the Isles of Scilly captured the heart of each and every one of our family.
‘A green thought in a green shade’. It’s a phrase from Marvell’s poem, The Garden, that has stayed with me since my English student days: to my mind a perfect distillation of the calming effect of spending time immersed in nature. This weekend, we stayed in a Yorkshire wood, at Jollydays with Canopy & Stars: a weekend of exploring, sleeping and eating under a canopy of soothing green shade.