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Busy few weeks at A Place to Write

It's been a busy few weeks at A Place to Write as we have welcomed our son, Alex, back for a short break from Australia, launched our new Unique Shakespeare Retreats in the UK and USA, built the foundations for our new Pampered Mums retreats which start in the Autumn, and welcomed some new writers to our April untutored writing retreat this week. Busy, but what fun!


Alex arrived out of the blue, delivered by his siblings from Manchester Airport on Easter Sunday. He's only here for a few weeks but it is wonderful to have him back and the surprise of seeing him so unexpectedly was overwhelming. He has already mucked in with the work on the stone circle - clearing far more ground, far more quickly, than I ever could. He has even found what appears to be, possibly, a Victorian ice house below ground. The history and magic of this place continues to astound us.


A steep, overgrown hillside with undergrowth and weeds and some branches covering the hillside. In the middle is a young male in his mid-twenties, wearing maroon trousers and a black hoodie, looking towards camera giving a thumbs up sign.
Alex in the Overgrown Quarry

When Alex arrived, our busy few weeks had already started with the launch, in late March, of our first set of three Unique Shakespeare Retreats for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of Shakespeare's works, or who simply wants to discuss and debate the plays with like-minded enthusiasts. All the usual A Place to Write benefits are included: luxurious ensuite rooms, full board (with Wendy's marvellous menus) and, of course, all the breaks with copious amounts of chocolate biscuits, coffee and tea. The first bookings have come in - the Tragedies retreat seems particularly popular - and we are really looking forward to welcoming our first Shakespeare retreaters in the autumn.


Old looking books laid open with a blood spatter across one of the pages. Standing on the pages are nine miniature figures, resembling tiny chess pieces, but dressed in Elizabethan clothes like characters out of Shakespeare's plays. They are listening to one of the figures, in the middle of the group, who is speaking to them all.
Facebook Advert for Unique Shakespeare Retreats

Another group we hope to welcome for the first time in 2024 are hardworking mums who need some self care and who are looking for a chance to have a break in stunning surroundings with both pampering treatments and creative opportunities along the way. These retreats will be launched early in May, with the first full paying version taking place in the autumn. We are looking at offering a trial version before then, with a unique guest list! These retreats will provide a proper pampering, again with all the usual benefits of A Place to Write. If you know a hardworking mum who deserves a break at an affordable price with all trimmings, let her know about this upcoming delight. Dates will appear on our website soon.


Photo of large bedroom looking towards window in background. IN foreground on left is a kingsize bed with white duvet, assorted cushions and blue throw. On the end of the bed is a white bath robe and bath towel. On the right of the image is a blue sofa with cushions and in the background, in front of the window, is a writing desk with chair. The window itself is a sash bay window with 32 panes of glass across its full width. Beyond the window there are tree tops in the middle distance and a mountain in the far distance, with blue sky above
Room with a View at A Place to Write

Finally, this brings me to this particular week and the absolutely delightful Lydia and Stephanie who have joined us to develop their novels on an untutored retreat. I am currently in the final stages of writing up my own thesis and these two beautiful people have inspired me as much as, I know, A Place to Write has inspired them. This morning they have headed off to a local place of interest which features in one of their stories; it's great to see guests making the most of the incredible history which surrounds us here in North Wales. Last night, as regular retreaters will recognise, we played Perudo in the dining room. Stephanie had beginners luck and Lydia was a very quick learner of strategy but the end result was the same as usual: I lost! Lydia kindly suggested it might be because I am expecting to be playing with people who use strategy appropriately rather than plucking numbers from fresh air, but I think she was being kind. Just two more full days with their wonderful company - we have been so so lucky with our guests at A Place to Write over the past twelve months and this week is up there with the best.


As mentioned, I am in the process of writing up my thesis ahead of submission - hopefully - later this summer. On a personal level I was thrilled to see the discovery of a room in Pompeii where black walls were adorned with golden images that, in candlelight, might have appeared to hover magically in space, flickering with the naked flames. As Alex said: 'they were thinking about the effects of candlelight illumination 2000 years go - it's inevitable Shakespeare must have done too!'


Room recently excavated at Pompeii revealing black painted walls on which there are small colourful images of people in family groups
Black Dining Room with Wall Paintings - Pompeii

Anyway, look out for improved marketing - hopefully - over the coming months, as we consolidate our offer and get better at communicating it too. And watch out for the opportunity to become a member of our site (if you have attended a past retreat) with the benefit of special discounts and competitions just for you!


As I said, it's been a busy few weeks at A Place to Write, but we wouldn't have it any other way.


Take care,


Nic


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