For the first time in far too long my friend Sue and I managed to escape our everyday lives and retreat to a small seaside crib (batch) for some much needed rest and relaxation.
For approximately three years we have made it a habit to go on a weekend writing retreat every six months or so, but due to bad health, family stresses, work and moving house we haven't managed to get away for over a year.
We had no plans to write this time around. Both of us were just hanging out for the chance to have some down time. We excaped to the Karitane, a little place just 30 minutes drive from Dunedin. There we watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey, went for walks, had coffee with a friend and visited the village of Palmerston. We talked about out books but didn't write a word. It was fabulous!
We could see the sea, and hear its muted roar from our porch. The rain pattered on the tin roof as we curled up in the gloom, sung and warm with our hot cups of tea and chocolate biscuits.
I came away longing for the simple quiet life, free of the rush and bustle, with time to day dream and write and read to my heart's content. I've fallen madly in love with the idea of living in a small tin cottage remincent of a bygone era - with a few of the modern conviences, of course.
It would have lead light windows, tongue and grove walls, a coal range, shelves of glass jars full of all manner of foods on display, cozy quilts, a sand-scrubbed table and worn wooden chairs, a kerosene lamp on the mantle piece and a deep claw-foot bath in the bathroom. Up a narrow stair there'd be a loft bedroom with a steep pitched ceiling and pasley feather quilts on the beds, like Granny used to have.
The sun would spill cross the floor boards, honey gold, and I'd watch the dust motes dance like fairies on beams of light. I'd stand at the door, feel the breeze kiss my lips, taste the changing seasons and perfume of growing things. Sitting before the fire, flame heat warming my toes, my fingers would play over the keyboard turning inspiration into words. Ah, sigh. Dreams are free aren't they?