Working away and travelling for work is not always as exciting and glamorous as it might sound but I quite enjoy going off to different places to teach, especially when I get a chance to explore and learn more about my surroundings. It would have been easy to have written off my recent trip around the M25, knowing I was staying in a Premier Inn located literally yards away from the M20 near Maidstone.
But after depositing my bags on Thusday evening, I went out for a wander in the opposite direction to the motorway and strolled along the River Medway. It was a beautiful evening and surprisingly peaceful with just boats, walkers and wildlife.
I made an unexpected discovery and spied this castle on the opposite bank
Back at the hotel I was spotted by one of the ladies on my course who just happened to recognise me (the trappings of fame you know!) who asked if I wanted to join her and her sister for dinner and so I spent a very enjoyable evening in their company.
Up early the next day we headed a few miles up the road to Aylesford Priory, a beautiful and fascinating venue, still a working Carmelite priory and shrine, where our two day workshop was being held. The room was well lit and cosy, the lunches were good, there was time for a wander around the grounds and a visit to the pottery. The twelve ladies on my course worked hard on their textured landscapes producing these wonderful pieces of work. They are all yet to be finished off but they will have some lovely results when they are done.
And as usual when I teach a workshop, I worked on my own picture alongside those in class so I could demonstrate each technique as we progressed and I finished up with a rather unseasonal autumn landscape.
So although I've been away working it was in many ways not like work at all and the break from the routine at home was welcome. A change is as good as a rest as they say. Although it was still good to be back home with a glass of wine by the fire on Saturday evening!