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Exploring hidden talents on a leisure weekend

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

HF holiday review

One of the things I promised myself when I decided  to divorce my husband was that I would take time to do more of the things that I enjoyed doing – as opposed to doing only the things on ‘his’ list in order to keep the peace.

I have always enjoyed  art, but have to confess to not really having the confidence to draw or paint really since leaving school. I also have discovered , purely by accident, that I enjoy taking photographs – although this was in a way forced upon me as I had to take pictures for the website, I have found I enjoy the creative side of photography – and want to learn more about what  I can do with my SLR. I don’t really have the time at the moment to commit to an evening course or dedicated week’s holiday to see if I enjoy these activities, so a weekend leisure break offering taster sessions in a range of activities seemed the ideal solution.

Which is why I went on an HF Holidays  weekend leisure weekend with a friend . A change of scenery seemed a great idea and combined with the opportunity to do sessions in yoga, drawing photography and singing.

Relaxing Country House Hotel

I went to their Abingworth  location – a country house in the South Downs. We started with afternoon tea on the Friday afternoon, followed by an optional walk to see the local area, a welcome drinks reception and a 3 course meal.

For the first day of activities I chose photography in the morning followed by yoga in the afternoon.   My friend opted for singing and drawing . I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the yoga! I am probably the least bendiest person I know, and I have never had good balance, so have tended to give yoga a wide berth, but I loved the session! Molly, the instructor incorporates reflexology into her yoga poses and at every stage gave us small tips and exercises that made a huge difference in enabling the movement required to do the various yoga poses. There were  some people in the class with limited mobility who were amazed at what they were able to do and achieve after just one afternoon of working with Molly. I would definitely now look at taking a yoga holiday with Molly – unfortunately she lives too far away from me to attend any of her regular classes.

My friend took part in the singing class and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact during coffee and lunch breaks people were talking enthusiastically about the class. On the Sunday evening they had a guitarist playing – and the singing leader got u to sing – the people who attended her sessions got up and gave an impromptu concert – I tried to video some of it on my phone – just as the battery started to die on me!

Rediscovering Drawing

The second day I arrived for the drawing class, where Richard, the instructor, convinced us all we could  draw.  We started by drawing a  plastic cup – with various degrees of success – but halfway into the session we were all able to draw something that was easily recognisable as a boat – using Richard’s figure of 8 technique, and we went on  to discuss perspective, and how to draw people and get the proportions right. I have to confess to my man, although looking in proportion, resembled a Cyber man from Dr Who – definitely not one you’d want to meet on a dark night!

All in all it was a lovely weekend. The people were all friendly . Everyone joined in. The food was lovely and the setting very peaceful.

I came away thinking I should go away for weekends more often – and I would definitely now like to go on both a drawing and a yoga holiday now that the taster weekend has given me the confidence to do so.



Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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