Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers
Scotland is up to its eyeballs in fine old houses, but one of them has been the focus of impossible desire for me for quite some years now. Hawthornden Castle sits above the River Esk, just south of Edinburgh and is the home of the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers - 5 writers get to come FOR A WHOLE MONTH of peace and quiet and somebody else doing the cooking, with nothing to do but WRITE! If you get accepted they call you a Hawthornden Fellow - just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it.
Till now, I've never seriously considered applying for one of the fellowships - who can get away from home for an entire month?! - though it didn't stop me fantasizing about how great it would be. BUT since I will soon be living in a son-free house (which would probably be more accurately desribed as a son-empty house - much dread about that) and I am on my last year of piano teaching ... I did apply. And they said yes. On posh creamy paper with an elegant maroon band round the edges. I can't think of a more fabulous early Christmas present! AMAZING!
So next September there I will be - living the fantasy, writing my tiny socks off, with a foolish grin stuck to my face for 30 days. All this, and Christmas too!
I'll be blogging again in 2009, so in the meantime Happy Christmas and New Year - Joan Lennon (J.G.* Fellow)
* as in Jolly Good ...
P.S. I got the photo of the Castle off the internet - Dave Henniker was the photographer.