The Holland House Residential Low Down

Afternoon folks.  There are only one and a half weeks left of the summer holidays – it feels like it has flown by – but I’ve done quite a lot in the six weeks.  On Friday I got back from a residential course run by the Second Light Network (  It was a Monday-Friday course and the tutors were Myra Schneider and Mimi Khalvati.  But aha! I hear you cry, surely this course is for women of 40 and over, and by your youthful good looks etc etc, there is no way you can be a day over 21 Kim! However this is not the case – the course is now open to younger writers, in fact the organisers would like to see more younger writers, and sadly, I am many days over 21, but NOT 40.  You still have to be a woman to attend however. 

Anyway, when I first pitched up at Holland House in Worcestershire, the lovely ladies all looked at me as if I might be the kitchen staff, but once the little matter of why I was allowed to be there was resolved we all got on great.  I was sharing a room with the lovely Hilda Sheehan – and I had the strange experience, for the second time this month, of just immediately hitting it off with someone.  I’m so glad we were sharing a room together. 

We did get told off on the first night for talking too much in our room while someone was trying to get to sleep, so we resorted to insulting each other on Facebook after 10pm – that’s in case anyone was wondering what the cryptic comments were on my facebook page. 

All the people on the course were lovely – in particular Jill and Jennifer who are in the photo.  Mimi and Myra were great tutors and joined in with all the activities.  I would highly recommend the course to anyone around the age of 40 who happens to be a woman – it was very cheap for 5 days accommodation, food and workshops.  And the food was absolutely amazing – I was even inspired this week to cook a pasta bake – which if you know me, you will understand what a big deal this is.

I would also recommend joining the Second Light Network – it’s fairly cheap, you get copies of their magazine Artemis for free and all sorts of other perks – check out the website for more information.  Image

Anyway, I got back on Friday, after nearly eight hours of being stuck on the M6, that bane of my life and then I was up at on Saturday and Sunday to work in a burger van with the hubby.  Hubby’s friend who owns the burger van was on holiday, so in a bout of enthusiasm, we volunteered to run it.  On the second day, I think lack of sleep, lack of food (it’s suprising how much cooking bacon and sausages all morning can make you forget to eat) made me have a funny turn after we’d done our shift in the burger van.  We were walking the dogs in the woods, and my legs went to jelly and I couldn’t walk – so I had to sit on the wet grass and wait until I felt I could walk.  And then when we got home I went to bed and slept for four hours.  The only time I’ve ever felt something similar is a couple of years ago when I had post viral fatigue syndrome after having tonsilitis – the PVFS put me out of action for a couple of weeks so I’m going to have to take it easy I think for this next week – which I have been doing.  And on Sunday the hubby and I are going for a week in Bulgaria, so there should be plenty of opportunities for me to sunbathe while he goes on his mammoth walking tours. 

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to mention on here was please take a look at my ‘Readings and Workshops’ page – I’m reading in Morecombe, Kendal, Lancaster, London and Essex in the next month or so and it would be lovely to see some of you there. 

And if any of you fancy a very cheap 2 day residential course in Grange Over Sands in February 2014 – please get in touch.  The tutors are myself and Jennifer Copley.  I’ll be putting more information up about this very soon!

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