This has been a long time coming, the first batch of photographs of the Slow Living Workshop at the historic farmhouse, Glenmore House, that I taught with Luisa Brimble and Rebekka Seale this past September. An especially huge thank you to Claire Dickson-Smith, Hetty of Arthur Street Kitchen, and The Floury Baker for providing us with amazing meals—you worked so hard & everything was just beyond all expectations. Food is the heart of these gatherings, and you ladies made it unforgettable. And a big thanks to Stacey Clark for her helping hands.
Rebekka & I arrived at a beautiful flat near the sea on our first day. And that’s where we finally met Luisa. When you know someone’s work, it’s easy to forget that you don’t actually know the person. That you can only know a person by meeting them. Luisa in person is earth and effervescence and unmitigated and a confirmation that being a human being is pretty alright. She’s a wonderful person, and a dear friend, and never in my wildest dreams could I imagine how much I’d love her in real life. Lucked out. And that’s pretty much how we felt the entire time we were in Australia.
I remember it was blustery & cold and that the waves crashing on the shore were ferocious and frustrating—frustrating because my lens couldn’t get close enough, couldn’t seem to do them justice. Every Australian I met seemed to see fit to apologize for the weather, and I also remember that there didn’t ever seem to be enough time. It was a whirlwind. Nights eating Japanese food with Luisa, mornings picking Stacey up at the airport in a girlish fit, and an afternoon meeting Aaron at Studio Neon for sandwiches. Each moment spiraling into relationships, projects, and friendships that far exceeded any anticipation I could have ever had. We, too soon it seemed, left Sydney for Melbourne where it happened all over again. And that’s a story for the next post about this trip. Something I’m learning about myself as a I travel is that places are, in the end, constellations of people for me. Food, beauty, history. Those can only ever be a bonus. I don’t fall in love with places. I fall in love with people. Over and bloody over again. It’s starting to feel like I’m leaving chunks of my heart like trinkets all over the globe. It hurts. But it’s worth it. I can see the virtue in keeping your heart intact, but in the end, for me, a heart’s made for giving away.
I’ll be reconvening with an amazing team this coming April in Byron Bay for a creative retreat. I’ll be hosting & teaching it with Rebekka Seale of Camellia Fiber Co., Luisa Brimble, and Aaron Teece of Studio Neon. And my new Aussie friend (that I incidentally met in Tennessee) Lean of the wonderful blog Lean & Meadow will be there lending a helping hand as well. We’re going to be setting up a miniature village of bell tents on the grounds of a cottage with a big garden, and the days will be spent doing everything from foraging to natural fiber dye to weaving to photography and styling and more. And of course plenty of communal meals, lively conversation, and amazing food from Aaron and his Studio Neon team. There are a handful of spots available if you’d like to join us. Tickets are two payments of $1350 AUD ($1040 USD / €960 EUR), and it will be from April 16-20. You can find more information, details, and photos of the property as well as purchase ticketsat Local Milk Retreats now!