I am very happy to announce that we are now offering courses, retreats and spiritual workshops here at Kylemore House. Many of our visitors have commented on the healing ambience of the house and its garden, and we look forward to offering a fascinating and diverse range of workshops and other experiences.
My own teaching will be taking place almost exclusively here at Kylemore. We have our own page on Facebook, entitled Glastonbury Hermetics, where you can see our current events. The next two diary dates are
Because we aim to provide a rich programme of retreats, experiences and trainings, we will also be hosting events by many other workers in the spiritual field. Our first invited workshop was Eloise Bennett's Angelic Reiki I & II. We were delighted to welcome Eloise and all the students considered the two-day workshop a great success. We have already booked Eloise for more weekend workshops including
Journeys into the Heart© The Inner Path on 8-9 September
If you are interested in our courses, or would like to discuss using our space for workshops, you can contact me directly.
In our first two months' business, we have been blessed with some fascinating guests. Pilgrims and healers; those on a quest of the body, mind or spirit; visitors from Australia, China, Japan, Bali, South Africa, America, Canada, Italy and Turkey.
This morning we were fortunate to have a teacher of English and Drama, a massage therapist and an expert on manuscripts of the Islamic world! It made for a pretty lively and fascinating conversation, and certainly gave the brains of everyone around the table a good workout! While fruit and tasty granola was served, people described their background and journeys. Over toast, rolls and eggs we got into pretty deep territory: the difference between words on a page and a real-life performances of theatre and music; the amazing memory of bards and ancient poetry recitors; the relationship between theory and practice; and how this relates to religion!
It may have been the good and strong coffee we serve here at Kylemore House, but the ideas were certainly flowing and I learned a lot from our guests, as I have several times since we opened.
Other mornings may have a more quiet, meditative mood as croissants or even a surprise birthday cake created by Sally are enjoyed in peace and the day's events are planned.
Glastonbury is endlessly surprising. Pilgrims come here with their own wisdom and expertise, and alchemy can happen amid yoghurt and strawberries at 9am just as much as in a conference or seminar.
We do enjoy magical meetings here at Kylemore House. In fact they are part of our mission statement. So stay tuned for more announcements about workshops, salons and meetings!
Reasons to visit Glastonbury #100
Just outside Glastonbury is one of the finest bird reserves in the West of England. Ham Wall Nature Reserve, is a wetland teeming with birds and other wildlife. The old peat diggings were allowed to fill with water and today are home to some very rare birds. I’ve often heard, but never seen, the shy bittern, now happily nesting and breeding. The male’s booming sounds like a low bass guitar note being twanged through a big speaker; once heard, never forgotten. The swooping marsh harrier, one of the largest of the harrier family sweeps majestically from high stands of trees. Tiny kingfishers flit along the shadier banks, and if you’re very lucky, you might see an otter.
Other easy to spot residents are the many herons, swans, ducks, and the very beautiful Large Egret, now a common sight. Ravens have been seen in the big trees at the Sharpham end, and several cuckoos have been spotted recently.
But one of the main attractions at Ham Wall is an ordinary bird: the starling. Not very exciting on its own, but in thousands, swooping aerobatically through the evening sky as if following a choreographed dance sequence, they are one of the most entrancing sights.
Even if birds are not your passion, the landscape is starkly beautiful – huge sky with golden reeds to the horizon, and an amazing view of Glastonbury Tor across the levels. Lovely for walking, enjoying the open air, and cloud-watching.
Nearby Shapwick Heath, Westhay Moor and the Avalon Marshes Centre form the remainder of the group of nature reserves preserving our beautiful wild Somerset places.
No, it’s not me in an LBD with a diamond necklace. More likely a flour-smudged apron with a tea towel on my shoulder.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even though I don’t eat it. Why? Well, it’s the meal we serve our guests so for us it’s an opportunity to interact with people, give them food and drink, and hopefully send them on their way feeling satisfied and looked after.
We agonised for months over what to serve our guests…we had long discussions about Full Englishes vs. raw smoothies, working from what we regarded as two extreme positions to a compromise centre ground.
We eventually decided on a mixture of cereals, always with fresh fruit, toast using artisan bread, and something freshly baked from scratch by myself: scones, healthy muffins and so on.
This has worked very well so far, we have been complimented on the taste and appearance of our breakfasts.
My banana and walnut loaf has been a great success, so I’m going to share the recipe here. It’s a classic recipe which I’ve tweaked slightly, it’s easy to make and just as good at afternoon tea as at breakfast – assuming it lasts that long.
Banana and Walnut Breakfast Loaf
125g (4oz) butter
180g (6oz) caster sugar
Pinch of salt
4 medium bananas – ideally nice and ripe.
250g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
125g (4oz) walnuts roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
Butter a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
Mash the bananas with a fork.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and light and then whisk in the mashed bananas.
Add the egg, milk, and a pinch of salt and mix well. Sieve the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes to one hour. Check it’s done by piercing with a knife or a skewer, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin, and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Slice and serve with fresh butter.
From the Stony River to the Sky