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Retreat in Framework’s second home

Catherine Squire

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5th Oct 2018

A retreat in the Lake District sounds like ‘just’ having fun – and it is! We’ve just finished our three day autumn retreat: our chance to reflect, re-connect, and recharge. It’s like making bread: after all the hard work of kneading the dough, pounding, stretching, and working it in different directions, the dough is just left to rise in a warm place: the ‘proving’. The result is relaxing, aerating, and developing the flavour before baking it into a lovely loaf.

Our retreat helps us to ‘prove’ our work: the warm place where we can digest the experiences and challenges we’ve faced, and distil the learning that will help us to keep improving what we do.

The six of us have been coming to Bill’s family home for a few years now. It’s a small cottage with a wood fire, in a tiny hamlet surrounded by lakes, hills and forests. At this time of year, the trees are turning orange and yellow, and the sheep are fat and woolly in the fields. We sit in comfy sofas with cups of tea and ginger cake, piles of post it notes, sharpie pens, and flip chart paper – the familiar tools of our trade.

We’ve brought with us our whole persons, not just our work selves. There’s been some tension between our desire to focus on our purpose here and the preoccupations of home: bereavement, illness, planning a 90th birthday, caring for elderly relatives. We make space for all of this as well as doing peer clinics, sharing new resources, enthusing about podcasts, making lists of sci-fi books to read, and a new highlight: a mass singalong to the ukulele!

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