My month-long writing retreat at the beautiful Tyrone Guthrie Centre has come to an end. This morning I boarded a bus, along with fellow Australian, Ross Donlon,(an amazing poet by the way!) and took a bus to Dublin. I’m writing this post in the shadow of Christchurch Cathedral, one of Dublin’s greatest landmarks, built after the arrival of Christianity in the 13th century
It’s hard to put into words the effect of my stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. On the writing front, I added 25,000 words to my manuscript. Not a huge jump in word count, but the dedicated time available to just mull, has set the novel on firm foundations. I know where I’m heading. The rest will be easy. What was more remarkable, and heartwarming, was the way the people of Annaghmakerrig embraced me, and I them. There was a kind of unbridled joy and enthusiasm about the place – a daily celebration of the creative human spirit. It was paradise, and I’ve made friendships that I hope might last a lifetime. There’s nothing wrong with listening to Irish accents all day either!
But it was time to leave my Shangri-la. Time to leave Tyrone Guthrie, that mystical, harmonious artist retreat isolated from the outside world. I hope one day I’ll be back. Here are two photos of the same magnificent oak tree that stood outside my window.