Birds of a Feather
(Photo from a magical retreat to Peacock Pavlions, Marrakech - returning here
in 2023 - look at the peacock plates too!)
We have a woodpecker (a European one no less, yes had to Google that) with a bright red crown and black moustache who regularly visits our garden and has been doing so for years. I’m sure it’s the same one each time too, as he always returns to the same spot. I’m always really excited to see him, so much so, I’ve named him Woody (original I know) - anyone remember the woody woodpecker song? showing my age there and if it’s now stuck in your head, sorry about that! Anyways, much to my kids dismay, I can’t resist filming him ... every ... single ... time - he’s a confident fellow too, not bothered in the slightest by my attention, I often wonder if he’s looking at me thinking what was wrong with the last 10 videos she took of me? Have to laugh. I’ve also bought myself a rather nifty acorn tree feeder from a trip to the Columbia Road Flower Market with my friend Kaz (which makes for a lovely Sunday morning out btw if you live near London) … yup, it's fair to summise life is pretty wild round here at the moment!
Keeping with the theme of feathered friends, if you read my journal last month, you’ll know that I met the ‘fairy godmother of all small businesses’ Holly Tucker MBE at a Women’s Day breakfast recently, where I received a copy of her book called ‘Do What You LOVE What you Do’ – which is brilliant btw. On pg. 156 she talks about the value of finding your flock and making sure you ‘only bring the radiators into your life, rather than the drains’. As it’s still Spring (sort of), she talks about ‘Spring Cleaning’ your groups / flocks by using what she calls the ‘Doughnut Test’ - noting down the people who bring joy and you love being around and those who drain you and bring you grey days. It’s a bit of a tough one this, but once you find your flock (a group who share your interests, values, appreciates, cares for, and supports one another’) your life is enriched forever, which I agree with wholeheartedly and am lucky to have some top birds in my life (you know who you all are). What’s also lovely is that we can find ‘birds of a feather’ at different stages in our lives too, it’s just a case of getting out there doing things you enjoy with a community that shares your interests and values.
When I think of all the women who've come on my retreats over the years, particularly the repeat retreaters, as well as the solo travellers who have now made solid friends, it really makes my heart sing – talking of singing, check out these lovely bird songs thanks to the RSPB – I think my favourite is the Blackbird – great description too “Each verse is different, but all in a rich, fluty, warm baritone. The pacing is relaxed, and more often than not he finishes each verse with a little squeaky twiddle”. Do you quite like a squeaky twiddle, or more of a nasal ‘dweeeeez’? https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-songs/what-bird-is-that/. If you're the creative type, also check out this beautiful Hummingbird you can make at home with 'Paper & Wood' it looks incredible - maybe this is an 'Event in a Box' idea for me? https://www.paperandwood.co.uk/kits/paper-hummingbird-kit
What's Been Happening at Gin & Yin HQ
It's been a quiet month on the Gin & Yin front, other than a visit to Shanti Som in Marbella (see photo below from Marbella Old Town, which is lovely any time of the year - we'll be back here in June). I'm also researching wellness products for my goodie bags from a gorgeous company called ‘The Mindful Apothecary’ based in Sussex (love what I do!). Currently trying Sarah's ‘Retreat’ wellbeing balm with bergamot and neroli and the ‘Strawberry Seed & Garden Mint’ lip balm omm… only the best will do for my ladies. If you love and trust a small business based in the UK who make organic, ethical and sustainable wellness products that enhance your own wellbeing, please let me know - email@example.com
Mountain Retreat , Shanti Som Marbella - 1 Room Left Thurs 9th - Sun 12th June 2022 - - - 'Shanti' means inner peace. A state of mental, physical, and spiritual bliss that leads to serenity and calmness. It's hard to describe in words how magical this place is, but trust me when I say it's the prefect retreat property on so many levels. I have 1 room left which can be taken as a twin or single occupancy with an ensuite bathroom and private balcony. What's included? It's almost all inclusive daily yoga; meditation; transfers; wild walk; mini workshops; most meals (other than Friday night in Marbella). I promise you, if you can make this work, you'll love it here. Deposit £150 - £850 if you're happy to share or £1,100 for your private room - for a bird's-eye view see the video below x
Luxury Barefoot Eco-Retreat, Santa Cruz Coast, Portugal Sun 25th - Weds 28th Sept 2022 - - - "Let yourself go, disconnect, rediscover balance and relax, surounded by nature" Less than 1 hour from Lisbon airport, you'll be transported to the wild Santa Cruz coastline - a place to pause inbetween the dunes and the pine trees - at one with nature. In addition to daily yoga, wild walks and amazing garden to fork food, we'll also enjoy a beginner friendly paddle board session too - remember everything is optional. As always all rooms have their own ensuite facilities. The twin rooms have already been bagsied, however, I have 3 doubles left at £1,150 pp - £250 desposit secures your spot. Any questions please just shout x
Signing off this month with a photo of me and one of my partners in yoga loveliness Lisa (Lisa Dunn Yoga) taken on my Italian Retreat to Le Marche last year. Lisa and I will be collaborating on a once-in-a-lifetime retreat to the south of Sri Lanka early in 2023 - I'll be announcing the dates and full lowdown for this in next month's newsletter, along with the pricing and itinerary on another new retreat to a luxury boutique property in Anagni, a lesser known part of Italy, just a hop and skip from Rome from Thurs 15th - Sun 18th June - for those of you who have enquired about this one, thanks for your patience, I promise I'll be in touch directly shortly with more info. If you'd like to be the first in the know for either of these wonderful adventures, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Taking time out to see life from a different persepective or country can give
us the energy and creativity to live life optimally".
Sarah Kennedy, Author, The Life Plan
Wishing you all a warbly weekend and a tweet week ahead - sorry couldn't resist!
Hopefully see you next month for more Ruthie ramblings - thanks as always for being here.