When I last posted I was just about to go off for the Annual Gathering of Growing Old Disgracefully, a three-night residential event at which we all exercise our bodies, our minds, our imaginations and our laughter muscles, as well as meeting old and new friends. Keiwit commented on my last blog about G.O.D.: "It’s just about the most frightening thing I can imagine". Well of course - he’s young, he’s male, and he’s certainly not invisible, which is what we tend to become as we get older. I’m not writing this blog for people like him, although I’m gratified that he should read it, as I think highly of him and recommend his blog to you (see links).
This year we stayed in Sneaton Castle in Whitby on the East Yorkshire Coast. It is a lovely place up high on the edge of the town, which has been successively the home of a wealthy tea planter and a girls’boarding school. It is now owned by an Anglican religious community, and is superbly run by the nuns as a conference centre.
In addition to our business meeting, our programme included workshops on dance, painting, music, writing, healing, and friendships; early morning Tai Chi; a coach excursion; an illustrated talk, a home-made entertainment, and a performance by a great singing group called Sisters Unlimited, whose songs are perfectly attuned to an audience of radical women.
We finished one event with the release of some helium-filled balloons, carrying contact details of the organisation, which were carried off over the North Sea by a stiff off-shore breeze. This picture, taken by Sheila Ashe, captures the spirit of our gatherings.