Posts Tagged ‘RNA conference 2012’

A Long Weekend “Up North”

I’ve just come back from five fabulous days “up north”, more precisely Dumfries and Penrith, and I’m exhausted, but had a wonderful time!

The RNA’s annual conference was held at Penrith this year, just south of the border to Scotland, so I thought I’d take the chance to visit my writing buddy Gill in Dumfries first.  The area where she lives is absolutely stunning and when we went for walks I couldn’t stop taking photos so I thought I’d share some with you here.

The Forest of Ae appeals to me especially because it reminds me so much of the Swedish forests near the town where I grew up.  At a distance, they seem almost identical, but when I look more closely there are subtle differences.  For instance, the fir trees in Dumfries are mostly Douglas firs, whereas the Swedish ones are a slightly different variety that are less bushy.  The wonderful scents of pine and greenery are the same though, and we came across a river (in full spate due to all the recent rain no doubt) which made me long for “home”.

And once out of the forest, the far-reaching views, all the way across to the Solway Firth, were just stunning!  If it hadn’t been for the midges, I could have sat there and admired them all day.  I was very sad to leave 🙁

You would have thought that going to a conference held on a university campus would seem like a let-down after all that scenery, but not so.  RNA conferences are always huge fun – talks, workshops, meeting up with writing friends you usually only talk to via the internet, and of course the sessions in the bar and various communal kitchens in the evenings.  It was a non-stop whirl of activity from beginning to end, but I can’t wait for next year!

I leave you with a photo of the Morris dancing lesson, which I confess I chickened out of (was simply too tired by that point and had a six hour drive ahead of me).  I really enjoyed watching though!