I’ve already been on a couple of Guitar Retreats this year one in Portugal away back in January and the second in June to the Dordogne. I was keen to go on this weekend as much to visit my good friend and tutor Paul Nicholas as to attend the Retreat itself. I met Paul many years ago on one of the first Guitar Retreats I ever attended in The Cotswolds. He was there as a punter as well and not the tutor. We hit it off as soon as we met and we have kept in touch ever since and I visit and stay with him and his wife any time I am in the general area or when I’m going to one of the Retreats he is teaching at. Paul was teaching on this weekend and I travelled down to stay with him for the night before driving to Ross-on-Wye. Stu Marshall, who is another tutor and the owner of Guitar Retreats, was also staying with Paul.
Glewstone Court is an Edwardian House just outside Ross-on-Wye, last year I’d been at another Retreat here and it is a wonderful venue with great staff and fantastic food, it has a real country house feel to it. Unfortunately, it only has eight rooms and as the course was full Stu had asked a couple of us to stay at the Premier Inn down the road which worked out fine as we only really slept there, eating at Glewstone Court and Paul ferrying us back and forward (they are only ten minutes apart). The course was fantastic, billed as “Festive Fun” and we covered lots of Christmas songs as well as Christmas number ones. It was a great weekend and a fine ending to Guitar Retreats for the year.
I had arranged to stay with friends in Leatherhead for a couple of days after the course. Chris had been on the Retreat with me and he and his partner Sue were house and cat sitting in a large modern house just outside the town. I met Chris and Sue a number of years ago at another Guitar Retreat and we have become good friends. Last year they had planned to go sailing with me but the weather took a turn for the worse and they ended up staying with me and we did some stuff around Edinburgh. I have stayed with them at Sue’s home in Cobham.
It was great to see Chris and Sue and the house whilst not to my taste was rather impressive.