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   Sharon Black

Sharon Black

Having worked as a journalist in the city for many years, our arrival in rural France in 2001 proved a bit of a culture shock to say the least. When we founded our first retreat (a small venue called The Sun Centre, just a few miles north of where we live now) our children were very young and I poured all my energies - what was left of them - into being a mum as well as helping Alex set up the business.

A couple of years later, I completed a training course to become a qualified Louise Hay (author of 'You Can Heal Your Life') workshop facilitator, having been helped enormously by her self-development ideas in my own life, and I worked for a time with individuals and groups, sharing her ideas and methods.

Since then we have moved location, buying the beautiful hamlet of Gardoussel in 1995, and have set up a larger venue for our holiday courses. A lot of renovation and building work was required in the first few years and now, with our venue completed and our work-life ticking over increasingly smoothly, both Alex and I have more time to focus our energies where we want them to be.

Recently, with our daughters growing up, I have returned to my original passion of writing. No longer articles for newspapers and magazines but my own poetry. I find living in the mountains to be a source of inspiration (I was going to say 'constant inspiration' but that would be a lie - what writer does not know the shadowy, taloned beast of writers' block?) I also find being with other writers enormously inspiring in itself, and to this end end I have launched a program of writing events - so that I can mix and mingle with fellow language-lovers to my heart's content! Our new venture has its own website www.abricreativewriting.com. Details of my own poetry and debut collection published in 2011 can be found on www.sharonblack.co.uk.

My greatest achievement in life I would have to say is having somehow managed to raise two daughters who are the kind of kids I would have chosen to have, had I been presented with a list of personal attributes when I was heavily-hormonal and pregnant with our first daughter. They are both far lovelier than I could have hoped to imagine - a constant source of amazement to me. Other than that, to have a supportive partner who is happy for me to go off for days at a time to contemplate my literary navel in some far-flung place when I feel the need. (Though on second thoughts that's not really an achievement, is it, more a lucky landing...)

What I love about living and working here is the many wonderful people we have the privilege to meet and to get to know as they pass through our home and into our hearts. There's something special about the place we live in: an intimacy with nature and with others than the shape of these mountains provides. The sky so blue and hills so green that you can almost believe you've stepped out of the normal colour spectrum until you realize that the change is not in the world around you, it's inside.

 

 

 

 

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Gardoussel Retreat, 30940 St Andre de Valborgne, France
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