During our 28 years as a Writing Centre, we’ve seen many familiar faces regularly returning for various courses and retreats. One of those familiar faces is Margaret Jean. It’s always a pleasure to welcome Margaret back to Tŷ Newydd or to have a chat over the phone. This week, she’s here on the Yoga Retreat, and it’s the perfect excuse to ask her to jot down some of her memories of Tŷ Newydd over the years…
On a lovely summer morning, I can’t think of a better place to retreat to than Tŷ Newydd, Llanystumdwy. As I relax and settle down for a four day retreat with yoga, under the guidance of Laura Karadog, a wealth of memories return about my many visits and courses between 1989 and today.
I first saw the advertisement in Y Cymro newspaper; it was advertising the new Writing Centre and a course with Irma Chilton – the notable author who’s written extensively for young adults.
It was a retreat of some sort that I came on that time as well – a retreat from the reality of loneliness. I owe a lot to the centre, and over the years I’ve proven both healing and happiness through writing in Welsh and English, and returned home with a wealth of creativity.
I am yet to find enough self-courage to present any of my work, and by doing so, pay a worthy tribute to this wonderful, inspiring place. T. Gwynn Jones, the Welsh poet, wrote about Rhos y Pererinion – a place where all of your worries disappear and you find yourself at peace. Tŷ Newydd is my Rhos y Pererinion.
Margaret Jean Jones, July 2018