The second half of our fortnight at Bore Place featured remarkable encounters with fantastic speakers and ever provocative workshops. These were punctuated by Sparky's visionary meals (Thursday night saw the fulfilment of my childhood dream of being served two kinds of - delicious - potato in one meal) and musical interludes.
By now we felt quite familiar with one and other. We basked in the glory of an Indian summer. Our walks were gilded in autumn sun that felt benign.
In the evenings, George channelled the ancestral spirits of Kent, playing tunes on his tin whistle, accompanied by William on his guitar and Dylan with a cardboard box and wooden spoons (we are nothing if not resourceful). By Thursday, Maggie Atkinson had us singing Alleluia in three part harmony. Elaine, the Lady of the House, told us that of all the sessions she overheard, this moved her most. We had become a choir (for a minute).
Among the themes that we thought about were: place; access; policy (and politics); identity; and learning. You see, we weren't only having fun. Or perhaps it is that we work best when we remember to play.
Arundhati referred to our last day as "the end of the beginning". And what a hopeful beginning it is. In a year's time, I hope we can look back at this year, not only with wonder and gratitude (which are natural), but also with satisfaction. Satisfaction and surprise at what we create and change, as individuals and as a group.