News & Musings, April 2020

Hello and welcome to the new feature on the website, a place where I can share news, plans and ideas and keep you up to date with everything related to Vistas Sketching Holidays.

I am aware that we are all enduring a very difficult and strange time at the moment and that we’re suffering varying levels of gravity and in many different ways.
Sometimes during times like this it allows us the space to step back and reorganise, reprioritise and, perhaps, create a new kind of existence, especially if the current one is not serving us as well as it should.

I have been painfully aware for some years that many projects close to my heart have failed to come to fruition due to a simple lack of time. One needs to work long hours to pay the bills to buy the time to create the projects to provide the funds to pay the bills. Life becomes a hamster’s wheel. Then suddenly, out of the blue, the time opens up. Yet, perhaps because at first we don’t trust it, don’t quite believe it, it can take a little while to adjust to this, what can only be described as a ‘gift’ (for those of us who are lucky with our health), and start to be productive.
Once I had come to terms with what this all means for my businesses, and figured out how I was going to pay my monthly expenses, I shook myself down and grasped the nettle, appreciating this as the best opportunity to come my way in years: the last time I experienced an enforced period of unpaid ‘idleness’ was when I decided to sit in my cousin’s conservatory for six weeks and create Vistas.

Spring arrived in the Northwest Highlands around the same time as the Coronavirus. Usually a time of much anticipatory scurrying in preparation for the annual influx of tourist visitors, we now have our tiny village to ourselves and can get lost in the wild landscape, able to hear the first cuckoo and watch the otters gambol in the harbour. Suddenly free to enjoy the place with fresh eyes, I have been walking, running, kayaking, camping and sketching, not necessarily one at a time.
At home, I’ve been working on the website: Updating existing trips; improving and extending; rescheduling; remodelling and creating. Two brand new itineraries have now been added to the portfolio: an Artists’ Retreat/Intensive Course (running concurrently) in my favourite part of Morocco, and an exciting new Sketchbook Journey based on the popular NC500 which has captured the imagination and hearts of so many.

Naturally, it will be some time before I am able to run any of the trips at all, but we should not despair. We can choose to use this time for rejuvenation and dreaming.
I am always happy to chat about the trips, about the countries we visit (all of which are missing us as much as we are missing them) and answer questions, so don’t hesitate to contact me with your queries, comments and suggestions.

In the meantime, I will write. That’s another thing I’ve always wanted to do. Every cloud, and all that…