Treehouse Retreat

On 15th December 2016 I set off, car bulging with craft materials, for 31 days of blissful solitude in a treehouse near the Pembrokeshire sea.


Click here for the AirBnB link to the Treehouse, where you can see photos and my review.

I was returning to the ‘Land of My Fathers’ – Wales. My Mum was born in Pembrokeshire and she took us there for a week or two every August. When I was old enough, I used to go on my own, to stay with my beloved Grandfather and wonderfully homely step-Grandmother, whom I called Dabbity. They were both teachers and my brother and I used to go and stay with them as teenagers when we were studying for school exams. Although a five-and-a-half hour car journey away from where I live now, the Solva area feels like home. As soon as I cross the Severn Bridge, I get a huge buzz of excitement and sense of belonging.

Every other year I don’t ‘do’ Christmas and this was my year off – sometimes I batten down the hatches at home, but mostly I go off on an adventure, to a place where Christmas doesn’t exist – not always easy to find!

I set off early, so that I would arrive in daylight.

My first impressions of the treehouse were that is was much bigger than I had expected and very warm and cosy. It had radiators in every room and views of trees and fields from every window.

I got there in time to trek backwards and forwards from the car several times unpacking a huge amount of drawing material, sewing and crochet. As the light was fading I walked across the field from the decking and caught my first glimpse of the sea. (this photo was not taken on the first night, but here’s the view that greeted me)dsc_0001

Deep breath!


My journal entry:

I stood and drank in the sights and sounds. I can see for miles up there. I could hear the sea. There was a star twinkling in the darkening pink and blue sky – Venus possibly, and a raven circled slowly towards me and over my head calling a mellow, two note ‘hello’. The lights on a vessel far out to sea twinkled on the horizon.

I was filled with a supreme sense of connection, peace and joy.

I felt at home and welcomed by the land.

The month stretches ahead and I know it will whizz by, but for now I am luxuriating in a great sense of space and time. It is hard to find the words to describe how wonderfully uplifting and nurturing it feels. It feels like heaven!


Day One

Setting up a jigsaw – a sensual experience.

I have brought with me a 2000 piece jigsaw (bought in a charity shop). Whilst sorting the pieces (one of my favourite bits) I was enjoying lifting up double handfuls of pieces and letting them fall through my fingers – the sound and sensation – delicious!

Then a walk as the drizzle was clearing along the path to the cliff, to be greeted once more by the friendly raven and nearer the sea I was met by an agitated chough.

Looping back I followed the lower path, through mossy, swampy woodland where fairies and elves are sure to hang out. Next comes the millpond which spills out into a narrow stream in full spate, wriggling its way to the sea.

Back for more jigsaw sorting at the kitchen table, pushed up against the west-facing window, looking out on the field, watching a magpie investigating mole hills and finding tasty morsels.

I am loving the silence.

It is fairly peaceful where I live, but there is very often the sound of neighbours, hammering or mowing. Here there is the wind, the sea and the birds.

My soul feels like it is quenching it’s thirst and enjoying great gulps of solitude in nature, drinking deep and filling its depleted reservoirs. I’m slightly fearful it will be too much of a wrench to return – but thankfully I don’t have to think about that for a long time yet.




Look at the view from my bedroom window …..

mother ash

…. cradled in the arms of an ash tree and looking down through her branches to the woodland stream below.

The decking is bordered by trees – it feels like one is sitting right in the hedge, like a wren.


The view from the door, perched in an old apple tree, looks back at the house….


….. every morning, from the sitting-room window, I watched the sun rise  over a farm across the valley



It is such a joy to be remembering those feelings of deep relaxation and to be sharing them with you ……….

To be continued




40 responses to “Treehouse Retreat

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  6. I love this post… what a wonderful, inspiring retreat this sounds like. Can’t wait to hear more about it… 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If you were there any longer there’d be a book in it for sure. I really look forward to reading more of your journal entries if they are all this beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Melissa – sadly my poetic bubble burst and none of my entries after that came close! However it is good to know I can tap into that vein – but it does seem to need quite extraordinary circumstances to get me there. I envy those who get there naturally.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you Sandra, lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So wonderfully described, Sandra – such a great experience and so much to recommend it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for drawing me into the magical world of the Tree House with your way of weaving words so evocatively. I feel so happy to read this and want to continue offering this place and way of seeing to others that may come for inner nourishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure Elizabeth. Thank you for your kind words. Good luck with all your wonderful plans for the future. I am so pleased to be able watch your Retreat Centre unfold and develop. So many will be able to benefit from your welcome and the welcome of the land – a magical place for sure!


  11. I loved reading this Daffy. You described it so vividly, I felt as though I was there with you!
    It really is a beautiful area, and right by the sea too! Can’t wait to hear more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahhhhh. I can almost feel the land from here, and it has me nearly to tears. Born in USA, lived in Wales for less than a year as a baby, and have only been back 3 times since (3 heavenly, fabulous times), yet it always feels like home to me. Hiraeth!
    We stay with family, but oh that treehouse! You must feel so rejuvenated and alive.
    Thank you for this wonderfully written account of your lovely journey. With the others, I’m anxiously awaiting Part 2. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Apart from the jigsaw pizzle which I have never really “got”, this sounds blissful. Straightaway I was wondering about food, are the shops close by or did you take enough for a month. When I looked it really did look nice. Seems it was. Looking forward to day two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you say about jigsaw puzzles Cathy. As a child I spent quite a lot of time with my maiden Aunt/Godmother, she always had a jigsaw on the go and we did them together. We also used to visit a friend of hers who had a round table set in a bay window covered with a dark green velvet tablecloth with a bobble fringe. There was always a jigsaw in progress on that table. When my Aunt took me with her on a visit, I would sit doing the jigsaw whilst they drank tea from china cups and chatted – so for me it is partly nostalgia and partly a great way for me to reboot my scrambled brain.

      Food: I took enough with me so that I would not need to go to buy any for at least a week and plenty of tinned and dried stuff in case of being snowed in. The town/city of St.Davids is just a 7 minute drive away and there is a village shop a two minute drive away. There was also a farm which sold fruit and veg in walking distance. As it turned out the weather was glorious for the first 3 weeks so I went out to walk on the beaches most days, passing shops with lots of delicious local cheeses, crabs and Welsh Lamb – more on some extraordinary gastronomic delights in a future post!


  14. Oh, my–what a perfect getaway! I’m going to be fantasizing about this all day! I’ll look forward to hearing more!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So evocative, and beautifully written! Looking forward to the next installment ~~~

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That sounds blissful! I crave peace and quiet sometimes, though I’m sure I’ll miss the noise when the children are older. I hope you feel rejuvenated. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It looks heavenly, but what is an air b & b? Is it expensive to rent?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Air BnB is a website showing self-catering and bed and breakfast places all over the world. They are often in unusual places and if you are looking for something not too expensive and a little bit different it is a good place to start. If you click on the link I have put in the post it will take you to the site. The nice thing about it is that you have direct contact with the owner. I was able to negotiate a price that I was happy with for my stay with Elizabeth, and then you pay a bit of commission to AirBnB for the service. Win, win, win! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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