During the last three days of January 2020, the Foodscapes cluster of CSPS organised a writing retreat in Utrecht. We had rented two rooms in the Kargadoor, a socio-cultural centre which uses the income from the rooms for its cultural activities. Our rooms offered place for twelve writers at a time. A total of fifteen people joined the retreat for one or more days.
Every morning we shared what we aimed to work at that day. People then started working quietly. Around eleven o’clock we took time for a short stretching session, sometimes more yoga-like, in other cases participants were planking or doing jumping jacks. A vegetarian lunch was served at the Kargadoor itself, after which we made a walk. During each of the three days we strolled through different streets, seeing different parts of the city. We then continued writing, interrupted only by another stretching session. The first evening was finished in Ethiopian restaurant Sunshine, where we shared both stories and a great meal.
We look back at a very pleasant writing retreat. The atmosphere was great and there was ample time to write and get work done. The participants made great progress: papers and proposals were submitted, interviews were coded and great starts with new work were made. People also used the opportunity to work together on ongoing communal projects or discuss new ideas. This was stimulated by the fact that the retreat was joined by people from various chair groups, getting to know each other, and because people not usually in Wageningen (because they no longer work there or are external PhDs) participated as well. All in all, a successful writing retreat!