Finding Homeground

Creative Exploration in an Uncertain Landscape

Zarine Katrak and Matthew Trustman

12-14 November 2021

Finding Homeground – Creatively Navigating an Uncertain Landscape is an opportunity for us to re-engage creatively with what is fundamentally meaningful in our lives and reflect on the direction we want to travel.

There will be the chance to playfully re-reconnect with a deeper sense of self, to take time to nurture the creative spirit and use the experience as a guide. This could enable us to discover what may be helpful to accept and what may be useful to change or to let go of in our lives.

We will draw on creative and reflective experiential activities based in the mindful action of paying attention. These activities will include movement, meditation, personal ritual, story and journal work, visual art, voicework, music as well as talking and listening in small and whole group discussion.

Matthew, Judith, Zarine and Jeremy regularly meet, and during lockdown continued to meet weekly on Zoom. While they are all friends, they are also Sangha members who meditate and discuss practice together.

Questions about identity and how they wanted to re-engage with the world became regular subjects for reflection. They all agreed that supporting self and others to find a more authentic way of living was important as lockdown lifted.

They felt it would be beneficial to deepen the experience of group activities at Hill Cottage. As part of this intention ‘Finding Homeground’ has been devised.

The themes of this retreat revolve around revisiting and identifying our core values and using these as a starting point for creative exploration. This is intended to highlight where we are and where we wish to be in our lives.

The Retreat will also explore the power of ‘Trickster Thoughts’ in derailing the goals we set for ourselves. Diffusing these thoughts can help us to commit to or reaffirm a clear, more resilient path. 

The tranquil setting of Hill Cottage provides a space to experience a journey of self-reflection in a gentle atmosphere of mindfulness and creativity.​

Matthew Trustman

Matthew trained originally as a Sociology teacher at Goldsmiths College and went on to postgraduate qualifications in educational film and television production at Middlesex University. He worked in Secondary education developing curriculum-based learning materials before leaving to pursue a commercial career in business development within the public and private sectors.

This included working with European, Asian, Australian, North American and Middle Eastern governments and their agencies. Towards the end of his commercial career, he was actively involved in organisational development and training in the IT industry.

In his early 50s while working in organisational training he became interested in the role of the arts in personal and organisational change and took a Master’s training course in Dramatherapy at the University of Roehampton. He went on to practice as a Dramatherapist and to run theatre-based training workshops in communication skills, personal effectiveness and creativity in the UK, and overseas.

In September 2005 he joined the Department of Psychology Roehampton University as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Counselling and Dramatherapy and was for a time Director of the Centre for Creative Continued Professional Development-at the School of Human and Life Sciences. Throughout this time, he ran a dramatherapy practice working in Secondary and Alternative Education with teachers, parents and children.

Since moving to South Shropshire, he has continued in private practice, run a series of residential creative personal development retreats at Hill Cottage Retreat Centre and is Chair of Bleddfa Centre for the Creative Spirit.

Zarine Katrak

Zarine Katrak has a degree in Educational Psychology and Art from Warwick University and a Cert.Ed in Art and Drama from Coventry College of Education. She worked for many years as trainer, facilitator, and writer for national charities such as FPA, National Children’s Bureau, Brook and MIND in the field of Sexuality and Sexual Health as well as Anti-discriminatory Practice.

She devised and delivered a range of courses in continuing professional development, group work in practice courses, teambuilding and creative personal development work for statutory and voluntary sector professionals, young people, and community groups.

For over a decade, from 2000, she worked on a values-based project delivering training to teachers that stemmed from a resource she co-wrote with Simon Blake, “Faith, Values and Sex and Relationships Education” commissioned by National Children’s Bureau. Her commitment to the power of explicit values arose from this work.

Zarine, along with her husband Jeremy Bruce, runs Hill Cottage Retreat Centre in mid-Wales. In her creative personal development work, she has used aspects of voicework, visual arts and metaphor to help participants reflect and connect with a positive sense of self. She also has held a regular supportive space for people to sit in stillness together.

She follows a Buddhist path and enjoys chanting as a practice, as well as singing and vocal improvisation. When not organising retreats and workshops, she designs, paints and prints fabrics and makes practical artifacts for the retreat centre, children, grandchildren and friends.


The following arrangements will be subject to any Covid 19 regulations, in force at this time

Depending on guidelines there will be up to 12 residential places


Friday Arrival for residential participants by 5.00 pm, Supper at 6.00

Followed by a short introductory evening session around 8.00 pm; Saturday 10 am – 5.30 pm and 8.00- 9.30 pm; and Sunday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm


Includes retreat, full board (vegetarian) and single room accommodation

Crog Loft rooms – £280 (2 bedrooms available)

Standard Single rooms – £300 (7 bedrooms available)

Larger Single room – £320 (3 bedrooms available)

The deposit of £80 will be payable at the time of booking.

£15 of this deposit will be non-refundable as a contribution to our fixed admin costs. The remainder of the deposit is refundable if you cancel up to 8 weeks before the event. After that time it also becomes non-refundable unless we have to cancel the event and then your whole deposit will be returned.

The balance becomes due two weeks prior to the start of the event which is non-returnable. If there are circumstances that create a risk of cancellation for you, we recommend that you take out cancellation insurance, in case you are unable to attend.

In the unlikely event that we need to cancel or postpone, a full refund of what you have paid to us will be offered. Our liability is limited to what you have paid for the retreat or the workshop, therefore travel insurance is recommended, if you have booked tickets to get to Hill Cottage.

Booking: please contact Zarine for a booking form or more information using the email address below. Thank you.