[LIFE/CANCER] Undertaking a Fly-Fishing Retreat with @CfRUKandI at @Kingennieresort #BreastCancer #Dundee

[LIFE/CANCER] Undertaking a Fly-Fishing Retreat with @CfRUKandI at @Kingennieresort #BreastCancer #Dundee

At the Younger Women Together event last year, someone mentioned Casting for Recovery, and I decided to check it out:

Casting for Recovery retreats are based on the principles that the natural world is a healing force and that breast cancer survivors deserve one weekend — free of charge and free of the stresses from medical treatment, home, or workplace – to experience something new and challenging while enjoying beautiful surroundings within an intimate, safe, and nurturing structure.

In addition to the therapeutic benefits of the countryside and the instruction of some of the most highly experienced fly casting experts in the country, participants are also supported by counsellors as well as highly qualified medical staff. Fly fishing, medical and counselling staff all abide by Casting for Recovery’s motto: it’s all about you, the participant.

I’ve always enjoyed trying new things, and here was an opportunity to try something else (after last week’s exercise retreat). The main pull was the opportunity to spend time with other women who had been through a similar experience, and a weekend away (just before term starts), but I was intrigued by the fishing!

Exploring Dundee

I was really happy to be accepted, and decided to add on some time in Dundee before and after, unfortunately choosing Wednesday’s Storm Ali to travel (sharing the fun of the journey on Instagram). Lovely room at Sleeperz, a meanderfish and chips from Tailend, made it a lovely evening though. Thursday was more exploring, heading to Broughty Ferry, enjoyed the Castle, The Glasshouse Cafe, and Visocchi’s cafe as well as enjoying the beach:

 

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Experimenting with video – may not have held right button down LOL #broughtyferrybeach

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Arriving back in Dundee I headed to the V&A for 3.45pm (missing all the queues from others), smiling vaguely at someone who seemed familiar, realising shortly afterwards that it was Mary Beard. Back to the hotel for a nap, before popping out to meet some new friends for drinks. Friday morning, after a sleep in (not missing that fabulous breakfast of course), headed to Slessor Gardens to see the Penguins on Parade (which yesterday apparently raised £540,000 for Maggies Dundee), before heading off to find Desperate Dan, and the McManus Gallery, currently renamed The McMenace, time to get a Scotch Pie from Fisher & Donaldson and stick my head in the Dundee Contemporary Arts before sitting on a rock and waiting for my life to Kingennie.

Casting for Recovery: Arrivals

Thanks to Nicola and Jenny for collecting me – it’s quite a long way from Dundee out to Kingennie without a car! Arrived at the resort in lovely sunshine (if a little breezy), and started to meet the other women (plenty of chocolate, hot drinks on offer), chucked everything in the room (expected to share, but more rooms than needed so apparently a draw – in which I ended up with a room of my own :-)). We had a ‘get to know you’ session in which we found out why we had the names we had (parents choices, nicknames, etc.) and a few other intros.

 

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Made it for @castingforrecovery. Chilling. Interesting dinner menu coming up LOL ?

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Before dinner it was time to get kitted up, and meet Mike Forbes, as he talked about the fishing retreat emerging out of diversification after the foot and mouth crisis, and the experience of cancer in his family.

Dinner was delicious:

 

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Lovely evening with @castingforrecovery – time for bed now. Breakfast’s at 8!

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Casting for Recovery: Learning

An early breakfast, and then time to learn what was in our kit … and how to assemble and thread the pole:

 

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Breakfast and lessons with @castingforrecovery #dundee

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Then time to learn some knot tying, and basic casting:

 

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Knot tying and roll casting with @castingforrecovery #breastcancer recovery

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Then a chance to learn how to ‘play a fish’ – amusingly enacted by Vee:

 

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Look at the size of that fish … learning to reel one in! @castingforrecovery #breastcancer recovery

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Before lunch, a chance to talk about medical concerns with Nikki, our BCN. After lunch – time to learn how to make our own flies:

 

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Since lunch we’ve been making flies for tomorrow @castingforrecovery #fishing #flyfishing

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After flymaking, a chance to undertake a relaxation exercise (I’d wondered if I needed to go for a nap at this point, so pleased to find out that’s what it was), then a nap, then another lovely dinner!

 

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Dinner, naps, relaxation, talking medical questions – lovely at @castingforrecovery #dundee #fishing

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Casting for Recovery: Fishing

Sunday, hurrah, time to actually have a go at fishing – always going to be harder than it looks isn’t it! Each of us was paired with a guide, mine was 17-year old Robert, a member of the Scottish Youth Fly Fishing team. He certainly seemed to know what he was doing, though the fish were not in the mood for biting much (too sunny apparently).

 

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Halfway – and the fish are not playing/biting. Too sunny apparently .. @castingforrecovery #dundee #fishing

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Moving to another lake, and encouraged by some extra food, we each managed to catch a fish (well 2):

 

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Better luck this time! #dundee #fishing @castingforrecovery

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We were allowed to keep one fish, I gave mine to Jenny, and she later posted me a picture of it about to be eaten!

Here we are at the end – with our certificates of participation, having had a lovely roast dinner:

Time for a final hot drink, before heading back to Dundee.

I don’t think I’ve found a new ‘hobby for life’, but I’d have another go at the fly fishing – and the staff were LOVELY, and the retreat venue BLISSFUL!

Goodbye Dundee

Dropped back in Dundee, I was feeling really shattered, but decided to pop onto RRS Discovery before crashing out with TV and snacks. It was then time to go and officially try a ‘buttery‘ and a ‘famous fudge doughnut‘ for breakfast! I then headed to Verdant Works for the history of jute, and then some LEGO displays. Then ‘Dundee Law‘ was only 0.7 miles away – if – erm – quite steep! Fantastic views though:

Before heading back into Dundee for more pasty based foods – this time a Bridie, and a quick pop around the rest of the RRS Discovery museum (ticket lasts for a year!). Views from the train were lovely (and thankfully no delays this time!), and very happy to crash into bed!

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drbexl

Life Explorer, HE/learning, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing (Manchester Metropolitan University),  Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach, ENFP, @digitalfprint, @ww2poster #digitalparenting

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