Be Wild and Free!
The House & The Hill is a nature, business and creativity retreat in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France.
We are at your service giving you precious time, space and a helping hand to slow down, connect with your sense of intuition and explore your creativity at our home in the unspoilt natural landscape of sleepy frontier territory of Les Fenouillèdes – The Fennel Hills, one hour from the Spanish border and a quick train ride to Barcelona.
We are Emma Wallace and Anne Burniston, two brave, adventurous women who left the bright lights of London and headed to the peaceful wild mountains of the French Pyrenees to reconnect with our creative and intuitive selves and explore what it would mean to be really free.
More haste, less speed.
The House & The Hill began in 2008, when one day we woke up, opened our eyes and realised our work no longer satisfied us. For all the long hours and the blood, sweat and tears, we were sitting on the material profits and comforts of the middle-class dream; talented, stressed and unhappy. Something was missing.
We felt trapped and agitated – our expansive, creative and intuitive natures had somehow got lost in all the deadlines, meetings and badly-lit office blocks. The politics of the concrete jungle were dissatisfying and restrictive. Impersonal and insensitive, the people, noise and traffic of urban England was closing in on us and it began to taste sour.
Stressed, depressed and frustrated, asking ourselves "Is this really it?".
We held hands and dreamt of a mountain where the sky was endless and blue. Where the ancient rocky land stretched out for miles all around, untouched by Man and his modern machines. We stood with our arms open, breathing in the cool, fresh pine-scented air and listening to the music of the birds and the wind in the trees. Soaring like eagles in the open skies with the naked soles of our bare feet touching the warm red earth.
This was what it felt like to be wild and free.
WHERE DO YOU GO NEXT?
But what next? Seeking out our reason for being and what we are going to do with it is an untrodden path. Risky at times. Joyful and painful.
If we could choose, what would we do? What work serves best?
Where does the money come from? What does it mean to work for love and not money? What does it mean to surrender, to trust?
What does it mean to do the work? The real work.
The work you were born to do.
How do we survive, eat and stay warm in the snow?
And who are we required to be?
Do we even know who we are anymore?
All these questions are more are presented when we choose to open our eyes and begin the journey to find our personal mission and to trust, completely in that. Sometimes it feels powerful and brave and courageous. Other times it feels ridiculous and stupid and pointless.
But really, all it took was a simple thing: to open our eyes and to dream.
And we can all do that. That's what makes us human.
We adapt and we grow and we survive.
We share this place, its transformative power to heal and the wealth of things we have learnt on our journey into the unknown over the last eight years. It is a place to bring your stories and your wisdom and to share it with others. We do this with our eyes open, knowing that we have no idea what they will see and who will turn up on the doorstep. That's the nature of the mission.
We believe this work is needed more than ever before and that the path can be a hard one to tread alone. We are all standing on the edge of "This could work. This could not work." and it is an ever moving, ever changing thing.
Our mission is to serve you as follow your path towards a wild and free life.
Break through, go bravely and tread softly, dear friends.
Emma & Anne
The House & The Hill is about storytelling, being together, doing together and the sacredness of shared history, objects and ritual. It's about how we connect through the ages with ourselves, each other, and the Earth.
And we invite you to come and play.
You can stay at our lovingly made creative holiday cottage, use our artist/maker/crafter studio, join us for a workshop, class or retreat, hire us to work with you on your projects or just come and sit and share a story amongst friends. You are always welcome.