I always knew that our trip to France - the first time we've ever taken ICT abroad - would be memorable. An amazingly beautiful place to say, brilliant young people, lovely weather, time to stop and think, excellent staff and real work to be done.
But even knowing all that I don't think I could have even imagined how good it actually was. Seven days of absolute bliss and incredible fun with a group who came together almost immediately and became a caring, careful, generous family for a week.
In that week we made huge progress on a new play, The Centre, which Alexandra Wood is writing for us - the main focus of the trip. Having all that time and a regular group meant we could experiment with how we ran the RnD workshops: on the first day we set up the world of the play as if it was a real place and worked in role for nearly the whole workshop.
Admist the workshops there was cooking to be done (everyone helped out), cleaning and tidying, endless games of ball-y, introduced by our stage manager for the week, Ian Andlaw, and ridiculous evening activities, organised by Guy Jones and Emily Lim.
I have never spent so much time with a group of young people, have never been able to get to know them so well and understand what drives them and makes them think, laugh or cry. Not that we had any tears at all - and not a fight or even a cross word spoken by anyone.
The name of the converted barn that we stayed and worked in is L'Espace and space is exactly what it gave us - space to work and think and get to know each other in a very special and life-changing way. That space will have a huge impact on our work in the months and years ahead.