My story

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. {Leonard Cohen}

Ute Amann-Seidel

The decision to set up Fire & Rain came out of my own story. In April 2015, only four weeks after we got engaged in Paris, my fiancé David died suddenly and completely unexpectedly of an asthma attack at the age of 50. My world fell apart from one second to the other, it felt as if a large part of me had died with him and I could barely function. Many things lost their meaning, others – like being in nature or reading helpful words – became lifesavers. The thought of even going through another few weeks filled me with dread and my fellow widow-friends and I were only half joking when we discussed which bridge would be most suitable…..

At around one and a half years into this journey I had never signed up for, I was walking along the canal and realised I didn’t want to die anymore. One day, but not yet. Instead, I want to make every day I have here until I see him again as meaningful as possible.

The pain hasn’t become any less and I still miss David every moment of the day and I don’t want it any other way. I don’t want to move on but forward.

David and I…happy times, not long before his sudden death

Working on Fire & Rain for me means using many of the things I’ve learned through working as a management consultant for many years, setting up and running my other business Wild at Art Ltd ( and through the cruellest of all life lessons – my own bereavement – to help others.

I want to create feel-good breaks in beautiful surroundings for people to just be, and enjoy themselves as much as they can, and to share some of the things that have helped me on my journey.

I firmly believe there are no coincidences – when you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.

It also can’t be pure coincidence that a bunch of wonderful people have crossed my path to contribute their skills and personalities to the retreats as co-hosts: meet my co-hosts Alison Taylor, Sarah-Alexandra Teodorescu, Andrew Johnson, Lesley Gillespie and Dr Avinash Bansode.

I recently got invited by one of Scotland’s biggest national newspapers, The Scotsman, to write down and submit the story of Fire & Rain. It was published just before Christmas, on 23 December 2019. You can read the full story here.

Scotsman article Dec 019