Plans are afoot in Autumn Cottage for travel to Portugal in the Spring and to France in the Autumn. I look forward to both journeys with anticipation - but tonight my heart is in the Highlands.
I long to travel back to the Ardnamurchan peninsula on the West coast of Scotland - to some of the wildest, most beautiful landscape on earth. To a place where Mankind is very tiny indeed, and where Nature is Huge, and gets on pretty well on it's own without any help from us, thank you very much. To sit in the little cottage on the side of the loch, gazing out over the still water, calm until it is disturbed by a school of porpoise swimming along its length.
I long to wander along clifftops, amongst the sheep, past deserted villages emptied during the Clearances, only the crumbling stone crofts and the overgrown graveyards left behind to mark where a community once stood. To walk the white sand beaches of Sanna Bay, as pristine and empty as the most exotic tropical island.
And then to return to the cottage, to sit in the evening air amongst the sweet scented azaleas and await the arrival of the pine marten, a fey creature that resides beneath the woodshed with its kits, coming down to the bird table in the dusk for a little light refreshment from the ever indulgent humans who so clearly pay well for its antics.
At the moment, I sit at my desk, the snow falling once again outside, but visit in my heart once again that wilderness that I hold so dear. How long will it be, I wonder, before I can tread those heather hillsides once again?