Literary Cottage Log 2: Take Me to the Lochs

Literary Cottage Industry

Nov 24 2020

Gold Tape
In Literary Cottage Log 1, Glencoe led us to Callander. Here’s what we found there.

Dear Reader,

The closest campsite to Callander listed in The Wild Guide is on Loch Lomond – a place as magical as the songs say.

In the evening as we arrived, I saw tents pitched by the water, and felt envious until I realised that this was our campsite! That was about to be our tent! It’s a rare, sparkly feeling when a dream comes true moments after its inception. I smiled and let the moment sink deep into my memory, where it now glitters like faeries dancing on the water. But I’m skipping ahead – earlier that day, we stopped in Callander, the place we discovered on our first journey.

Callander, we learned quickly, is crowded on a sunny Saturday, even a socially distant sunny Saturday. Way too crowded.

We planned to explore its waterfall walk, but when we got stuck in traffic just trying to park, we decided that this did not bode well for the busy-ness of the walk itself. So we got ice cream instead. We learned that for us, Callander is a good-to-know rest stop. A place on the way, not to land. Great cones though.

Back on Loch Lomond, I fell asleep to the lapping waves, the kind of soothing nature noises recorded for meditative sleep sounds – but performed live. 

The next morning we walked a bit of the West Highland Way by taking a wrong turn. Oops. But it was amazing! A rollercoaster of a trail, weaving through the woods, neatly and beautifully, still and stunning from every angle. ‘I want to befriend the designer of this path,’ I said, ‘And interview them on The Art Life.’

On this walk, I began to picture our Cottage Dream: woods young and old, by water, nestled in the hills. This will do. Now we know what we’re looking for, here or somewhere else. We’ll keep hopping about the Highlands, gathering details of what our home will look, feel, smell like. Steve wants to grow a deciduous forest and a vegetable garden. I want a quiet space to write. Somewhere with no street noise interrupting my radio shows. And it must be literary, of course. Enough of an existing arts community to enjoy, and to help grow. Snug, I think, will be pleased with whatever we come up with.

Until the Next Chapter,


P.S. Two weeks ago, I printed this Literary Cottage Log and sent it in the post to my Print Edition Patrons. I have envelopes for two more Patrons to receive my next poem early, and delivered to your physical mailbox :) Join the Print Edition tier here!

P.P.S. The Art Life has a brand new newsletter! For show updates and our favourite art, subscribe here (for free).

P.P.P.S. On an unrelated seasonal note, I have been in the mood for the Christmas season, but refuse to listen to Christmas music just yet (with the notable exception of Christmas Tree Farm by Taylor Swift, which I play year round, without apology). However, I have made this Sounds Like Christmas playlist. Song suggestions welcome!

Mentions & Influences:


  • Callander Waterfall
  • Sweeties, Callander
  • Sallochy Campsite, Loch Lomond
  • West Highland Way

All Literary Cottage Logs:

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