Literary Cottage Industry
Mar 23 2021
In the autumn, our trip to the Cairngorms was cancelled, but we made it to Moray in time. Just in time, as well, to witness the perfect starry night. Awesome, in the true sense of the word.
When we booked our campsite, we chose a pitch called WAGTAIL for its name. We got upgraded to a pitch with a less cute name, that was more conveniently situated. Sometimes things happen this way.
Back to the sky. The cold tempted me to curl up in the tent — we could look at the stars tomorrow, right? But we were on an Adventure Research Trip! The adventure came first. We took the short walk outside the trees’ covering, and good thing we did. There were stars between the usual stars, ones I’d never seen before, they’re so tiny and far away. Wow! We vowed to return the following evening, our final evening at the campsite.
But when night fell again, we couldn’t see anything. The clouds blocked it all. We were grateful to have gazed when we did.
This was always meant to be our last camp of the year before moving to yurts or cabins. Late October was questionably chilly, but we’d just bought new camping equipment, and wanted to try it out!
We went to Moray at the right time, the time of year that determined it was too cold. A proud Bostonian, I can do cold. But bone-chilling cold this early in the autumn felt too harsh for our cottage life, which I hope to spend mostly outdoors. Moray drew a latitude cutoff line. We stopped in the Cairngorms and Dunkeld on the drive home, and they felt appropriately autumnal.
Months later I questioned this cutoff point. A British Vogue profile of Tilda Swinton at home in the Highlands informed me that she lives near Moray. There’s a glorious photo of her holding a vibrant chicken. This portrait remains my vision board, despite her higher tolerance for chilly autumns. Goodbye my almost neighbour.
Too tall, too crowded, too cold. What extreme will draw a line next, narrowing this map to our next dream?
P.S. Please write back. I would love to hear your story too.
P.P.S. We forgot to take pictures on this trip because a. we were living in the moment and b. I guess we were cold. The above photo is from my first Artist Date for The Artist’s Way (which we’re recapping on The Art Life!), getting bubble tea in George Square. I picked it because it looks like autumn because it was autumn.
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This essay is about my love of music, and my yearning for a more private and tactile listening experience. (This was published in February 2020 and Remastered in February 2021.)
A Stack of CDs – Remastered 2021
Feb 16 2021