Monday, July 4, 2011

Dreaming of solitude

You know when life just gets so damn busy that all you want to do is jump in the car, drive to a cottage in the middle of nowhere and stay there for a few days to simply sit in the sun on the porch with a glass of wine and a good book? This is exactly what I need right now... life is just too much. So even though I have no chance of leaving anytime soon, I went Google-dreaming anyway.

First I found some beautiful cottages nearby, like a 1924 fully restored cottage, Shearers Cottage, which borders an olive grove and is furnished in a french style, and Cobwebs Cottage by the sea at Riversdale Beach, with views of the ocean. But they weren't quite far enough away...

So I went further south to a beautiful sunny place called Nelson, and found Thackwood Cottage, which overlooks farmland to the warm blue waters of Tasman Bay, Nelson towards the Abel Tasman National Park.

But, as New Zealand is such a tiny country, it is hard to find a place way out in the middle of nowhere with no TV, no wireless internet, and especially no Sky TV. I just want a place with hot water and an oven. I don't even need lights - candlelight will be magical. But these days, people tend to have withdrawals without their precious 21st-century technology and forget the fact that there is so much more to life, like walking through national parks listening to the birds, playing card games by the fire, reading a good book by candlelight, sleeping under the stars, and swimming in the sea.

Inspired by last night's dinner of mince stew, mashed potatoes, "neeps" (turnips) and Haggis, cooked for us by my brother's Scottish partner to welcome us to their new home, I looked even further afield to - yep, you guessed it, the rocky moors and isolated isles of Scotland.

And there, searching for the most secluded cottages possible, I found Shepherds Cottage on the Isle of Skye and Braigh-na-Leitre in Dingwall, Ross-shire.

All I want to do is read my books in peace, far, far away from everything and everyone.

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