So we have a lovely Highland Cottage up for rent. Anyone who wants to take a week out of the busy, busy life can hire our little cottage and enjoy the incredible peace and serenity of it. The Ballindalloch cottage sits in the middle of a large piece of moorland at the bottom of the Monadhliath mountains and we are in the process of building kennels with beautiful, luxurious dog beds so your dog can come along on holiday as well. The area is blissfully free of badgers and ground nesting birds have a fantastic refuge here where they can breed and raise their young. The sound-scape is something else!! The sound of the curlews and the lapwings are in the air constantly at this time of year and recently, when I had to leave at 5am to get back to work, I couldn’t believe how busy they all are already. I could hear the curlew and lapwings and in addition the cuckoo and the snipe. The snipe is amazing as the noise it makes is made by their wings as they dive from great height, through the air. It’s more like a drumming sound and if you don’t know what it is, it might take you a while to realise that it is this tiny bird. I have stood outside listening to it, but been unable to see the bird that makes the noise, yet suddenly you see it there, making its way up and up in order to get the room to “drum” down.
We are in great agony about getting the kennels perfect because the cottage is so beautiful. You really don’t want to risk putting anything ugly up, even if it is for the purpose of housing the necessary dog beds, if it turns out to clash with the 150 year old building. So I have tried to get a design that will fit in as best as possible. Of course it would be much better if I could have it built of stone just like the rest of the cottage, but the cost would be astronomical and it would also take a long, long time. The most important thing is that the guests can rest assured that their dogs are in a comfortable kennel with comfortable dog beds to keep them fresh for the next day’s long highland walk.
I have a favourite walk at the cottage, which only takes around 45 minutes, but still gets the old heart rate going. It takes me up the zigzag road from behind the cottage and ends just as you arrive at the top of the Monadhliath mountains overseeing the beautiful mountain tops. It is like a beautiful revelation to arrive up there. Grouse is cackling and the sky seems to go on forever. The walk is a straight up and straight down, so it’s good exercise and even the dogs are looking forward to a snooze on their dog beds when we come back.