Is there anything grander than cottaging? Sure, that ludicrous all-expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi featured in Sex and the City 2 may rival the humble cottage, but by very little. A miniscule amount. Almost not worth mentioning.
I spent the past weekend + 2 days up at my biffle’s cottage in the Sudbury area with all of my closest friends. It was ahhmayzing! Her uncle owns an island on Lake Panache (which, I’ll have you know, means ‘flamboyant manner and reckless courage’ dans la belle langue) which contains, among other things: two sleeper cabins, an outhouse, a flower meadow, a mini-junkyard/impromptu dock for semi-hot-well-we-couldn’t-really-tell-they-were-kinda-far-away-but-we-pretended-like-they-were-boys who were driving sinking ships full of lumber, a ‘love-shack’, an open tenting platform, two docks, a campfire, a tube, two boats, and…A SAUNA.
Effing right my friends, there exists a sauna on that island.
Suffice to say, we spent the weekend alternating between sweating out mosquito bug poison, jumping into the lake, tanning, reading and eating. That’s all really. No, really. Our other activities were just variations on this theme: we briefly went tubing (scariest experience of my life), boated to a ‘beach’ and swam, swam behind a dam, played cards in the beach house, drank beer, made food, ate it.
I say that cottaging is the bestest vacation ever because of its relaxation factor. Nowhere to go, nothing you have to do, no outside pressures (no cell phone reception!); it’s just you, your friends and an island. Throw in a book, a half dozen crazy-itchy mosquito bites, some friends and late-night escapades and you have yourself a few less knots in your back and a much brighter and calmer head.
The book I read while we were there is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Wow. Just wow. I’m not sure I could even explain it without going off on several breathless and excited tangents and you’d probably get all cranky and bored. You have to read it. Not good enough? Okay I’ll try my very hardest to keep this short:
- It’s the most unique and intricate book I’ve ever read.
- It is a series of stories, each interrupted by the next story, then caught back up and finished off in reverse order.
- It’s a powerful political commentary that sneaks up on you..
- It blows your mind at every turn..each of the stories connect and interweave and are inextricably linked.
- It’s told in a variety of styles.
- The amount of detail and planning that must have gone into it instills such a great respect for its author.
I adored it.
The main point I want to make about cottaging is that if you haven’t done it, you haven’t lived yet. If you haven’t looked up at the biggest and brightest stars you’ve ever seen, where the Milky Way looks like a rainbow across the velvety navy sky while skinny dipping with your very best friends; or spent lazy days lying in the sun without a care in the world; or if you haven’t gotten impaired in a sauna; or if your food has never tasted so good after so much sun and sweat and swimming, I’m telling you: GO COTTAGE!
Big love to the Kelcester for inviting us, to her parents for welcoming us, to her sister+Natalie for laughs, to my best friends for always making me smile and guaranteeing a low-key time. I love all of you!