This month’s big excitement was my first trip beyond Orkney’s shores since March. I was fortunate to be able to finally take up my Scottish Emerging Writer’s Residency at the wonderful Cove Park Artists’ Centre in Argyll.
I’d been due to go in June, but of course like everyone else’s this summer, my travel plans were upended by lockdown. So it was great to finally be able to go for my two week residency last month.
I must admit to being slightly trepidatious about the trip as Orkney has felt like such a haven amonst the storms this year, but Cove Park have gone to great lengths to make the centre Covid-safe and I had my own cosy converted shipping container to live and work in.
Because we weren’t able to socialise in the main hub building, my time there became pretty much a solitary retreat; reflective, quiet, and focussed.
In true West of Scotland style it rained pretty much incessantly the entire duration of my stay, but this did mean I had even fewer distractions and plenty of water to watch!
It was interesting to observe how bouts of boredom and restlessness eventually gave way as I settled into a steady routine of writing, yoga, meditation and staring out the window at the rain…
I got a good chunk of writing and revision done. And I realised that writing always feels a bit like setting out on a journey not quite sure where I’m heading.
Drawing, on the other hand, feels more like coming home.
Cove Park have just announced their call for this year’s round of funded residencies, so if you or someone you know might be interested, or you just want to know more about the work they do, click the button below to go to their website.