Swapping the fast lane of suburbia England for the gentleness of The Highlands was quite a challenge for Rory Putman.
He had spent 20 years working as a professional biologist in Southern England, before deciding to head for the hills and back to his Scottish roots for a well-earned retirement.
But it proved quite a shock, adapting to the new slowness of life at a croft on the edge of a small and fairly inaccessible village on the west coast of Scotland.
Rory describes his move as a step back in time to 50 years ago. Most of his new neighbours had been born and bred in the wee hamlet and were Gaelic speakers.
The move invigorated Rory, who loved the strong sense of community as locals helped each other overcome the difficulties of living with few of the conventional services he had taken for granted in his previous life.
Now his thoughts and anecdotes are relived in the lovely book Life in Lethinnis. Told with real humour, it is a joy to read.
Having written two earlier books, Understanding Animal Behaviour and A Biologist Abroad, Rory is at ease with his writing and the new book flows naturally and keeps the reader interested throughout.
Using his biology background, Rory has interweaved snippets of natural history observations, related to topical wildlife issues in the book and having taken inspiration from Lilian Beckworth’s The Hills is Lonely, stories revolve around the strong characters who made up the isolated and wildness of the peninsula and community.
All the people and places in the book are real, with Rory changing some identities, but leaving enough clues for natural history enthusiasts to be able to easily work out where he is talking about.
With beautiful illustrations by artist Catherine Putman, it’s a really gentle tale, which will leave you wanting to swap your life for a far simpler one!
Publication date: 31st May 2023
UK Price: £16.99
Format: 216 x 138mm, Softback
Pages: 144 with 34 black & white pencil sketches
Life in Lethinnis – A croft in the Highlands
By Rory Putman
Published by Whittles Publishing
For more information and to order a copy of Life in Lethinnis – A croft in the Highlands, please visit www.whittlespublishing.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.