although in St Andrews and environs there was no snow, I did get my boots into a little bit this christmas

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we made an expedition to Benarty Hill, an outpost of the Lomond Hills, which you can see standing up in a very monolithic way from the flatter lowlands driving down the M90 from Perth, or on my way home, on the way to the Forth Road bridge, in my case.

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a steep walk up from the road, and I am not hill fit

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but rewarded by the most wonderful views, 360 degrees around

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once we got up there. the paths were frozen solid and slippery, and the wind enough to slice your ears off.

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the Ochills visible between

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far away into the Cairngorms

bearty panorama

Loch Leven below (where Mary Queen of Scots was at first kept, on the island)

south

and the Firth of Forth and most of Fife spread out. the exertion, the sunshine, the piercing air and the vertiginous views brought on wobbly knees and a dizzy feeling. tremendous, Scotland!