Well its been a bright, sunny but very cold day here in North Britain. Fiona and I have stayed at a superb - well B&B I suppose, "Carriden House." Carriden House is a 17th century fortified manor house overlooking the Firth of Forth and just a mile or so from the family home in Bo'Ness. We have a large en suite room with a four poster bed that's so big that even when I sit on the edge of the bed my feet don't reach the ground! As we got back there last night just before 2300 the frost was very definitely forming and my car thermometer was reading a cool -8C so the thick duvet was extremely welcome.

This morning everywhere was covered in a deep frost and it was very picturesque, so picturesque in fact that it demanded a full Scottish breakfast - delicious. Off then to the Henleys - Peta, Cole and Bertie - and after another round of hot coffee we set off to the other side of Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills. We were all wrapped up in warm coats, scarves, boots, hats and gloves - and wooly socks - and set off for a bracing hour or so. The paths were very muddy, but as they were all frozen it made the walking both easy and enjoyable. We walked almost to the edge of the snow line, but somehow as we got there the lure of the log fire in the pub by the car park was simply too much to resist. So we retraced our steps across the brackish burns and mud-coated highland cattle to the Flotttersten Arms where a pint or so of "Winter Warmer," dark and rich, fitted the bill.

A brief stop at Sainsbury's on the way back to buy an Advent Calendar for Bertie and then back to West End Cottage for a film, a gin (or two) and a fish and chip supper. What more can a man ask for?

The temperature has dropped again this evening and snow threatens, which I hope wont prevent us from getting to the sensibly timed 1130 mass tomorrow in Linlithgow - it's Advent Sunday as well as St Andrew's Day - a double celebration. I'm on the afternoon train back to King's Cross tomorrow and Fiona drives south first thing on Monday morning.