The visit of the family (Northern Ireland branch) was a good excuse to go exploring and enjoy some of the countryside we have the privilege to live so close to. Both families managed to prise their young boys away from assorted electronic gadgets and get them in the car for the drive to Aberfeldy, which was wonderful in itself, alongside the Tay, tumbling and glistening in the bright, crisp winter sunshine. Then we had a walk around the Birks of Aberfeldy - which is stunning, enchanting and delightful. The girls managed to walk most of the way without pleading for piggy-backs, and we occasionally managed to persuade the boys that stopping to appreciate this natural beauty is as important as rushing home to finish the game of Fifa '08 on the playstation!
Then on from there to inspect the Fortingall Yew billed as "Europe, and possibly the world's oldest living thing" - as a brief stop-off before standing in awe at graceful symmetry and sweeping curves of Schiehallion, first from Schiehallion Road, then Kinloch Rannoch and then finally from the celebrated Queen's View by Loch Tummel. Enthusiasm from some members of the group waned with each stop, and numbers getting out of the car had dropped from 8 at Aberfeldy to a mere 5 by our last stop.
Above, for those who missed it then, is the Queen's View, a mere 150m from where you sat!
Other pix from the day are lurking here: