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Today the temperature fell a few degrees. Then just as we were waiting to welcome our Hogmanay guests, snow started falling heavily around Appletree Cottage, giving us the first covering of the year.

Sitting in the warmth of the under-floor heated living room we gazed out at the snowfall. Visibility had dropped and the Kilpatrick Hills in the distance, three miles away, had disappeared completely. Normally the range of hills, can be seen easily from the cottage, including the famous Whangie rock formation so popular with climbers for its unique chimneys and overhangs which can be easily traversed on a day out from Glasgow.

The furthest we could see was the line of trees down by the Catterburn, just past the remains of the long dismantled Balloch to Stirling Railway. This railway was an early east to west route, opened in 1856. Although the line closed in the late 1950s the track bed can be easily identified, and several railway buildings survive along the line.

Snow can sometimes be a problem, but in the ten years we've lived at Shandon Farm, we have only been snowed up for part of one day, in the afternoon of which we were able to drive (carefully) to Drymen. The snow ploughs keep the main roads clear, and much of the back road, on which we live, have pretty avenues of overhanging trees which minimise the fall of snow on the road.

Soon after the snowfall, our guests for the New Year booking arrived safely, having made it through the snow.

They entered the cosy cottage which was decorated for Christmas and started to make themselves at home, looking forward to Hogmanay.


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