Well here we are in a very wet Ballater , in Royal Deeside. That's me looking like Michelin man against the cold beside our faithfull 'Sube' which we have named 'Sgian-dubh' because it is sharp but stealthy, just like the traditional small Scots 'Black Dagger' which was often concealed in a sleeve, except when in the presence of friends when etiquette demanded it be displayed, often tucked into the stocking top, where it is still an important feature of today's formal Scot's dress attire.Well here we are in a very wet Ballater , in Royal Deeside. That’s me looking like Michelin man against the cold beside our faithfull ‘Sube’ which we have named ‘Sgian-dubh’ because it is sharp but stealthy, just like the traditional small Scots ‘Black Dagger’ which was often concealed in a sleeve, except when in the presence of friends when etiquette demanded it be displayed, often tucked into the stocking top, where it is still an important feature of today’s formal Scots’ dress attire.

As you can see, I'm left holding the camera in the bitter cold, while Jerry is in the Royal Appointed Delicatessen (we are here to film the Royal warrants), stuffing his face on the pretence of finding out what HM's favourite munchies are! His last words were 'I may be gone some time'!

As you can see, I’m left holding the camera in the bitter cold, while Jerry is in the Royal Appointed Delicatessen (we are here to film the Royal warrants), stuffing his face on the pretence of finding out what HM’s favourite munchies are! His last words were ‘I may be gone some time’!

Here I am filming some of the very fine local scenery at about 9am this morning ( Thursday ) in chilly conditions, but nothing I can't handle after a stout Scottish breakfast - like the full English variety, with haggis in place of black pudding and a porridge course.

"Andy hadn't quite taken in how close he was to the edge of this waterfall where the Dee squeezes through a plunging narrow gorge at Linn O'Dee. Two steps to the left and this would be an obituary I am writing. Despite the light drizzle, this is an exhilarating place. God knows how salmon manage to swim up here. It would be like being inside a washing machine on fast spin. " Jerry

“I’m not sure that Andy had quite taken in how close he was to the edge of this waterfall where the Dee squeezes through a plunging narrow gorge at Linn O’Dee. Two steps to the left and this would be an obituary I am writing. Despite the light drizzle, this is an exhilarating place. God knows how salmon manage to swim up here. It would be like being inside a washing machine on fast spin. ” Jerry

Superb gorge upon whose brink I was filming earlier.

This is the gorge from another angle – after Andy had stepped away from the brink.

Royal Deeside is magnificent and well worth a visit! Ballater is the principal town in the area and popular with visitors for a host of good reasons as you can see from its very good Community website linked above. It’s not just that with its Royal connections, you never know quite whom you might catch sight of, the whole place feels ‘sound’ and dependable, everything is of high quality, not gaudy or ostentatious but quietly proud of being top notch.

FYI If you are interested in helping protect some of the outstanding landscape near the Cairngorms ( Kincraig area), please see Save Monadhliath Mountains campaign  http://www.savemonadhliathmountains.com/farmfacts.htm