The snow came today; the first since December - large, wet flakes in the wind, bowing the daffodils, silencing the rooks that were noisily repairing nests in the tall Scots pines, drenching the plum blossom. The grey geese are still there in the upland meadows - heard, not seen, through the thick, heavy sky; it's good that they haven't left on their journey to the breeding grounds, as the recent harsh winds would have driven them well off course.
I feel sorry for our clients from Seattle, just embarking on their first trip to Scotland. However they wanted to explore sites linked to the novels of Diana Gabaldon. Her hero, Jamie Fraser, took his place in Bonnie Prince Charlie's army on Culloden Moor, fighting for a cause that few who were there fully understood. But if our clients visit Culloden Battlefield today they will get some idea of the plight of those tired, hungry Highlanders who, already exhausted from an abortive night march, faced driving sleet and the overwhelmingly firepower of the government army. It happened on 16 April 1746, a date which very precisely marks the end of the clan system in the Highlands.