We were snowed in again over the weekend, to our great indignation. Winter coming back for a third go, too much entirely. But on Tuesday, once the track was sufficiently clear, we drove over to the Malt Whisky Capital of the World, which is to say, Speyside — Dufftown, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, all that. Thus, up into the Highlands, which looked absolutely extraordinary. Six inches of snow over everything, on a fine, mild day with turquoise skies. We were mostly going along roads driven halfway up the v-shaped sides of glacial valleys, permitting extended views into the far distance and the mountains. Infinitely subtle gradations of white-grey-blue into the distance, an occasional furring of black-branched trees, slightly shocking patches of Norway spruce, the dark branches rendered Japanese by heavy blobs of snow down the long, jagged-edged branches. I have never seen Scotland looking more beautiful or less plausible. We looped round to Elgin, and came back by the coast. Due to the offsea wind, no snow at all was visible between Elgin and Banff, there was, rather, a spring day of young lambs and wet khaki fields, which only added to the sense of having come down out of Tir na nOg. We had a guest in the back of the car, and somebody rang his mobile to sort something out for the following week from, as it transpired in the course of the conversation, a bar in Bankok. Thailand to Highlands … the peculiar disjunctions of modern life.