Due in part to Miss Best Friend, mumping outside the door (she has a sort of upper-servant set of shibboleths, most acutely, — ‘in properly run households the Master is never in bed after 8.30′ … when impatience to start the day gets too much for her, she sits on the landing making a noise somewhere between a whinge and a grunt) — we were heading for Aberdeen by 9.40 though the first actual appointment with doom was 11. We went by the Garioch, because it is prettier, and we had time. There are points in that very attractive valley where you get long vistas cuddled under severe navy-blue hills. Since it has not been really cold yet, we are looking, in mid-December, at a landscape of green. But it somehow seemed wrong; I mean, it was the wrong green. It was a flat colour, slightly blued — like a not very good 18th century painting. A green without vitality, so although there was a beautiful sky, the landscape seemed sort of ill. I am so glad to get to this point of the year without cowering at a bus stop being snowed on, but I begin to wish it would snow.