UPDATE from the frozen planet. Apart from the fact that I have been surrounded by snowdrifts of up to seven feet in depth and 50 yards in length, five water taps not working for several days and all the related problems, I have to report that my main issue with the “Beast from the East” is that I have not been able to get my daily input of The National since last Tuesday. Hopefully my friendly neighbourhood newsagent will have them waiting patiently in his bottom drawer!

The main reason I write this, however, is to put on record my gratitude for a kindly act which took place on Sunday morning. I was in the middle of shovelling some snow near the bottom of my driveway when a couple in a four-wheel-drive came along the hill road on which a track had been cleared by a local farmer, and presented me with a bag of provisions because they had realised that I would not be able to get out personally.

This was another example of the wonderful spirit of helping others around you who might be, for whatever reason, unable to cope as well as they otherwise might. My thanks to these kind Samaritans and to all the like members of our society who have gone out of their way to help others during these difficult days.

George M Mitchell
Sheriffmuir, Dunblane