Delightful assistants venture into the Trossachs

The delightful assistants have both had birthdays in the past week.

To celebrate their continued survival I took them to the Trossachs, a popular picturesque area north of Glasgow.

Our ultimate destination was Stronachlachar on the shores of Loch Katrine, but we stopped en route for a bit of fresh air at the smaller Loch Arklet. It was incredibly quiet.

Loch Arklet, the TrossachsThe road between the village of Aberfoyle and the small settlement of Stronachlachar is less than 12 miles long. If it had been smoothly finished and reasonably straight it would have made for a very pleasant drive. However, it was neither smooth nor straight. Parts of it constituted the worst bits of road I’ve ever driven along.

The up side of this was that it made arriving at Stronachlachar in one piece feel like quite an achievement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the signs in the above photograph suggest, the building on the left of the picture contained a tearoom. I won’t go into details about it because I had a dodgy stomach after my lunch there (I can’t say for sure that it was a result of what I ate, but you know how it is, connotations and whatnot). One thing I will say in its favour is that it served up very nice Lady Grey tea in a stylish little teapot .

Lady Gray at the Pier, StronachlacharBefore lunch I took the assistants on an obstacle-course-for-old-people.

We started off on the level, nice and easy.


The first obstacle was a muddy grass slope. Sticks in hand, they negotiated it without incident.


After trotting around on some bouncy grass they made their way up another slope, much steeper this time and littered with trip hazards.


Delightful assistant no.1 surged ahead, while her spouse took the dangerous decision to rest against a pine tree. (Anyone who remembers reading about their visit to Loch Garten might be able to guess at my anxiety on seeing the pose below.)


Thankfully, both tree and intrepid assistants remained upright.

Back on the flat, delightful assistant no.2 went into the lead and marched off to investigate two poles in the distance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe poles were in fact tree trunks, complete with curious inhabitants (and, somewhat out of keeping with the otherwise rustic look, a satellite dish).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe obstacle course being at an end, we tottered back to the tearoom for lunch.

Although it was a cold day for May and we were bombarded with heavy hail showers on the way home, we were fortunate to get a bit of sunshine.

Now 86 and 79, the delightful assistants aren’t doing too badly, I’d say.

The Delightfully Dynamic DuoIncidentally, on an administrative note, if you happen to have this blog bookmarked as, that address won’t work in a few days’ time because I’m not renewing the upgrade required to get rid of ‘wordpress’ in the URL. The blog will, however, continue to function in its freebie state at


31 thoughts on “Delightful assistants venture into the Trossachs

  1. Happy Birthday to you both from Canada! The Trossachs is one of my favourite parts of Scotland. But then again, I like so many parts….!

  2. What a beautiful area…guess all the obstacles is what makes it even more special. So enjoy your descriptions Lorna… will follow you on wordpress…happy to hear more about your adventures and happy birthday to your assistants…a great feat

  3. Happy birthday to the Delightful Assistants! Sounds like quite an adventure! Also, please notify with new address when you make the transfer, as I would hate to miss a single delightful post!

  4. Happy Birthday to both of the delightful assistants. They look incredibly well. What a great outing. Too bad about the dodgy tummy. Sending birthday hugs from Spain.

  5. Happy Birthday assistants! They do look in very good shape. Luckily for them since they have a daughter like you cooking up obstacle courses! 🙂 Mind you, everybody needs a challenge to keep them on their toes!

  6. Looks a very pleasant day out. I would agree that a bit of work needs to be done on that road but I guess it’s not very high priority! Happy birthday to the delightful assistants!

    • Thanks David. I know it’s a bit out on a limb, that road, and I expect it’s not very high on the priority list, as you say, but hopefully something will be done about it at some point. It’s mostly single track and I passed two cars that slowed down but completely failed to pull over. One of the drivers reached out and pulled his wing mirror in so that we could pass each other, despite having about 2ft clear on his side of the road. I won’t say what I think of that kind of driving.

  7. Well that does it for me …if the delightful assistants look that good on tea , buns and the Trossachs I’m getting me some . There might not have been a lot of sunshine but the smiles on the assistant’s faces are amazing . Your blog always cheers me up Lorna …thank you .

  8. A belated Happy Birthday to your two delightful assistants! Lovely photos of them too, especially the last one. That sounds like a lovely day out – I don’t think I have been to Stronachlachar before. Fresh snow on the hills, too, by the look of it. I wish it would warm up a bit!

    • Thank you Jo, it’s not often I manage to get them both smiling in the same photo. As pretty as snow looks on mountains, by this time of year I wouldn’t mind not seeing any more of the stuff.

  9. Late but nevertheless the happiest birthday wishes to the two delightful assistants, who, I would have to agree with you whole heartedly, aren’t doing bad at all, far from it! All that fresh air they are getting on their tours around the country must be doing them the world of good, perhaps I should be thinking of taking up travelling around!
    The names Aberfoyle and Loch Katrine ring some bells from a distant past, although I am pretty sure I have not heard of Stronachlachar. A clear lack of education here, I definitely need to do more tripping about 🙂 On second thought, maybe I will just carry on reading your blog 😉 xx

    • Thank you Sonja, I think you’re right about the fresh air and tours around the country. There are so many lovely little bits of Scotland to discover, but not enough time to see them all in.

  10. What a wonderful post, and the photo of the Delightful Assistants at the end is the best of all. A very happy birthday to them both. Thanks also for the tip about the url change.

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