Have you also found our Amazon shop?

Did you know that we have a small shop on Amazon.co.uk?  We’ve been selling there for quite some time – check out our feedback in our online storefront.

Amazon is extremely particular about customer service, speedy delivery and keen pricing.  You’ll be delighted to know that we apply the same standards of service to products sold here on MacGillivray’s so you can be assured that we will look after you extremely carefully whether here on our own website or on the Amazon platform.

Celtic bangle
Sterling silver celtic bangle – Askernish.

There are many products on our own site which don’t make it to our Amazon store and, very occasionally, the reverse is true.  However, if you have a question about a product or would like to find out if we can supply something, please phone or text us – 07955 450739 is our customer service number.

We’re here to help!

 

How about my own Instagram?

Well, the answer to the question about my own Instagram feed is that results vary – and quite significantly!  Partly this is due to my testing out the benefits of “pods” or “engagement groups” and partly, I suspect, it is to do with the hashtags I am using.  Life is a learning curve and, when you’re late to the party, it’s not always easy to edge in to a crowded room from the front door.  I wonder if sharp elbows would help??

This is my most recent image on Instagram – I just love this brooch with it’s Art Nouveau inspiration but with it’s interlacing design too.

When you see this brooch in real life – it’s an amazing piece of workmanship.  The 3-d design brings the Mackintosh style to life.  You can easily visualise sitting in a rose garden, looking at roses climbing up a trellis.

I’d love it if you would follow me on Instagram – my instagram name is @scottish_celtic_jewellery – looking forward to seeing you there 🙂

Do you Instagram?

For several years, I ignored Instagram (silly me!) and, now that I’ve started to play there, I have a feeling that the real buzz is over.  Typical!  However, many millions of people still visit the site every day, so there is still interesting content out there.

So, what kind of things do I like to see on Instagram?  Well, sometimes it’s nice to follow a real person and see what they’re like in real life.

Happy Valentine’s Day, @MichelleObama. You make every day and every place better.

A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on

OK, I haven’t followed Barack Obama or Michelle – but, who knows!

Then, of course, there are the cute dog or cat photos (and, believe me there are millions of them!) so I’m always looking to see something different –

I loved watching the Queen walking through her gardens with David Attenborough, talking about the Commonwealth Canopy – what a project!

Travel photos are another rich area to explore – by jove, there are some amazing photographers out there.

Photo by @lochgmarcp #wigwamtravels

A post shared by Wigwam Digital (@wigwam.digital) on

Just wow – the view is spectacular – and some of us won’t have the oomph to find views like this. :O

So, finally, a little bit of self-interest here – there are also products to be found on instagram – and, on some of them, it’s possible to click through to the website and buy then and there!  So, as you would expect, I have been testing this out in the last few days so I include one of my own images, to see what reaction there will be to it – purely in the interest of self-satisfaction, you understand.

Believe me, this selection is just the tip of the iceberg – and some of the photos are things you probably don’t want to see or hear or read about.  But if you don’t tip your toe in the water, you’re never going to learn.  Enjoy!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram …

Last weekend, we spent a quick break with family on Skye.  It takes us over five hours from door to door, so we can’t just drop everything and go to see them.  A couple of days’ notice – not a problem.

The drive north was quiet.  We had expected the roads to be really busy but we drove for many miles without catching a glimpse of headlights in our rear mirror.  That’s the kind of driving we like – so going off-season means we’re not being jostled by speedsters who want to do London to Portree in an afternoon.

Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry
Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry arriving in Uig – next stop Lochmaddy

Although we have visited Skye before, we were on our way to the Outer Hebrides so this time we had the opportunity to see much more of the island.  We called in to Uig to have lunch after visiting the Kilmuir Graveyard where Flora Macdonald is buried.  Much to our surprise, this is also the cemetery where Alexander McQueen has been laid to rest.

Flora Macdonald’s grave in Kilmuir Cemetery
Alexander McQueen Grave in Kilmuir Cemetery, Skye
Alexander McQueen

We didn’t know (or had forgotten) about Alexander McQueen’s Skye connections, so were quite touched to see this unusual memorial to such a talented man.

What else did we see on Skye – more to follow!

Unusual ways to wear your brooch

I love brooches – but they’ve been out of favour now for quite some time.  However, all of a sudden, creative ladies are finding new ways to wear their brooches, bringing a contemporary twist to those statement pieces.

Silver Celtic Brooch
Dundreggan Silver Celtic Brooch

Stylecaster has put together a few suggestions on wearing a brooch (one features a brooch pinned onto the sleeve of a sweater, gathering folds of the garment together at the elbow – not too sure about this one because I know that I would get caught up on someone else’s garment.  It’s also at eye level for young children.  I do like the option of embellishing the top edge of a pocket with a bar brooch, though.

silver luckenbooth brooch
Holyrood Silver Luckenbooth Brooch

Another author has put together some very creative ways of wearing brooches – from securing a scarf with a brooch to placing one on a hemline.  It would seem that Nicole Kidman wears one on the nape of her neck sometimes when wearing an evening gown.

The Elegant Duchess suggests pinning a brooch to a handbag to update it’s look.  That would certainly be a great idea on a fabric evening bag!  How about on the waistline of an evening gown or the crown of your hat – even pinned into your hair to embellish your evening look.

I think I must be traditional – I like a brooch pinned on the lapel of my jacket – but maybe now I’ll look at my brooches in a different light and will probably find a spot on the collar of my roll-neck sweater.

 

 

 

Visiting Scotland

We had some English visitors for the weekend – and it was great fun meeting them for the first time (although we’ve known each other for years on Facebook!)  Being online friends sometimes isn’t enough and we invited Debra and her daughter Annette to come visit us – turns out to be a brilliant decision as we had a great time.

The ladies booked a sleeper journey from Euston on the Caledonian Sleeper and then came to us via the local Glasgow train service.  As Sandy and I waited at the station to pick them up, the squally rain showers were zipping along the Clyde – and we started to worry that we would be house-bound for the weekend.

First stop - Carman Hill, Cardross
Carman Hill, Cardross

Ok, the weather was dry when we got out of the car at the top of Carman Hill – hoping to see a great view over the Clyde estuary – the low clouds had other ideas for us, though.  As we drove along the banks of Loch Lomond, there was no sign of Ben Lomond at all and the weather seemed to be closing in completely.

low cloud on the rest and be thankful
The Rest and Be Thankful

So, ever brave, even though there wasn’t much sign of good weather, we decided to go on to Inveraray.  We commented that the roads were quite busy – and then realised that the Scottish schools were on mid-term break (Tattie Holidays!) and, when we reached Inveraray, it was really quite busy.  Bracing – but definitely busy.

Inveraray
Bracing weather in Inveraray

Yes – you’ve spotted that Debra and Annette found some sunshine – and, although it was bracing, the scenery was stunning.  The Clyde Puffer, the Vital Spark, was tied up at the pier.

Vital Spark, Inveraray - ParaHandy
The Vital Spark – star of the ParaHandy TV Series

 

 

Christmas 2017 – Last Posting Dates by Royal Mail

International Last Posting Dates
Christmas 2017

International Standard and all International Tracking and Signature services

Saturday 2 December
Africa, Middle East

Wednesday 6 December
Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe
(except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)

Thursday 7 December
Caribbean, Central and South America

Saturday 9 December
Australia, Greece, New Zealand

Wednesday 13 December
Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

Thursday 14 December
Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

Friday 15 December
Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal,
Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia,
Spain, Switzerland

Saturday 16 December
Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

UK Last Posting Dates
Christmas 2017

UK Business Contract Services

Tuesday 19 December
Royal Mail 48®

Wednesday 20 December
Royal Mail Tracked 48®
Royal Mail 24®

Thursday 21 December
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
Royal Mail Tracked 24®

Friday 22 December
Royal Mail Special Delivery
Saturday Guaranteed®

Whatever happened to Iceberg Lettuce?

We’ve just been on a short trip to Yorkshire – we stayed in the Days Inn at Wetherby for most of that.  It was convenient for visiting the Harrogate Home and Gift Show and for visiting various towns in the surrounding area.

Wetherby Whaler
Wetherby Whaler – Large Haddock Supper

Wetherby is a lovely town – full of colour, plenty of good places to eat – and some lovely little shops.  OK, there’s a Morrison’s supermarket too but we only found this towards the end of our stay …  basically, we didn’t need to do any supermarket shopping, so why would we look for one!

We also explored Helmsley (would love to go back) and were enchanted by it.  We arrived on the same day as a vintage car rally so attention was divided between cars and walking through the quaint town centre.

I admit it – I’m a plain-eating sort of girl  😉 these days.  We had breakfast in the hotel and then headed out for the day.  It’s easy finding coffee shops to have a quick snack at lunchtime – and we found several which were excellent.  Then, because there was such a choice of places to have dinner, it became much more difficult.

Our first meal in Wetherby was at Sir Dukes Bar and Grill in Bank Street.  The restaurant was busy – but thankfully we managed to find a table.  Looking through the menu, and watching meals being served to other diners round about, it was clear that we would probably only manage a main course.  The portions looked huge.  It took as a few moments to figure out our choices.  Sandy chose the “This is Clucking Fantastic” – Roasted breast, stuffed thigh, crispy drumstick, Bearnaise and chicken juices, skin on fries and wild rocket salad.  I went for an 8 oz (seemed bigger!) sirloin steak with fries and added a couple of garlic prawns.  The food was delicious.

We visited the Harrogate Home and Gift Show – a trade show for retailers – and had a challenging time walking through the various show halls and marquees.  We placed orders, made contact with existing suppliers and, excitingly, found some potential new ones as well!  More of that later.

I know now that I’m not fit to do trade shows in the heat of the summer – and I was a total grump because of the layout of the show.  At some points, trying to walk from one category of exhibitors to another became a nightmare because the halls only seemed to connect to one another at one point – so if you wanted to skip products which were of no interest, it wasn’t always obvious how to get to the next area quickly.  I now appreciate the Glasgow Exhibition Centre so much more – it’s well laid out, the routes to toilets and eating areas are well marked out and it’s all one one level.

Having said that, the quality of most of the goods on display at Harrogate is very high.  I believe we wished we had visited many years ago.

We ate at several other restaurants (we were in the area for six days) – included

Sant Angelo in Wetherby – also good.  Sandy enjoyed his POLLO ALLA CREMA – Chicken fillet marinated with fresh herbs, shallots, mushrooms,
white wine and cream.

The Golden Fleece  in Thirsk – I had the most delicious Lamb Rump – it’s a long time since I had such a tender piece of lamb (salivating just thinking about it!)

The Wetherby Whaler – and this place was really busy too – with a traditional fish and chip shop downstairs, this restaurant served a “Fish Tea” bread and butter, tea, fish and chips.  All freshly cooked, the haddock was fantastic.  The chips were great as well.

The only thing that I really missed when out and about in Yorkshire was a salad with traditional iceberg or little gem lettuce – “mixed leaves” are everywhere and, while I appreciate that many people really like them, I’m a rebel – I just need plain old lettuce 😉  The same comment applies to meals out in Scotland.

I really am an old grump!

 

 

Oooh, we’ve just had a sneaky peek

Margaret MacGillivrayThat made me smile – every now and again, we get the chance to see the pre-release images of the latest Steiff designs – and, yes, we’ve ordered three different designs which will be available in July – August 2017.  They’re adorable and we’re expecting that they’ll sell out quickly.  You can find our current Steiff products on our website at

https://www.macgillivrays.co.uk/steiff-bears.html

To all Steiff collectors out there – happy collecting 😉

Steiff Limited Edition Flora and Florinchen
Flora and Florinchen – Mother and Child by Steiff

This cute set of Flora and Florinchen is selling quickly 🙂

 

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