A glorious Easter in Scotland

Easter 2019 has been magnificent – the weather has been sunny and very warm. That has meant the beautiful scenery has been matched by stunning displays of cherry blossom and rhododendrons as well as spring bulbs on grass verges beside roads and in gardens.

Cherry blossom in Cardross

The Scotland’s Garden Scheme gives visitors the opportunity to explore gardens around Scotland – some of them only open a couple of times a year. “Scotland’s Gardens Scheme was founded in 1931 to raise money for the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, to help support the Queen’s Nurses, before the creation of the National Health Service. Our charitable support has expanded over the years but our love of gardens has remained constant.” There are often plants for sale on the open days and people can be seen heading back to their cars with arms full of plants in everything from cardboard boxes to carrier bags and black bin liners.

Margaret MacGillivray visiting Kilarden, Rosneath
Cherry Blossom, Scotland

The Scotlands Garden Scheme raises a lot of money for charity. Most weekends of the year, it is possible to find a garden open – and I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to explore.

Ask about different stones

Sterling silver Celtic brooch set with amethyst
Silver Celtic Cross Brooch set with Amethyst

You’d love to buy a Celtic brooch in gold or sterling silver, but you’re looking for one set with a different precious or semi-precious stone? How often do you say to yourself, “I’d love to buy this for Auntie M but she only wears silver and turquoise!” Well, you know what, our silver and goldsmiths are versatile and we can request a quotation for you to supply a special piece of jewellery which is set with the gemstone of your choice. Sure, it might cost a little more than the standard offering and it will certainly take a few extra days for us to get it made for you. However, challenges like this are our bread and butter – we love it when our customers say that they’re looking for something unusual and don’t know how to got about obtaining it!

Silver Celtic Brooch set with Ruby
Sterling silver Celtic Cross Brooch – set with Ruby this time!

Photo © https://twitter.com/Magsc61

Please just ask us 🙂 Don’t worry, we’ll be gentle with you and will let you know about costs and timescales as soon as possible.

Treasures – a cozy offering today!

Border lambswool scarf

Anita Manning Colours - Calzeat Lambswool Scarf
Calzeat Scarf in Lambswool, made in Scotland

How often have you watched the exuberant Anita Manning on the BBC – wearing a funky, bright lambswool scarf? We’ve been selling this one for some time now and this is your opportunity to snap one up!

Use the code
Treasures
at the checkout to claim your 15% discount.

As the nights get shorter, the days seem to be colder – dank November days, snow and frost just around the corner – this cosy scarf will keep you nice and toasty!

Samarkand – inspiration for our Treasures special offer

We know you love a deal and we’re offering a 15% discount on this set of six Samarkand mugs.  Created by Dunoon, these geometric designs are enhanced with 22ct gold leaf.

Use the code Treasures at checkout to claim your mugs to save £15.75 on the price of this lovely set.  This price includes delivery in the UK.  Overseas orders still carry postage charges, I’m afraid.

set of six samarkand mugs
Samarkand Mugs by Dunoon

The ancient city of Samarkand seems to have been a crucible of cultures and religions. An archaeological reserve in the north-east of Samarkand, known as Afrasiab, the site of the ancient city, contains numerous indications of a diverse medieval society. Excavations have revealed brilliant murals, whose fragments seem to illustrate a number of exotic scenes: a wedding procession, ambassadors bearing gifts, a diplomatic ceremony, and scenes from the royal hunt. Another shows a Chinese princess being conveyed across a river in a boat.

https://en.unesco.org/silkroad/content/samarkand

 

How do you use Instagram?

MacGillivray’s

I was slow to the Instagram party – and so, I’m now struggling to keep up before the millions of users switch to the next hot platform.  (Don’t know if there is one yet – but if you know of one, please pass on the info!)

It turns out that using each new social media platform has a learning curve – and then, of course, someone like Facebook will step in and buy the company so that they can plunder the best bits and sell advertising to a new tribe.  (Personal gripe!)

I wonder if I did anything right on my own IG account?  Someone mentioned that I should look at Sheila Flores – she’s got about 22K followers.  So, I wandered over to look at what I can see on her feed.

  • Well, on Sheila’s IG feed, the overall impression is that she’s using blue as the main theme colour.  Not all the time, of course, but in a significant number of images.
  • Sheila often stars in the images; thankfully, though, she’s a small figure in a much bigger landscape.  She doesn’t do the pouty, pert images that I see on a lot of other feeds and I feel that she really is more interested in the places than in being the centre of attention.  Sheila mostly is fully clothed – a plus!  Sometimes she’s not in the photo at all.
  • There are lots of comments on her photos.  While Sheila obviously doesn’t answer everyone, it’s impressive how often you see that she takes the time to respond to comments.
  • Descriptions of the places which Sheila features are written in Spanish and also in English.  That’s also clever.  Others may do the same but I haven’t encountered them yet.
  • I think that there’s a lot of humour in Sheila’s photos – and many make me smile.  Great idea.
  • Sheila’s Instagram is all about places she’s visited.  She seems to find something really quirky for several of her photos – and things which a lot of people will have seen but not everyone has taken the time to feature.  We all walk past places of interest every day – but I know I forget to really look and see what’s there ….  hmm.

So, that’s one Instagram account which has given me food for thought.   I will try and review another account tomorrow – I have spotted something else which I like and which might be equally inspirational.

 

 

My pc is showing its age

There comes a time when stuff just wears out!  … and that’s about to happen to my computer equipment.  DUH!  I’ve had most of the bits and pieces I used to run my business for several years now and just about everything is showing signs of terminal decline 🙁   … pun intended, LOL.
..




The last time I bought a pc, I used Novatech.  Their service and delivery was fantastic and the prices were really good.  I’m about to send some more money their way but I’m hoping that the computer will last into the New Year because we are about to have some dusty renovations done and I don’t want to subject new equipment to builder’s dust.

I’m really happy to recommend Novatech, though, and if you chose to buy something through my link, I’ll receive a little commission to help towards the costs of the renovations.  :O

 

Are there any bargains to be had when you’re buying ink for your printer?  I feel as if I’m paying for liquid gold sometimes – so I’m going to try out these people!



Instagram or bust?

I could spend my whole life viewing photos on instagram – and, to be honest, I do probably spend more time than is healthy, sitting at my pc, surfing the web.  (I’ve just been doing it right now!

Margaret MacGillivray
Grumpy old woman

I’ll just bet there are millions of youngsters out there, right this minute, busily snapping away, taking selfies, exposing themselves in all sorts of ways, with a view to garnering some attention and maybe some money for sponsored posts.

Well, good luck to them is what I say to that.  If you’ve got the brass neck to expose yourself so blatantly, maybe you do deserve a reward.  But, from the perspective of someone who lived a life before Instagram, the same pouty, pert, photogenic photos become extremely boring after about … thirty seconds!  I’m obviously not your target audience.  On the other hand, if you had managed to be interesting I might just have stuck around for a few minutes more to see what you’re promoting.

For goodness sake – do you always have to be centre stage??  Do I always have to look at your breasts hanging out of a bikini?  Or your ripped muscles about an inch away from the camera lens.  Get a life – go show me something else; for instance you walking to work, catching the subway, flying a Lear jet, standing at Monument Valley or the Tour Eiffel.

Aaaargh!