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Alison Moore Designs

  • A time to remember

    This week marks 100 years since the battle of Jutland, and Orkney is playing a big part in commemorations.  Over the weekend we saw the arrival of several BBC lorries for filming the events as well as a Navy ships, a fleet of bullet proof cars, sniffer dogs, police and security.

    Orkney has also been hosting the beautiful weeping window poppies as they tour the country.  So fitting to be here in time for the commemorations.

    Weeping Window Weeping Window ceramic poppy installation first shown at the Tower of London

    Just like at home when expecting visitors we tend to whip round with the vacuum and throw things in cupboards, Orkney has had a spruce up with streets being cleaned and tidied up and a lick of paint here and there in preparation. We should see the arrival of several VIPs including The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, MP’s and high ranking Navy officials and many more.

    There will also be the unveiling of the wall at the Kitchener Memorial to mark 100 years since the HMS Hampshire sank off the coast of Orkney and 737 men  lost their lives. The wall names all those who perished  and among them was Lord Kitchener who was  famously on the ‘your country needs YOU’ poster.

    It’s a busy but moving and poignant time for all involved. Relatives are invited to services held at the Cathedral and at Hoy and there are big screens in place.  Highlights will also be shown on so no one need miss out.

    Further details of events can be found here:
    http://www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/S/first-world-war-commemorative-cultural-programme.htm

    and a blog about events and the Kitchener and HMS Hampshire Memorial can be found here:
    https://kitchenerhampshire.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/hms-hampshire-centenary-one-week-to-go/

  • An Island Proposal

    Last year, Orkney was voted the most romantic destination by non-other than Mills and Boon.  As I see people in a permanent state of boiler suit and everyone hurrying around in anoraks, woolly hats and clothing zipped up to the neck, I sometimes wonder how they reached that decision. But then I look beyond that to the incredible, ever changing skies. The landscapes, history and secret places and I understand.  I hope to share with you some of the romance of Orkney through the blog and invite you to share any of your stories with me.

    Skara Brae

    Up here we’ve seen some huge storms and locals are used to finding ways to make sure they stick to the ground along with their roofs, sheds, trampolines, cars and cattle.

    In 1850 there was such a storm which combined with a very high tide.  This stripped the grass and sand away from a mound near the coast on the West Mainland to reveal the edge of several stone buildings. This was enough to arouse the curiosity of the local laird, who decided to excavate the site. What he discovered was part of a 5000 year old ‘housing estate, ‘fascinating stone houses joined together with tunnels.  After discovering four ancient houses, work was abandoned until 1925 when another storm (common theme here!) damaged some of the buildings previously excavated. It is now owned and maintained by Historic Scotland.

    Neolithic village at Skaill Bay World Heritage site, Skara Brae neolithic village, Orkney

    People come from all over the world to visit the fascinating discovery, and among them  in May 2015  was Kathie and her partner Dinkar.  Little did she know at the time, but Dinkar was going to use the trip as an opportunity to propose. It was Skaill, the bay which hosts Skara Brae, where he decided  what better place to pop than question than where men and women had lived and loved over 5000  years ago.

    Kathie and Dinu met up with a friend while celebrating their new engagement who recommended Alison Moore Designs as a possible choice for engagement ring.  After visiting our shop, they settled on a Storybook ring saying, ‘The heart was in Alison’s, and she was also just lovely, so we went back there and couldn’t be happier’.

    They both spent time looking through Alison's gemstone collection and settled on a peachy/red coloured rose cut diamond to sit within a gold Storybook ring.  Dinkar also asked Alison to engrave a special message on the inside of the ring.

    Kathie's custom made rose cut diamond gold engagement ring Kathie's custom made rose cut diamond gold engagement ring

    They will be marrying in a few weeks’ time and putting Alison Moore Designs wedding rings on their fingers to complete romantic story.  We wish them all the very best in their life together and look forward to seeing them when they visit Orkney again.

    Orkney engagement ring couple Dinkar and Kathie
  • Emeralds - May birthstone

    It’s May.  The sun is shining, swallows are back in Orkney, people have stopped scowling at the weather and plants and flowers are beginning to emerge with life and colour. The dead is coming back to life and turning green wherever you look.  What better time to introduce the birthstone for May, which is the beautiful emerald.  Striking and vivid in colour, the emerald is said to symbolise rebirth and grant the owner youth and love.

    Emerald gold Storybook ring Emerald gold Storybook ring

    Columbia is the largest producer of emeralds but they were mined originally in Egypt but they are produced in countries all over the world.  Their name is derived from the Greek word smaragdus which simply means green.

    When grading gemstones the most important criteria is colour.  However with grading emeralds clarity is also vital. To be considered the finest in the emerald league it must be of a pure green and also a high degree of transparency.

    If  you’re a follower of celeb styles then it’s worth knowing Elizabeth Taylor was fond of emeralds and Victoria Beckham, Uma Thurman and Angelina Jolie have all been seen sporting the green sparkler on the red carpet. Emeralds get you noticed!

    Sarah N

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