A unique form of completing the Press and Journal crossword has strengthened the bond between a mum and daughter forced to remain miles apart during lockdown.
Ida Donnachie, who lives south of Dingwall, was particularly concerned about how she would keep up with the daily challenge when lockdown restrictions meant the 91-year-old was confined to her home in March.
The pensioner is an especially big fan of the weekly prize crossword which features in the paper’s Saturday magazine.
She feared that being unable to pop out to the shops would ruin her chances of securing the gold-plated pen from Finnies the jewellers, worth £125, which is sent out each week to a puzzle fan who has completed it.
But Aberdeen Journals staff helped Mrs Donnachie subscribe to the digital version of the P&J – and the resourceful Conon Bridge resident soon found a way to ensure she could still take part in the weekly competition.
After sussing out the answers, she would phone her daughter Katherine Donnachie in Deskford, near Cullen, so that she could fill in a physical copy of the crossword and post it off to the paper’s HQ in Marischal Square.
And now, the crossword fanatic’s local postie has started to help out by sending the answers off for her.
Her daughter said the routine had been a “lifeline” for the family, and that “keeping a form of normality” meant her mum remained “as alert as ever”.
Mrs Donnachie added: “I really enjoy doing the crossword because it has kept my brain active.”
The pensioner is also a big fan of singer Rod Stewart, and was last year invited to watch him perform at the P&J Live from the VIP box after knitting him a pair of socks.
She knitted the music legend a green and white pair after finding out he carries a minimum of 50 sets to every gig, so he always has plenty to choose from.