A MUSSELBURGH grandmother is bringing a smile to the faces of adults and children alike with her gifts of painted stones during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Linda Donachie, 66, who lives in the Pinkie area, is leaving the colourful keepsakes all over the town for people to find while they are enjoying their daily exercise.

She said: “They can keep them or leave them for others to find.”

Mrs Donachie, who retired three years ago after 22 years as the special needs auxiliary at Macmerry Primary School, said she had always looked at different craft and sensory ideas for her work.

A mum of two and grandmum of four, she collects stones which catch her eye while out for a daily cycle to Morrison’s Haven near Prestonpans with husband David.

Back home, she decorates them with faces, sea creatures, hedgehogs, colourful patterns and flowers before leaving them at various points in the town, including the sea wall, lagoons and Fisherrow harbour. One with a sad face was left at The Grove where a tree had been felled recently.

Lucky finders have taken to social media to express their delight for ‘Linda D’ who signs the stones, and she is overwhelmed by the positive feedback about her fun lockdown initiative.

Jamie Wilson, of Levenhall, posted: “We found a magic painted stone on our garden wall. As much as we would love to keep this special stone we have decided to share the joy it brought us so will be passing it on for others to find. Thanks Linda D.”

Mrs Donachie said: “I am planning to keep on doing it as I get pleasure out of it and always want to make children smile.”

She has also left stones for friends and posted some to her sister’s grandchildren in Fife, as she lives in Haddington and can’t visit them due to the lockdown.

Mrs Donachie and her husband also put their craft skills into action by making fun animals for friends and family out of discarded car parts.