Christmas Shopping in Perth and Fife
I was chomping at the bit to get to the Fife Makers event in Falkland this afternoon. I am determined that this Christmas I will be giving my nearest and dearest people something made by careful hands. I will not be buying tat from chain stores that is factory-made without thought or imagination. But first I was on a mission to take my dad (seasoned shopping-hater) to one or two places in Perth. First up: A K Bell Library to buy charity Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Then on to Gillies on George Street, to look for a chair that my dad can get out off without scaffolding. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the lovely Elsie recommended a fab little chair that I quite fancy myself actually. I’m not even going to tell you which one it is in case you rush out and gazump me.. Then on to B&Q to buy paint, as in a weak moment I offered to paint mum and dads kitchen. We got fabulous customer service from David at the Perth B&Q. Anyway after that little lot I decanted dad back home, scoffed some delicious mushroom soup made by ace cook, Ellen Mckay (aka my mum). Then she and I waltzed off over the border from Perthshire just into Fife.
Earlier in the week I had visited Newburgh and popped in to Studio 222, which is stuffed to the gunnels with gorgeous things made by gorgeous people. I bought a stained glass thistle amongst other things. Then further down the road we nipped in to Kit & Caboodle and spent ages puddling about looking at the lovely vintage, retro, recycled and upcycled goodies. But today we were Falkland-bound. Falkland is bounded on one side by Falkland Palace and on the other by the Lomond Hills and there’s so much to see here. We started off in Falkland Town Hall then meandered past the square and the violin shop to Miss Daisy, the cutest little gift shop and tea room. I bought loads of things in here. There’s a brilliant new artist on the go called Aiden McCallum and Miss Daisy sells his paintings. They are striking and beautiful. Aiden’s dad has Huntingtons Disease and Aiden started painting as a child as a means of coping with everything. You have to nip in to Miss Daisy and see for yourself. Then we popped in to Fayre Earth, Mapsie House Gallery, Rowan Tree, The Old Rusty fox, Cottage Crafts and then finally the Palace Gift Shop. We staggered back to the car laden with goodies.
But we will be back. I love Falkland. It’s just so steeped in history. Also part of Outlander was filmed here, based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon and set in the run up to the Battle of Culloden and also post WW II.
Falkland is peppered with little cobbled streets and alleys and higgledy-piggledy houses, with some great independent shops and cafes. The chapel in Falkland Palace is still in use today. My second child was baptised there. Mary Queen of Scots stitched some of the tapestries herself. It’s one of my favourite places.