Birnam Fayre

If you happen to be free next weekend, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October, and you’re in reach of the Birnam Hotel in Perthshire, you might like to pop along to the “Meet the Makers” fayre being held there from 10am to 5pm on both days.

It’s hosted by Exclusively Highlands, who are advertising it on their Facebook page.

The reason I mention it is because I’m going to have a stall there, flogging my little book,

some lovely vintage china (not the best of photos, the china looks much better in real life – come and see for yourself),

my sister’s handmade teacosies,

and her cushion covers.

I attended the fayre (I don’t know why they’ve adopted this spelling of the word) last year, the very first time it had been held there, and this year when I found myself with things to sell I thought it might be nice to take a stall and see if I could do a bit of business.

I’ve attended a couple of craft fairs elsewhere in the last few days and noticed that, although there were plenty of punters milling around showing an interest, there was a distinct lack of money changing hands. I’ve spoken to stall holders and other retailers, and they’ve all reported sluggish sales this year.

Quite understandable of course, I myself haven’t bought anything from any of the fairs I’ve been to this year, and in previous years I would almost certainly have shelled out for something.

I watched an interesting series of TV documentaries recently about economics (that might sound a tad dull, but they were enthusiastically presented and well researched), in which the point was made that in order for an economy to work money has to change hands frequently. The problem at the moment seems to be that most of us don’t feel inclined to let go of what we have.

photo courtesy of

Part of what makes us feel a bit nervous about spending, even if we have a regular income, is that our money doesn’t seem to be worth as much as it used to be. Only a few years ago my savings account yielded twice as much interest as it gives now, and the media is full of doom and gloom about how things are only going to get worse. Not surprisingly, all of this makes the ordinary chap in the street feel a little protective of the money he’s got.

My dad made the point this morning that, in terms of starting up in business, I’ve picked just about the worst time to do it, which is quite true. I also chose the worst time possible to leave a secure, well-paid, job in 2008, just when the recession struck and companies put a freeze on hiring new staff. However, when you get yourself into a bit of a hole like that, it forces you to use your resourcefulness and challenges you to find new ways of staying optimistic. I can’t say that I always manage to do either of these things, and I confess to spending far too much time worrying about it and feeling somewhat demoralised, but learning to count your blessings is a very useful tool in life, and one that can be equally valuable whether you’re living on the breadline or lounging on your megayacht shovelling away the caviar.

From what I remember of the Birnam Fayre last year, crafts on sale included photographs, sculpture, jewellery, handmade chocolates, children’s books, tweed handbags, glassware, biscuits and wood carvings. I can’t remember how many stalls there were but I would guess at 30+ and most of them were housed in the hotel’s rather grand and very spacious hall upstairs.

I don’t think my stall will be in that room, which is a pity, so if you do call in be sure to have a peek into the other little areas dotted about. I might even give you something for a knock-down price. In fact, if you quote ‘Lorna’s little bargain’ I’ll guarantee you a quid off any item you buy. Can’t say fairer than that in these straitened times.


38 thoughts on “Birnam Fayre

  1. Oh I do wish I could come see you there! I hope you have a grand time, and I also hope that people will part with their hard-earned cash for some of your books and other lovely items.

    • Thank you Christine, I’m hoping it’ll be busy and full of people looking for little books about tearooms. Well, you never know. 🙂

  2. i wish you all the best with your fayre. like Christine, I do wish I could drop by and have a visit however my thoughts will be with you and wishing you well. Birnam is such a lovely place to visit and I’m sure it will be beautiful especially at this time of year.

    • Thank you Alison, that’s very kind and I agree that it’s a lovely area. The trees are turning here now and the colours in Perthshire’s ‘big tree country’ are getting glorious. I should have added the beauty of the trees into the post to entice possible visitors. I’ll have to try and take some pictures before the leaves all fall off.

  3. Have a fabulous time at the fayre! I often take a table at a local fair and even though I don’t sell a lot of books I do get to meet and talk to many people which I love to do. I consider it good exposure. I so wish I could come and see you. BTW, where can one purchase your lovely little book?

    • Yippee! Thank you Jo, it was worth a visit last year, so I hope it’ll be as good this year. There are some lovely walks in the area too, if you happen to have the time.

  4. Hi Lorna, good luck for the fayre! I love the adopted spelling and it sounds like a fabulous day out indeed. Regarding your career choice and change of scenery, any change is as good as a holiday and life is asking you to take another adventure.

    Remember you can always go back to it or something similar but you rarely get the chance to revisit dreams!!!

    • Thank you Alice, encouraging words, and I do agree with you, I just need to keep reminding myself of this wisdom when I have a little wobble and think I should play it safe instead. However, I don’t want to regret not taking chances and having wonderful experiences. 🙂

  5. Good luck Lorna, I hope you manage to talk the punters into parting with a few quid! Have you thought about setting up a sister site to LTD where you could flog tea related paraphernalia online?

    • Thank you Finn, that thought has crossed my mind but I haven’t done anything beyond vaguely think about it so far. I will certainly cogitate upon it more, thank you for the reminder.

  6. Good luck with sales at the fayre. Embrace your new adventure and rejoice with all the new friends you make along the way.

    • Thanks for asking Scott – very slow! There was a poor turnout (I think the weather was too good) and none of the stallholders did much trade, sadly. Still, it was an interesting experience.

  7. That vintage china is gorgeous!

    I’m after you in the Virtual Vegan Potluck so thought I’d come here and say hi. 🙂 It would be great if we could exchange the links to our posts before the date of the potluck. Whenever you schedule your post, do drop me a line with the link.

    • Hello and thank you! Very nice to meet you, and I wish I was as well organised as you are but I haven’t done my post yet….however, as soon as I have it ready I’ll let you know.

  8. Well it’s the experience that counts Lorna and it is an interesting way to spend your day. The china looks amazing and also the tea cosies. If I was in Scotland, I would have definitely dropped by. 🙂

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