The Kippen Girls
Today I am sharing a little taster from my book “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow”
Today’ taster travels to Scotland, where I spent most of my childhood, apart from annual holidays to my parents’ homeland in Donegal, Ireland, which I am happy to now call my permanent home.
“On March 1954, my parents married and moved to Callander, a pretty Perthshire town known as “The Gateway to the Highlands”. I was born in a castle called Airthrey Castle, then a maternity hospital located near Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.
Callander – The Gateway to the Highlands
In 1956, we settled in the quaint village of Kippen, around ten miles from our previous home. Kippen was set on a hillside, with scenic views over a flat area of land known as The Carse, also home to the meandering River Forth. The Grampian Mountains could be seen in the distance. Our new home had a stunning backdrop, the steep Gargunnock and Fintry hills, which have a similar topography to Sligo’s Ben Bulbin.
Kippen’s Main Street
The main street provided villagers with three grocers shops, a dressmaker’s, a post office, two garages and a hotel called The Cross Keys. We lived on Fore Road, home to the Church of Scotland, an antique shop and another hotel – The Crown. Our house was called Beech Cottage and was situated right next to the village hall.
The Church of Scotland
Kippen was a popular tourist destination, not least because it was home to the world’s largest vine, housed in four greenhouses. The vineyard sadly closed in 1964, but I can still remember visiting the spot, at the far end of the Main Street.”
My mother died in 1970, and my family eventually left Kippen for Scotland’s capital city -Edinburgh. However, I still make a point of visiting this lovely village when I return to Scotland. These photographs were taken in August 2016.
I eventually became a natural medicine’s therapist and teacher, and taught self healing classes for Stirling University’s Open Studies and Summer Schools from 1993 till 1999. The venue for these classes was Airthrey Castle – the place of my birth!
My sisters and I are still known as “The Kippen Girls.”
Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.
She lives in Donegal, Ireland – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk