Thanks for popping in.
I’m afraid I am running a little late again today, but that’s okay.
The last few weeks have been so busy in Retreat Zone, I haven’t really looked up, except to say, “Are you still with me?” or “Everybody happy?” or “OK, so let’s move on...”
Yesterday was the last day, so it was very strange this morning to wake up when I woke up, instead of 5am! Needless to say, it was gone 9 when I finally surfaced today!
But looking back over our time with 5 lovely groups of Clarity friends who each spent 2 days with us, believe it or nor, I would happily do it again! There is nothing like being in the company of good people who share the same passion for creativity, and who have the same thirst for knowledge.
We had several surprise guests drop in on us - literally!
On the very first morning of the very first day,
a helicopter landed in the rugby field,
and none other than HRH The Duke of Edinburgh popped in!
Naturally, we were all there to give him a lovely warm
reception in our aprons!
But then it was heads down and crack on!
One of the best things about this job is spending time
with people I really, really like,
and seeing them year after year.
They are a pretty awesome bunch
of ladies AND gents
and many of us have known each for many years -
way before TV and all that jazz!
Friends come from near and far, from Scotland and Ireland down to Devon and Cornwall - and everywhere inbetween.
The Dorset Duo!
The Scottish Team
and so many other super guests!
Many of the ladies have made friends, and they meet up here every year, for a mini holiday.
One of the groups comprised half the Clarity Design Team!
That was the loud bunch!!!
Lots of hilarity with Clarity!
But they mucked in and got covered in ink - like everybody else!
Especially if they were on the Sam Crowe table!!
I think there was a good mix of skills and techniques presented,
and a wonderful mix of people and personalities.
There was a lot of generosity, at many different levels.
People gave me so many beautiful gifts! Many, many thanks.
People helped each other.
People helped us.
Without any prompting,
ladies would simply go and clean the kitchen for me.
Dave washed the brayers and mats without a murmur.
Jayne, she who provided excellent lunches and refreshments
every day, celebrated her birthday.
When I look at the photos now, I am grinning from ear to ear, because it really was pretty special.
My Mum was in this group, too, which always makes me happy.
One morning, a Hot-air balloon landed in the field!
And we wondered who it might be this time!
Perfect day for it either way!
But always somewhere, you would find Dave and Paul
milling around, helping it all run like clockwork, and it did!
Paul Church is a good friend. He is brilliant to work with.
He has a wicked sense of humour and a very big heart.
He just KNOWS what needs doing, and quietly gets on with it.
So hip hip hurray and many thanks to Paul!!!
Another thing which I so loved, was watching folks of all ages enjoy their art.
Eighty-four years old was Helen.
And she produced some superb work.
Kept up, no slacking, and oh boy! Did we laugh when she rolled her sleeves up for the Shaving Foam finale!!
We had a couple more friends drop in, too.
How chuffed were we when Nigel May and Alan strolled in!!
Lots of hugs and photos.
It made us all feel so special.
Thank you Nige.
You are one in a million.
On the very last day, lovely Annie, our ClarityStamp & Stencil artist, turned up, with her beautiful little Dot.
Check out the T-Shirt!!!!
What a smasher!
It was the perfect end to the retreats for me. For the guests to meet the young woman who had drawn the stamp they were actually using at the time!
So I may be tired, and the house may look like a bomb’s hit it,
but that’s fine. Mission accomplished.
I just have one more busy week,
2 hours German TV HSE24 Tuesday 8.00am and 14.00pm,
5 hours Create & Craft TV Thursday, sprinkled through the day,
but then I am off the hook for a while.
So, to all who joined us in Crowborough at the retreats, many thanks to you for making the time and giving the energy which made it such a great experience.
I will sit down with a calendar soon,
and work out a plan for next year....
Right. Where’s the kettle?