Friday, 26 February 2016

A day off ? What are the chances?

Hi there!
Thanks for dropping in today.
Thanks also for watching HOCHANDA yesterday.
You have to admit, it is getting good.
I love it up there. The presenters are all so delightful.
It was great to be back with Leonie too.
About blimming time.

Friday’s blog a private peek, right?

Today’s the first day I have stopped for a while now.
It’s quite important from time to time, don’t you agree?
To stop and reassess the situation?

Hang on, let’s me flick the switch.
The kettle, that is!
Nothing like a cuppa when you’re reassessing Life!


These two pests, Wurka and Hollick, 
have definitely moved back in.


The thing is, I had so many years of just pedalling to stay afloat, 
to pay the rent and the bills, that they were my friends.
Or so I thought.
Wurka would say,“just do more and you will be ok this month”
and Hollick would say, “You never know what’s round the corner, so get ahead - just in case”

This then becomes a working part of the mindset. 
This is what you end up believing and living by.
And I would wager that there are many, many people reading this who totally - and I mean TOTALLY - get me.

So to have a day off when my teammates are spiralling at Clarity trying to keep up with the unprecedented surge is just not possible.
I can stay away from the building,
but I just end up running up the phone bill!

This blog helps.
To just switch off and come in here. 
It helps more than you can imagine.
Some might consider it work. 
I don’t.
It’s a pleasant part of my daily routine;
more like meditation than work actually. 
Sometimes we craft, sometimes we just chat. 
But I don’t recall ever working in here. 
To me it’s a daily date I have made with you. 

What I have figured out is to MAKE DATES!
You know how we make business appointments?
I even have an international Conference Call this afternoon!
(Get me!!)
Well, I make private dates in exactly the same way now.
And I stick to them. Shit or bust, hell or high water.
It doesn’t matter what’s kicking off at Clarity,
I makes dates with people I love, and I keep them.

It would be so easy to cancel that dinner date, or that evening at the cinema, or the bowling session, or the day at the gallery, 
or the Adele concert - NOT A CHANCE!!!!
(All of which I’m happy to say are in the March calendar).
And Wurka has certainly been wurkin on it!!
But if I start buying in to the “roll your sleeves up and clear the decks” routine which was my mantra for 20 + years,
I may as well put my life in the washing machine, 
set it to Whites 90 and wash ALL the colour out of it.

So here’s the plan today folks!
Get my glad rags on, ready for this Conference Call.
Not that I need to dress up for a phone call! 
I haven’t gone that mad YET!!!

No. The reason is so that we can get out of the door over to Mum and Dads for a couple of hours this afternoon before the rush hour traffic kicks in!

Then this evening we are having dinner in Rochester 
(Same neck of the woods as Mum and Dad)
with our dear friends Debby and Gill,
before they set off on the next stage of their adventure together....

Sad to see them leaving,


very glad they’re in our lives,


exited to see them on the flip side soon.


Tomorrow?
I’ll reassess tomorrow tomorrow.
TGIF !!!!!

See you tomorrow!
Let’s look at that Parchy Stampy project I whistled through 
on the telly yesterday! Took me ages to do!
Let’s take a slower look at that, shall we?
Let’s have a wander through that artwork...


Love & hugs,

95 comments:

  1. Hi Barbara, what happened to that day off then? :-) I know what you mean and how you feel about helping out at Clarity though. Have a great afternoon and evening and try for a day off tomorrow, be a devil and take the weekend off too :-) I loved watching you yesterday, I learn so much from your demos and was really getting into the Groove whilst watching you and looking forward to your Sunday shows to learn some more, big hug xxx

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  2. Thanks Barbara for your continued inspiration. I am also trying to shoo worka and holik out of my life every now and then and it is already working. As a result I feel less stressed, more able to cope with things. I'm not saying I'm completely there yet, it's still a work in progress. I hope you have a wonderful evening and look forward to your next inspiring blog. Do you know when the Charity colouring book is going to be released?

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  3. It's goid that you are at least trying to have a day off. I think the first step is knowing that you are doing too much before it's too late. Unfortunately I didn't and ended up being really ill for a while and not able to work. But on the up side I reassessed and changed my path. Now my art comes first and things are looking up. My health will never be brilliant. But my head is in a better place.
    Love your blog Barbara. Sometimes we just need somewhere that we can be honest and no one will judge us. Xx

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    1. Your art is fabulous baby steps each day for your health sending lots of crafting hugs xxx

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    2. Same thing happened to me Amanda - 15 years ago. I too had to change everything in my life, pretty much. However, it's not all bad by any means - acceptance is probably the hardest thing. Once you can do that - things start to get better. Crafting has been my way forward - but as Sheila quite rightly says, baby steps each day. Hugs Gilly xxx

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  4. You sound very content and relaxed today Barbara, like you are so grateful for everything you and your team have achieved. And so you should. I'm so glad that you have realised that it is very important to switch off, step back, for a while. Just a little conference call, that's just a wee chat, I hope. And then the rest of the day to devote to enjoyment. Life is good xx
    I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that says " keep calm and drink tea", and it never ceases to make me smile. Just the act of stopping whatever else you're doing, putting the kettle on, making a brew, and then sitting and savouring the scalding liquid. Aaarrrhhh, there's nothing quite like it, and it's amazing how it helps in so many circumstances xxxxx

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  5. Well even if you don't get a day off at least you will be doing something that you enjoy - first with your mum and dad and then with the lovely Debby and Gill - omly met them the once but felt like I had known them for ages. I have recorded your shows as I was on a 2 day course in Brum so will watch them later with a cuppa - looking fwd to them even more now I know you are in with Leonie.
    Enjoy your day and if you read this before you meet up with Debby and Gill please do give them my love. Xxxx

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  6. A conference call on your day off ! LOL, that was like me when at work, reading my emails on days off, on holiday by the pool etc. etc. I didn't act on them necessarily but at least I knew what I was expecting when I got back ! My girls used to tell me off, so I can't tell you off as I was the same !

    However, your blog is as good for me as it is for you, I look forward to it every day even more now we're up the hospital for hubby's radiotherapy every day. First week over 7 to go. I've had to tell myself today I will allow myself one hot choc from the café a week - Weds I think - hump day! I know I could have one everyday but I'll be as big as a house by the end of 7 weeks !!

    I'm glad you're making time for yourself. I've never had a social calendar before and it's darn good!

    Loved your shows and will be going back to watch. I'm tempted to do the Open Day at Hochanda but not sure how hubby will feel by then. Although I'm more tempted by your Open Day and I'm going to see if I can persuade hubby to come and say overnight.......

    Have a lovely evening and weekend. xxxx

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    1. Jackie, the Spa Hotel is pretty lovely. Sounds like you deserve a treat xxx

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    2. Thinking of you enjoy your hot chocolate you both deserve a open day weekend away hugs xxx

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    3. I've broached it with hubby and he's said ok as long as he doesn't have to come to the Open Day !! Yet he sneaks a look at the telly programmes and makes appreciative comments ! I was looking at the hotel and will ring your office to see about the deal you mentioned. Thanks x x

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    4. Enjoy Jackie how thoughtful of your hubby xxx

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    5. Jackie
      That's good, one week ticked off, I like the idea of hot chocolate Wednesday too. What a sweetie your husband is, I think you will both enjoy that weekend away, perhaps Dave could set up a hubby area with a tv and comfy sofas at the open days! Xxx

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    6. Hi Jackie - I like the idea of hot chocolate on Wednesday, it's a reward in the middle of the week. Well done getting first week over, no doubt you are marking them off on the calendar as you go. We should be getting an appointment with the Specialist next week - to find out the result of my husband's scan. We will know what lies ahead for us then. Good luck with the next 6 weeks! Hugs Gilly xxx

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    7. Hmmmm hot chocolate, but I am a latte person lately and a skinny one at that to try to keep the weight off. Glad the first week is over for your hubby, it'll be the 7th week before you know it. I want to go to the open day in Crowborough in June, we usually go to the one in Catterick as usually away in June. Hubby comes as well he sits in the hall with a book and newspaper or in the room where the refreshments are, he's quite happy doing that and going for a walkabout. We went for the two days last year and stayed on a caravan site. The idea of staying in a hotel sounds good though, maybe we'll see you there this year Jackie.xx

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    8. Hmmmm hot chocolate, but I am a latte person lately and a skinny one at that to try to keep the weight off. Glad the first week is over for your hubby, it'll be the 7th week before you know it. I want to go to the open day in Crowborough in June, we usually go to the one in Catterick as usually away in June. Hubby comes as well he sits in the hall with a book and newspaper or in the room where the refreshments are, he's quite happy doing that and going for a walkabout. We went for the two days last year and stayed on a caravan site. The idea of staying in a hotel sounds good though, maybe we'll see you there this year Jackie.xx

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    9. Hi everyone, thanks for your words.

      Diane, what a good idea! X

      Positive thoughts for the specialist appointment Gilly xx

      That's an idea Pam, hubby said he'd have to take a book! X



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  7. This made me teary. Thanks for being you...looking forward to tonight. Love you xxx

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    1. Hi Debby I hope you and Gill have a wonderful time on your travels, safe trip and have a great evening xx

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    2. Debby and Gill, sorry to see you go, but just have a wonderful life wherever you go. I hope you will be keeping in touch with all your Clarity and crafting friends who will miss you. Make the most of every second. xxxx Maggie

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  8. Just simply.... Enjoy your day my wonderful friend. Hugs xxx

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  9. Just simply.... Enjoy your day my wonderful friend. Hugs xxx

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  10. Afternoon Barbara your blog to me means everything what a wonderful set of clarity blog family we are making and that's all down to you hope you phone call goes well enjoy the special time with your mum and dad enjoy your day thank you for all your insperation big crafting hugs xxx

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    1. Afternoon Donna Dorothy Diane pam gilly morag lots of special blog friends hugs xxx
      Thinking of you Brenda hope the boiler gets sorted today don't forget to check in so we know your ok hugs for you and daisy xxx

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    2. Hugs to all on the blog xxx

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    3. I agree with you Sheila, the blog and bloggers are now an important part of my daily routine. It really makes me realise how normal I am and all those women out there (and I have a 'friend' like this) who come across as superwomen aren't real. We all have problems and struggles in common and us bloggers also have clarity in common. Have a good day. Hugs

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    4. Hi Sheila I hope you are having a good day today and have managed a crafty play. Is your craft room straight again now? I hope Tom wasn't too ruthless with his sorting out xx

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    5. Hi Sheila - hope that you are starting to recover from yesterday - no doubt rest was the order of the day!! Hope that your crafting weekend goes according to plan! Special hugs from Gilly xxx

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    6. Evening I've been sat with Tom sorting a little craft at a time as struggling to to do it alone and cannot let him loose to throw it away so I've had a good day today thank you for always thinking of me hugs xxx

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    7. Thank you so much Sheila for including me in your list of friends. It doesn't sound as though you're very well at the moment. I hope whatever it is can be resolved. I'm so pleased you've had a good day today xx

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    8. Evening Sheila, sorry to hear you are struggling to get your craft room sorted and that the hospital Dr isn't going to take your cyst away after all. Must have seemed like a wasted journey for you. Hope it doesn't flare up again and that you get a rest from it. Sending you a gentle hug and lots of love.xxx

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  11. Have a fun time with Mum & Dad & your dear friends - you deserve a break! Take care, love Carole xxx

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  12. We must all recognise that treadmill!! Up at 5, train to London at 5.30 to be in the gym by 6.30, an hours workout then shower, dress, tube across London to be in the office at Canary Wharf by 8.30 (didn't officially start until 9.30 but….) Working through lunch, home just in time for Eastenders - sometimes. watching emails all evening (my team was everywhere from Sydney to Los Angeles and all in between) Conference calls at 2.00am in my jimjams (not video calls I hasten to add!!) And then I retired - and its wonderful!! After a couple of months of withdrawal I now ask why I did it? The company hastened crashed since I left, my department is still there (not that I've heard from any of them for years) and Canary Wharf Tower is still standing! May day now consists of checking for your blog, recently monitoring the progress of the 4 wonderful ladies who have just rowed across the Atlantic and generally catching up with all I missed whilst kidding myself I was working to put a roof over our head and food on the table! hey ho - maybe the best lessons are the ones that take longest to learn!!

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    1. should have been hasn't crashed! and My day, not May day (although I could have done with being rescued from time to time!!)

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    2. And isn't that the truth, I retired last May. Its lovely to have time for my crafting again. All these amazing clarity goodies and so much inspiration I still don t have enough time!

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    3. Hi Gillian I can remember my dad going back up to London about 6 months after he retired and he wondered how he had managed the daily commute, the noise and the bustle every day for 25 years! Hasn't that team of rowers done well. Xxx

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    4. I've been retired for 9 years , I can hardly believe it .,don't know how I managed, being a home health nurse for 23 years . I do know that while I was doing it I loved my work and I loved talking to and caring for my patients .

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    5. I retired last April and I haven't missed work at all, a few of the people who I still lunch with, and the buildings I do miss but I can always walk around the quads and gardens when I need to! I've not done half the things I thought I would but am enjoying every minute just being at home with hubby and the cats! At the moment I'm also a non tax payer for the first time ever and am a kept woman until I start one of my pensions when I'm 60 in 4.5 years time! But still the Clarity goodies keep falling in my basket!

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  13. Loved yesterdays show and managed to watch them all yesterday! I've loved watching Hochanda from the beginning and all the presenters are becoming more and more relaxed and you did a fab job yesterday, loved all the art work. It was lovely to see you back with Leonie too. I like the very positive, natural, spontaneous responses from the presenters for whom this is all new! really infectious.
    Making 'play dates 'is so important and I find I do manage to fit everything in. If I have 6 hours to prepare a special meal it will take me that but I can also do it in an hour if I have to! You enjoy your afternoon and spending time with friends.x x x

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  14. Loved your shows, great to see you with Leonie. I too have visits from Wurka and Hollick but I am off on a break tomorrow to de stress with groovi, my kindle and some sea air. So be carefull with me away Wurka and Hollick maybe back to see you. Just joined the club and I am so happy with Jan and Feb masks, stamps and groovi, just love the baby palate. Congrats on your awards and your great news with Pergamano.

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  15. I really do get your thinking Barbara, it is so hard to say no when you see everyone else so busy. Your company goes from strength to strength, you can take time out for your work/life balance. Enjoy your weekend x

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  16. I think this running around like a headless chicken is just a woman thing. In the old day men went out to work and women looked after the house but now we do everything, well I do anyway. When my husband goes to bed he is snoring 30 seconds after his head hits the pillow, me, my head is spinning when I go to bed - I'll need to this tomorrow, I'd better get that done tomorrow. I agree with you about dates, I never cancel a date, whether it is a lunch date, a dentist appointment or a hair cut. Often as the date get closer I feel I want to cancel as I don't have time but when I actually go on the date I have an enjoyable time. So on Monday I'm meeting a friend for lunch then I've got an appointment to get blood taken. Both are as important as each other.

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  17. Glad your taking a bit of time out how ever hard it is really don't want you burning out its good business is going so well show were great yesterday also was great seeing you and Leonie working together so great seeing her at Hochanda and her skills she has to bring and know being able to watch back shows that I miss as no record and play back since joining Virgin last year so enjoying watching show I have missed in joy your afternoon and evening looking forward to play day at clarity East Midlands tomorrow love Joy xxx

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  18. Barbara, your blog is always so insightful. I am so very glad that you don't consider it work as I don't think you fully appreciate how important it is to so many people. It is a way for us all to escape the realities of life, whatever they may be. I am sure there are lots of followers out there that read your blog every day without fail but never or rarely comment. I am one of them and am trying to comment more frequently so you know that it is all worth it. I have had a terribly stressful week with my 2 year old grandson having another massive seizure lasting 3 hours before the doctors could finally get him out of it. My heart has been breaking for all my family and the stress has done a number on my body so I have been in excruciating pain all week. It was wonderful yesterday to escape reality and watch 3 hours of the fabulous Barbara Gray on Hochanda. I can't tell you how therapeutic is was for me. I am so glad that I found your site and wonderful company. A company with a heart. My grandson is doing better and will wait to see the results of the tests concerning damage to his little brain. I hope you are able to enjoy your part day off with your family and friends as it is so important. We can't have you burning out on us. Am already looking forward to the parchment step by step and your shows in another week. Thank you so very much for all you do. You truly are a remarkable woman

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    1. Hi Cathie , I comment on this blog to you a few days ago and said that we are both on the other side of the pond you in Canada and me in Virginia beach., just wondering if you saw it .,to see our children or grandchildren in pain is very difficult . I'm sending out a prayer to you and your family ., jan

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    2. Thanks Janice. All of us have our own burdens to carry one way or another but an innocent little baby is very hard. Hopefully, there are more of us on the other side of the pond. Hope you weren't hit by the tornadoes the other day that went up the coast. I have a sister who lives in Maryland and luckily her area was just missed. By the way, I am in the Toronto area about an hour west in a tiny village called Carlisle.

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    3. Sending hugs to your grandson for a speedy recovery xxx

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    4. Hope your Grandson is now on the mend xx

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    5. That must have been so hard for you watching your little Grandson going through all that. Hope you get some positive news when the tests results come back. Thinking of you Cathie and hoping things improve.xx

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    6. I also hope you have positive news about your grandson. Hugs xxx

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    7. Hi Cathie. Very to hear about your little grandson. I can't imagine how frightening that must have been for you. I hope with all my heart that he comes out the other side ok and smiling. Keep the faith xxxxxx

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  19. Hi Barbara
    It's good to hear you are having some time away from the office, it is hard to switch off though isn't it. Perhaps have a notebook on the table and instead of picking up the phone just write the thought down and deal with it on Monday instead. I did chuckle at the thought of you getting blamed up for you international phone call ( ooooo look at you!!!!!), I hope it's a good business deal being confirmed. Have a wonderful time with mum and dad and a great evening with Debby and Gill.
    Love Diane xxx

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    1. Hi Donna - yeah happy dance Friday , have a good weekend xx
      Hi Brenda I hope you get your boiler fixed so you and Daisy can be warm and snug again, let us know you are ok xx
      Hi Dot I hope you are ok xx
      Hi Pam I hope your back isn't causing you too much pain xx

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    2. Evening Diane, hope you are ok and have managed some crafting. I've done 4 groovy birthday cards over the last week and so enjoyed it, just a bit at a time, lovely when they all come together at the end. My back was feeling a little better then we went to the caravan show on Tuesday did a lot of walking so was in a bit of a state after, it's a bit easier again now sleeping a bit better too with the pills. Only trouble is I feel like a Zombie until about 4 in the afternoons. Have a good weekend.xxx

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  20. I'm thankful,today for many things and many people . Have never met you , live far away , but I'm thankful for you and all you do . Isn't texhnology the greatest ? Except for the days when I can't figure out my blog or how to make a nice photo album to show my friends . Well then , that's another story now isn't it ., the Suns shinning here in Virginia and even if it isn't you can go out ,smile at everyone and brighten their day . Love and joy. Jan

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  21. Hi Barb,
    Glad that you're having at least some time off today after everything you've been doing lately.
    Hope you have a good time with your Mum and Dad and then Debbie and Gill. Just sat watching your show with Leonie - great to see her on Hochanda. Loved the shows and as usual the design team did you proud. Sorry I never got to comment yesterday rather hectic with vet visit and housework and meal with friends and time just ran away from me. I received my diamond club envelope yesterday and love the plate,stamp and stencil. I also had a chuckle to myself when I read the newsletter about your new collaboration with Pergamano - I bet that was a kick in the teeth for those who didn't believe that Groovi was really parchment work. It did make me smile! I also received my gift voucher today so thank you for that. I've had quite a good day today doing some Groovi work making some cards whilst cat sitting the invalid. Used my club plate and also the henna flower border and an pleased with the results. Enjoy your evening, love Alison xxxx

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  22. Your blog is a welcome break from 'gutting' the conservatory - all my mess I'm afraid and it's so embarrassing to have craft stuff spread over more than one room, I'm on a mission. Black bags ready for next bin day as I want this room to be a calm and relaxing place reflecting the colour scheme.
    Have an enjoyable time with your parents and same for this evening's outing.
    Now for coffee and more black bags! ;~}

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    1. Evening Shelagh I'm just sorting my craft out now the craft room has been decorated bits at a time done my clarity as that's in clarity felt bags and clarity folders things I don't craft with any more now takes some throwing away .happy craft sorting hugs xxx

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    2. Hi Sheila,
      This is a bit like the Steelers Wheel song only it's
      'Bin bags to the left of me
      Boxes to the right of me
      Stuck in the middle with you!'

      Didn't get as much done as hoped but will carry on regardless.
      Sincerely hope you can benefit from your hospital visits.
      Sending much love,
      S ;~}

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  23. Sounds like a great plan to books dates with your friends and loved ones so that you have some fun time out of the office, house and craft room. We're just back from a lovely woodland walk as it was a beautiful sunny day today - I'm much better these days at leaving things that aren't urgent until tomorrow, or maybe the next day! Had too many years of work, work, work, and now work to live and enjoy life. Good luck to your friends Debby and Gill wherever life takes them in the future. Susan x

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  24. I totally agree that you have to have separate time for work and separate time for you. When the kids were wee I went to a parenting class where I learned that you HAVE to make time for you no matter what you ate doing, be it working in a high powered job or staying home with the kids. It was an important lesson and it has helped me overcome PND and just cope with everyday life. We were told to set aside half an hour which could be two 15 mins to do something just for you. It could be having a bath and reading your book or a walk or painting your nails and straightening your hair. I used to sit and cross stitch and if anybody asked anything of me during that time, they had to wait until I was done. An important lesson for me and the kids!!
    Now they look after themselves and I am out working, and after two years in a job I hated I now have three very part time jobs that I love, doing child care and admin. I now only work 3days a week, giving me time to craft and catch up with friends.
    I have found your blog inspiring, both from the inspiration of the art, but also inspiring me in life from how you manage to fit everything in. The comments are another inspiration and I appreciate the time that everyone has to support each other through the good and not so good times. It is a fabulous community here that is growing and changing the world to a more tolerant and supportive place.

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  25. I totally agree that you have to have separate time for work and separate time for you. When the kids were wee I went to a parenting class where I learned that you HAVE to make time for you no matter what you ate doing, be it working in a high powered job or staying home with the kids. It was an important lesson and it has helped me overcome PND and just cope with everyday life. We were told to set aside half an hour which could be two 15 mins to do something just for you. It could be having a bath and reading your book or a walk or painting your nails and straightening your hair. I used to sit and cross stitch and if anybody asked anything of me during that time, they had to wait until I was done. An important lesson for me and the kids!!
    Now they look after themselves and I am out working, and after two years in a job I hated I now have three very part time jobs that I love, doing child care and admin. I now only work 3days a week, giving me time to craft and catch up with friends.
    I have found your blog inspiring, both from the inspiration of the art, but also inspiring me in life from how you manage to fit everything in. The comments are another inspiration and I appreciate the time that everyone has to support each other through the good and not so good times. It is a fabulous community here that is growing and changing the world to a more tolerant and supportive place.

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  26. Hi Barbara, so glad to hear that you are finding time 'chill out'- very important in this crazy world that we live in. I wish I could have watched yesterday's programme on Hochanda. We recently changed our broadband supplier and, not only did I loose all my saved Clarity programmes on the Sky box - aagh), I discovered that Virgin don't have Hochanda! What will I do now :-( Thank goodness I can access YouTube for inspiration.
    Missing your programmes...
    Have a lovely weekend
    Veronica

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    1. I am on Virgin, but at the moment, I watch Hochanda through Freeview which is a very good picture and record on my DVD recorder. Most modern tv's have Freeview built in and just need tuning. Apparently, Hochanda are starting to be broadcast on Virgin and have started in Birmingham. So fingers crossed, we might get it very soon. xxxx Maggie

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    2. Thank you Maggie, that's useful info. Will have a go at tuning and hope for the best. It would be brilliant to see Barbara's programmes again and build up my 'cache' of recordings. Happy viewing.
      Veronica xx

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    3. My DVD recorder also has Freeview built in. xxx Maggie

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    4. I watch on Hochanda on freeview as well and also record on a DVD recorder hope you manage to get it, it's on channel 39 if that helps Veronica.xx

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    5. Thank you very much for the help, I will investigate (much to my husband's despair lol)
      Regards Veronica xx

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    6. Veronica! I have good news! If you go to Hochanda.com on your computer, or ipad or even phone, you can now watch last weeks shows. It's brilliant! Go to TV schedule, pick the day, in my case last thursday, then click the hour you missed, and boom! The whole hour is recorded for you. Xxx

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    7. Yes! It's great for me as I don't have a recorder! Hochanda is definitely getting better :)

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    8. Wow, that's amazing! Thank you Barbara, Margaret, Pam, and MaggieC for all your help! That has brought a smile to my face :-)

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  27. Hi Barbara
    So pleased you are finding time for yourself and being with the people who are most important. Enjoy the day. Loved the TV shows yesterday and it was good to see Leonie too. I have a new shopping list ready for next month when my pension goes in the bank.
    Hugs from Chris X

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  28. Hi Barbara - why am I not surprised to learn that you aren't going to have today off!? However, it is really good to hear how you are now approaching things in a different way - such a great idea to make firm dates in your diary for the fun things too! Totally understand that it's not really possible to just take a day off, when all your staff are working so hard I know that I always 'led by example' too! At least you have recognised what is happening and have taken steps to halt it. Well done you! I have only been a part of the 'clarity blog family' for a few months - but I love it! In common with everyone else I also appreciate you taking time out to continue to inspire us and actually improve our lives!! Thank you - enjoy your family and friends time today! Hugs from Gilly xxx

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  29. Dear Barb, you manage to convey my own thoughts and feelings so often, and it's strangely comforting to know that there's some other poor sod without an 'off' switch! I've booked my own bit of rest and relaxation by booking my ticket for the Clarity open day in June - I always enjoy that and it can't come quickly enough.
    Hope you enjoy your moments of 'me' and family time and thank you for inspiring me and for making me stop occasionally to think and breathe
    Karen xx

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  30. I might not always comment every day, but I do read your blog every day without fail and it is a vital part of my day. I am glad you are making time for the important things in life, the people you love and the things you love. Enjoy that time with Debby and Gill and wish them Bon Voyage from me. With the encouragement from my crafting friends, I have taken my life by the scruff of the neck and one leap I have taken is to book in for the Open Days for the first time. Just need to book in for the Retreats and that will complete the fun. Looking forward to that posh hotel with beautiful grounds to stroll round and I might even go for the swimming pool by then, a bit more encouragement to continue with my diet. The shows yesterday were great and provided a great relaxation from trying to sort out car insurance. It was brilliant to see you with the lovely Leonie again. Lots more like that, please. xxxx Maggie

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  31. Hi Barbara, hope you are all having a wonderful evening. Great photos , wishing Debby and Gill all the best, I know they are going to have a brilliant time....hugs...xxxx

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  32. Lovely blog and have chilled out reading everyone's comments tonight. A bit of down time. My heart goes out to all who are having problems. Remember we are only given as much as we can deal with at a time. Although sometimes it does not seem that way.

    Nearly burnt the cakes watching catch up on recordings Barbara!! Just means need some topping to hide the rather done top.

    Crafty hugs Pen x

    Ps Diamond parcel came today and yippeeee my voucher many thanks x

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    1. My mum was a great baker ( sadly disabled so no longer can) and when attending village affairs my sister and I would only eat cakes she had made. We only liked things that were 'well baked' and although hers were by no means overdone we did not entertain the insipid ones!!! I can bake but don't as they linger around and end up n the bin, however give me a ' well-fired' bun anytime! ;~}

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    2. Made me smile with your account of your mums cakes Shelagh, I have to say Dennis loves my over done cakes...crisp round the edges so nothing has gone to waste :)

      x

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  33. You sound so much better today Barbara thank goodness. I fully understand the work, work, work ethos. That was me until my first stint with cancer when I determined to change! It lasted until about a month after being back at work! After it returned 5 years later and I finished treatment , I cut my hours at work and stopped bringing work home. I was then for the first time able to manage my family problems without becoming overwhelmed. I don't recommend cancer as a way of 'stopping to smell the roses' haha but it really is worth taking time for a little joy.
    I had an MRI last night and now just got everything crossed that it hasn't reared it's head again. Our neighbours call our house 'Cancer Corner' as my poor hubby has also been down the same road twice. But we're both lucky to be 100% optimists, never spoiling today by worrying about tomorrow.
    Eeh! Even my fingers can talk for England haha. I'll shut up now xx

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  34. Glad you seem a lot better today, hope you had a great afternoon with your parents and have a brilliant evening with Debbie and Gill. Good luck to them on their journey. Have a chill out weekend Barbara.xxx

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  35. glad you managed to take the day of. need to take a leaf out of your book. take care, hugs xx

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  36. You know Barb my working life was really really important to me. As the main bread winner without me my son wouldn't have had food or a roof over his head. I worked for Social Services for 30 years as a Craft Instructor, a Sheltered Housing Warden, a Day Centre Manager and the last 10 as a Social Worker. People's lives were in my hands and they deserved only the very best and by god I would give it. When you are a hard worker and you get results you end up with more work than anyone else and it just gets piled on and on until you say no or your mind and body say no. I have suffered with depression all my life so in my mind I really had something to prove as I did have episodes of depression every few years and at these times was forced to take time off work. I felt guilty about this and had to work harder than everyone else to prove my worth. I worked till late every night I never had a lunch break and I worked at home at weekends preparing documentation. One colleague - a social worker I may add who with all there training should surely have known better- said to me one day "You wouldn't know you had depression to look at you"! and that is the ignorance you have to endure. Well the point of my story is this. That if you overload a ship it does eventually sink. Two of my colleagues the same age of me, at the time early fifties, both had a stroke. One went home and had one and was found the next day when the Head of Service sent the police as they hadn't turned up for work. My other colleague came in from a particularly stressful visit to a client with the Police and had a stroke at their desk. Fortunately they sat opposite the Social Worker who specialised in people who had experienced strokes and so immediately knew when they initially said that they couldn't feel their face to call an ambulance. It was at this point I made the decision to leave. I loved my work but not enough to die for it. I was fortunate to be in a financial position were I finally had a choice. If I could have I would have carried on working and just slowed down a bit but that was no longer an option with government cuts and less people doing more work. My point is that I am sure you have a fantastic team around you that can manage when you are not there. You mustn't feel guilty when you know you need a rest. It gives others the chance to shine. You are a very conscientious person and so you feel guilty when others are working hard and you DARE to take a break. You are no use to anyone of them if you make yourself ill or god forbid anything else. This is a no brainer as OF COURSE they would prefer for you to take more days off to smell the roses than you be ill. You can't take care of others and those that depend on your company for employment if you don't take care of yourself first. Just remember my two colleagues- one survived but is now disabled and the other died - from over work. So I am glad to hear that you are taking time for yourself seriously cause I could see that things were becoming imbalanced again and the treadmill was smoking girl!! Take care. Much love Jayne

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    1. Thanks Jane. I read every word, very slowly. I get it xxxx

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  37. Evening Donna, Brenda and Dot, hope you are all ok, have you managed to do any craft, hope your Mother's day card is going well Donna.XX

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  38. Late tonight, had a bit of retail therapy! What a week glad its Friday. Crafty things are calling so in the craft room tomorrow. Glad you have enjoyed your day Barbara I think you need a few though. Xx

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  39. Evening Brenda, Sheila, Diane, Pam, Dot and Morag. Hope you have all had a happy day! Xx

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    1. Thank you Donna. I got a clarity package today ..some 'proper' stamping card and some Adirondack inks so I've been playing lovely! Retail therapy is a great hobby! xx

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  40. I can understand where you are coming from Barbara as you have obviously always had a very high work ethic not only because you had to but because you wanted to and you always give 110%, and as the team are working hard you don't feel you can sit back even for a day! I hope after your working this morning you will have had a good afternoon with your Mum and Dad and then a lovely evening with your friends Debby and Gill. Hopefully your weekend will be good too! x

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  41. Just love your blog Barbara, it relaxes me just reading it , you could almost be here talking to me, it's just as if your telling me your story.Thank you for putting the time aside each day to do it. Today I got my Groovi Club envelope - so exciting and something just for me, to look forward to each month. I loved reading your news letter and wow great things are happening for the business! You earn a day off now and again and it recharges your batteries. Enjoy your weekend x

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  42. Enjoy your time with your Mum and Dad, Barbara. I wish I could but I do have wonderful memories.
    I love the Club stencil and stamp just received and really great tutorials too. Carol

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  43. Thanks for the daily date and hope you enjoyed your evening x

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  44. Glad to hear you are booking fun dates, Barbara! Sounds like a great month ahead. (I'm going to an Adele concert too. Really excited! Even better, I'm meeting my daughter in Manchester so we can go together.) I love your blog and make sure I visit every entry. I've just started using my Gelli plate at last (and I love it now!!) and so have been looking searching your blog for ideas. Brilliant resource :) Mxx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x