Monday, 7 November 2016

A night to remember...

Hi there!
Thanks for dropping in!
Enjoying a day off here.
Went to Waitrose this morning.
Quite a novel experience actually.
It has been an age since I went grocery shopping, 
so it was rather pleasant just wandering up and down the aisles,
picking a bit of this and that and what you fancy.

Sorry state of affairs when your work schedule has gone so far off course that a trip to the supermarket is a treat!

Anyway,
one of the highlights of the NEC Exhibition 
was our Saturday night.

For many years, whenever we do the NEC,
we have always stayed on a farm in the surrounding area.
The lady of the house has become a dear friend.
Her name is Norma. She is one of the kindest, most down to earth people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. 

Well, we always happen to be at the NEC around Bonfire Night,
and Norma and her family always put on a fantastic bonfire party for all the neighbours and neighbouring farming families. 

Let me introduce you to Norma...


So they have a massive fire - a HUGE fire


which is so hot, it’s hard to get too close...
Cold back hot front!


They stack a huge wall of hay bales right round the fire.
It is magical.
From left to right here:
Paul, Jo, Lisa (Jayne on the upper deck) Myself, Dave, Tim.
Tim is Norma’s son. He is another diamond geezer.
As the fire settles down, he jumps up into his John Deer Tractor 
and reloads it. 


He is also in charge of the firworks, and I can tell you,
they put on one hell of a display.


Norma and the other ladies serve up baked potatoes 
and sausages and all sort of fantastic food.


The kids run around with sparklers.
The Collie Ben, runs round like a loony on speed, 
chasing the fireworks and rounding up the kids.


I can’t tell you how breathtakingly normal and idyllic this evening  was and alway is.
Far away from the madding crowd of the NEC.


Just to sit on a hay bale wall with a bunch of good people 
and watch the flickering colours of the fire;
absolutely wonderful. 


And all the cares and worries of the day,
the noise of the ugly, windowless, air-conditioned exhibition hall
just seem a million miles away - 


as they are right now.
No more shows for a while now - thank goodness. 

It’s Dave’s birthday today.

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y  D A V E !!!

Blimey. What a difference a year makes.
Last year, he was so ill, he couldn’t even make it to the NEC.
He wasn’t at the bonfire night last year either.
Blimming Naproxen nearly killed him.
But he was there this year, and he looks younger than ever. 
I got some nice cake for later;
the two of us are just about to have a little siesta, 
and maybe a little walk through the leaves.
What colours!!!!

Can’t keep up like we used to.
So let’s not try to today.


Love & Hugs

123 comments:

  1. Many Happy Returns Dave, hope you have a lovely restful day and enjoy your cake. The bonfire/fireworks sound fab but must admit I'm not happy around fireworks etc due to a very lucky 'near miss' when a youngster (long story!) so tend to stay in and watch across the valley thro' the window. Anyhow, good to know 'show season' is over for this year so you can settle back at home to recharge the batteries. Happy Birthday again Dave xxx

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  2. Looks fantastic, fireworks. Pleased you chilled out and enjoyed your day off today. Tell Dave Happy Birthday from Janet, Raymond and Gareth. Enjoy your cake πŸŽΌπŸŽ‚πŸ°πŸŽΈ

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  3. Happy Birthday Dave. I hope you both manage to have a relaxing day enjoying the autumnal colours that are so wonderful this year. x

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  4. Happy Birthday Dave! I should have remembered as you asked us bloggers to send him a card last year because you would be away for his Birthday.
    I'm so glad you had some down time today. Firework night with friends sounds wonderful too.
    Pennies are a bit low at the moment as I put down a deposit on a family holiday cottage for us all next summer but I may just be able to find enough for the bloggy offer down the back of the settee or in a few pockets xx

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    1. I hope everyone is well in blogland.
      I've been doing some Groovi outlines ready for when I am laid up after my op. It may be just a bit of plastic with holes in but the Groovi guard is soooo useful when doing mesh or other detailed work as you can go from area to area without missing any xx

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    2. Speedy recovery hugs xxx

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    3. Hi Chris, I'd forgotten about Dave's birthday cards last year ! X

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    4. Hi Chris I hope your op goes well, that's a good idea and just shows how portable groovi is. A friend took hers into hospital and one of the night nurses loved it and was allowed to borrow it for the night. She had ordered it for herself by the next morning! Sending hugs xxx

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    5. Hi Chris,
      Great idea to do some Groovi in hospital, will take your mind off things. Love and hugs Alison xx

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    6. Hi Chris, all the best with your op, and a speedy recovery. Good idea to do the line art on your groovy befire you go in, then you can sit relaxed to do the whitework when you get home. Nice to have a holiday to look forward to, love and hugs,Pam xx

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    7. Good luck with the op Chris. Love the portable groovi idea, perhaps you'll convert even more staff over to it! xx

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  5. Happy Birthday Dave. Looked and sounded so much better at the NEC. Bonfire night looked amazing, I do love fireworks just not having to stand in the cold to watch. Made me smile when you said about the Collie, we used to have a Sheltie when our kids were small and she used to do twice the distance we did when out walking rounding up all our kids. Used to like to keep us in a tight bunch. Enjoy your day off even if it is food shopping. xx

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  6. Happy birthday πŸŽ‚✨πŸ‘ πŸŽ‚πŸ˜Ž xxx

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  7. Happy Birthday, Dave and many happy returns :D

    Kind regards
    Mariane

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  8. Hello from Germany,

    happy birthday Dave. I wish you all the best and have a very great day.

    The leaves pictures are so wonderful and the coloring is so perfect and fantastic ... I love these stamps and these stencils.

    I wish you all a great day.

    Sabine:-)

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  9. sometimes you just need to get off the merry go round.
    sounds like a magical night at the farm which I expect was desperately needed.
    Happy Birthday Dave ,chill out have a snooze a nice bit of cake is heaven.Pat x

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  10. Happy Birthday Dave, I hope you have a wonderful relaxing day. Thank you for sharing the photographs Barbara, that is one massive bonfire. Enjoy the rest of your day and isn't nature marvellous at the moment? We do get such a treat in Autumn when the leaves turn to fabulous colours.
    Love and Hugs
    Linda xxx

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  11. Happy Happy Birthday to Dave xx

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  12. Happy Birthday Dave hope you've had a lovely day x

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  13. Enjoy your birthday and slice of cake, Dave. ;~}

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  14. Happy Birthday πŸŽ‰ Dave, enjoy your afternoon and your cake. Saturday night was certainly a very special and magical time, as though it was straight out of a novel. Great photos...hugs...xxx

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  15. Barbara, I truly think you need to delegate more, and do less, business wise. I think you need to spend more time doing 'normal' things, like the food shopping, housework, baking, spending more time with your parents. It sounds to me like you are feeling overwhelmed and tired out with Clarity things. You could pick and choose what you wanted to do, and maybe spend more time designing too, whatever, but you need to spend a bit more 'me' time,doing what you WANT to do, instead of what you NEED to do.
    Happy birthday to Dave, enjoy your cake xx

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  16. What a lovely way to end what must have been an exhausting four days. Longer than that of course because of the setting up and taking down of the stand. I hope you can have a breather for a few days.
    X Chris

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  17. Happy birthday to Dave!
    What a wonderful way to spend bonfire night! It's like we used to have when I was a lot younger! I don't bother now and Charlie dog gets so anxious with all the noises that I have to stay in with him!
    Enjoy your evening together. Love and hugs! Xxx

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    1. Happy Birthday Dave! X

      Great to read about your wonderful evening with friends. Make the most of your 'down time' and recharge your batteries. Much love. Xxxx

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  19. Happy Birthday Dave. Looks like it started well on Bonfire Night. Enjoy a very different day today. It's so good that you're much better than last year. Wishing you both a wonderful year ahead.

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  20. Happy Birthday Dave,have a great day and enjoy your special time together. Cake, cake and more cake. πŸŽ‚ πŸŽ‚ 🍰 πŸ˜ƒ

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  21. Hi Barbara, Thank you for sharing your lovely fireworks evening story. Happy Birthday Dave, have a wonderful evening and a fabulous year filled with fun and happiness. Big hugs Marian x

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  22. Dear Barbara, Its good to hear you've enjoyed a peaceful day, wishing you many more. Sending birthday wishes to Dave. xx

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  23. Happy birthday Dave! Barbara glad to see the wellies getting plenty of use. I left mine in the garage & a mouse has taken up residence in them. Clearly he has no sense of smell! Enjoy a lovely evening together xx

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    1. Oh no Lynne! I hope you found out before you put your foot in them!!! Xx

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    2. Can't bear to evict them having built such a cosy nest x

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  24. Hi Barbara. Sounds idilic no worries or stress with good friends . Just can't be beat .
    Happy birthday Dave hope you have a few treats from Barb
    Have a fantastic day xx

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  25. Happy Birthday Dave.....have a good relax both of you - know I couldn't do half as much as you guys do, but then I am a tad older than you!!

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  26. Happy birthday Dave I remember sending you a card last year how time passes great you have both enjoy a better year just take some time out please . Love the photos you have shared today the one from yesterday should go in a frame xxx

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    1. Evening dear blog friends thinking of you all crafting hugs to you alll.xxx

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    2. Hi Sheila, not up-to-date with blog news! Hope you are able to do a little crafting now and then. I'm now working on our mums' 'Advent Boxes,' an annual tradition for the past decade - and time is running out. ;~}

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    3. Hello Sheila I hope you are keeping warm and snug, the wind today has been quite bitter. Sending hugs xxx

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    4. Hi Sheila,
      Hope you have a good day today. Sending love and hugs Alison xxx

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    5. Hi Sheila, I hope you are well these days.

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    6. Hi Sheila, been thinking of you and hoping you've managed some craft and are keepung nice and warm. Love and hugs,Pam xx

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    7. Thank you for all your hugs and wishes xxx

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  27. Happy birthday Dave. That bonfire party looks brilliant, such fun x

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  28. It is lovely when you have something like that to look forward to - so glad it all went well. Happy Happy Birthday Dave - what a difference a year makes eh? I can remember how unwell you looked last year and how worried Barbara was. Still at least you could join in fully this year. Enjoy your cake and hope you enjoyed your walk. Xxxxx

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  29. Happy birthday Dave! What a difference a year makes. Have fun eating your came later. Xx

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  30. Evening bloggy friends, sending warm hugs to you all. Off to dig out my gloves. Xx

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    1. Hello Donna I should find your scarf too! Sending hugs xxx

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    2. Hi Donna, I was just getting more hats, scarves, gloves and snoods out at work today, they are flying off the shelves.

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    3. Brrrr it must be cold on playground duty xxx

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  31. Looks like a fab bonfire party. When we first moved into our house before all the renovations to house and garden we used to have a big bonfire and all the neighbours would bring their fireworks. A lovely memory of when our boys were little.
    I'm so happy, my Groovi starter kit (and a few other bits) arrived on Tuesday. I only ordered it on Saturday, what brilliant service. I used to go to parchment classes many years ago but it was always the mapping pen and white ink that defeated me so I joined the gold club to have a little try out and now I'm ready to go.x

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  32. Happy Birthday Dave, how good you can enjoy it this year. Thank you Barbara for sharing your lovely Saturday evening around the bonfire and with friends. Is there a card design somewhere in there?
    Have a lovely evening together xx

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  33. Many happy returns Dave. The night at the farm with the fireworks looks idyllic. Looks like it was a break both of you needed.xx

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  34. The NEC must be draining. I always see you, but never speak. Partly because I get all star struck lol, and partly because I can guess how much you must be giving in terms of energy to all those people. I think I would run for the hills. Hope you manage to recharge.

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  35. Happy Birthday Dave, you share with my OH! Glad to hear you are so much better than this time last year, strangely enough the same applies to my OH too. Enjoy your day.

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  36. Happy Birthday Dave ! A trip around Waitrose is a treat for me too, I thought when they put one up 5 mins down road from me (by car) I'd be there all the time but I've not, I've been good. However, when we do go we spend a lot more than usual and end up with lovely goodies! I will go before Christmas that's for sure. Glad you were both able to enjoy firework evening this year. Enjoy your siesta and evening. Xxxx

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  37. Happy Birthday Dave! Good to see Barbara that you managed to get some chill & relax time whilst at the NEC. I've been their many a time exhibiting at only have to look at the place and it drains me..

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  38. Happy birthday Dave, looks like you had a fab bonfire night, enjoy this evening. X

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  39. Happy Birthday to Dave! And enjoy your chilled day

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  40. Wow I have been waiting to read about your bonfire night and it sounds amazing. Happy Birthday to Dave I hope it has been a good one for him. Enjoy the cake. Take care. Hugs Jackie

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  41. Happy birthday Dave, the fire looked great. We used to have a good bonfire night with neighbour's years ago when the children were small, remembering them when I watched the fireworks going off outside. I am sure the nec was great. Have been making an attempt at a card with the lovely little bell plate, which I love. Thank you. Enjoy a rest now. Xxxx

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  42. Happy birthday Dave!🍰☕πŸŽ‚πŸŽ
    Sounds like an idilic bonfire night spent with good friends. This year I didn't go to a display as my mouth was too sore, but saw some out the window. πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸŽ†
    Take time to slow down to cherish the important people in life. We all need to have a good balance of work and family time and I hope that you can achieve this. Sometimes it is the simple and mundane routines like going to the supermarket become the most cherished of times as they offer a break from the madness that often becomes work. Take care and look after yourself and your family. xx

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    1. Hi Fiona,
      Hope your poorly mouth is feeling better now. Love and hugs Alison xx

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  43. Hi Barbara, thank you for sharing your special evening with us, much appreciated. And for taking the time to blog for us on your precious day off too. Your evening sounded just perfect.

    Glad to hear you're having a proper day off today. I was going to say would be a treat for me to go to a supermarket too, wonder if they look any different to how they did 20 years ago! But if I was going to be allowed out of here I think a supermarket would be the last place I'd be choosing for my one chance!!!! But then again online food shopping is a bit of a nightmare when you're totally dependent on it for everything!

    I must be stupid, folk talking about a bloggy offer, and pictures of leaves and colouring in, where?! (Confused smiley face) (nope can't work out which one depicts that either!) I've been waiting to see how leaves get coloured in πŸ™

    Happy birthday Dave, hope you've had a good day, and you have a good evening with Barbara, and enjoy all the treats she found for you too.

    Love Brenda xx

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    1. Hello Brenda don't worry you are not alone, I was wondering about a bloggy offer too. As for the supermarkets oh boy have they changed - self service tills and handsets that you use to scan your own shopping not to mention the choices available. I hope you and Daisy are keeping warm, has the snow got to you yet? Take care. Sending hugs to you and Daisy xxx

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    2. I'm a bit confused too! Lovely ve and hugs Alison xx

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    3. You aren't alone Brenda, I didn't know what they were talking about either. Hugs, Pam xx

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    4. Me too mind you it doesn't take much to confuse me hugs for you and daisy xxx

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    5. Just looked on the offers the leaves are in the blog offers stencil and stamps as I just looked on the winner of the blog challenge and top 5 hope this helps Brenda xxx

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    6. Hahaha! It's me! I wrote today's blog and got carried away with a bloggy stamp offer. then I decided it was way too long, the blog that is, and thought I would cut the offer and paste it over to tomorrrow, because I have a big day back at the office and thought it would take the pressure off tomorrow. A load of people obviously read it in the 2 minutes before I changed it. My bad! Offer tomorrow though. Xxx

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  44. Lovely photos of you all and the fireworks, so pleased you had a super relaxing bonfire night with friends, nothing better. That sounds a great way to spend your day, no rushing around and enjoying the beautiful autumnal countryside.

    Happy birthday Dave and many happy returns. Have a relaxing time tonight with Barb. Love and hugs, Pam xx

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  46. Happy Birthday Dave! It must always be great to kick back with a super family firework party whist you are in the middle of such a busy show! Takes the pressure off everything! Hope you are enjoying your day off!x

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  48. Hello Barb,
    Happy Birthday to Dave, have a wonderful evening.
    You certainly had a great Bonfire Night, I miss the ones we used to go to in the lanes when I was a child in the 40's and 50's.
    Maureen xxx

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  49. Happy birthday Dave!!!! Hope you enjoyed your cake :) Hugs. C xx

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  50. Hi to all you lovely bloggy friends, hope you've enjoyed your Monday, I have, finally got around to making the Christmas cake, just came out of the oven. I'm hoping to make a card this evening. Hope you all have a a lovely evening too. Love and hugs Pam xxx

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    1. Hello Pam I made my cake on Friday and started to put together some cards today so don't worry you're not the only one. Sending hugs xxx

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    2. Hi Pam,
      I bet your kitchen smells lovely. I don't like fruit cake, but do like the smell of them cooking - very Christmassy! Hope you're ok, love and hugs Alison xx

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    3. Well done Diane, didnt get to do a card, ended up taking my phone back as its been playing up, had to be done, changed it for a different one.xx

      Hi Alison, yes it does smell lovely in the kitchen, hope it will taste as good. xx

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    4. Oooo Christmas cake xxxx

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  51. Happy Birthday Dave. So glad you feel better than you did last year. Also glad I was wrong with my posting yesterday saying you wouldn't take a day off. Brilliant that you felt able to and took pleasure in the simple things in life. The Fireworks Evening looked amazing. How great to be with Dave and good friends. xx

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  52. Hi Barbara
    What a wonderful place to stay, away from the NEC, good home cooking and not an impersonal hotel. What a great bonfire party, just what you all needed after your manic day. Good to hear you were able to unwind today, comes to something when Waitrose is exciting but I know what you mean. Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your cake. Happy birthday Dave, what a difference a year makes. As you were so ill last year why not forget that year and be a year younger!!
    Love to you both
    From Diane xxx

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    1. Hi Diane,
      Hope you've had a good day, love Alison xx

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  53. Happy birthday to Dave. Your bonfire night reminded me of the ones I used to go to as a child. Hope you and Dave have a lovely evening and a restful few days x

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  54. Happy birthday Dave enjoy your cake. Saturday evening sounds lovely cannot remember last time sat around a bonfire my day always did a bonfire etc enjoy your evening xxx

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  55. Hi Barb,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE! Hope you've had a good day. Doesn't seem like a year ago that we were all sending cards! So pleased that Dave is so much better and looking so well. Your Bonfire Night looks fantastic and you look so content and happy. Try to take things steady at work and just delegate. Love and hugs Alison xxx

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    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Hope today has been as good as possible for you all. It's been very cold and wet here with the occasional sunny intervals. Housework day and a trip into Durham ( got soaked so wasn't best pleased!) .love and hugs to all Alison xxx

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  56. Happy Birthday Dave, we had a family lunch yesterday to celebrate 4 birthdays !! Barbara I hope you both manage to get some time to yourselves this week, no doubt the team at Clarity Towers will keep the wheels turning. Nothing like a mooch round the shops even if it was food shopping!!

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  57. Hi Barbara, thank you for sharing your wonderful night.
    Happy birthday Dave, you made me feel like I had known you for years on Thursday at the show that ment a lot, as there are so many of your customers come to see you all.Thank you and glad you are looking and feeling so much better than last year.
    Have a great day both .
    Enjoy your cake and a glass or two! !!
    Lynn xx πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆ

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  58. Happy birthday Dave. Your bonfire night looked wonderful. I remember when my girls were little I used to go to Asda on a Monday evening on my own, it was bliss and I could just wander up and down the aisles for hours.

    Sorry I've been missing for a while. My best friend came to stay a couple of weeks ago which was great. I then ended up with a horrible cold and have also been struggling quite a bit with what is going on at home. I have read some of the blog and I'm just going to catch up with the rest now. I hope everyone else is well.

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    1. Julia congratulations on been in the top 5 so happy for you xxx😊

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    2. Well done Julia on getting in the top five.xx

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    3. Well done Julia on getting in the top five.xx

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  59. Happy Birthday Dave, I remember we all sent cards last year and we all spent ages looking for our offerings in all the photos, do repost them if you have time, they were amazing. Hope you both have a fab evening. Much love Karen xxx.

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  60. Happy Birthday Dave - I hope you've had a lovely day. Can't believe how things have changed for you in the last year and you're looking great.
    Saturday night looked wonderful Barbara no wonder you enjoyed it so much. Hugs to you both xx

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  61. Happy birthday, Dave! What a lovely Saturday evening you both had, the pictures really show you both relaxing and enjoying the bonfire and fireworks. What a lovely place to stay. You're right about the colours all around us at the moment Barbara, it really is a lovely time of year, hope you kicked some leaves up! Xx

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  62. happy birthday Dave. it was great to see you so well. and i agree with Barbara, you are looking younger. now i need some of the stuff you are using, hugs xx

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  63. Happy birthday Dave, glad you have been able to enjoy it more this year. The simple things in life make us sit back and enjoy them don't they. I can't think of anything nicer than sitting with friends on a farm watching the bonfire etc. Hugs xxx

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  64. Hello Barbara

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVE.

    What a magical evening you all had. Just the antidote to being stuck in hall 20 at the NEC!

    Love
    Roz.x

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  65. Happy birthday Dave glad you had a good nec all of you xxx

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  66. Sounds and looked like the perfect bonfire night. Happy birthday Dave.
    Hope I'm not affected by Naproxen 😨

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    1. Hi Pat, you may not be affected at all....It just transpires that I am allergic to any of the NSAID's....Take care.... Dave

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  67. Thank you all so much for the Birthday Wishes....Managed to have most of the day off as well !
    As many have said, what a difference a year makes, I could honestly write a blog post on Naproxen and its possible side effects....certainly how it affected me anyway. Thank you all again, xx

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  68. What a wonderful Bonfire Night, and a lovely place to stay and relax away from the hustle and bustle. Glad you and Dave have managed a quieter day today and Happy Birthday Dave! I hope you enjoyed your cake. x

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  69. Pleased you were able to have a day off, great bonfire night pics, a cheery chill out evening in the midst of the NEC, Happy Birthday Dave, enjoy your evening. xx

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  70. Sounds like a wonderful evening and just what you need after a hard day at the NEC. Happy Birthday Dave!

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  71. A rather belated Happy Birthday Dave. As a clarity blog newbie I didn't know you'd been so ill last year. Delighted you're over all that - you certainly look well and full of life and humour in the pics. Thanks Barb for an absolutely lovely blog today-pics are great and Norma and Tim etc sound an amazing antidote to the NEC madness, not to mention a clearly beautiful environment. Hope there's some more gentle days for a wee while. Love and hugs xx

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  72. Haven't been on FB for a few days andelivery just read your blog, Barbara . As it's past 1am I'm late with my birthday wishes. So Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dave. Hope you had a great day!
    Glad to hear you've enjoyed your farm retreat after busy days at the NEC. Sounds idyllic 😊Have a good rest now xx

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  73. Stupid auto-correct again "andelivery... " total nonsense.Should have read "and I've just read..." πŸ˜‰

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  74. Hello Barb, and Dave - Belated Happy Birthday, hope you had a great day. Thanks for sharing the pics Barb, always lovely to spend time with special people. Take care. Bx

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  75. Morning Barb

    A big 'happy birthday' to Dave, have a lovely day

    Barb, a few years ago I realised that I could no longer do the things I was able to do (my health has deteriorated a great deal) after the realisation came the hard bit, accepting this fact and 'letting go' to enable others, my hubby especially, help etc

    So, may I suggest that for the good of your own health and well being you need to do this too?

    Take care dear lady

    June x

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  76. Hello Everyone. I'm really not too clued up on posting things on Blogs but felt that I really did have to put something on here today. This really is a huge THANK YOU to a very kind and helpful lady (Jannine) who took time out from what I'm sure is her very busy day to deal with something that really wasn't her problem!! I ordered some things from a company, paid an astronomical amount for speedy delivery and the items had still not arrived yesterday. These were items I bought for my daughter. She has a brain tumour and although she can't actually draw properly (to her standards as she used to be a graphic artist) she can work with the Groovi system and takes great joy and great delight in being able to do so. Having been brushed off with excuses from the other company I called Clarity just to clarify something. Well this lady got onto the whole thing so quickly and with such kindness and understanding that my day was made who again. Jannine you will always have a little corner of my heart and I thank you from the very bottom of it. Barbara thank you for your amazing system which has given my daughter so much fun and a renewed sense of purpose. Very Best Wishes and many hugs, Jean

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  77. Morning Barbara, Happy Birthday Dave !!
    Your Saturday evening sounds idyllic, giving you a 'comedown release' from the hecticness of the NEC.
    Lots of love from Patricia xx

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

Barb x