Step away from the building…

Step away from the building…

Friday’s blog a private peak. Sometimes the only way to get anything done is stop, walk away, leave the building. Which is why Dave and I have retreated for a week. We have to make a plan for next year; we have to get some constructive direction in our lives. We have been so busy, have been pedalling so hard for so many months, we really can’t see the spot we’re standing on anymore. The trouble is, we can’t really switch off at home – and this will resonate with most folks who run their own business. Whilst I would dearly love to potter around the house, putting up the Christmas decs, and getting the nest all lovely for the imminent family festivities, there’s too much going on at work for us to not go in. So the only answer is to come away to France. It’s not far away, but it’s abroad, it’s foreign language, it’s a total change. Channel Tunnel this morning, goodbye England, bonjour France!
And already, I have started thinking about something other than work. Been able to enjoy the fabulous scenery, the beautiful treescapes, the panoramic valleys in Bretagne. The sun was shining, I came up with a new idea for creating clouds. The shapes of the trees and the churchspires gave me a grand idea. What astounded both of us was the mistletoe. The trees were laden with it! Dave explained to me it is a parasite; it needs a host, but eventually it will kill the trees it lives off. Never knew that…
There I was thinking it’s some lovely little sprig we kiss under at Christmas; turns out it’s higly poisonous and a killer!
Some of the trees were chock full! So whilst I was trying to figure out why the French were just letting it kill their trees, Dave was planning how to fill the car, bring a load home and sell it! And you thought I was the business woman!
We went over an amazing suspension bridge too. A masterpiece of engineering.
I’ve got my pens and paper with me, and I am already excited about designing a bunch of new stamps and stencils, planning 2014’s TV Classroom, and deciding what we want to do next year. We want to make some changes. If we keep doing the same things, we will have no time to do anything new. So a plan must be forged.
I know it’s work, but not when you’re staying in the quaintest cottage in the world!
No sooner do we walk away than we can see more clearly.
And while we’re here, we’ll tune in to each other again, and hold hands, and check out the local markets, and just be regular tourists.
I shall endeavour to write this blog every day. Not because I have to. I don’t ! In fact, that’s what I am trying to work out. There’s some soul searching going on here, too. What am I doing because I feel I have to, and what am I doing because I enjoy it ? And for a chronic people pleaser like me this could take a while..

76 thoughts on “Step away from the building…

  1. I hope you have a wonderful and well deserved break – the cottage looks just gorgeous! I am glad to hear that you are both taking some time out to breathe, take stock and enjoy each other's company – and maybe get some inspiration for more fabulous products too 🙂

  2. Enjoy your holiday Barbara and Dave and spend the time relaxing and having fun. I look forward to reading your blog to find out what you have been upto in France. My Clarity badge arrived yesterday…thank you!

  3. Well Barb, it sounds like you already have some sort of plan…an idea and a direction…its just planning it all and making sure you and Dave have me time in amongst it all and not drive yourself in to the ground. You have a wonderful company that you….yes you..have set up – I am sure you can trust them to do the day to day running whilst you do the creative and decision making side. Christmas decs! – hey 24th Dec when all the family are home – you can all do it together – how cool would that be….your Mum…time to spend with her. France…looks lovely so some R&R to restore balance sounds wonderful – so enjoy – whilst we all love your blogs – hey we can survive ! xx

  4. Have a wonderful break, you both certainly deserve it. I do love reading your blog every day but if it becomes a chore then thats no good so as little or as often I will savour it. Hope you find the balance you are looking for xx

    1. Have a wonderful time, you deserve it. Look forward to Christmas with your family and you'll come up with a plan that suits you! Along with everyone else, I really enjoy reading your blog each day but you can only stretch yourself so far…….We don't want you to snap! X

  5. Hope you have a fantastic break away, time to take stock, unwind, enjoy each other's company in beautiful peaceful surroundings and have peace of mind about what lies ahead. God bless you on your retreat. x

  6. Enjoy your time in that beautiful cottage and don't worry about pleasing us by writing your blog everyday. The poem about taking time to stand and stare comes into mind, so take the time. Being successful takes it toll mentally and physically so go careful.

  7. Hi Barbara,

    It's time for you to be a human being and not a human doing- enjoy the beauty of the world around you and in you too!
    Come back safe and blessed and have a wonderful time,

  8. Bonjour Barbara et Dave….. Not so sunny a bit further South, but still nicer than England for the moment. In the château where I work, there is plenty of mistletoe and it's very difficult to cut it from the trees, so good luck Dave….. Enjoy your little "retraite en France" as well as the lovely pancakes, andouillette de GuĂ©mĂ©nĂ© for the apĂ©ritif…… A real relaxing few days…..And no work!!!!
    By the way is it the "Pont de Normandie" you've pictured? It is stunning!!!
    Enjoy. xx

  9. Enjoy your break Barbara, and your soul searching. Please don't burn yourself out, it's easy to do when you are a popular commodity, because you don't want to let anyone down. I speak from experience, I once sang in a group that became a bit of a local monster. I for one would rather you did your blog a couple of times a week, rather than lose your witty banter and fab demo's altogether. Take care chuck, enjoy. I'm monitoring the floods this morning, I live in Lincs and the water is getting very close. xx

    1. Hope you escaped the floods, just been watching the news and they look horrendous. I was born in Lincolnshire and lived there for the first five years of my life. I can remember my father digging us out of the door when it snowed. Take care and good luck Lynne x

  10. Happy holiday. Your blog is a big commitment and one we all enjoy. I have wondered how you do it but the phrase ' if you want something done , ask a busy person' springs to mind. Perhaps one a week on a different day might be the way foreward. What ever you decide, I'll read it.

  11. I am glad you are taking the time together to relax after such a hectic round of shows and tv. Tell Dave not to worry too much about the mistletoe. There is a flourishing mistletoe festival going on right now in Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, including the three huge auctions. Yes, it will weaken the tree in the end, but so much wildlife is dependent on it so it is not just a pest. If you want to know more, about the plant, the festival and the Druids, just Google mistletoe and Tenbury Wells. However, if you do, then do it because you want to, not because you have to. Have a great time in France. xx Maggie

  12. Hi Barb,
    I'm pleased to see that you are taking time off to get away and have some quality time with Dave. It really is important for you both. I'm sure your great team at Clarity can manage for a while without you so that you can well and truly recharge your batteries which must be really running on empty by now. If you can't manage to do your blog then don't do it,. Whilst I love reading it every day, I would hate for you to think of it as a chore that you have to do . Even if you did it once a week, or once a month, I would still be happy! Have a fantastic break in that gorgeous cottage and come back truly relaxed.

  13. Hi Barbara sounds like you need more than a week! Trying to please ALL the people?? Too much pressure. Xx Hope you both have a lovely time and get to where you need to be. So now I will have to google why we kiss underneath a poisonous Parasite??

  14. Have a great time! Relax and unwind and I for one am looking forward to all these new and exciting ideas that have already started forming. Why not ask some of your wonderful team to 'guest' on your blog if you feel you don't want to stop doing it that would give you a bit of freedom, other wise don't blog if you don't want to, I love reading it but whatever, whenever, is fine. 🙂

  15. How lovely to hear of a bit of romance and togetherness at this manic time. A year ago today was my Mum's funeral and since then we have been able to devote more time to each other – no other responsibilities. We work to live – we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing! Have a wonderful time. Crafty hugs. Joan xxx

    1. You are so right, Joan, make the most of your time together. Sadly, we only had three years of our freedom but we did make sure that we enjoyed our life together. We played a lot, so I am left with loads of happy memories. Don't put things off, just do them. Have fun. xx Maggie

  16. Barb, hope the break gives you chance to recharge – the cottage looks wonderful – all you need is some snow!!! I agree that everyday life rarely gives us the chance to reflect on what we've done and where we're going. Not everyone has the wisdom to take time to step out of everyday and give themselves thinking time. Well done. Jean.x

  17. Enjoy holding hands! I was once advised to book regular 'shuffle days' into my diary – you know, when a project finishes and before you leap into the next – if it hasn't already overlapped!! – have a day to do the filing, book the dentist, have a proper lunch!! Look rounds the shops rather than running through them. OH and I take off to our caravan at Wells next the sea to discover who we are again!!

  18. enjoy your time together – make the most of it – and don't fret about not switching off entirely – its almost impossible to do I think! Big Hugs and best wishes for a fruitful break xx

  19. Hi Barb (and Dave), enjoy your time away together. It is something every couple needs, to get away from the day to day things and just walk together holding hands. Have a break, although I bet you will come back loaded with ideas. You are a people person, and no matter how much or how little you do, we will always enjoy it and be inspired. Bx

  20. Enjoy your break, eat lots of wonderful food, drink wine and just enjoy being together. Re charge your batteries and come back to us with some wonderful ideas. The love we give away is the only love we keep, how true. Be happy. Joan x

  21. You sooooo deserve a break. You are a wonderful inspiring lady to so many but you need 'me' time too just like we all do. Have a fabulous time and we look forward to seeing you again refreshed and focused and making us spend our money on your passion! We are honoured to have your time 🙂

  22. Enjoy your break.You don't have to feel like you need to blog everyday,a lot of people don't.It's got to be enjoyable for you too.You've got to have time for yourself and your partner/family,these are the important things.No matter how you try you can never please everyone x

  23. Have a lovely time it looks beautiful. You deserve a break and yes you will come up with that plan and return home with batteries recharged.
    When do grace and mark arrive home? Bet you can't wait I know I can't wait for Hannah and Michael to arrive on Thursday and then Ruth the Thursday after
    Take care
    Jackie x

  24. I hope you have a wonderful time in that gorgeous little cottage. Try to put your feet up and think of something other than work for a time a least, you deserve a rest! x

  25. Good afternoon Barbara and Dave…have a lovely time in France…relax, and enjoy …you both deserve it….oh a plan ….I love a plan….please can you make a list too……I do love a list….especially when I can tick things off the said list….hugs…Jo. xx

  26. enjoy a very well deserved break Barbara, you never seem to stop so take time to recharge your batteries and enjoy some me time. As a fellow people pleaser this post struck some chords with me…. maybe I should take some time out too x

  27. We all need a break sometimes Barbara and you certainly deserve one. Quality time together is important so relax and if the blog does not get written it does not matter. We all love your products and your talent which inspires us to have a go ourselves. So enjoy the change of scene and come back refreshed ready to join in the Christmas celebrations with your family….. Love and hugs Lynne x x

  28. If anyone deserves as rest well it's got to be you. You need time to recharge you thoughts and ideas. So what better way then for you and Dave to just close the door and forget everything else.
    Happy Holidat yo you both xx

  29. Much as we all enjoy the blog and the variety of stories and projects, those who really care about you I'm sure would far rather you took a complete break, forget the blog, forget Facebook etc for the week and just enjoy your holiday. We'll still be here when you get back, (greatly refreshed hopefully) and will look forward to your return.
    Janet (from Kent)

  30. This posting made me emotional Barb. Your writing resonates to many of our lives. Have a wonderful time with your ever loving Dave, and hopefully you'll be able to get some 'down time'. Take care, Barbs (or Barbie as my family call me, were you ever called that?)

  31. Brittany is one of my favourite places, fond memories of family holidays with my sister's family, mum, small children, loved it. Hope you enjoy your time off xx

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