A Winter Wonderland – but where??

A Winter Wonderland – but where??

Hello there.
Thanks for dropping in. 
Apologies for being so late on Mindful Wednesday.
but you would be proud of me!
As you know, both kids, Grace and Mark, 
came home from the States for Christmas.
We have had the BEST time!
Hampered by work? Nope.
Despite having 7 hours of live TV to prep for this coming weekend,
I made a decision to park the prep and enjoy the kids.
My rationale was that, after 25 years of grafting at crafting, 
I should be able to wing the TV with a minimum of prep on this one occasion.
Also, I probably won’t see either of them for at least half a year again, so sod it. I’ll take my chances on the telly.
Now that, my mindful friends, is serious progress,
 coming from this people-pleasing, perfectionist workaholic!
I am NOT going to worry or fret about my performance, 
or about impressing you, or about whether I screw up and haven’t got a “here’s one I did earlier” to fall back on. 
Provided I have got the stamps and a few props, 
I should be able to think on my feet,
or I shouldn’t be in the game!
I have been getting up with the lark, doing as much as I can.
But as soon as the kids surfaced each morning,  
I kicked Wurka and Hollick, 
those two scumbags who torment me daily, 
to the kerb,
and made the most of our time together. 
Yesterday, Grace and I hit the sales in Tunbridge Wells,
then had Afternoon Tea at Woods, in the Pantiles. 
Very civilised.
Today, the three of us hung out all morning, 
had a real meaningful conversation about growing up.
They are good people, both of them. 
They have strong ideals and dreams,
and they are figuring out the way it works, 
paying bills and making a living abroad, 
without leaning on others or losing their way.
I am very glad and proud of the way they are handling life.
Then we went out and found a Christmas Grotto!
Took selfies shamelessly,
Hung out in Lapland with the reindeer,
gatecrashed Santa’s pad.

It was innocent and fun.

Who needs to go to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland,
when you’ve got the Winter Wonderland Grotto at
The Garden Centre at East Peckham!
That’s what I love about them.
Most people their age would have told me to take a hike 
when I suggested going into the Grotto.
Grace whipped her purse out and paid for all 3 of us!
And Mark didn’t flinch either.
It was a bit dark for photos,
but here we see Gracie climbing the fence to the stables.

It was fabulous !!!

In fact, when my Dad turned up to meet us and take them home with him for the night,
I insisted on showing him too!

They wanted to spend a day with their grandparents,
so that’s where they are tonight.
I think that’s pretty special too. 
As far as the TV goes,
here are the hours:
Sunday 3rd October, 2-4pm and 8-9pm
Monday 4th October, 9am, 12noon, 4pm and 7pm.
When do the kids leave?
So the only way, and I mean THE ONLY WAY to do this gig
is one day at a time.
 love always,

107 thoughts on “A Winter Wonderland – but where??

  1. Can't believe I'm the first to comment! Do you really mean October for the next shows – seems quite a long time to wait and can understand why you're not worrying about the prep yet!!
    Glad you've had such a lovely time with Mark and Grace and I look forward to seeing the shows xx

  2. Well done. I am so glad you got your priorities so right and made the most of every moment. Your two do you so much credit and I am sure you are so proud of them as they go through life. Those shows will be wonderful. Can't wait to see them. xx Maggie

  3. I'm pleased you took time to enjoy Christmas with your beautiful family. You don't need to prep, you can do it thinking on your feet. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year. xx

  4. Brilliant, that is the way it should be. So glad you spending that precious time with the kids. Looks like it was fun. I had an unexpected trip to the panto today with my daughter and family, Oh yes I did. It was brilliant, joined in all the booing and shouting, loved it. The show at weekend will be fine, always is. Well done Barbara. xx

  5. What a wonderful mindful post Barb. You should feel really proud of how you kicked worry away. You can easily wing the TV…such talent as yours is so ingrained you will just shine. Enjoy your lovely kids, memories need to be made……so enjoy! xx

  6. Sounds as though you had a fabulous time with Grace and Mark today. Good for you kicking out Worka and Hollick, they don't deserve a second thought. You'll do well on TV you're very good at thinking on your feet, you do it at the shows, no problem. Looking forward to seeing you on TV on Sunday and Monday, but not in October. Ha ha!!!

    1. Arrr thanks Sheila, sending lots back your way. Let's hope 2016 is full of pain free days so you get to do lots of crafting with all the new Clarity things coming off the production line! Xx

  7. What a wonderful mindful post Barb. You should feel really proud of how you kicked worry away. You can easily wing the TV…such talent as yours is so ingrained you will just shine. Enjoy your lovely kids, memories need to be made……so enjoy! xx

  8. I think you've got the work / family balance just right and if a lady of your talents can't wing it a bit – no one can. Enjoy your family, feel no guilt. You have already put loads of work into the product, have faith and enjoy the moment. Much love and thanks for a great blog. X

  9. What a fabulous thing to do and don't you all look so happy?! Hmmmm October eh?? I think you have more than enough time to prep for those shows Barbara. Lol. I think I will just switch on this Sunday and see if you pop up!!! Xxxc

  10. Hi, i'm so glad you had a wonderful time with your children making precious memories, they seem great kids. I suspect you will be back on our TV screens before October though – perhaps January?? I'm sure the shows will be spot on as usual x

  11. What a wonderful day! We've just finished watching Sunshine on Leith with our daughter and son-in-law.. Family enhances every experience. They went to visit grandparents in the rain today too, a 2 hour drive each way but lovely they wanted to. They'll be gone on Saturday too but we've enjoyed every minute they've spent with us this holiday. Trying not to think about work next week but looking forward to your shows on Sunday and Monday. You'll be fine however much prep you manage to do and no one will guess you're winging it!
    Happy New Year to all the clarity family.
    Gill X

  12. Looks great and nice to have such fun – like you say – if you can't wing it by now…….xx
    Though looking at the dates you posted thats a lot of winging!!! LOL – oh who cares – not me – you just enjoy the days now -xx
    Grace and Mark….enjoy the time with your familyxx

    Much love
    Kim xx

  13. Well done Barbara! Now that's how to spend a mindful and productive day! It sounds wonderful, so many new memories for you. You don't need to spend hours prepping to give us some wonderful shows. They are already set for record.,.which will be closely followed by 'keep'. Make the most of every minute of the next few days…….hang work!!!!!

    You always look so so happy in photos with your family, I can feel the love and caring between you all. Your 2 kids sound like fantastic adults, you should be very proud of both of them AND YOURSELF :-).
    Hope you all enjoy your last few days together, lots more quality time.
    love Brenda xxxxx
    p.s. since all you CCA crew ate all my biscuits and drank all my tea the other night you'll need to bring your own if you're coming to first foot me tomorrow!!!! Dot, I used to love black bun, I can't buy it online, I keep checking each year when I do my New year shop just in case! Black bun, clootie dumpling, flea cemetery….

    1. Black Bun – I'd forgotten about that – my great aunt made the best, my mum a highly competent second and as for my attempt, a very poor bottom of the list when I made it over thirty years ago but in a far eastern country and I with limited appropriate produce! As for a clootie dumpling, I promised Mike only yesterday, I'd have a go at making one and it will probably be for my birthday mid Jan as for once we'll be at home. S x x ;~}

    2. Don't worry Brenda I've still got mince pies so I'll bring them, although Julian is worried we are down to 2 dozen! We had clootie dumpling and black bun delivered to us by a Scottish gourmet club years ago, I don't know if they still exist. I hope you find some from somewhere. Susan, house of Bruar oh what memories! We stayed near there a few years ago and went there quite a few times for cake and a few treats for dinner. Xxxx

    3. A first foot is supposed to be a dark haired man bringing in a piece of coal for the fire, a dram and blackbun, it's about bringing in luck that the house/household will always be blessed with heat and food. If no one was expected somone would go outside just before the bells so he could first foot.
      Thanks everyone.
      Homemade mince pies will get you head of the queue Diane.

    4. Well noo ma hen that has ti be a first someain I ken that likes black bun… so awe the mare fir you then oor Brenda the co-op at ma bit has it…' might jist buy it and wish yi wir here….xx here's yir cuddle.xx
      P.S. will leave any translation ti you ..yid be better at it…xx

    5. Can yi chuck a poke o black bun o'er the Forth tae ma bit. If yi dae it during the nicht n let me ken when I'll stand ootside ma backdoor tae catch it!!!! xx

  15. Well done for choosing family before work. Yes you will be able to wing it on Sunday with all your years of experience. Just pretend it's demo at a show. We'll all be right in front of you cheering you on and being understanding of any blunders.
    The grotto looks amazing and far better than an over commercialised London wonderland. Enjoy every last second of your time with Mark and Grace. Love and hugs, Jeanette xxxx

  16. Hi Donna, Diane, Sheila, Brenda and Dot, hope you've enjoyed doing a spot of craft today and that you're all well. Joined the Diamond club today and put my Christmas groovy plates and stamps away in their folders. Love and hugs to you all, and wish you all a Happy New Year as if Barbs a bit late tomorrow being New Years Eve I may not be able to as going for a meal and friends coming back.

    1. Happy new year Pam, enjoy your meal. I've put my groovy plates in my lovely storage too and had a go to see how my new word plates work – well it had to be done didn't it! I'm going to ring up for the groovy club next week when it's less hectic around the house! Lots of hugs xxxx

  17. Looks like you all had fun today. I decided that I would not stress about Christmas day this year. I do all the prep and cooking and get myself so wound up about it as I want it to be perfect. This year I decided what will be will be. If I were to cock up something it wouldn't matter especially as I had enough food to feed an army and there was only 5 of us. Yes I was prepared, I had my list of times that everything was to go on. My dinner was cooked to perfection (according to my mother in law) and no one left a morsel on their plates. I was really pleased with myself mostly because I was able to see the day out without any stress. I hope I can take this laid back attitude forward to 2016. I'm sure your shows will go well but if there is a wee mishap then it is ok to laugh at yourself and it makes us fell more normal!

  18. What wonderful picture and day. Those kids are more important than any show but you can do it the shows think with your eyes closed crafting comes so easy to you hope they have great night with their grand parents how lovely today sounded perfect love and hugs Joy xxx

  19. Hi Barb,
    Looks and sounds as though you had a great time with Mark and Grace. Im really pleased that you kicked Werka and Hollick into touch so that you could spend precious time with your lovely family. The Grotto looks fantastic. Mind you i think it must have done funny things to your head though as you seem to think you're back in October!!! Really looking forward to the shows whichever month they are in! I wouldnt worry about the prep – Im sure you're more than capable of " winging" it if you have to.. love Alison xxxx

  20. Glad you got your priorities sorted and put family first. As for the TV shows if you can't wing-it with all your years of experience, what chance do the rest of stand when trying to be creative!!!!!
    You'll do your best as always.
    But the bonus is you'll also have all those great memories to look back on in the coming months until you see Grace and Mark again.

    Happy New Year to you and all at Clarity.

  21. Looks like a wonderful day Barbara and well done for doing "just enough" for your TV prep rather than taking precious time away from your kids. With your experience and talent I'm sure your winging it will be as professional and inspiring as ever – looking forward to the shows! Susan x

  22. Hi Barbara
    Well done you. Kick Worka & Hollick into touch and enjoy precious time with your wonderful children. You will be great on TV. The Wee Houses are just waiting to be used and I am sure you have some fabulous projects planned. Just go for it girl!
    Hugs from Chris X

  23. Beautiful photos a wonderful family you all make you can see in your face and smile how proud you are .you will wing it on tv you always do we watch you even it you didn't putting all on record as don't want to miss nothing
    Safe journey home for grace & mark lots of hugs to you all xxx

  24. Wonderful Barbara! It looks like you had a 'Perfect Day' and progress indeed! Well done you! As for the TV shows – you will be fine and all of us will be cheering you on! No worries there! xxxx

  25. It's great that you have put everything aside to spend time with Grace and Mark and the tv will go fine I'm sure and no one expects 100% perfection all the time. I love your photos in the grotto and you all look so happy and Grace and Mark have obviously grown in to two splendid and caring adults and I'm sure they miss you just as much as you miss them so enjoy the rest of their stay. x

  26. Well done, Barbara. You should be proud to have kicked the two evils out of your head! I'm glad to say that our two are just as daft as their mum and would have been up for the grotto too. It is such things that give us the happy memories we collect through life. Looking forward to learning from you again at the weekend. Mxx

  27. It's easy for us to forget or not realise how much prep goes into your TV work, you make it look effortless. However I find I learn most from the things that don't go quite to plan, so go with the flow and see where it leads and bask in the glow of a good day with the kids. I was in the office today with the lady who had such a bad year with both her sons ending up in hospital. We were having a right laugh about cemeteries of all things with one of our youngsters puzzling about how many bodies you can get in a plot. She thought you could just pile them in on top of each other. Funny the things that make you laugh, you had to be there I guess because it was funny and it was great to hear Jilly getting back to her old self, it will take time to heal but progress. A good day all round

  28. Right choice Barbara, we said goodbye to our Son today – he'd been here since last Tuesday and he only lives in London – 2 hours away, I miss him already so it must be massive for you when they go back to the States, bless you.

    I love watching you on TV and shows so I really don't care if you are not perfect – who is?? You inspire me and others to get crafting no matter what you do so carry on and enjoy family, time is precious xxx Oh and Happy New Year to you all

  29. I love your photos, you all look so happy. I have to confess that now my two are all grown up I really miss going to the grotto. It's a magical experience when you are a child, and you believe, and I loved seeing their little faces light up.
    Looking forward to Sunday and Monday xx

  30. I love your photos, you all look so happy. I have to confess that now my two are all grown up I really miss going to the grotto. It's a magical experience when you are a child, and you believe, and I loved seeing their little faces light up.
    Looking forward to Sunday and Monday xx

  31. Lovely blog ! Looks as if a wonderful time was had by all and how lovely they want to go to their grandparents! I think your shows will be fine – you can wing it if necessary no problem! Looking forward to it. I spent a good couple of hours putting some – note some still more to do! Into a second file on acetate! It's worrying really how many I have! Don't tell anyone! Hubby went to see Star Wars with son and grandson so mad a few hours on my own!

    Hope the shows aren't Oct as that means it will be my birthday again and I don't want another one yet!

    Got to set the alarm tonight as Hubby has a MRI Scan at 9a.m. I begrudge setting the alarm nowadays! Xxxx

  32. The work will always be there. I wish your Grace and Mark were too. It looks as though you had a great time and will have wonderful memories to enjoy over and over. The shows will be great as ever. Carol

  33. You will be FABULOUS on TV – who knows this new approach might become your way of working for 2016

    You ABSOLUTELY made the right decision to spend time with Grace and Mark, and of course Dave and the rest of your family.

    Sooo pleased you had a brilliant day today; you all deserve it

  34. Good time had by Y'All. Lovely to see you having fun together and creating new memories. Cherish! Great memories from over the years are wonderful to recall and also sustain when times are tough – for whatever reason. ;~}

  35. Sometimes the simple pleasures are the best ones! I am so glad that you are getting some quality time with your kids….they and you are making memories that no one can take away from you!
    I'm sure TV will be fine… You always have way more than you demo anyway!
    Enjoy the last few days with Grace and Mark. Love and hugs to you all! Xxxxx

  36. Hi Barbara
    What a fabulous blog today. You have such wonderful children and you can tell how proud you are of them, they are doing so well in their chosen lives so you've done a good job with them. Oh we would have been in the grotto too, isn't it lovely, looks like you had such good fun, and your dad got to take his little girl in too! I hope they have fun with grandma and grandad, it's lovely to have that relationship. Do you know, I think you might have had a couple of years experience at this demo lark so just go with the flow, I'm sure it will be fine, especially if you are on with Charlie again and get the giggles!
    Take care
    Love Diane xxxx

    1. Hi Dot hope you are ok. Having a lovely time with Emma home thank you although it's like having a whirlwind around as she dashes out to catch up with friends. Sending you hugs xxxx

  37. This is what memories are made of, Barbara. You would have regretted it if you hadn't made the most of your time with them. I'm sure your live shows will be fine, well, you do have until next October to prep!! Lol. It'll be a hell of a show!!

  38. Children are pure joy. This is what makes you tick and as I know from the year I have had, they get you through all the difficult things that come your way. The biggest gift of all time are our Children and family. So enjoy. Xx

  39. Hello Barb, thank you for sharing the lovely photos of you and Grace and Mark. So glad you took time away from working to spend with them. The shows will be fine as always. Take care. Bx

  40. Morning – our internet has been down – missed reading your blog – do hope you mean January not October that you are on. My daughter and her husband left early this morning after 10 days and I confess to feeling a little relief but realise how lucky I am too – she is frequently home and lives only 1 1/2 hrs away so we take being together a little for granted

  41. Well done you Barbara, great photos of you, Grace and Mark and you Dad, it's good to be silly sometimes and spending quality time together is the best feeling ever.
    See you Sunday lol xx

  42. Hi Barbara,
    Promise I won't mention October, I think it's all been said. Will miss you on the telly until then tho.
    I just wanted to pop on to say that I received my first stamps and mounts from you for Christmas and was absolutely blown away by the quality. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I had a play with them yesterday and can safely say that I will not be buying any other flimsy brand again. The mounts are also ingenious and helped me line things up very accurately. No wonder you have received all those awards. Loved the photos of your lovely family today.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Chris xx

    PS Looking forward to the shows in October, whoops, sorry, wasn't going to mention that again. Xx

  43. I don't blame you to take time out to be with your young ones , looks like you had fun,,.
    So we have to wait till October then lol,,,,
    Happy New Year to you all,,.xx

  44. Morning, What a beautiful wonderful day you had yesterday. And its moments like this that mean so much.

    What will be will be in regards to the Shows and YOU Barbs will be fantastic what ever happens.

    Crafty hugs Pen x

  45. You will be fine Barbara and family come first especially when you don't see them very often we won't mind mistakes we will still that you are the best which you are Happy New Year to you all.That garden cente looks fantastic.x

  46. Glad you took time out to be with your family , it's about time Wurka and Hollick know their place! Your sneak preview of the house stamps looked great and I'll be watching Sunday – I'm sure the demos will be inspirational, as usual. I often ' need' to produce a quick, simple card so on a personal level I like to see clean quick and simple projects demonstrated alongside the more complicated ones. Have a lovely New year look forward to 2016.

  47. Wow well done Barbara! Our time with our children is so precious and even more so when we see them so infrequently. You will be great on the telly and I'm sure we will all understand if you make a mistake we are all human after all.
    Our daughter went back last night so I'm feeling a bit bereft today but it will pass, I have a house move to organise so that will keep me busy.
    Wishing you and Dave a Happy and Healthy 2016

  48. Fab photos especially the last one. I'm so glad mindfulness Wednesday has been working for you and that you finally able to kick Wurka and Hollick back into their rightful places and enjoy your time with your children which is of course the most important thing of all time. I'm really looking forward to your weekend shows and so what if it doesn't go according to plan and you end up winging it or off peiste, some of the best inventions/ideas have come from mistakes and as we crafters know some of our best cards have imerged from just such occasions. It's all part of the fun. Enjoy your last couple of days doing the most important job in your life which is of course being a Mum.xxxxxx

  49. Lovely moments to cherish. Looks like you had a great day.
    Looking forward to Sunday's shows.
    Happy New Year to you, Dave and all at Clarity. May next year bring as much success as this year.
    Happy New year to all bloggers too.

  50. Hi Barb
    Good for you! If we can't put work on one side and spend Christmas, or any other time for that matter, with our loved ones, the world would be a lonely place. I have one daughter who I see at least 4 times every week, and we spend time crafting together, as well as shopping. My other daughter lives down south, and now that she has grandchildren of her own we don't get to spend Christmas with them very often. Although Beverly and her husband Rob have been known to surprice us on Christmas Day, by traveling 250 miles to be with us, and then traveling back to Portsmouth on Boxing Day. We Haven't seen them this Christmas, but we have been on the phone a lot, and we shall be going down to spend a week with in late January or early February, so that is something to look forward to.

    Will be recording all your shows over the weekend, and the ones we are really intersted in will be kept indefinitley, so that we can watch them over and over. Also look forward to your blog each day. I never used to blog anyone, but, finding you, I am trying to respond to some of your blogs.
    Hope 2016 is a good year for you and all the Clarity Team

    Margaret xxx

  51. Lovely pictures, Barbara – so glad you're having a great time with Grace and Mark. Precious days! Shame about the TV slots needing prepped at the same time – isn't it just how Life goes! I think it's a way to teach us about priorities, and I'm glad Mark and Grace are yours. You'll be fab on TV, whatever you do – excellent product and enviable talent should cover you! 🙂 Happy New Year when it comes! K x

  52. I am so pleased you have put yourself first cause like a say you need to feed the soul. This is the stuff good memories are made of. Yes you will be able to think on your feet and perform just as great as you always do on telly. It is rewarding to think that all your love and nurturing has produced two great adults to be proud of. I used to teach crafts in Peckham just off the Rye in Nunhead. Great memories of that time before I moved back up North. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday and Monday. Much love Jayne x

  53. Wonderful post with all these fab photos. What fantastic memories you'll have. Who knew you could have so much fun in this area? I certainly didn't.
    Tonbridge Sue

  54. Such lovely photos. I'm glad you kicked work into touch so that you could enjoy the time with Grace and Mark. Love the sound of your day out and just the sort of thing I would enjoy. A friend and I are off to the panto on Sunday, just two OAPs and no children!
    Happy New Year. Fran x

  55. Thank you for your wonderful blog today and every day. Time is precious and we only have one go with our kids, our family and our friends. Good for you for realising that life's too short and it'll be alright on the day. Looking forward to your shows as ever, always an inspiration x

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